The author, Anna Tripp, before and 9 weeks post-op. (Submitted by Anna Tripp)

HAHIRA – This special, multi-part series will focus on one woman’s weight loss journey, and why she chose Bariatric surgery as a tool to help her live her healthiest life.  Tune in every week and follow her amazing weight loss (85 pounds so far) and learn more about why this may or may not be the right choice for you.

Addiction.

The disease nobody likes to talk about. It tears families apart. It ruins lives. It can take over when people are most vulnerable and make them go to extreme lengths to get what they want. When people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, society tells them to get some help. It’s expected. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But when someone is addicted to food, society expects them to eat less and try harder.

Uhh..what..?

So, you’re telling me, I have to be surrounded by my addiction on a daily basis?

Reality check, y’all: I literally need to have access to my addiction to survive. Have you ever thought about it like that? It’s not like we got sucked into the wrong crowd and we just need to get some new friends who don’t do that kind of thing. HELLO – it’s food! Everybody does it!

But I don’t deserve the same help as any other addict?

I’m sorry…what?

Overweight people who want to better themselves have way too many hoops to jump through. We have to break the stigma of asking for weight loss help, whether that help is surgical or not. We have to be able to afford help at all (looking at you, expensive diet pills!). We have to ignore the opinions of everyone around us because they think we can put the fork down and exercise.

Obviously, if it were that easy then it would be done more often. Amen?

Food addiction is real. I’m not talking about cravings. I’m not even talking about habits. This isn’t like when you wake up and just *have* to have that cup of coffee to survive the day. I’m talking about not being able to walk away or stop thinking about it no matter how hard you try. It engulfs your every thought. It controls your every action. You actually plan your day around when and where you’re going to eat. The gripping, overwhelming, uncontrollable feeling you have when you can’t let it go. You can’t just leave it alone and forget about it.

You know it’s ridiculous, you know you don’t need it. You also know you’re not even hungry right now, you’re just bored. You can install all the apps, make all the lists, and buy all the diet snacks you want. But, until you understand that your problem isn’t just that you eat too much – that it really is a sickness – none of those things will help.

You can ask for help. You can talk to your doctor. If your doctor tells you to exercise and eat less, try it. If you’ve already tried that, find another doctor. Go to a weight loss clinic. Do some research about weight loss surgeries. Join a support group. Hey, talk to me! I’d love to help you work through your weight loss problem. I can point you to all the things that have helped me. There are people all around us that are going through the same situations, but nobody ever talks about it. Why? Are overweight people not allowed to be upset about their problem? Are we supposed to accept the way we are and never do anything about it?

Don’t ever settle when you have the ability to go farther. Change is possible, y’all.

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