The Mind-Body Connection and Weight-Loss Surgery

The Mind-Body Connection and Weight-Loss Surgery

The western world is slowly catching up with what the east has known for centuries: that there is no such thing as a disconnect between the brain and the body. We westerners are the product of the renaissance, of rational thought, of the industrial and the technological revolutions: we treat our bodies with medicine and don’t consider that the mind has much to do with either illness or healing.

Fortunately, we’ve been proven wrong: it’s now universally acknowledged that the mind has a strong influence on the body, and the body on the mind. But how does that relate to obesity, and how it should be treated?

The reality is that any emotion provokes a physiological response. Overeating, for example, is one of the responses to tension, to anxiety, and to depression. Your body stores fat quickly when you’re unhappy, and the more you store, the more you will crave … and the less you are in touch with the connection between your body, your mind, and your spirit, the less likely you are to find a permanent weight-loss solution.

Weight-loss surgery can be a permanent solution, but only if you align all of these three states of being-mind, body, and spirit-toward the goal of losing weight and keeping it off. Becoming a healthy weight. Feeling in balance.

Because, unless you find that balance, the surgery alone will not help you. You can still gain weight after bariatric surgery. It’s not foolproof.

The reality is that most of us have too much on our plates, both literally and figuratively. Large stress-loads make us pile the food on, as a sort of reward, or security blanket, or compensation for how filled with tension our lives are. So if you return to the same levels of stress after your surgery as you were coping (or, more accurately, not coping) with before your surgery, what are the chances that the outcome will be different than it was the first time?

Working with your healthcare professionals, it’s time to find other ways of coping with tension, with stress, with difficulties, with loneliness, with anxiety, with all the myriad reasons that we reach again and again for food. Food will never be the answer. Accepting that and finding replacement activities, developing better coping skills, and understanding that your body is very much connected to your mind is what will make your weight loss surgery a success.

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