Yesterday I did a talk at a self help group for bariatric (obesity surgery) patients in Chsiwick. My talk was called "What is normal eating anyway?" I guess I should be blogging about this sooner or later.
There were some pre-ops there wating for surgery or just getting some information and some post-ops talking about their experiences. The common theme from the post-ops was that the surgery had changed their lives; they were walking miles and wearing clothes that had been in the attics for years. The gastric banders were certainly less successful and the gastric sleevers and the gastric bypassers were equally happy.
Now for many of them it is early days and as time goes by they have to confront some obstacles. I was so sad that there aren't many people with the wisdom and training to help them emotionally speaking. One soul was angry with me for being there talking to them in my slim body, she felt that I would have no idea at all what she was going through. She is a deeply compulsive eater who ate 20 easter eggs over the last weekend and she has been refused surgery until she has "dealt with her eating disorder" but how is she supposed to do that?
Everyone is talking about "getting CBT" or she has "had CBT" and it didn't work. But CBT does not work for everyone, if that is all the therapist is doing - there is only 50% success rate with CBT alone. So, we need to take each person, one at a time and bring a whole range of skills to the table which can be built around a package of treatment that will focus on the eating disorder mindset at its heart but can also provide help with feelings, trauma, lifestyle and empowerment.
Don't you think? Email me if you have a view on this - see above and remember to visit our website www.eating-disorders.org.uk to see what is going on.