When you have weight loss surgery of any kind there is a certain amount of change you must embrace. When you have the Roux en Y in specific there is a drastic change in pretty much everything food related in your life. You have to embrace that refined sugars are a thing of the past. You have to embrace that your alcohol consumption has to decrease to teetotaler. You have to embrace that that love affair you had with all things carb is pretty much a done deal. You learn quickly that portion size is a static concept and you are no longer able to eat a “cup” or “bowl” of anything. Everything is measured in ounces and takes forever to eat.
I knew all of this going in. I got it. I understood it. I embraced it. Until…
That’s right, until I realized that the regimen they put you on after surgery is extremely cookie cutter. It is as if somehow the doctors and dieticians believe your taste buds died when they sectioned off your stomach and intestines. Well it is this cookie cutter approach that has sent me off the reservation. Yup, I have gone rogue. I thought long and hard about this and to my way of thinking what can they do — take the surgery back? Yeah, that’s not an option. So I have set myself free!
What does that mean? It means that at 3 1/2 months post surgery I am going to eat fresh fruits. They keep me regular and taste better than that no sugar fruit cocktail they want me to eat. That crap is disgusting! I am going to eat raw spinach for the exact same reason. I am going to eat steak (well tenderized) in addition to the approved meats like chicken, turkey, and seafood. And when I feel like it I am going have bacon! Not that fake cardboard turkey bacon crap, but real from the pig bacon.
However, I am still going to work out for at least an hour 5 days a week. I am still going to avoid refined/processed sugar. I will maintain my portion control and NOT over eat. I will not stress eat. I will take my vitamins. I will eat fast food as a last resort only. And lastly, I will continue to look for healthier ways to cook and prepare the things I love.
I believe there is a disconnect between the reality of why a person chose to have this surgery and what life is really like afterwards. I recognize that unlike some folks, I will now have to be very diligent about how I eat; however, that in no way means that food should be my enemy or any less enjoyable because I can only eat a few ounces.
I refuse to go through the rest of my life with some cookie cutter notion that I can only have what’s on this approved list. To hell with the list. The list sucks and the food on it is nasty. So, I am back. I’m back to cooking, and eventually I may even return to baking. You can eat well and healthy without sacrificing taste and enjoyment!
I am now down 93lbs. YAY!
It has been pointed out that my posting is too infrequent. So, what’s new you ask? Several things…
The first is an observation. I don’t like the “bariatric” diet. I cheat regularly. Daily even. *gasp*. Yup, I an having secret meetings with fresh fruit, raw spinach, steak, and my dietary version of crack — BACON. Now, I know that doesn’t strike you as too horrible, but my body does not like all this roughage. Nor is said roughage, red meat, and bacony goodness on the approved list of foods. My system does pretty good with steak as long as it’s tender and I only eat a couple ounces. I stick to no more than one or two thin slices of bacon and life is good. But the fruit and spinach. The new gastric system is no quite as happy. It’s not painful, but I am gaseous. So I have developed a strategy that includes Gas-X by the case and so far that seems to be helping. Score 1 for me.
This segues into my next “dietary” experiment. Whisky. Now for those who know me, you understand I enjoyed a double of Jameson neat. So, it is no surprise that I would test this theory of “no alcohol consumption” put forth by my weight loss team. I was informed that drinking is no longer an option for me. I chuckled at that concept and nodded politely knowing full well I was going to test that limit. So, today I did, and dammit if the doctor wasn’t right! 1 shot. 1 shot and I was lit like a Christmas tree and in need of DD to get me home. There was a time in the recent past when I could toss back several doubles and still be the most sober person in the room. Those days are long gone. I will not be testing the alcohol limits again. I enjoyed the calming effects of Jameson, but now it is closer to comatose after 1 ounce. It’s just not a good feeling. So, score 1 for the Doc…
Lastly, my clothes keep falling off of me. Yeah, I know. It’s a great problem to have. Except, I have to leave the house everyday, and I can’t go 2 weeks without needing new clothes. This week I realized the size 18s I was so thrilled to fit now require a little help to stay up. The 2x sweaters I was sure would last the winter now fall off my shoulders. And the F cup I prayed the Lord would let me keep has collapsed into a 36DDD. I feel awkward and deflated. You never realize how much of your identity is tied up in your appearance until it changes dramatically. For me it was the twins. Babies rested easy on them. They got me out of speeding tickets. Occasionally they got me free stuff and upgrades. I put them with a pretty smile and some charm last year and got a very nice buy back price on my old iPhone. Men were mesmerized by them. They had an almost hypnotic effect. Now, not so much.
People compliment my appearance and it’s good to hear. I appreciate it. I’m not sure I deserve the “proud of you” statements. My stomach is the size of a golf ball. It’s not like I didn’t have drastic help. I am still working out. But, I am feeling a weird mix of pretty, but not myself. Almost like I don’t fit in my skin anymore. I feel out of sorts. It’s odd that at 303lbs I knew who and what I was. I had embraced me even if that me was in horrible health. Now at 228lbs it’s a struggle to get comfy in my skin. I don’t recognize my face in the mirror. Today I actually thought to myself maybe you’ve lost enough. I know that’s not rational. I’m still overweight. But the prospect of losing 75 more pounds is a little scary. Not because it seems unachievable, but because I don’t think I know how to be that Ingrid.
I know that’s a strong title isn’t it. But, let’s be honest for a second folks only the dark lord or one of his minions would come up with something as disgusting as protein shakes. They are chalky, they have that disgusting smell no matter what you mix it with, and they have an aftertaste that just lingers in the back of your throat for hours. Now, maybe if I wasn’t such an adventurous eater with a pretty refined palate it wouldn’t bother me as much, but this part of my weight loss journey is worse than feeling hungry all the time but only eating 1400 calories.
I’m NEVER hungry anymore. I eat on a schedule. Mon-Fri I eat “breakfast” by 8am when I get in the office from the gym, lunch at 1 and dinner by 6. Sat-Sun I eat an hour after I wake up and then I fit in 2 more meals as the day progresses. But eating is not fun right now. Everything is a protein load. No variety. No variation. Just chicken, turkey, cheese and the dreaded protein shake. My meals are so bland I thought I’d have a *ahem*… I was way to excited for my first bite of fat free Babybel cheese yesterday. The ladies in the lunch room looked at me like I had lost my mind, but it was different and my palate was like “YEA!!!!!!”
So yes, I am not, nor will I ever be, a fan of “diet food” It sucks and one thing this process has taught me is that I can eat healthy without resorting to this food of the devil. I know I am locked into and stuck with this crap for a while longer, but I cannot wait until I can get back in the kitchen and try new healthy recipes with real food. When I am finally advanced to the place where my diet is normalized my calorie intake should be at 1100 calories a day (currently at 400-500). I believe those calories should count!