Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    3
  • comments
    21
  • views
    299

One Week Post Op - How I Arrived Here

Sign in to follow this  
kayak19

203 views

Deciding to undergo WLS is one of the biggest decisions I'll ever make in my lifetime.  The mental journey that accompanies this process is so very interesting.  I'm finding that it is not just about the food choices; it is a deeply personal experience that creates the need for much self-reflection in order to have the maximum chance for long-term success.  Here are some things I've uncovered about myself in just a few short months (I am lucky in that my insurance situation is such that once I was motivated enough to go to an information meeting, following the steps made this a relatively short process, compared to what I've read that others have had to endure...feeling very fortunate on this).

I have spent a large part of my adult life utilizing socially acceptable constructs to allow me to hyper-focus on food.  I have been a vegetarian, not a vegetarian, cookbook collector, a food politics advocate (say no to GMOs!), a CSA (community sustained agriculture) participant, a farmers market faithful, pinterest recipe queen (having categories as specific as Scones), a foodie, a canner, and the family member who loves to host big family gatherings and express my "love" in the form of massive, delicious meals that people couldn't stop raving about or eating.  My identity, aside from my profession, has been almost completely wrapped up in food.  While it seems very obvious now, I never realized I was doing that until now.

While my aforementioned best friend, Food, and I were keeping ourselves busy, I was at the same time isolating myself and neglecting my health.   Over time I felt less and less worthy of spending time, energy or money on self-care, and that I shouldn't subject people who weren't family to have to spend time with me.  I felt like my body didn't deserve to wear things like jewelry or make-up.  Clothes had become as utilitarian as possible, both from lack of options and interest.

The more diet plans one tries and the older one gets, the harder it is to gear yourself up for another one.  We know where they end up, ALWAYS with a net gain.  As I contemplated whether to have the surgery or not, this was a huge deciding factor.  The pre-op diet was very easy for me; I did not feel deprived or hungry (I should disclose that it was only 8 days long compared to the months or longer required by some drs or insurance companies I've read about on TTF), but I kept having the thought that if I can do this now, why can't I just do this without the surgery?  Since my surgery, I've noted various situations or encounters with food and thought, had I not had surgery and was just on a restrictive plan, I would have gone off of it at these points, reaffirming that this was indeed a tool that I needed.

I had to face the fact that I have successfully accomplished most of the other goals I have ever set for myself and the weight loss battle remained elusive.  What were the chances that someone with a middle aged metabolism and a long history of unsuccessful eating programs was going to succeed without this bigger step?  Less than 5%...

The odds not in my favor for going it alone, I decided I needed to go for it even though I have spent the majority of my life seeking alternative medical solutions; my chiropractor was essentially my PCP for most of my life.   I did a lot of research, read blogs and forums, watched YouTube videos, had a moment when I found out about the probable hair loss and a few other things, but ultimately made it to my surgery date feeling ready, calm and dare I say, excited about the possibility of success.  

My surgery and hospital stay went very well.  I was surprised at how it felt to be cared for by nurses, my husband, my friends and family.  That is usually the role that I play, so receiving that from others felt foreign at first and I had to reassure myself that I was worthy of that care.  I have found that the intense focus on caring for myself after surgery, the routines with meds, nutrition, exercise, are contributing to that rebuild of worthiness as well.  

So my next step is to properly frame a new relationship with Food.  It can't be eliminated; so it must be dealt with.  Instead of depending on Food to help me fit in to areas in life I thought I wanted to be in such as food preservation groups and best meal preparer for those in need, it must take the role of providing some of the care I need to take of myself.  It has to provide true nourishment and not be exploited as a temporary emotional buffer or way to focus on eating without signing up for something gross like a hot dog eating contest.  

Today is my first day off of clear liquids.  Starting today I get to choose each and every day what the new food relationship will be.

 

 

Sign in to follow this  


9 Comments


Recommended Comments

"I had to face the fact that I have successfully accomplished most of the other goals I have ever set for myself and the weight loss battle remained elusive.  What were the chances that someone with a middle aged metabolism and a long history of unsuccessful eating programs was going to succeed without this bigger step?  Less than 5%...

The odds not in my favor for going it alone, I decided I needed to go for it even though I have spent the majority of my life seeking alternative medical solutions; my chiropractor was essentially my PCP for most of my life.   I did a lot of research, read blogs and forums, watched YouTube videos, had a moment when I found out about the probable hair loss and a few other things, but ultimately made it to my surgery date feeling ready, calm and dare I say, excited about the possibility of success."

@kayak19 A very Adult set of words. Good luck with the new relationships to food... dealing food from a position of personal strength and power, and being free from emotional eating does jumble things up...

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thank you, @BurgundyBoy.  The patient booklet from my doctor's office has a reflection page in it to use to plan what I will do the first time I'm faced with a situation that I would have dealt with previously by eating emotionally.  So far the list consists of going for a walk or a sf popsicle (not!).  Hopefully my list of strategies will expand.

Edited by kayak19

Share this comment


Link to comment
11 hours ago, delilas said:

Great post! How have you felt the first week?

Thank you :) @delilas

I'm really feeling great.  Ventured out to the store today for more supplies and supplements so that felt good.  Less pain meds, getting protein and water in without an issue so far.  My dr's plan requires full liquids the second week, so I'm having soups, yogurt, etc. in addition to protein drinks.  I try to avoid artificial sweeteners so I was a little worried about the protein drinks but I came up with a recipe that is working just fine for me.  2 oz unflavored kefir, 2 oz unsweetened almond milk, 2 t PB2 and a scoop of unflavored Unjury.  That was a big relief to figure out.  Tomorrow I see my PCP and then my surgeon the next day.  The only thing I'm at all concerned about is if all is well with the hernia repair.  I'm super aware of it when I'm walking and so I just want to hear that that's all normal and that I haven't overdone it or anything like that.  Fingers crossed!

Share this comment


Link to comment
16 hours ago, kayak19 said:

Thank you, @BurgundyBoy.  The patient booklet from my doctor's office has a reflection page in it to use to plan what I will do the first time I'm faced with a situation that I would have dealt with previously by eating emotionally.  So far the list consists of going for a walk or a sf popsicle (not!).  Hopefully my list of strategies will expand.

I like it that your doc's office asks this simple question. 

Last night found myself snacking after dinner (my downfall) on these cute whole peapod snacks - crunchy, adequately salty, some protein and fiber - when I realized I had probably eaten 200-300+ calories of them. Emotional eating is not just eating out of unhappiness, it can be that mindless kind of thing where you end up feeling warm and fuzzy... Self-awareness, self-awareness, self-awareness. 

Glad all going well with you. Your hernia was a hiatal hernia?

Share this comment


Link to comment
2 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

I like it that your doc's office asks this simple question. 

Last night found myself snacking after dinner (my downfall) on these cute whole peapod snacks - crunchy, adequately salty, some protein and fiber - when I realized I had probably eaten 200-300+ calories of them. Emotional eating is not just eating out of unhappiness, it can be that mindless kind of thing where you end up feeling warm and fuzzy... Self-awareness, self-awareness, self-awareness. 

Glad all going well with you. Your hernia was a hiatal hernia?

I know what you mean - since I've been on these 5-6 small meals, sometimes in the evening I'll find myself thinking, "it's been awhile since I've had anything to eat, maybe I should get something" even though it's not time and I'm not hungry.  I think I just always acted on all those impulses before.  Stocking up on cheese sticks and sf popsicles for when I'm actually hungry in the evening in the future.

I had an umbilical hernia.  I think I would be completely pain-free at this point if it wasn't for that part of the surgery, but I'm glad to have it repaired so I can gradually add back more types of physical activity once it is completely healed.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now