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One freaking month down.

delilas

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By weeks, yesterday was week 4. By day-to-day, my surgery was the 29th, so tomorrow is the official month mark. Regardless, I'm so excited to be here. 

It's incredible how much I feel my body has changed. I'm down 20 pounds. I've been doing a better skincare regimen while I've been off work as well, and between the two, I can kiiinda already see a future where I'm not just dumpy and thick.  I attended my works holiday party and got more compliments than I think I've ever received at once. My parents were thrilled when they came over for Christmas Eve, although I felt my entire family was watching every single bite I took (and there were a few snarky comments from my cousin - who is considerably larger than me - about how I "made all this food for everyone that I won't even eat"). 

It's surprising to me how much of a fight it is to still tamp down bad habits. While my taste buds have changed somewhat, I still have a strong preference towards salty/fatty foods. Sweets just don't taste good to me, which is fairly fortunate, but I've never been much of a sweet tooth person. So far, my sleeve has handled pretty much everything I've thrown at it. As long as I go slow and chew thoroughly, it's a champ. 

I learned a valuable lesson Tuesday when I went to see the new Star Wars with my DH. We intended to eat prior, but every place at the mall was so busy there was no way. We ended up sitting at Starbucks, me sipping tea, but because of the crowds they were out of most food that wasn't bread. I did drink a small tea, but I'd been a bit short on fluids otherwise. Our theater is one that serves food to you, and we mistakenly thought we had tickets for that, but we ended up on the "other side" where its still a concession stand. Which would have been fine, it serves food, but again, the lines were astronomically ridiculous and I had doubts about my ability to eat the "grilled" chicken they were serving, so we just found our seats. By the end of the movie, I was dizzy and nauseated with a hollow feeling that felt like a drill through my stomach. I had tears in my eyes just trying to walk out of the theater and I gripped my DH's arm the whole way. When I thought back, I realized it'd been ~7 hours without eating, with several of those hours being us walking around an outdoor mall, and one small tea was the only fluid I consumed. We sat down on the stairs and he ran to get a bottle of water, which helped considerably after about 15 minutes, and then we ate a bit and the worst of it finally passed. 

Lesson learned. I can't go that long without eating, and I certainly can't go that long without drinking - at least not this early in the process, for sure. It's easy sometimes to 'forget' to eat, or honestly, to not feel like shoving another 2 ounces of protein pudding in my mouth, but I'll need a plan in place for any long outings from here out. 

Overall, my meals right now are a mix of super soft things like pudding (I add unflavored unjury to it) and things that are a bit more substantial, like deli meat or even small pieces of carved turkey or a low fat hot dog. When it's pudding or yogurt, I can manage 4 ounces, but anything with meat, I max out at 2 ounces. 

My birthday is Monday and I'm excited to welcome in the ripe age of 33, knowing that this age is going to be a huge change from 32. New job, new body, new habits, more hiking (gosh I'm so excited for this bitter cold to end and for clearance from my surgeon so I can hike). 

Happy New Years to all if I don't see you this week. <3 



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Sounds like you're doing AWESOME!!!  Glad you learned the lesson and will keep up on the fluids/nourishment :)

Happy early bday!  What an exciting year ahead for you...and really all of us, what a cool time to be us!!!! :D

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Delilah, I'm so glad you're post-op now, and that you are doing so well!  

I have learned that I can go for a long time without eating, I went for 24 hours a couple weeks ago just to see what my "low blood sugar feeling" felt like, but I never noticed anything abnormal. But I DO get miserable when I don't get enough water. My routine lately has been to have a cup of hot tea as soon as I wake in the morning, and then try to get 1 liter of water in before I leave for work. Then I get two more in throughout the day. That seems to be a good spot for me right now.

It also sounds like your husband is pretty supportive, which is nice :-)

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1 hour ago, Michael_A said:

Delilah, I'm so glad you're post-op now, and that you are doing so well!  

I have learned that I can go for a long time without eating, I went for 24 hours a couple weeks ago just to see what my "low blood sugar feeling" felt like, but I never noticed anything abnormal. But I DO get miserable when I don't get enough water. My routine lately has been to have a cup of hot tea as soon as I wake in the morning, and then try to get 1 liter of water in before I leave for work. Then I get two more in throughout the day. That seems to be a good spot for me right now.

It also sounds like your husband is pretty supportive, which is nice :-)

I have also started having fluids the second I wake up this week, except I want all the ice cold fluids, so I've been having ice water with lemon squeezed in. Totally going through a lemon thing right now :D It definitely helps me stay closer to meeting my fluid goals!

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I have to have fluids when I wake up...I keep an ongoing 30 oz yetti cup with a squeeze of tropical drink mix in it at all times.  When I go to bed, I put it in the fridge so I can drink it asap when I get up, but as much as I used to like freezing cold stuff (thus the yetti) I find I don't like drinks AS cold anymore.  I only drink it cold bc it has been in the fridge but I like it better as it sits out a bit.  Odd how preferences change!

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@delilas, happy early birthday. 33 is going to be an exciting year for you!!

It sounds like you're doing well at one month out. You're starting to get the hang of it! It does take some time. One thing I learned early out is to keep some food and water with me at all times. I always have a protein bar and some almonds in my handbag, and I always carry a bottle of water with me, too. Too many instances of "OMG! I'm dizzy and feel like cr@p because I haven't had anything to eat or drink and there's nothing available right now!" Lesson learned. I kind of feel like those moms of toddlers who always have crackers or cheerios or whatever in their handbags for emergencies. Or maybe a protein hoarder ;) 

Your meal sizes will get a bit larger with time. Something I did to help out in the early days (oh, actually, still do, now that I think of it) is have a bit of sauce and/or melted cheese on my protein stuff. One thing I ate a lot of at around a month or two or three out is a little (fake) chicken cutlet with marinara and melted cheese on top, like chicken parmigiana. Or a little Thai curry sauce, or Indian curry sauce or something. 

@Michael_A can't believe you could go 24 hours without eating! If I go too long, I just feel like my battery has run out of juice or something. Probably good thing for you to test, with a history of blood sugar issues, but it sounds pretty unfun. 

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56 minutes ago, Jen581791 said:

can't believe you could go 24 hours without eating! If I go too long, I just feel like my battery has run out of juice or something. Probably good thing for you to test, with a history of blood sugar issues, but it sounds pretty unfun.

The reason I did that is because my surgeon is really big on not eating "at all" unless you feel like your body is truly asking for food/fuel. And so right now she's saying I should only be eating once a day, very small amounts (like 1 or 2 oz), and the "way I'll know" that it's time to eat is I will have a "low blood sugar feeling", which still to this day I have no idea what that is. She is vague and says everyone has to figure out what their unique signal is on their own. Could be headache, fatigue, lightheaded, etc. I'm not saying I *agree* with this, just repeating what she tells her patients. So I was just responding to Delilah's remark about being hungry.  So I still have no idea what my own special little low sugar feeling is supposed to feel like.

As far as my surgeon goes, as much as I object to her method, I can't say I've actually been hungry, at all, since surgery. That 24 hour period of not eating was actually a walk in the park, no big deal at all. I would have only had like 2 or 3 oz of cottage cheese anyways that day, so not having it meant nothing to me.  I just assumed ALL bypass patients felt the same way at 5 - 6 weeks?  

I get up in the morning, have hot tea, start on water, eat vitamins, go to work, water water water, calcium in there, go home, have some food, and a protein shake and vitamins before bed.

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Definitely not @Michael_A. Any more than about 3 hours without eating and I'm physically a mess. I get so dizzy and disorientated that I have to eat something just to be able to stay upright. We're all different though, just as our surgeon's plans are all different. I find it very easy to not eat....I just can't handle the physical impact of not eating on my body. That pretty much dictates that I'm a three meal a day girl with snacks in between.

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24 minutes ago, Aussie H said:

Definitely not @Michael_A. Any more than about 3 hours without eating and I'm physically a mess. I get so dizzy and disorientated that I have to eat something just to be able to stay upright. We're all different though, just as our surgeon's plans are all different. I find it very easy to not eat....I just can't handle the physical impact of not eating on my body. That pretty much dictates that I'm a three meal a day girl with snacks in between.

@Michael_A - I feel much like Aussie. I guess this just shows how different we all are. I don't get "hungry" as I used to understand it (stomach growling, obsessed with thoughts of food, gnawing feeling), but I just get low on energy, dizzy, sort of stupid feeling, and exhausted. When I was climbing up and down pyramids in Guatemala last summer, and was closer to surgery so feeling the effects of a lack of food more than now, I was seriously having to stop before climbing up and have a few bites of protein bar in order to have enough energy to make it to the top! 

I'm pretty sure you'll figure out what your signal is eventually - everyone has to have some sort of "tell" I think. My husband figured me out before I did - he was able to tell me that I probably needed something to eat when we were out and about pretty early after surgery. He said I just seemed a little out of it. 

Interesting that your surgeon is having you try to figure this out on your own. It makes sense, I guess, in that you have to spend some time thinking about how you're feeling. 

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14 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

@delilas, happy early birthday. 33 is going to be an exciting year for you!!

It sounds like you're doing well at one month out. You're starting to get the hang of it! It does take some time. One thing I learned early out is to keep some food and water with me at all times. I always have a protein bar and some almonds in my handbag, and I always carry a bottle of water with me, too. Too many instances of "OMG! I'm dizzy and feel like cr@p because I haven't had anything to eat or drink and there's nothing available right now!" Lesson learned. I kind of feel like those moms of toddlers who always have crackers or cheerios or whatever in their handbags for emergencies. Or maybe a protein hoarder ;) 

Your meal sizes will get a bit larger with time. Something I did to help out in the early days (oh, actually, still do, now that I think of it) is have a bit of sauce and/or melted cheese on my protein stuff. One thing I ate a lot of at around a month or two or three out is a little (fake) chicken cutlet with marinara and melted cheese on top, like chicken parmigiana. Or a little Thai curry sauce, or Indian curry sauce or something. 

@Michael_A can't believe you could go 24 hours without eating! If I go too long, I just feel like my battery has run out of juice or something. Probably good thing for you to test, with a history of blood sugar issues, but it sounds pretty unfun. 

Im hoping I can do bits of a protein bar soon, because it would really help at work. I havent tried one in a week, but even the soft kind seem to make me nauseated after a bite. I can definitely do nuts on the go, but unfortunately share an office with someone who's allergic to nuts. That said, it wont be an issue once I find a new job :D

I actually made chicken with a simple cheesy white sauce last night, almost like a poor mans alfredo. The hubs threw it on pasta, I just ate it like it was and am currently eating leftovers for the third time today :D it does definitely help it go down easier! I was getting a little tired of my cauliflower soup, too, so being able to eat something different came at just the right time. 

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8 hours ago, delilas said:

Im hoping I can do bits of a protein bar soon, because it would really help at work. I havent tried one in a week, but even the soft kind seem to make me nauseated after a bite. I can definitely do nuts on the go, but unfortunately share an office with someone who's allergic to nuts. That said, it wont be an issue once I find a new job :D

I actually made chicken with a simple cheesy white sauce last night, almost like a poor mans alfredo. The hubs threw it on pasta, I just ate it like it was and am currently eating leftovers for the third time today :D it does definitely help it go down easier! I was getting a little tired of my cauliflower soup, too, so being able to eat something different came at just the right time. 

I guess I didn't eat any bars for the first three months or so, but my go-to then was string cheese. Although it gets warm in your handbag, it's sealed up so it doesn't get bad. Same with little Babybel cheeses encased in wax. I also brought a little bag of those Parmesan Crisps (like chips but just made of melted crispy cheese) with me everywhere at that time. I wish I could get those here (too lazy to make them myself). That said, there were some here on the forum who had portion control issues with those and they turned into a trigger for eating too many. Depending on your feelings, Parm Crisps could be useful to you. They don't taste good enough to me to eat more than a little handful.

Cheese sauce on chicken sounds about perfect for helping the protein to go down. Of course, just after my wise words to you yesterday, I proceeded to have fake chicken in taco sauce and apparently didn't have enough of the sauce. Let's just say I didn't need to log that meal in MFP. 

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