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I Survived Sunday Family Dinner



Well, here it is my eight weekaversary, and you didn't even get me a present, did you? 


I think the NUT is supposed to call me today to check on my progress - she's in Mexico and I'm in Oregon, so we have a long distance relationship. To be quite honest, I chose the clinic I chose because of the surgeon (tons of surgeries under his belt, and also actual WLS scars under his real actual belt, so A+ for understanding his patients' point of view), not because of the NUT, and although she is super well qualified (she's an actual doctor), her nutritional advice has been pretty hands-off. For after four weeks post-op, it was pretty much, "Eat like normal, but healthy, and much less. Add new foods slowly." Hmmm, OK. Not overly specific... 

This is actually OK with me, though, because I really like to cruise around the internet researching things on my own. What I've found on other clinics' "post-WLS sample menu" pages is often crazily specific, but there are very few even general principles that these nutritionists agree on. We've got low carb, we've got low fat, we've got no starches, we've got starches at every meal, we've got two protein shakes a day forever, we've got no protein shakes after two months, we've got no fruit or veg until you're at goal weight, we've got plant-based diet, we've got meat based diet, we've got no dairy, we've got high dairy, we've got 500 calories for the first six months, we've got 1000 calories a day by eight weeks. My take home message is: if WLS is super successful, it cannot be because of some special post-op diet because no one is doing the same thing. 

So, long story short, I know from past experience that low carb makes me not hungry the best. It seems very sustainable to be high protein and moderate fat and low carb (particularly eliminating starches for the most part). Bread, pasta, and carby snacks like crackers and chips are eating triggers for me (sweet stuff, too, but I already don't eat much of that - I laid down the law for myself a few years ago after reading too much about why sugar is the devil). When I eat bread, pasta, or carby snacks, I can eat SO MUCH. I want to eat SO MUCH. I feel driven to eat SO MUCH. However, when I eat a lot of protein and stay away from those, I actually think about food less and don't get very hungry. The whole metabolic syndrome hormonally driven mess (insulin, ghrelin, leptin, oh my). So, that's the plan: low carb, most carbs from veg (some fruit), beans, and dairy. And, of course, if things go off the rails on this plan, I give myself permission to change it up a bit later.

I told my mom about the surgery this week. She's been doing the snowbird thing, so this is the first time I've seen her since we got back from the Big Trip. I wanted to tell her in person so she could talk to ME about it instead of all of her snowbird friends (who I know). She was interested and surprised, but not really that interested, I guess. She's a bit hard to read. We don't have a girl-talk kind of relationship, so we talked about it a few times, but not a ton. So, all good there, I guess. Honestly, my MIL is way more interested and supportive. Whodathunk.

This week (while staying with my MIL) I caved after nearly 15 years as a vegetarian and told her it would be OK if she fixed us fish for Sunday dinner. It was like it was Christmas for her. She hates cooking us vegetarian food because her cooking repertoire is pretty much 1950s housewife and without meat, starch, and veg she is pretty much lost. She has a vegan grandchild who she also hates to cook for, but she is a grandchild and can get away with that. Daughter-in-law, nope. Just a bit resentful. So, the in-laws came for dinner with the non-vegan grandchild in tow, and we had fish - tilapia. I managed to eat a couple ounces of fish, plus some sweet potatoes and asparagus, and even (what!?) a few bites of salad. Foolish to try this for the first time at Sunday family dinner, I know, but it went really well! No salad problems at all. My plate looked a little sparse, but no one seemed to be staring - I haven't told the in-laws and probably won't as we aren't super close and none of them have weight issues. I just didn't have dessert (some store-bought thing, so no big deal), and didn't have any wine (this was more remarkable for me, but no one mentioned anything). So, family dinner success! 

The big news of the week is non-WLS-related: my husband and I have job offers from several places (well, three at the moment). Two are absolute no-go offers, not enough money for the location (and not very attractive locations). The third is a very attractive location, but maybe not the best job, but OK pay. We are waiting on pins and needles for offer #4 - an OK location, but good job and good pay. We have lived overseas for most of our adult lives, and came home a couple of years ago for family reasons (both of our dads died within a few months of each other). Our time here in the US has been a little... fraught... since our profession is not in high demand here - it's actually tanking as we speak, and we can't find jobs here (well, jobs that we like or that pay OK - we quit the jobs we hated so we could take the Big Trip). So, we're off abroad again, I think, since all four prospective jobs are abroad. Waiting on that #4. That's the one we want, so it'll be the last one to get back to us, of course. It always works that way. At least we've got offers - this is a huge improvement over a few weeks ago, and my mood has improved, as well. 



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Thanks, @Michael_A. I am an English teacher - but ESL, not like literature. I teach at the university level, helping non-native speaking students get their English levels to the point where they can take normal English language classes. As you might imagine, the US is not a promising destination for foreign students at the moment, so abroad again is my best option. I'm currently looking in the Middle East, which is also where I lived for many years previously (in addition to Europe and Latin America). Pretty sure I'll be able to run into protein shake powder there ;) 

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