My new relationship… with food

Before surgery, I used to love food and look forward to eating all kinds of yummy things. I had pizza all the time and yummy fast food. I would eat sweets often and in great volume. I would eat when I thought I was “hungry” which I now know was head hunger. I would eat when I was stressed, happy, bored, or for celebrating something. My whole life revolved around going out to dinner as a social setting and I could easily eat an entire meal and go for desserts.

But now my outlook on food is completely different. I know that this relationship with food is going to keep changing until I find the right niche to fit it in. But for now, I hate food. After gastric bypass you are still revolving your life around food. You are constantly planning for your meals whether you are going out, going to work, staying in, anything. We have to eat on a schedule… at least your surgeon and nutritionist tell you to do so… every 3-4 hours. And your number one focus is protein. Protein, protein, protein. I’m sick of protein. Lol.

Food doesn’t sit the same as it used to in your new belly. And it changes from day to day… heck, even meal to meal. All the foods that brought you comfort before are no longer allowed and you have to find comfort in other things. When you finally find something you can eat (that doesn’t get you sick), you can only have a few bites of it. I don’t know about you, but my mind still hasn’t caught up and it loves the taste so it wants more… then comes horrible chest pains with a mixture of dry heaving and the foamies for an hour to 90 minutes. Fun stuff.

I didn’t know how this would work before surgery and wish I did. Does that mean I’d change my mind about having the surgery??? Heck NO! I would still do it in a heartbeat. But I think being more mentally prepared would make the transition much easier. This is a learning process which means lots of trial and error. I’m scared to try new things but I know that if I don’t want to drink protein shakes as all my meals for the rest of my life, I need to start taking more chances. I’m going to do it slowly (and mostly try new things at home – in case I get sick). But it is something everyone should be aware of pre-op.

I’ve actually just found two bloggers posts I follow that express these same kind of emotions. Here they are for a good read. 🙂

 

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Easy? My ass!

I was reading another blog post today (on “Because I deserve to be Happy” by Melissa) and it goes over a topic that we are going to have to deal with over and over and over for the rest of our lives… people telling us that we are taking the easy way out. This infuriates me so much. Read Melissa’s post (here) and let me know what you think?

I think she hits all the topics spot on the head. We all got this surgery as a last resort. We have tried doing all the right things and one way or another they didn’t work for us. Having this surgery is not a light decision. It is a very serious one… One which we have to remember will affect the REST OF OUR LIVES. That’s not an easy choice to make. We will have to give up some of our favorite things forever and work just as hard on exercise. We also have to work on our minds to recondition them for this new lifestyle. We cannot just have a “free day” and eat whatever we want and start over then next day. This new lifestyle will take work, patience, and above all else, dedication.

If someone tells you this is the easy way out, educate them on all you have to go through and why you think it’s worth it. I guarantee you, they will not think it’s so easy after hearing all of that.

 

Post-op Day 3

Just wanted to give you a quick update. I was released from the hospital yesterday. After the medical team removed my pain meds, IV, and drainage tube, I had to get dressed and that it’s when the pain began. I believe it was mostly from the drainage tube and the “gas”. That thing was brutal getting removed and the nurse said I’d have a lot of gas from being pumped up during surgery.

The ride home hurt so bad… hitting every single bump along the way. Then laying in a real bed hurt like nothing else. I had to have my mom help me lay down and sit up each time. I couldn’t roll over or move without being in agony.

Today, my mom got the old recliner fixed and I have been using that. I feel much better but the pain it’s still pretty intense. I contacted the nurse and she said that was normal and told me to keep up on the fluids and walking. I’m hoping this will get easier in the days to come. Will keep you updated.

Protein

I’ve had a couple of people ask about what types of protein to use. I’ve added a section for Protein on my Links page that lists ones I’ve either had or that were recommended to me. Make sure you mix protein with things that are low-fat and low-sugar.

Basically we have to follow the following rules on protein:

  • 6 grams or LESS of Sugar
  • 6 grams or LESS of Total Fat
  • 2 grams or LESS of Saturated Fat
  • 1 gram or LESS of Trans Fat
  • Protein is a priority for bariatric patients since we cannot get this through vitamins and supplements. Eat your protein first at each meal and if there is room, eat the other things.

Your nutritionist will have to calculate how much protein you are supposed to get a day. I am supposed to get at least 60 grams of protein in on regular days and then 75 grams of protein in on days that I work out.

Pre-Op Requirements

Ahhh! So many requirements to get ready!

In my video below I talk about the requirements needed by both my insurance and surgeon before surgery can be approved. At first it seemed like a long laundry list of nonsense that had to be gathered but now I’m almost done the process and it’s almost time to submit my packet to insurance. Eeeekkkk! So excited!

Below are some links (also listed in the pre-op section of my links page) that I found useful. I know not everyone has the same insurance but at least you can look to get an idea what the requirements might look like for you. It’s always best to call and ask what your actual plan covers, in case there have been changes.

This whole process has gone pretty fast for me so far. I started about three weeks ago (around Jan 8th, 2013) and I’m almost complete and I’ve been slightly obsessed with reading everything I can about it and watching video blogs. Here are the steps I have to complete before surgery:

  1. Bariatric Surgery Seminar at St. Agnes Hospital – Completed 01/16/2013
  2. Three Hour Bariatric Nutrition Class – Completed 01/19/2013
  3. Consulation with Nutritionist – Completed 01/24/2013
  4. Two Hour Pre-Op Vitamin Class – Scheduled for 01/29/2013
  5. Meet with surgeon – Scheduled for 01/31/2013
  6. Psychologist Assessment – Scheduled for 01/31/2013
  7. Wait around for insurance to approve surgery… already feels like forever and my packet hasn’t even been submitted yet.