Tag Archives: Vomiting

Back in the Food World

Getting ready to go out for my first party, post-sleeve!

Getting ready to go out for my first party, post-sleeve!

Week 7 is here and I feel pretty good! Another three and a half pounds down this week for a total of 32.5 pounds. While I’m proud of my weight loss, I am even more proud of my entry back into the “food world.”

Food has always been an important part of my life, but moving back to California made food even more important. San Francisco is a “foodie” town and we have tons of great and interesting restaurants. I think our grocery stores here have a better variety of food. And of course, there are the farmers markets which are the best I’ve seen.

Having these resources wasn’t particular good for my health when we first moved. For the first year and a half, we ate out and picked up take out food more than we should have. Having a cheap and tasty take out dim sum restaurant close to the house made weekend lunches very easy. Coffee shops are on almost every corner so it’s easy to pick up a sugary espresso drink at any time. Way too many options!

Since I can’t make these places go away, I am learning to live with them and still have them as part of my life. I don’t foresee the dim sum restaurant in my near future and perhaps not at all. I haven’t had any fried foods since my gastric sleeve surgery and I’m not sure when or even if I will have it. I am trying to be very careful with my new stomach. And my fear of vomiting keeps me in line, too.

I did venture back to the farmers’ market this past weekend for the first time. It was great! Surrounded by beautiful, healthy fruits and vegetables was inspiring. My focus is on eating enough protein, but I am adding in more vegetables now. My big treat of the day was picking up my favorite Serrano chile goat cheese. Instead of eating it with wild abandonment, I measured out a teaspoon to spread on my half a turkey burger the other night. Suddenly, a teaspoon is enough to get the flavor I enjoy. This weekend, I finally realized that smaller amounts of food are just as satisfying and enjoyable as the large amounts I ate before. For this overeater, this revelation is a bit overwhelming.

My biggest food test was at a party this week. Let me just say this right off the bat, I love wine. I love parties so that I can try new wines and relax and be an adult and not the mommy. Yes, I can drink wine with my new stomach, but I must admit I’m nervous to try. My overprotective nature with my stomach is one reason, but also I have a feeling I’m going to be a really cheap date. Meaning, the two to three glasses I could drink before, I assume will put me in a coma. So, the first time I drink I plan to do it at home. If I don’t feel good, I’d rather be in my home and if a half a glass makes me silly, again, I’d rather be home.

So, no wine at my first party post-sleeve and I was fine. I drank water all night and while it isn’t as yummy as a crisp class of chardonnay, I survived. I was too busy chatting to really care! I also didn’t eat. I made sure to have a protein filled dinner before we came to the party. I did bring vegetables and humus to the party, but I didn’t eat anything. I could have if I wanted to and I think that made all the difference. Knowing I can eat if I want is empowering and I realize I am in charge of my actions in regards to food.

We did leave before they served the birthday cake, so I did get off a little easy. Again, this is something I can eat, but I haven’t had sugar for 7 weeks, so again, this is something I want to try at home. The thought of me bouncing around like a child eating sugar for the first time is mortifying and not something that I need to do in front of family and friends. And I must admit, the sugar-free items I’m eating now (syrups in my lattes and hot chocolate) satisfy my sweet tooth and I would prefer to keep it that way. Eventually I would like to drop them and use natural sweeteners, but I’m happy where I am for now.

Other food challenges await, such as barbeques, eating out with friends, and the holidays, but I am learning to take each challenge one at a time. Food is not the enemy; my eating habits were the enemy. I finally feel like I am taking charge of my eating habits and this tastes better than anything in the world…

One Month Down…Blah….

Today is my four-week anniversary of my gastric sleeve surgery. I should be celebrating with balloons and confetti! Well, not confetti, since I would have to clean it up, but you get the point. And while I am happy and still don’t regret my surgery, I’m not feeling that excited about my success so far.

What the hell is wrong with me?” I asked after I weighed in this morning. I’ve lost 24.5 pounds and gone down one clothing size and one shoe size. Not too shabby for a month! As it is with most things, I wanted more. I wanted this huge statement, like 30 lbs! I wanted this huge difference in my body! Here are my photos from before and after so far, and my hubby promises me there is a difference. I do see less puffiness in my face and since my jeans are falling off I know my body has changed.

3 days after my surgery.

3 days after my surgery.

4 weeks after surgery!

4 weeks after surgery!

I had my pity party this morning, so now it’s time to give myself a swift kick in my now smaller rear. I feel good and my body feels healed. “Real” food is part of my diet although I’m nervous to try too many new foods. Fear of gaining weight and vomiting is helping me take this new part of my food lifestyle slow. After doing the Optifast liquid diet for six months, I threw up for about three months afterward so I’m erring on the side of caution. My focus is still on protein so chicken, real chewable chicken, is my mainstay.

What I know is really going to inspire me is exercising. I have been walking, but I’ve been given the OK from my doctor to start really exercising. Fast walking is on the schedule and then back to running. I have a new phone and new headphones so I can start back on Couch to 5K. This year, I’ll be ready for the Thanksgiving 5K race. Last year I did finish, but I was not ready physically or mentally for the race. I vow to be prepared this year and really enjoy it!

I realize this next month will be filled with new challenges like eating out. If I can spend two weeks on a liquid diet and then two weeks with pureed foods, I can handle anything can’t I? Yes, I can! I am the little engine that could….with a smaller caboose.

Three Weeks Bites the Dust…

Happy three-week anniversary to me! I am surviving and more importantly thriving with my new stomach. I am 20 ½ lbs and 10 inches down! My body is repairing itself and I feel healthy and strong. At the end of the day, I am exhausted. I feel more energized every day so I know that will go away soon.

The hardest part of this three-week journey has been eating, naturally. The first two weeks of only liquids was bland, very bland. The protein shakes I loved, OK liked, before my surgery tasted horrible afterward. All the liquids protein drinks I bought were too sweet. I never thought this would be a problem since I have a sweet tooth. C is for cookie and cake and chocolate for me! I finally found a cookies and cream protein shake that I could tolerate and sugar-free lemon lime jello was tolerable.

I’m an equal opportunity eater so I like salty food as well. Have you ever had broth by itself? Even for this salt connoisseur, it was either too salty or too bland. Strained soups turned out to be a better choice since they had some flavor besides salt. Chicken noodle soup broth became my go-to dish. I actually wished for cheeseburger flavor Crystal light to add some variety and normally in my life!

Two weeks post surgery and pureed food is on the menu! Blended soups are decent, especially my friend’s homemade chicken noodle soup. Gumbo blends nicely and gives me that spicy flavor I crave. Won Ton soup, however, does not purée well at all. The white soapy remains of the soup was unbelievably off-putting. But pureed tuna with salsa is a winner. Yes, it looks like cat food, but I honestly don’t care now. Food with substance and flavor is high on my list.

Since my stomach is handling pureed and soft foods well, I’m on to flakey fish! Over the past few years I’ve come to enjoy mild, white fish. For a girl who went crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay, you would think I was a shellfish lover, but I’m not. Shellfish and any fish that is, well, too fishy, is not for me. My ever supportive and great chef of a husband, is baking Mahi Mahi for me. It is like heaven!

Here is a picture of last night’s dinner, Mahi Mahi with pureed roasted carrots. One and a half ounces of fish with two tablespoons of the carrots. And the next picture is the end of my meal. With my stomach only holding two ounces at a time, I can’t always finish my food.

fishcarrotsbeforeFishCarrotsAfter

It is a strange feeling for me, as a life long overeater. Before, even when I was full, I could still manage to eat another bite or two. And I always could manage to squeeze in dessert. Now having gastric sleeve surgery, I know when I’m full and there is no denying that feeling. I’ve come close to throwing up once or twice, but I realized it was gas and Gas-X saved the day. Fortunately I’ve managed to keep my food intake low and really work with my new stomach size. The sleeve is my first defense in managing my food intake and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it.

In another week I am back to regular food and I am excited, but nervous. It will truly be the start of my new life with food. I need to eat well to lose weight, but also to keep up my energy and be healthy. No going back to fried foods, mindless liquids and junk food. Well, not all the time. I plan on having wine again and a bite of a Reese’s peanut butter egg is in my future next Easter. The difference will be the amount and how often I indulge. As I’ve said before, the gastric sleeve is another tool in my arsenal to battle my weight and keep myself inline after I reach my goal. The war is on and I’m the general! Here’s to the next three weeks of battle at DowntheScale…

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow….

Tomorrow is the day. The next chapter in my weight loss journey begins. It isn’t the last chapter since my journey will continue forever. I will always need to think about my weight, my eating habits and exercise. I have no doubt about that. Tomorrow is the start of my new way of eating, thinking and living.

At about 11:30 AM, part of my stomach will be removed. Adios! Au Revoir! Buh Bye! It isn’t magic, but gastric sleeve surgery. For a more scientific explanation, visit http://www.sutterpacific.org/bariatrics/weightloss/vertical-gastrectomy.html. In a nutshell, my stomach becomes a sleeve that can hold about 1 to 2 ounces. My surgeon will stitch me back up and I will stay overnight at the hospital. Assuming my new stomach isn’t leaking the next day, I’ll be right back home and start losing weight.

I am not fond of full body photos, but I am happy to have a few before I begin my transformation.  Always important to remember where you came from!

I am not fond of full body photos, but I am happy to have a few before I begin my transformation. Always important to remember where you came from!

Sounds easy, right? It won’t be that way and I know that. The gastric sleeve is just a tool to help me lose weight. The new stomach forces me to be mindful of my portions and types of food I eat. It may seem like a quick fix, but in fact this is a lifestyle change. It gives me the eating boundaries I need.

While I love spontaneity and surprises, I actually thrive on structure. I’m a planner, sometimes to a fault. In the case of my eating habits, this is what I need. The gastric sleeve will make me think, make me plan and actually physically keep me from overeating. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I need this kind of physical boundary to keep me in check.

Oh, I’m good with boundaries like diets. I am a successful dieter for about four months. After that I’m bored or frustrated with the diet. Or I’m full of confidence that I can continue or maintain the weight loss on my own. The key problem with this is that I said the word, diet, not lifestyle change. Diets are temporary and don’t work for me. I needed to think of my weight loss journey as a lifestyle change, a permanent one. I am finally committing to a lifestyle change with my surgery.

It is this commitment that makes this time different. There is no going back. My stomach will not grow. Yes, it can stretch a bit, but eating large amounts of food will not work or vomiting will ensue. I have a slightly irrational fear of vomiting. That fear alone will help keep me in line, physically. Mentally, it will actually be harder for me. Eating mindlessly, eating when happy, eating when sad, they are all part of me. I have to remove this part of me on my own.

In theory, eating right and exercising will take and keep the weight off. I honestly wish I was that person who could succeed on her own. I am not. I need help and I am finally admitting it and taking charge of my health and my life. To many, this must seem like such a drastic step and I agree it is a huge undertaking. I haven’t made this decision lightly or without considering the risks involved.

After more than six months of waiting (required by my health insurance), researching, thinking, talking with friends and family, and a bit of good old-fashioned praying, I decided that the gastric sleeve surgery is the best path for me to follow. Fortunately, loving and supportive family and friends surround me. This journey is about me and what I need and want, but I can’t walk it alone. And I don’t want to be alone. I’ve been alone too long in this obese hell and I am thankful I won’t be going Down the Scale alone…