One thing that I anticipated would be an issue after having surgery was how I would view food. Before surgery I would go into restaurants and worry that I wouldn’t have enough food to satisfy me. I still have these thoughts even though I know the average plate of food at a restaurant can easily be 4 meals for me. Thankfully I know while eating that I will never be able to finish the whole plate in one sitting and I don’t allow myself to over do it. The idea of pushing myself too far and vomiting in a restaurant is a good deterrent. I’m one of the lucky surgery patients who has never thrown up because of overeating. Given that the small complication I had during surgery (my stomach was cut in the wrong place) would have gotten worse if I vomited, I am very grateful for many reasons to never vomited post-surgery. I hope that continues, but I assumed it was expected when it doesn’t have to be. There have been times I have pushed the limit and felt horrible afterwards (once I thought I was having a heart attack), but I am better able to recognize the little stomach cues that tell me to stop soon.
My preparation for surgery started years before I actually had the surgery. I’ve been seeing my therapist (who specializes in eating disorders) for nearly 3 years. I’m one of the more educated weight loss surgery patients because of what I have learned from the eating disorder clinic my therapist works at and also the years I spent considering surgery. Do I wish I had the surgery earlier? Not really. I’m better informed, my depression has been in remission for 2 years now and I know what I need to do to keep it that way. I used to believe that I was depressed because I was obese, but I know now that I can be happy as obese. Even though I was happy while I was obese, it doesn’t mean I want to be obese. I know there are people who are proud of being overweight/obese and that’s great for them, but the goals I have for my life don’t work well as an obese person. I have a unique perspective in that I have experienced morbid obesity and I will soon be experiencing a more normal weight. It’s similar to my experiences with depression. I have been through hell with depression. I am able to empathize with people who are going through what I did. I know how hard it is to get out of bed most days with depression. Since getting better I openly speak out about my depression and that is what I intend to do with weight issues. I speak out for the people who aren’t comfortable doing it themselves. If they never feel ready, that’s fine, because I will still do my damnedest to spread awareness.
Today I met with my surgical dietitian and CNP and mentioned how, as expected, my new life is a bunch of adjustments. I think I’ve had an easier time than most people, but it has still been difficult. Going from eating giant plates of food to half a cup of food each meal was hard. Accepting that I wasn’t going to be part of the “Clean Plate Club” at every meal was harder than I thought because of my aversion to waste anything, even if it is two or three bites of food. The first day I had an egg, I wasn’t able to eat a teaspoon of it and I felt horrible for putting it in the sink. I’ve gotten better about portioning meals smaller and using the freezer for when I make batches of food (like the mini egg muffins). It’s adjustments like those that I never considered before surgery, but as in life, you can’t plan everything.
At today’s appointments my blood pressure was normal (I’m no longer on blood pressure meds) and my total weight loss is at 130 pounds, about 25 pounds since surgery.