I had bariatric surgery on August 15th, only 12 days ago. Already I have no pain. My incisions are falling off (well at least the super glue they use). The shot of Lovenox I needed to have for 10 days is done. I am on week 2, about to embark on week 3 of my diet. In general, things are good.
I feel good.
Yet this week I've had to deal with some emotions. I was thinking about food and the way I used to eat. I missed it. I want to take bites. I want to have a sandwich. But I can't yet.
This week I can have mashed potatoes
(with butter, salt & pepper, YAY!) which is my favorite, low fat cottage cheese, and plain Greek with Splenda. Next week (which starts on Thursday for me) I will be able to add half an egg and tuna or salmon mixed with mayo on either toast or 2 crackers. Then I'll be able to chew. Life will get better.
Is it the food though? After a lot of thinking, and crying...No...it isn't. I've always hated to say it but, I am addicted to food. To say that meant that I didn't have control over an aspect of myself. Well, getting to almost 500lbs and not able to walk without sitting every 20 steps, I would say that is out of control. The only way to get that out of control was to have been addicted to something and it had taken over my life.
My body has been altered so that it is unable to take in a lot of food, but that hasn't taken the addiction away, or my instinctual need to protect myself and numb myself with food.
So think about it. Here I am, physically altered, having just had major surgery. My compulsive hunger is a thing of the past. I can only eat tiny amounts of food right now, yet I'm feeling a lot of emotions about this whole thing. So what comes out is tears (woe is me...)
, a little anger (Why couldn't I just control myself? If I had, I wouldn't have had to do this!), and some sadness (goodbye belly, thighs, and butt, we've had quite the ride, haven't we? Thanks for all you did for me.). All quite natural. The emotions come in waves.
There is a good side to all of this. Not all of the emotions are negative. When I wipe the tears and think ahead, I realize that my being allowed only two tablespoons of food at a time is only temporary. Soon, I'll be able to eat the same foods as my husband again (except for maybe chocolate eclairs, not sure if that will happen). I'll also be able to do more. No more worrying about what size chairs are available at a given restaurant or at other people's houses. I'll be able to wear the clothes I've always wanted to wear. I will finally be able to shop at the Thrifty Shopper for clothes because they'll have my size. I can travel and walk around. I can step up onto a bus. I can take a bath. The list goes on and on...
There will be little milestones and big ones. Here are two:
1.) Today my husband Peter and I went to Home Depot for some supplies to hang frames (he's a visual artist and has an exhibit coming up that he's preparing for). I was walking around faster than usual. I even asked if it was just me or was I really walking faster. I felt like I could and I was.
My back, legs, and knees didn't hurt. I got tired and slowed down but that's from the surgery. My stamina will come back.
2.) A friend of mine (who has also recently had gastric bypass surgery, and has already shrunk many dress-sizes) had recently given me several bags of clothes that are now too big for her. This is a blessing because now I won't have to buy as many new clothes as my body gets ever smaller. This morning, on a whim, I tried on a 4x shirt that when I had previously tried it on, didn't fit. This morning it did. Included in those bags of "hand-me-down" (pun intended) are both a green and purple of the same shirt. So, not just one, but 2 new shirts for my growing/shrinking wardrobe!
What I learned this week is that my focusing on the seemingly negatives aspects of this major life was only causing me to long for unhealthy things, things and behaviors that, if I want the best I can have from surgery, I must leave behind anyway. Instead I'm choosing to focus on the positives because there are more of those and they're the healthy ones.
I did this to be healthier... didn't I?