It’s been awhile since I’ve posted so I thought I’d come at ya with an update. I’m officially a little over 3 months post op now, and I’m down a grand total of 55 pounds. HOORAY! I’m seriously so thrilled so far with my surgery and post-op life — the recovery and the lifestyle is waaaay easier than I expected. In what ways, you say?
I had this fear that weight loss surgery would mean I never again got to enjoy popcorn at the movies, or a slice of birthday cake at parties. I imagined a sad existence with bland chicken breasts and gritty protein shakes. While there are lots of chicken breasts (highly flavored) and non-gritty protein shakes, I’ve had both movie popcorn and birthday cake. I also worried that losing weight would come at the expense of always feeling crappy, with a stomach ache or heart burn, feeling deprived. Thankfully, my stomach rarely hurts, and when it does, it’s usually due to something that I’ve eaten a little bit too much of. I feel like the same old me, just lighter, smaller, and a little bit less tired.
So what IS challenging or different? The thing that is the most challenging for me is realizing that even though my stomach is a lot smaller than it used to be, I still need to be incredibly conscious of what and how much I am eating. Certain foods are “sliders” meaning that you can eat a lot more of them than you’d expect — like popcorn. I’m not the weight loss patient who has three bites and is stuffed, I eat more like 3/4 of a kids’ sized meal. Today at lunch for example, I had two tiny roasted chicken legs, a couple of bites of whole wheat pita, and maybe 1/4 cup of roasted squash. It isn’t doll-sized portions, but it’s certainly not a full sized meal for a non-sleeved adult.
While I did lots of work on emotional eating in therapy a few years back, the urge is still there, and often. I have to remind myself that stress-eating half a bag of tortilla chips isn’t an option anymore, and that I need to find some other way to confront the emotion I’m dealing with. And that’s just it – it’s CONFRONTING the emotion, rather than stuffing it down with chips. I also am trying to adjust to protein first, over carbs and veggies — because if your tummy is going to get full fast, you want it to be with the building blocks of muscle, rather than something you’ll burn through quickly. I’m not a huge meat eater, so it’s been an adjustment to try and focus on and look forward to meat. (Or beans or lentils or whatever). The other big challenge is HYDRATION. You cannot drink at the same time you eat, because if you drink while you’re eating, your stomach fills up much faster, and we want to be absorbing all the good nutrients and protein we’re taking in. I feel like I’m always low key dehydrated, so it’s something I try to be conscious of often – sip, sip, sip.
All in all, it’s been a super solid, positive 3 months. I originally worried I was losing weight “too slow”, and now, I realize that an average of 2 to 3 pounds a week is AWESOME. I know what I need to work on (more water, more activity, less “eyeballing” portions). I can’t wait to see how the next few months go — and am looking forward to continue to slowly shrink 🙂
Till next time,
Sleeved in Santa Clarita, Alyssa