Food…for thought?

Hungry by Adrian
Hungry? by Adrian

Oh comforter

Whose wise counsel feigned salve to life’s ills

How many days were you my panacea?

Your shadow cast long these many years

Still, emptiness remained

Aha! See there?

You are but food.

 

daily prompt:  panacea

 

Vertical Gastric Sleeve – Day 139

Weight loss has stopped cold. Crawled a bit. Stopped cold again. I’m in a pattern now.

But what of my other health goals? Still taking wee amounts of hypertension med. Still taking a bit of Metformin.  This is improvement and I will take it as success.

Inflammation? Now there is a story to tell.

The mystery between inflammation and bariatric surgery cannot be fully explained yet. My arthritis did not flee, it’s just behaving little better these days. Weight loss alone cannot explain the remission of inflammation of tissue around joints.  Better overall diet might play a key role, but one simply cannot pin this benefit squarely where it belongs.

Still…who’s complaining about feeling better?  Not me!

 

 

Vertical Gastric Sleeve – Day 52

My last post on this topic was March 1, 2017 – just 1 week before surgery (March 8, 2017). I write today just to touch base. To give myself a marker.

I am very pleased with my progress. Sure, the numbers on the scale are fun but they are just little validations.

I was still a human being when those numbers grew and grew over the years, and I will be that same human being as they diminish. My value won’t change.

One of the greatest heartaches of being obese for a lifetime is the mental anguish. Oh, I can talk for a good bit about the physical anguish. It has been very real and very debilitating. But it’s the mental anguish that I am working to expel, not just for myself but also for others. The guilt. The blame. The limited thinking that defies belief that anything can ever improve. There is a girdle, so to speak, that keeps one bound in repeated behaviors and thought patterns.  A restraint that is difficult to break.

I am chipping away. This surgery has given me the understanding of “full”. This was never really apparent to me before. I’m not alone. I used to chase the elusive “full” and wonder why it escaped me. How do “normal” people know when to stop eating?

Now, I don’t have a choice. I am living with a stomach that quickly lets you know that it is not wise to take another bite.

What the heck? This is a complete mind blower. So I am learning to choose food wisely. I am not eating to a mental state of satisfaction. There is a gap between full and satisfied. I am accepting that gap. Yes, it feels strange.

The challenge these days is to turn from expecting my meals to “satisfy”.  I mean, satisfy what exactly? Beyond a feeling of physical fullness, what else is it that I am expecting food to do for me?  That is the most important question.

90% of the time I am adapting very well. 10% of the time I am momentarily caught in a sense of urgency to “chase the dragon” so to speak. The good news is that I am able to quickly dispel the urge.  I can smile about that.

These are good things. I do not sit in judgment of others and what they eat, why they eat, and what diets they do or do not go on.  My “plate is full” of challenges and changes.  It keeps me busy.

Anyone who has walked with obesity is a brother or sister in many respects. We should be kind and encouraging, as this condition never truly goes away. Weight loss be damned, a return to our former behaviors will get us the same results. It will be the smallest, daily decisions that will determine whether I lose, maintain, or gain. This truth alone must be my mantra.

There will come a day when I stop losing. I may not want to accept that “number” on the scale. But I must reconcile my mind to accept what my body has to offer.  After all, I have always been more than a number!

 

 

“Princess Bites”

Daily Prompt:  Hesitate

Small forks given to me by a loved one. A size comparison.
Small forks given to me by a loved one. A size comparison.

In a week’s time I won’t be able to take a regular swig of drink. Or eat a regular fork full of food. Soon comes the time for hesitation.  Sips only at first, followed by “Princess Bites”.

Bariatric surgery requires healing of the altered gut.  Inflammation and tissue reduction dictate the gentlest of consumption in the recovery stages.

My “Princess Bites” have been practiced and largely abandoned.  My mind and mouth quickly forget. In a moment I slide back into gulp and chomp. There is no pain, nausea or toss-up to remind me.  Not yet anyway.  It is fast approaching.

It will be interesting having to respect food and drink consumption in a radical way.

Raising my imaginary glass to new beginnings…Skoal!

Food: The Long Goodbye

A year ago I entered a bariatric program and now my surgery is 2 weeks away. They didn’t ask much of me:  lose 15 lbs and exercise. But my hips were my obstacles and were replaced with friendlier parts in July and November. I now walk on two legs, not four, or even three. I use my treadmill and recumbent bike, often smiling as I do. I remember the pain, the dysfunction. God, this is victory! What remains of healing I can live with!

Enter food nostalgia. I heard the term, “The Long Goodbye”. The temptation to eat your way up to surgery by having all the foods you love. I’ve been battling this urge. I lose sometimes, but not most of the time.  Key to my progress is staying out of my self-sabotage tool chest for permission to indulge at will. That’s what all of this is about. Calling out self-sabotage.  Seeing it for what it really is.  Wanting better for myself. And forgiving myself when I fall.  Sounds simple enough but this is a common struggle among the obese.

Bariatric-speak words “journey” and “tool” pepper my landscape. Appointments. Study. Tiny changes here, there. Online support groups. Podcasts. All of it converges to the present. My surgery is scheduled. It won’t be long now. Going from a whole stomach to a part of a stomach. The drama. This stuff is life changing. I cling to the idea that the changes will be good.

And food will be back.  We will have an awkward relationship at first. We cannot, however, be our former selves. We must court a while before we remarry. No sense kicking food to the curb only to pick up where we left off. Food and I must treat each other better the second time around.