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.



…back to reality

I got cocky.  After really making progress in self-examination and realistic accountability, I tricked myself into believing that I could have candy and cookies within my reach.  I even bragged to my hubs that I was so comfortable with my progress, so over fixating on sweets, that I could exercise reason.  I convinced myself that I was over disordered eating.

Well, I was wrong.  So goes my attempt to justify keeping sweets around me as I prepare for bariatric surgery.  Truth is, I’m no where near fixed on that account.  Today I reached out to my hubs for his feedback on this topic.  Oh yes, it was uncomfortable to hear what he had to say.  He tipped his hand a few days ago when I confessed to polishing off the lemon bars I put in the freezer for his dad.  His look was one of genuine surprise.  Why surprise?  My performance of “Oh, I’m doing so well that I can eat *&#% and not obsess over it” was convincing enough that he bought it.  After 34 years of marriage and witnessing my addictive behavior with certain foods, he believed that I was on my way.  I took no pleasure in my deception.

My husband is not my accountability broker.  I asked for his thoughts.  We were in the car headed out for lunch.  I knew that today was the day to put on my “big girl panties” as the saying goes, and toughen up.  I did it.  I steered away from choices that would perpetuate the damned carb cravings that I’m stuck with as a result of my dalliance with danger.  I ate the soup and grazed on salad.  It didn’t kill me.

The game is, once again, afoot!