It’s been 54 days since my weight loss surgery, and I am feeling like I’m finally in a groove. It’s been an eye opening experience so far, a journey that actually takes a lot of commitment and emotional maturity. I have to giggle to myself when I think of the odd belief that WLS is the easy “weigh” out…the fact is it’s a bit more complicated than that. On one hand it is easy just because you simply aren’t hungry in the same way you were before. The truth is, I’m not very hungry at all these days. However, they call this the “Honeymoon Phase”, supposedly after the first year this feeling, or lack of feeling will subside. The other strange experience, is realizing how little food you can actually eat. The average size of an adult stomach is 60 oz. The average size of a bariatric patient’s stomach is 1 oz. No that wasn’t a typo. The new pouch will eventually stretch out to 4 to 6 ounces, and I will be able to eat about 1 cup of food. As of this morning I am down 48 pounds and feeling energized and happy. Here is a current shot of me. The before and after side shots are interesting. The photo on the left was taken a few days after surgery. You can see how distended my tummy was, especially up high where the liver is located/ Check it out:
Now what you have to realize, yes your body is requiring less food….however your mind still craves certain comfort foods that are no longer an option. My comfort food of choice is ice cream. I adore the stuff. I could easily live on ice cream 24/7 if it were an option. Post surgery has some weird effects, such as an inability to eat certain foods. Dairy is a common problem food, and sugar is a major no no. Since food bypasses much of the intestine, certain foods can play havoc on your system. Bread can form a dough ball in your tummy, block things up, and make a patient very sick. This is the tricky park….you somehow have to get very “Zen” about the whole thing and find peace with your new lifestyle. Sure you can find some substitutions, regardless nothing can quite replace the taste of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or a piece of sour dough bread slathered with butter.
Another challenge is having to eat in a slow and mindful way. I have to take now take very small bites and chew, chew, and then chew some more. This is where maturity comes into play. You have to be able to quiet yourself and focus on your new lifestyle. Yes, there are some challenges, but I haven’t regretted my decision at all and would do it over again in a heartbeat. I feel like I’ve gotten my life back, and amazingly I feel 10 years younger. I’m walking better than I have since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease five years ago. I used to stop every 50 feet or so, and now I’m cruising at top speed with no breaks. The best part is that my liver is getting healthier by the day. The swelling has gone down and the tenderness is completely gone.
I’ve received a lot of e-mails from people interested in WLS food intake. Below are some examples of foods that currently work well for me: