I am 60 days post-op now and my total loss just hit 50 pounds. I’m feeling great and just reaching that stage where my friends are commenting on the noticeable difference in my appearance. I am a work in progress, and the lessons continue to present themselves to me.
1. Restaurants are built to sabotage you. Portion control, is not in their vocabulary, but deep fried sure is! My recommendation: soup is your friend. Even the worst restaurant your friends drag you to will have some kind of soup option. It fills you quickly, its probably the least offensive thing to order on the menu and it avoids the disapproving looks you’ll get from your dining companions and server for failing to “clean your plate”.
2. Water is your friend. And you cannot get enough of it. The first 30 days after surgery were very hard for me to get the recommended 64oz of water. It has definitely gotten better over time, but trust me when I say that dehydration is a constant threat. If you aren’t peeing hourly, you aren’t drinking enough water. Be kind to your kidneys and sip, sip, sip.
3. Do not judge your progress by the number on the scale. I was mildly concerned when I hit my first stall, but I was also very aware of the dramatic changes to my body. The scale barely moved, but in that time I dropped 2 sizes and definitely noticed a change in my shape. Stalls will happen and are not the litmus test to gauge your success or failure by. Losing a fair chunk of weight means that your body is going to have periods where it will need to rest and recover from the changes. Increased physical activity means you are building muscle while losing fat – muscle weighs more than fat does.
4. Eat slow. Picture in your mind how long it takes to polish off a meal right now. And then picture in your mind what you think “slow” means. And then divide it by half. I’m not kidding here, you can’t eat slow enough. You’re working with a very small space with what remains of your stomach. Go figure, the Dr and nurses know a thing or two about lecturing you to chew a ton of times and eat slowly. Why? Because that “stop eating now or be miserable” feeling creeps up very, very quickly. Also, dumping is gross. Suddenly I have a lot more sympathy for my cat with the sensitive stomach.
5. Take emotional support when and where you can. My coach, my therapist and my loved ones have all been instrumental in keeping me on task and accountable. While my diminished stomach can only hold a small amount, there is no shortage of demands for more from my brain. I rarely get physical hunger sensations now, but my brain has not stopped its demands for things I know damn well I could never manage to eat. Most of the time I am able to distract myself to avoid acting on the impulse (Hello, water bottle) but I’m also not shy these days about reaching out to my support network when I need help, motivation or a kick in the ass.
posted by dydan
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