It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canadia which is always a challenging time for this luscious lapband patient. It’s a weekend of alcohol overindulgence and too much turkey.
For the past 3+ years since I had my surgery, any kind of turkey day has always been the source of some dismay. I can never quite get through a Thanksgiving (or Christmas) dinner featuring the famous foul without finding myself sharing half my harvest-celebration dinner with the porcelain gods.
Well, I’m happy to report that not one bite of my fancy feast with fabulous friends yesterday, or my family today, was sacrificed in the satisfying of this appetite. What was the source of my success in holding down the dinner I hold so dear? Chewing. Lots of chewing. Very, very slowly. I was also very conservative in the quantity of turkey that was piled on my plate.
The secret for me this year really is that I kept my limits in mind and stopped when I felt even slightly full. Granted, I’m a touch on the hungry side right now but I’d much rather be hungry before bed than suffering from the dreaded gastric reflux! Score one PB-Free feast for this lapbandster!
Had an interesting day. My (not so) little bro moved to town this weekend so I’ve been spending a fair bit of time with him. It’s interesting to see him as an adult. Since I was living abroad for so long I never really got to see him grow up. I probably spent 8 weeks worth of time with him in as many years. He managed to get engaged, break up, find the woman of his dreams, get married and now they’re pregnant. He’s all growed up.
But some things really never change. He’s always been the underdog in the family. As such, he’s got quite a few obvious defense mechanisms for keeping himself happy and healthy and he’s most certainly got something to prove.
Especially right now. He’s being bombarded with people that want to do everything they can to help him get settled but he says he doesn’t need any help, thank you. He got where he is just fine without anyone else. Oh, if ever there were words so true in this world! Not just for him, but for me…
The number of times I’ve told the world, I’m fine…The number of times I’ve had to make my own mistakes in order to grow personally and professionally… Learning how to ask for help was certainly a challenge for a while! Sometimes I wonder how I got where I am today.
For some people, their weight is a reflection of their unhappiness and inability to admit they need help coping. For me, it’s more a reflection of all the fun I’ve been having in my life and making sure I try EVERY type of food I possibly can. I’m most certainly NOT unhappy doing that. It’s afterwards that the guilt and unhappiness sometimes sets in.
Now that I’m healing and am able to tolerate significantly more substantial sustenance, I find myself adrift in happy eating. (As I mentioned before, social situations are dominated by eating and drinking in my life.) Up until the past couple of days, I’d been doing well to say no because it wasn’t worth the 10 minute chew-a-thon required to properly consume unhealthy (yet tasty) foods.
But when the Lil Bro invited me over for some of I Mom’s homemade spaghetti with meatballs at a real Mac family dinner, I decided it might well be worth the effort. I followed the 1/4 cup guideline for the pasta and had about 5 meatballs. I was munching and chatting happily with the fam and suddenly found myself struggling to swallow. I simply got carried away, got distracted and didn’t chew properly. I stopped eating, sat for a few minutes a got away unscathed. But boy, oh, boy was it painful and frustrating to sit there with food stuck in my chest, unable to swallow it or spit it out!
This prompted the shocking realization of just how much I would mindlessly eat over a meal shared with friends and family simply because I wasn’t thinking.
What’s funny about this is that I’ve eaten properly at home for the better part of 5 years yet still packed on a few pounds. I’ve had the occasional indulgence but at-home eating, is relatively healthy eating for me – as long as I prepare it MYSELF!! It’s really been eating out that has been my very own undoing and to see it staring me right in the face was quite a revelation.
I guess what I learned was that I really need to THINK about everything I’m putting in my mouth. It’s really got to be worth it. Space is indeed at a premium in my new tiny tummy so I really ought to eat premium food designed for me to savour every bite. And since Bandster buddies are a wealth of information, I shall be exploiting their expertise and ceasing to making my own social eating mistakes henceforth. Life is just easier when you’ve got a little help.
Things probably look a little different ‘round these parts. Up until this morning, I’d been using iWeb to build my blog. Although iWeb produces pretty sites, Blogger provides some additional functionality I simply don’t have the experience to implement myself with iWeb. So, I decided to up-sticks and moved on over here.
I’ve stuck some nifty gadgets in the left-hand navigation which means I can spread the word about my Slimband journey a little bit further afield without much effort. And the good people over at Google are going to help me track my progress. I’m pleased as punch.
Sadly, I can’t export any of the comments from the previous version of the blog. So, make sure you click the ‘follow’ in Followers section and feel free to comment anytime and forward my posts to friends and family. I really appreciate all the support!
In other news, I went to my first official family dinner since my surgery.
At first I wasn’t even gonna go. I just didn’t want to sit there and watch everyone eat all of the food I wasn’t allowed to have. But my dearest Gam prepared something even I could enjoy: some Salisbury Steak with mash(ed everything).
I’m not supposed to eat the beef but I took half a pattie, mashed it up with the potatoes, turnip and carrot and armed with my newfound food confidence I sat down and took a full hour to eat it. It was delish! I kept the whole meal around 2/3 cup of food and had no trouble at all.
That being said, it’s back to mushies tomorrow for another three days. Don’t want to do any damage I’ll have to pay for later. I’m pretty hungry now though…Perhaps it’s all this moving around…
The past couple of weeks have certainly been strange. I’ve eaten less in the last two weeks than I would have eaten in a weekend in the past. With the exception of Temper Tantrum Tuesday, I haven’t really felt particularly hungry. Until today. At around 3pm, a little over three hours after my last mushy meal, I was stricken with the most intolerable hunger I may have ever felt.
All at once I had terrible hunger pains, I was lightheaded, felt panicky, got a headache and was super thirsty. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It’s what I imagine happens when one’s blood sugar drops (AKA hypoglycemia). Since I’ve been getting very minimal levels of both sugar and protein, it seems a likely diagnosis. But, a doctor I am not.
Thankfully I had some Peach Medley in my purse so I scoffed it down as quickly/slowly as was physically possible (ie in about 15 mins). I felt okay for another 30 minutes when the hunger returned like it never left in the first place. I managed to find the deli counter in hopes of snapping up some soup but the only choice that even remotely resembled something I’m allowed to eat was chilli. I was certainly concerned.
I’m supposed to be strictly on mushies but since I was starving and didn’t happen to have any food left in my bag, I listened to what I felt my body was telling me and started eating the chilli as slowly as possible. I followed the bandsters’ mantra of taking small bites, very slowly and remembered to chew, chew, chew and chew again. I managed to eat about 1/4-1/3 of a cup and felt MUCH better within a few minutes.
I’ve been hungry before, but never quite like this. It was such an overwhelming feeling. My entire body was swooning, I needed something and I HAD to have it. Not like a craving where it was something I’m not supposed to have, but like my body telling me I was missing something and I had to get ASAP.
On the plus side, this prompted me to finally pick up my multivitamin. I’ve been meaning to do it since I moved on to full liquids. Since I’ve still got to crush any medications, I went out in search of a chewable. I ended up settling on Quest‘s Her Daily One Chewable Multivitamin on Slimband‘s unofficial recommendation. I picked them up for $14.99 CAD at my local Superstore. I looked for them online but couldn’t find them anywhere so was pleasantly surprised to see them in the specialty food section.
They taste okay. A bit earthy both in taste and texture. I was told they tasted like SweeTarts but that was a bit misleading. I mean, they’re no Flintstones Vitamins and I didn’t spit them out. But they weren’t entirely easy to swallow.
I had a pretty fun-filled Friday this week. Babysat my little cuz when he was home sick from school. That kid’s always a delight even when he’s barfing. The day was a bit of a challenge though because my auntie’s house is quite rarely the home of healthy food. So, I did myself a favour and packed a can of Baxter’s Lentil & Bacon, some Mott’s Peach Medley and a tiny bit of the good stuff and went on my way.
I did quite well with the food and had no trouble at all getting any of it down. In fact the Peach Medley was an absolutely delight. I’m really not a big fan of applesauce or apple flavoured things so I pleasantly surprised to find such a tasty treat that was actually good for me and pretty-much Slimband approved (it’s applesauce so it’s approved right??).
Went out in the evening with some lovely ladies from back East.
Normally, it would have been quite a challenge for me to pace myself to ensure I didn’t eat myself out of my pants but we decided to go out AFTER dinner which worked out great for me. I had some green puree and headed down town.
I wasn’t sure how I’d cope with the consumption of alcohol what with my new tiny tummy and my complete lack of a carbohydrate cushion to absorb the copious amounts of alcohol I would normally consume on such an evening. But I did just fine. I opted for martinis (which I LOVE) to keep the volume low and since I don’t want encourage the vomiting I should be experiencing at this point in my lap-band journey, I took things very slow.
I was thoroughly enjoying my evening with my chums with it dawned on me that I’d actually eaten the cherries in the bottom of my cocktails. I honestly couldn’t believe I’d done it. It was so automatic to finish my drink and chomp down the cherry. I was pretty scared I’d be sick until I realised I’d eaten them more than a half an hour before.
So, for the first time in 14 days I ate something. And it felt pretty normal. Granted, I chewed it pretty thoroughly, I didn’t choke and I didn’t have any tummy trouble. What a relief! I guess I can add cherries to the list of foods I’m allowed to eat when I’m actually supposed to be eating! Until then, it’s back to mushy meals.
It’s been 14 days since my lap-band surgery. It’s also been 14 days since I chewed anything. Everything I’ve put in my mouth since the day before surgery has been liquid, puree or mush. None of which requires the use of my teeth or my jaw to get it down my gob.
When I put a piece of my favourite gum in my mouth while rushing to catch my chariot I’m pretty sure I had a taste of trismus. More commonly known as lockjaw, the muscles just weren’t prepared for any kind of movement. There was pain and cracking and lots of things that just shouldn’t happen when I’m chewing.
So, I had to slow things down. I had to teach myself to chew without causing myself any pain. Needless to say, I couldn’t chew it long and got rid of it in minutes. Considering I’m not even supposed to be chewing gum (or anything else), I pretty much got off easy.