Yes, I am a foodie. I enjoyed my food pre-surgery (perhaps a bit TOO much). I enjoy what I’m eating now. Saying you enjoy your food post surgery is almost like kicking a puppy or poking sharp sticks at kittens. Enjoy your food? How dare you? That’s how we got fat! And before anybody gets up in arms, I have not been attacked or anything like that, it’s just a general attitude I’ve seen along with a general fear of actually enjoying food (and thus eating their way through their surgery) or that someone who had surgery will never be able to enjoy food again.
Enough I say! No more fear. No more mourning your enjoyment of food. You can and will enjoy food again. I’m not even a month out and can barely eat four tablespoons of food and I enjoy every single bite. Yes, for those of you who have never had weight loss surgery or do not know anybody who has had it, you read that correctly - four tablespoons.
How you might ask can I enjoy eating when I can eat so little? It’s not hard, I promise. Since I can eat so little, I have to make what I can eat count and I do not just mean nutritionally. It also has to taste good. Yes, this is possible eating a low carb, high protein diet. Low carb in my case does not mean no carb. I can have up to fifty grams of carbs a day which, I admit, does not sound like much but remember: four tablespoons of food at a time.
I do not feel as if I need to sacrifice flavor, taste or texture (barring having cottage cheese with some sugar free fruit preserves for breakfast, but I happen to like cottage cheese) in order to eat healthily. Yes, there will be times when I do have to be more conscious of what I eat because of that, by making sure of my choices, but that’s what it will take to be successful with my sleeve. I do not feel deprived and, for me, that is one of the keys. The minute we start feeling deprived, we will find ways to sabotage ourselves, even if that is unconscious.
Nearly a year ago, I weaned myself off processed sugars, rice, potatoes, pasta and bread. This was a huge thing for me because I was (and still am) a carb addict. I knew that I, personally, could not eat those things and be successful. Because of that, I was able to lose an amazing sixty pounds pre-surgery, all by myself. During that entire time, I never felt deprived. I never felt as if I was dieting. Now that I am not limited solely to liquids, I do not feel like I am dieting now. Yes, I have a diet, I am not on a diet. To me, that’s a big difference. Yes, I journal everything I eat. You read that correctly, everything. It is important to myself to be accountable. It is too easy to lose track over the course of a day of what exactly you are eating. Too easy to lose focus. I’m not perfect, you know.
If you are unsure of tasty choices, there are plenty of weight loss surgery blogs written by foodies out there. They have recipes, pictures, stories to share. Many of them are in my blogroll, draw inspiration and encouragement from them as I did. In reading the stories these people had to share (as well as recipe and food ideas), I learned that I did not have to give up my enjoyment of food.
So, yes, I am a foodie. I will continue to be a foodie. I will not apologize for that and I refuse to feel guilty for enjoying food even after having weight loss surgery. I urge others to let go of your guilt, stop mourning the fact you could eat an entire large pizza in one sitting or can no longer cover a huge dinner plate with food. Embrace your tool whether it is a gastric sleeve, a DS, an RNY or a gastric band. Use your tool and enjoy the food you put in your mouth. Make good, healthy choices but do not deprive yourselves by sacrificing taste or texture.
Food is not the enemy. I’ve come to learn it never really was. The real enemy was my head and the way I looked at food. The real enemy was my relationship with food. It never was a healthy relationship in the past but, that is changing. Slowly but surely. All I have to do, all anybody has to do, is believe.