I'm moving into soft foods, which means a lot more choices and a lot more ways to screw up. Right now I have a cup of split pea soup in front of me ... with little toasts that I'm dying to eat. I won't, though. But here's where I have to really take responsibility and stick with the straight and narrow. I went to the surgeon today for my check-up and things are looking great. It really needs to stay that way.
I'm hitting that third-week stall that people have been talking about, but still I have continued to lose weight, albeit at a much slower pace. Today I have my one-month checkup with my surgeon. It'll be a month on the 25th. I'm so much happier to be on the other side of things -- and tomorrow I get to start soft foods! Food I can actually chew -- well, unless you've been there, it's hard to know that happiness.
I guess I could be mad about this condition I have, this Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. I mean, it's essentially the reason I've undergone all these procedures, the laser hair removal, the weight-loss surgeries. Yes, when it comes to the latter, I've often overeaten, but there is something to having this adrenal condition and being on a steroid that makes it truly difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Now 85 percent of my stomach is gone and I'm stoked about eating soft foods tomorrow. Perspective, huh?
Once we have become teachable, we can give up old thought and behavior patterns which have failed us in the past, beginning with our attempts to control our eating and our weight. Honest appraisal of our experience has convinced us that we can't handle life through self-will alone. First we grasp this knowledge intellectually, and then finally we come to believe it in our hearts. When this happens, we have taken the first step and are ready to move ahead in our program of recovery.
- The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous
I think they're right in the sense that admission begins in the brain and moves eventually to the heart. I've always known I had a problem with food, but I didn't know it where it counted. These three weeks since the surgery are working to change that. Stripped of my usual defenses, I am carb- and caffeine-less. I have way more energy, though I do tend to crash because I'm still recovering from the surgery.
I seem to be reaching for a grand conclusion here and there is none. There is only continuing.
Three weeks out and my energy is still not 100 percent dependable. I mean, what did I do this morning/afternoon? Had coffee with a friend and got my hair done. Not exactly taxing, right? Then why was I so tired when I got home?
I'm hitting that third-week stall and it's to be expected. Slightly frustrating, but expected. There are times when this thing is really hard. I was hanging out with friends last night and everyone was getting drunk and munching on croutons and salami. (It looked better than it sounds -- they were big old garlic croutons.) Then again, I didn't hate myself afterwards because all I had was water.
This is what I look like now:
I can see how my eyes look bigger and my chin looks smaller. It's happening.
I'm definitely hitting the three-week stall, which is pretty common in vertical sleeve patients because I'm no longer just eating Jell-O and sugar-free popsicles. I'm not 100 percent fine with it, but I'm as okay as I can be. This isn't a race, right? I'm doing everything the way it should be done. The other night I dreamt I went to a buffet and cheated my ass off. Fortunately, of course, it was just a dream. In reality I wouldn't even be able to do that. I went to lunch with a friend yesterday and had an egg and yogurt. Was stuffed after a few bites. Is this unnatural? Of course. Does it work? I'm thinking yes.
I can't tell if it's getting easier or harder. Sometimes one, sometimes the other. Do I miss the midnight binges? I mean, really miss them? Do I miss how I felt the next morning, guilty and angry with myself? We all idealize. I am no different. But what point is there in sticking on the rose-colored glasses around harmful behavior? I'm down nearly 22 pounds. My clothes are looser. My rings are looser. I have more energy and less pain. Feeling distracted by someone who just sat down next to me. Noisy and strong perfume. Chewing gum loudly. Love thy neighbor? Not so much.
This morning I had cottage cheese pureed with a little kiwi, kefir and water. It's rather safe for me to have limited choices. What happens when I go back to the big wide world of food? I have to remember that nothing will ever be the same, nor do I want it to be. I have made a change. I want to keep that change, use it. I'm on a different path now. That path is not a panacea, but it is a hell of a lot better than where I was going before. Yet I have doubts, worry, cynicism.
Love equals food, right? What culture doesn't believe that? Love and food, comfort, happiness. It's not just fuel. It's the fire.