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I Miss Food

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OK, it has been 20 days since my surgery (REALLY???!!!!) My physical problems have been minor issues that develop when I DON'T follow the rules (i.e. although you may with effort make any food mushy, it's best not to push the envelope too far).


My primary problems are all in my head. I'm not hungry even though I average maybe 650 calories a day. I don't have a taste for anything now that the liquid stage is over and I'm on soft foods. I'm grateful for not being physically hungry and not having cravings; however, I have a huge problem with trying to find something else besides food to comfort me.


The last week has been hectic. I am on the east coast (DC suburbs) and the violent storm that came through our area made for a couple of challenging days. I'm not complaining about the storm because I was extremely fortunate to get my power (air conditioning) back on so soon. But I also had to offer aid to family who weren't so lucky. Then when the fallout from the storm seemed to be taken care of my nephew who lives with me was in a car accident and taken to the county hospital emergency room. Then one day later my brother had to have emergency surgery.


I'm not going to go on about any of these incidents simply because we all have problems and we all have to learn how to cope successfully with our problems. Unfortunately, my coping mechanism has always been food so not being able to stuff my face has made me more anxious.


I did worry about not being able to use food as a coping mechanism before the surgery and I can honestly say I was right to worry; however, I was worring about the wrong thing. I worried that I would make myself sick (literally hurt myself) by stuffing my face in a crisis. I'm not saying that I have been following my nutrition guidelines faithfully or that I am not tempted to start chomping on doritos, chocolate, or whatever. When I think of stuffing my face, I automatically think that stuffing myself is going to make me hurt. I hate pain.


Fortunately, at this point, I may be safe from damaging myself after being sleeved. Unfortunately, my problem is more subtle and a lot harder to explain. I think not being able to stuff my face is contributing to my depression. I just feel so sad when I think about my family's problems, the world's problems, my cat's problems... I 'm not saying that being sleeved is making me sadder. I'm admitting that even after over a year of therapy about why I eat I haven't developed an adequate substitute for eating to bury my emotions.


While I have been writing this blog entry a thought crept into my mind. I should change the title. I don't miss food. The great thing about being sleeved and being blessed with an easy recovery is that I haven't been deprived of anything after the surgery. My surgeon's nutrition guidelines are very generous compared to other practices. What I miss is using food as an antidote to sadness.

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This is totally understandable. For the first time this morning I woke up and told my husband, "I wished I had a my old football sized tummy to stuff with a huge breakfast buffet this morning!" While I have no regrets, it was a thought.

You may need to look up some info on antidepressants and talk to your PCP. I work for a bariatric surgeon and this is sometimes used in a low dosage to help get through some of life's tough spots without the comfort of food. And it will help to stimulate your mind enough to get you looking into new outlets or hobbies.

Good luck and I hope everything works out well for you!

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My condolences on the end of your relationship with food. I too have found it extremely awkward to not be hungry or have cravings since my procedure. I've also been blessed with a relatively unremarkable post surgery status. I've had no real complications so far (5 days out).

I've never had anyone sum up what I've been feeling as succinctly as you've just said it.... "What I miss is using food as an antidote to sadness" and In my case.... What I miss is using food as an antodote to sadness and boredom.

Thank you!

I'm putting my energies into exercise....I'm finding my daily walks to be very therapeutic for me. Tonight I didn't use my headsets either, I just walked the neighborhood with my thoughts and it was like I had a moment of me..... I feel cleansed....

After I reach the 6 weeks post op mark, I want to look into taking self-defense and a some dance classes that I've always wanted to do, but felt to body conscious about it pursue.

I think we substitute activities and re-invent our relationship with food as a necessity to stay healthy, but not as our friend and confidant (which it never should have been in the first place).

We just have to take it one day at a time...... Problems will always be there regardless of our weight. Stay strong... you seem like a powerhouse and you can do this!

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I had the same feeling in the pre-op period when I was required to lost 10% before being approved for surgery. I used to look forward to going home for a nice big meal after work, and I hate to say it, but it's true, parking myself on the sofa for a long night of tv. I always had active weekends, but my regular weekday evenings were so comforting and it felt so good after a great meal. When I would feel stressed out, I always knew eating would make me feel better and it did. I wanted this surgery, and so I had to learn to let the feelings pass if I was going to be successful losing the weight. By letting the feelings pass I mean working through our craving periods, and recognizing that the craving will pass if you just ride it out. Sometimes it only takes minutes, sometimes a bit longer, but you have to harness the power of your own mind to get through it. We can all survive a craving and we can all find other things to engage our lives so that we begin to feel happiness from other pursuits.

I'm 3 months out from surgery and I am doing better with my relationship with food. It doesn't have a hold on me the way it did. Eating is sometimes a chore, but there are times it is still delightful. I am much more active now, and sitting on the couch watching tv doesn't seem quite as important as it once did. I often go to the gym after work or go swimming, then have a liesurely, late dinner. I am generally satiated enough that I don't crave a sweet in the evening, but if I do, I always have either a blue bunny sugar free frozen treat (70 cal) or maybe a Weight Watchers frozen treat.

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