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Saving money and kind friends.



Boy, I did not realize how much money I was spending on food.  Now that I've been on liquids for almost 3 weeks, I haven't spent basically anything.   I mean, I was already stocked up on protein and vitamins before the surgery, and I will eventually need to spend money on that.... well, and I will need to start spending money on food this coming Wednesday when I move on to purees.... BUT STILL.  I used to eat out every day (and not cheap fast food, but real restaurants), and it's no wonder I was kinda living paycheck to paycheck.  But, boy, I did eat some delicious things.

At any rate, that isn't the only thing I've noticed.  Sitting around at home and at work, HUNGRY, I've been constantly thinking about food.  My relationship with food, my future with food.  Pre-surgery I was telling myself and others that eventually I'll be able to eat everything I want again, just smaller portions.  Now I am realizing that that would be a complete mistake, that eating like that is why I'm so unhealthy in the first place, and I would be undoing the benefit of this "extreme measure" I took to get healthy.  I love to bake, but I'm going to need to be careful now.  I'm coming to terms with the fact that I will probably never eat sugar the same way again - I will need to be extremely careful and use low-calorie options whenever possible and avoid candy (which I used to binge-eat); I'm kinda okay with this... I've been addicted to sugar, but my true love is UMAMI (savory flavor).  So it will be harder for me to avoid fats like butter and olive oil, gravies, fancy cheese, coconut milk (in its role in Indian food).  I am a foodie, and I want big, rich, complicated flavors!  Thankfully, there are tons of calorie-free spices and low calorie condiments, but I'm not a good cook yet - something I will now work on, since I have no choice.

So, I am nearly 50 lbs down from my highest weight when I started this journey in June - 14 lbs down since surgery.  The power is off in my town, so I went to the city to a spice shop and treated myself to some delicious, aromatic spices.  A fancy taco seasoning for the refried beans I'm going to eat on Wednesday (when I start purees), some Garam Masala for when I want to make something that tastes like Indian food, and a couple little tasters of spice blends to experiment with.  One of the first non-food rewards... though, maybe it kinda IS a food reward.... but anyways, it doesn't involve calories going into my mouth.

Healing-wise, I'm doing very well.  So far, I haven't had anything that disagreed with me, haven't accidentally over-stuffed myself, haven't caused myself much pain.  The worst part right now is the itching and scabs at the incision sites, which I have a compulsion to pick at.  Thankfully there are still steri-strips there as a physical block to my wandering itch-seeking fingers.  I hope to start purees on Wednesday (my 2-week surgiversary), but I might try some very liquidy purees ahead of time.  I'm antsy to get started on real food, but I need to make sure I don't injure my healing stomach.

Some friends of mine have been very kind to me - they are elderly people (and very very thin), and they said that they don't know what I'm going through having never struggled with weight, but they care about me and understand that it is going to be a difficult process and wanted to offer me actual money for meeting my goals!  I was floored.  I told them that that wasn't necessary, but thanks for the thought, but I think they might actually do it, saying that it'll be for my upcoming trip to Germany so I can be healthy and active and ready for anything.  What kind, kind friends.  AND My pastor and his wife, those dear people, gave me an incredible, thoughtful gift - a weighted blanket!  I've always wanted one, I find the weight so soothing and comforting both for my body and for my anxious/depressed brain.

I have been shown so much kindness lately, it has brought me out of the self-pity and has reminded me to be thankful.  And I am.  I'm also thankful for quick healing and no complications.


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    • Hi I had my surgery in April 2018 I had a lot of experiences like you. Before my surgery, I used to gulp down some water. That was my favorite drink. Since the surgery it's been really hard to get water down. My doctor said many have that problem because water is heavy. That's one problem I didn't think I would have. I'm not the one who like a lot of artificial sweet drinks. Definitely not drinks with aspartame. I would do some drinks with suraclose. like the zero calorie powerade. It's pretty good and goes down well. I drink teas and coffee as well and add stevia the natural sweetner to try to get in all my liquids. So liquids have gotten better for me after 7 months. Hope it gets better with you
    • I'm kind of surprised that only about 30% are diagnosed(?) with an ED. I personally think everyone who needs WLS has severe problems with eating/food - if one wants to call that an eating disorder or not doesn't matter in the end.
    • My team is so weird. Full liquids are their own thing, and then purees and soft foods are thrown in together. I'm on that stage, which starts with cottage cheese and yogurt and ends with ground meat and soup/chili. The most "advanced" thing I've eaten was a couple (1 and 3/4 :)) of Ikea meatballs, which sat really heavy, but besides those, I'd say I'm around the middle of the list. Very moist tuna salad is fine, as are scrambled eggs (I mean, those settled weird, but I digested them, so I guess they're OK). I'm thinking of trying thin-cut lunch meat next; that sounds really good to me. All I want in this world is the middle of a cheeseburger--I could let the bread and veggies go; I just want some ground beef, and cheese on it would be excellent--but I know not to push things that far, yet. The reward for going slowly is not getting sick, and that is a very compelling reward. :)
    • Thank you for sharing your experience! I haven't even thought of trying to get my fluids in any form other than plain water or at a temperature other than room temp, but I may have more success there, as you have. I'll give tea a try - thankfully I enjoy my tea unsweetened! You're probably right about the rollerskating - I don't normally fall, but it could definitely happen, especially since I haven't skated for a month. I just love it so much, I'm eager to get going, but it's more important to let my body heal. I could make a point of taking a short walk during my breaks at work. Have you started soft foods yet, or are you still doing full liquids/purees?
    • Just comparing notes, in case it helps... I still can't drink plain water. I'm getting 90% of my hydration with hot tea (mostly decaf--I don't count the caffeinated tea toward my total) and protein shakes. And it is close to 64 ounces per day, but it's not ever very much more than that. Besides hot tea, I can stand to drink protein shakes cold or at room temp. Room temp Powerade Zero is only a little bit harder than a protein shake, but room temp water hurts. Cold beverages also do OK, mostly--it's chilly enough out, now, that I just find myself gravitating toward the hot--and I definitely eat more sugar free popsicles than anyone should (even though it's cold, yes ... they seem to help when I start to feel nauseated from dehydration, though, and also they taste good 😁). I think not going rollerskating (or ice skating?), this soon, might be better than going, unless you're a lot less likely to fall than I am. (Who isn't, though? 😁) We're still pretty early on in the healing process. I do little walks most days, and since I'm still on blood thinners, I figure I also still need to be up and moving a little bit every hour I'm awake. But none of it is especially epic exercise, and I'm not going to beat myself up about that until after I've been cleared to go in the pool and lift weights and get out of breath. (Those first two happen at the 1 month post-op appointment, and the latter, I don't know? I have in my notes, from somewhere, that we're supposed to exercise only at a "moderate" pace until sometime after the 6 week mark, but that's not from my surgeon.) I don't know what to say about the food. I feel so bad if I eat too quickly that it's a pretty good policing mechanism. Like you, though, I wish I'd practiced more. The constant gurgling has gone away, and now I feel hungry 3-4 times per day, like you'd expect. It probably helps that very little of what I'm eating now is so appetizing that I feel rushed to eat it, lol. I think this will all get better with time. I hope you find a way to get your liquids in soon, though! ❤️
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