I've settled in with my Isopure/Cranberry cocktail this morning to see if I can get a few thoughts down about what's been going on in (dun dun dun DAH)...The Battlefield of my Mind!
Maybe you remember when you were a new parent and someone said, "Oh a baby changes everything." I do, I sort of was young and invincible, and so my response was a mental, "Duh." Of course, not even a week into child rearing and I was like, "Holy crap, this is hard! How do people do this?!! WAHHHH." Do you remember? Well this, THIS little sleeve of mine? It changes EVERYTHING--it truly is a game changer. Now, it's not bad...but change is not always easy (maybe NEVER for some of us certain personality types...you know who you are...). Maybe easy isn't the right word. Comfortable?
Whatever, my point is it's not bad, but it's new and what makes it particularly uncomfortable is being at the bottom of this steep learning curve. Having head knowledge of how to change a poopy diaper is different than hands-on experience when you are getting the "full senses" tour. Don't get me wrong, I am all about having head knowledge and being as prepared as you can be. Doesn't mean I always am...and frankly, I have been known to leap without looking a time or two.
I'm a cook. I'm a creator-cook. Cooking is what I do, so I have been cooking for my family since I was day 6 post-op. I've made Red Beans & Rice with Andouille Sausage, Arroz Con Pollo, Southwest Taco Chili, Salmon & Rice Pilaf, Beef Peppercorn Stirfry, Sweedish Meatballs... I mean, I like to cook!
Now to some of you, that may seem like unecessary torture, but the truth is, I will always be cooking for my family, making lunches for my son's. Preparing delicious meals is what I take pleasure in doing. Now I just have to deal with not "tasting and partaking" like I did. But regardless of what we are exposed to, the fundamental truth to all of us is that we have an addiction (and I realize that not everyone here does...some have physical or chemical reasons for being overweight) but most of us do, and we have to cohabitate and live with our "poison". This isn't like removing all alcohol from our lives to avoid drinking. We still have to eat, period.
I read a book some months ago written by the wife of a singer whose teenage son accident'y ran over their little 5 year old daughter. The book is entitled, Choosing to See, by Marybeth Chapman. I know it seems random, but sometimes concepts transcend topics. The books title has stuck with me...as much as the amazing story of healing and courage did. I am choosing to see. Choosing to see the truth of why I eat, why I have to stop, why it is OK to do this for me (this may be a foreign thought to some of you, but it seems to be a real stronghold for people of certain faiths), and that it really isn't just about me but about the impact I'm supposed to have on my loved ones. What I eat impacts others and it does matter.
So I said all that to say, someone recently asked me if I still obsess about food. The answer is an unequivical YES. I'm not sure you heard me over there in Idaho, but YEEEESSSS. The motivation has somewhat changed...so I'll cut myself some slack. When you haven't chewed in 4 weeks, even gumming greek yogurt is almost euphoric. I am not overstating this fact. Eating half of a Ricotta Bake (by Shelly), is enough to make you cry. I did. I savored every little tiny miniscule particle that I put on my tongue...all the while knowing that this moment might lead to, gulp, constipation.
What's changed is that I'm spending as much or more time on food now because I'm reading labels for a whole new sub-set of information. It's similar to WW with Fat/Fiber/Protein...and yet it's really all about the protein and the carbs. There is some mental gymnastics for hitting daily targets. It's not hard, it's just different. After some time, I expect to know quite a bit about a variety of foods...just as I use to know the point values of most of my favorites.
Am I mourning the pleasure of snarfing? Yes. OK, if I tell you somthing, you have to promise it's just between us, ok? My son had McD's in the car (he's a brave boy...get's it from his mamma) and I asked him for a french fry. Just one. SHHHHHHHHH! Yes I did! And I ate it too!!!!!! And it was...G-0-0-D. And one was enough. My guilty pleasure was met and paid for and it was enough. Sure, I chewed it till it completely disolved in my mouth...and yes, I know that it could be a slippery slope....but I felt like I snarfed and it made my screaming mind shut-up. Seriously. I totally nipped my whiny mind in the bud by giving it a fry. It didn't bother me after that. I felt like a won. I certainly didn't feel deprived anymore and ultimately, I felt good about having just one!
So, as I head into week 3...did I mention I hit that inevitable "STALL"? Yeah, the minute I introduced yogurt, cream of wheat, etc. I hit the stall. I knew it was coming and I also know that IT is not going to be a game changer for me. Mentally, I've won this battle because really, what the heck can I do? Haha Hopefully it's just a quick blip and I don't lose face on the bravado I'm feeling right now. As I was saying, as I head into week 3...I'm facing the constipation consideration: Not just having less frequent BM's, but actually feeling the urge to go but can't...so I'll increase my water, try to increase my activity a bit, add some fiber. Try to get my BP stabelized--which has dropped dramatically from 145/80 ish to about 95/70....I've had a reduction in meds so we're working on it. It's not just the 30 pounds, but it is the decrease in sodium, no doubt.
So as you see...I'm not obsessing-free yet. I totally look forward to that day, but for now, I'll take things one salty slice at a time and try to keep things in perspective.