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Hello all-

I'm looking for a little advice. I just got sleeved 8/20, and I'm still in the liquid stage (hoping to advance to puree stage 9/6). Because life is a comedian, I just started seeing someone new (they do say you find someone when you stop looking...) and we want to be able to eat together and go to restaurants a bit. He's been great- we've been keeping busy with non-eating activities, and when he eats I just sip my Protein shakes- but he's a total foodie and is excited to take me nice places and cook for me when I get past the liquid stage. He understands that I will only be able to eat a little, and I think he intellectually he understands that it's going to be healthy foods all the way, but deep down I know he wants to make me rich, creamy decadent foods. So I have two main questions- one, does anyone have any suggestions for types of restaurants where we might be able to go where I could find something to eat for the puree stage? And also, how can I eat the way I want to eat but not make him feel disincluded or like I can't share his love of food at all? He's not a pusher, but I know if I could figure out some small ways to share food and eating with him it would mean a lot.

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This is only my opinion, but it's important for us sleevers to take a step back and prioritize when it comes to eating and making accommodations for others that would somehow jeopardize our sleeves and success this early in the game. You are not even two weeks out from surgery! Take care of you and your sleeve...if Mr. Wonderful is so wonderful, he will be patient and understand that this should not even be a discussion at this time.

I have friends and family who think that everything can be the same as pre-op, and I have to remind them that I practically had my stomach removed and traditions and patterns are forever changed.

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Intellect and emotion are two very separate things. Intellectually, he might know that you can't eat much. But emotionally, people who are foodies and/or love to cook can have a negative knee-jerk reaction to those who can't eat, or can't eat MUCH, of what they put in front of you.

My Italian grandmother was an amazing cook and she needed validation for this by seeing everyone clean their plates. And when I spent time in the Middle East, the way you showed your host that you enjoyed their cooking was to finish everything that was served.

I've been on both sides of this issue, and it involved two "new" friends. I met friend #1 at a party (way before I had the surgery) and we hit it off (just as friends) so we decided to hang out one afternoon. We were hanging out in my neighborhood, which is known for lots of great restaurants. Unfamiliar with the area, my friend told me to choose a place to eat. So I picked a pizza place that is known for having NYC's "best" pizza. I was excited to have him try it because I believed it was the best pizza I'd ever had. He ate three bites and left it on his plate.

I knew he had had weight loss surgery (in his case, the Lap Band), and I knew intellectually that he couldn't eat much, but my emotional reaction was that I felt insulted. "You didn't like it?!? You only ate three bites!" It was like being told it WASN'T the best pizza and I was wrong. Then I remembered he had the surgery and I felt a little better. But the emotions kicked in before the intellect.

I met Friend #2 after I had had the surgery. He knew I couldn't eat much, but he was one of those people who prided himself on his cooking. I went to his place to hang out one day and he had just cooked a big meal for himself and his brother. Despite the fact that I had gone into detail about the stages of the post-op diet with him (he was really curious about it, so I told him), a lot of the food he cooked I simply couldn't eat. But he shoved a plate in front of me and wanted me to try it. He stood over me with an expectant grin as I took the first bite of his mashed potatoes, which were really the only thing I could eat.

I took three bites and told him that they were indeed excellent and put my fork down. "That's all?!? You don't want anymore? You didn't like it?" I kept telling him that was all I could eat, but he still seemed rather hurt. He got over it and we went on to do other things, but seeing the pained expression on his face when I put my fork down made me feel bad.

My point is (and sorry for the novel I just wrote), people who make food a priority in their lives might be a bit of a challenge for those of us who have had weight loss surgery. That doesn't mean you can't have them in your life, and I'm still friends with the guys in my story. But it took time and understanding to get used to the idea of a stomach that could only hold a few ounces of food.

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Thank you both for your advice/stories. I think things will be fine- I'm good at explaining things, and I think even the most hardcore foodie will be able to learn that a couple of bites for me is the whole meal, and not to be offended. I think I'm in a really good place in terms of knowing what I want, I just have to remember not to slide back into people-pleaser mode and eat things just because other people (be it "Mr. Wonderful" or other people in my life) want me to.

On another note, even though I'm not even 2 weeks post surgery, I feel great! I've been very happy and surprised at how well my recovery is going. For about the first 5 days I felt awful, but ever since then I've felt almost back to my old self. I have to be careful with my body, but I've had very little pain and my energy is good!

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Not criticizing ANYONE, but aren't people who are really 'into' different kinds of foods just eat a bite or two of something and move on to something else? It seems like the more expensive the resturant, the smaller the portions. I am not speaking from experience; I was an Olive Garden big bowl of Pasta 'Connisoure.' :-)

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Well, it sounds like he is a very understanding guy. So that makes it easier from the get go - and I think he would probably be happy you were willing to try.

As far as where to go, anywhere that has Soup is pretty much fine as long as you leave the solids. Off the top of my head i'm thinking you'd be ok with some smoothie places - you could ask them to leave out syrups maybe picking a place that uses good fruits and some low fat milk. Hmm...there's not really a lot out that you can eat at puree. But! You could have him cook for you. He could make some kind of chili and you could puree it (I did that and it was sooo good), any kind of chicken/tuna salad, egg salad, maybe light heartedly challenge him to make you the best puree meal he can think of =) If you help him out in the kitchen with it you guys could end up having a great time and he will get to show off his cooking skills. Or make it into a running challenge - whoever can come up with the best puree meal by the time you move to soft foods gets to pick the first restaurant you go to or the next date place or next movie, etc. I think it could be a lot of fun. Plus, it will place more emphasis on the making of the food if you spend the time with him doing it, rather than just on the eating of it.

Really though from the way you described him, I doubt he will be offended at your just a couple bites. Just be clear ahead of time (which it sounds like you have been) about the amount you can eat and hopefully that will be no issue.

Have fun and congrats on finding a great guy! It's funny how life is always sending us curve balls when we least expect them =)

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