I remember the weeks leading up to my pre-op liquid diet, thinking of ALL of the foods I needed to have a food funeral for. Things that I thought I would absolutely never get to eat again. Things like a big steak, sushi, pizza, pho, pad thai, huge salads out, cookies, cupcakes, really the list goes on and on. I had all of the things that I loved, in massive quantities before my liquid diet.
Guess what? I’ve had every single one of those things since I’ve had surgery. Granted I did have to wait a while to be able to have any of them. The massive portion sizes that I used to have are dramatically reduced. Now when I get sushi, I can eat three or four pieces of a roll and that’s it. I can no longer eat three or four entire rolls. Pho is still a bit tricky, Ill usually eat the meat in the bowl and maybe two or three noodles. Steak out in a restaurant turns into 3-4 meals. I have had pizza, but only one slice at a time, and rarely if ever eat the crust.
My point is, for anyone pre-op, while you might feel like you need to say goodbye to all of your favorite foods, you really aren’t saying good bye forever. You are saying goodbye for a few months yes, but forever, no. You will never again eat the portions that you once did. I don’t miss those huge portions, just like I don’t miss going into food comas and feeling like crap after eating too much.
I have bad days, days where I eat an entire snack bag of chex mix or something of that sort; Days where I go and get frozen yogurt; Days when I don’t track or eat too many carbs and not enough protein. I know none of those things make me feel good, but I have them only once in a while.
I thought I’d never have wine or alcohol again. I do, just not as often. I still have glasses of wine with girlfriends or a glass of bourbon after an especially long week. I certainly don’t drink every day, or every week for that matter. But a couple of times a month I do indulge.
Do some of these indulgences slow my weight loss down? Probably. The reality is though, that 95% of the time, I eat on track. I typically eat between 850-1200 calories a day, normally more in the mid-range of that. On a crazy day, I might get up to 1400, but that’s probably only happened 4-5 times since surgery. On workout days I eat closer to 1100-1200.
It’s so much easier for me now to turn things around. I no longer have the mentality of “well I’ll just start being good again on Monday.” If I have a bad meal, I turn my ‘ish around and make the next meal and rest of the day healthier.
What Can’t I Eat?
Is there anything that I CAN’T eat? No not really. I don’t seem to do very well with carbonation. No carbonation is really no big deal for me considering I never have been a bit soda drinker. The only time that it causes an issue is when I want to have a beer. I’ve found that I can have one, if I drink it slowly, so even that really isn’t an issue. I cannot eat huge portions like I once could. That’s the whole point of my sleeve though, so I welcome that change.
I still drink protein shakes, typically one per day. Every once in a while I will have a second as a snack, just depends on the day. I tend to mix them with water now. There are certain ones that I like more than others (Jay Robb Whey Isoloate in Chocolate or Vanilla, or Syntrax Mint Chocolate Cookie) but I like them more because of how they blend than how they taste. I drink them entirely for their protein value, and not for flavor.
I eat eggs, without fail almost every day of the week. Heck, sometimes I have them twice a day.
What does an average workday look like for me?
6-6:30 AM: Protein Shake w/ first round of daily vitamins
8:30-9 AM: 3 Egg Whites or 2 Eggs, with salsa, cheese, and sometimes another protein like bacon or turkey sausage. Most days I can eat all of this, but somedays I only get in about 75% of it.
12-12:30 PM: Leftovers from previous nights dinner, something from the crockpot, the insides of a sandwich, or a small salad. It’s always protein based, but it always varies.
3-3:30 PM: 2 Laughing Cow Light cheese wheels; another protein shake; hummus and veggies.
6-6:30PM: Small snack of some sort if it’s a gym day. More cheese, hard boiled egg, something of that sort.
8-8:30 PM: Dinner. Typically a protein and a veggie. Seafood I can typically eat 4-5 oz of. Chicken, steak, or pork it is closer to 3 cooked ounces. The veggies are typically pretty minimal.
I do need to do some work on getting in more fruits and vegetables. I’ve started to eat more salads when I go out to dinner. It isn’t that I can’t eat salads, it’s just that if I want to get my protein in, there normally isn’t room for them.