November EOTM – “But everyone else is doing it!”

happy with my boo.jpg

Soooo..I have some good news – I got engaged, and future-hubby and I are living together.  We’re happy, and really looking forward to creating a life together.

Good for you, but what does that have to do with weight loss surgery?  Let me explain…

I’ve been living on my own since the age of 20; when you’ve lived on your own terms for over 15 years, it creates an interesting dynamic when you merge that life with someone else’s. Living with someone has brought up some unique challenges that I did not prepare for, everything from how he is glued to the TV on football Sunday (and Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) to the annoying way he folds his socks.

As a bariatric post-op, unlike many of you, I lived alone during my first year.  Plus, I work 100% remotely from home.  That means my exposure to temptation has (thankfully) been more limited than the average person that has a significant other, children, extended family, friends, or roommates living with them in their home.  No having to cook “regular” meals for someone while I try to eat low-carb.  No having to buy snacks that are now on my no-no list and bring them in the house.  No dealing with the aroma of my old favorite foods that someone else is happily enjoying while I pretend that my salad with oil and vinegar dressing is just as awesome.

I’m just now getting a taste of what many post-ops deal with on a daily basis from Day One.  It’s always been easy to fall back into old habits, but now it’s even more so.  Not saying that I was perfectly following all the rules before Boo Boo and I started dating, because I damn sure wasn’t, but it makes it much harder.  Especially those times when we’re boo-ed up on the couch watching a good movie – and what are we doing at the same time?  Sharing a  big bowl of buttered popcorn with salt.  Or we’re on date night at one of our favorite restaurants, staring dreamily into each other’s eyes from across the table, while dining on an appetizer, entrée, glass of wine, and dessert.  And of course I’ve got to taste test whatever he has on his plate if it looks really good.

It feels so good at the time, but I know better.  And that’s why I’m making it the Excuse of the Month.  His actions have absolutely nothing to do with what I choose to eat.  It’s not his fault if I go off track, it’s MINE.  That’s not to say that you can never “relax” (and I’m choosing my words carefully here because I don’t want to promote unhealthy eating on my blog) but you have to be able to accept the consequences if you do, whether it be that you get addicted again to junk food or you gain back some weight.  One day of letting your hair down won’t derail all of your hard work, but when one day turns into a week, and a week turns into a month…

I’m not a doctor, and again, I’m not trying to promote unhealthy eating, but I can only advise people in this situation to:

  • Check with your nutritionist for the specific number of grams of carbs you can have per day, and try to only eat a single-portion size of any high-carb food that you eat.
  • Get in the gym if you have not already!  Exercise is important to burning off those extra calories.
  • Remember that protein promote satiety, so pair your higher-carb snack with a protein to help fill you up more quickly so you don’t overdo it on the carbs.  For example, if you have crackers, eat them with low-fat cheese and sliced pepperoni.  If you have tortilla chips, eat them with guacamole or a bean dip.
  • Forgive yourself.  Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day.  You’re not expected to be perfect.  Dust yourself off and start again tomorrow.
  • Try recipes that will give you the same or similar taste of your old favorite foods.  For me, I love pizza, and there are a million recipes online for pizza crust made out of ground chicken or cauliflower.
  • Learn to say “no”, especially to those specific trigger foods that can pull you back into addiction.  Sometimes you are just going to have to accept that YOU had surgery, not THEM, so you can’t always do what they do.  It’s up to you to control what you consume.
  • Try to get your family and friends on-board with healthier eating and regular exercise, or at least ask them to be understanding that you cannot always indulge with them if that is creating an awkward situation in your home.  BUT if they don’t want to, you STILL have to do what you need to do for your health.  Remember, you had surgery, not them.
  • Keep positive influences around you that can help you stay or get back on track, like attending bariatric support groups or going to counseling if needed.

There’s certainly a fine line here, and it will be up to each of you to fight temptation in your homes.  I’m sure that your loved ones will understand that you are trying to eat healthier and would much rather have you around healthy and happy than to see you get sick.

Good luck everyone!

Liz

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