Before I say anything else, I want to thank all of your for your overwhelming support for my last post. It really means a lot to me.
I wanted to take the time to address a couple of questions that were asked in the comments of that post.
Martymankins asked: “what are some types of foods that you cannot eat anymore after the WLS?”
Since I have very limited capacity now I eat mostly protein, because my body really needs it to function, so I severely limit my carb intake. Plus I’ve discovered that refined carbs make me either nauseous or go to sleep. I used to be a complete nut for pasta, but aside from a bite of the best mac & cheese ever while we were in Maui I haven’t had any in 6 months, and I don’t miss it.
There are some foods that I’m not supposed to have for the first six months while my body is still healing and I’m used to making sure I chew everything thoroughly – meats that are tougher to chew like steak, fibrous fruits & veg like celery and oranges, and nuts all can cause problems if I’m not careful so I’ve avoided most of them. I did add nuts to my diet a little prematurely because I was having trouble getting enough protein.
Foods I really can’t have because they make me sick are so far limited to bread and rich (buttery) things. Bread makes me just plain miserable, so I avoid more than a bite or two. A couple of times I’ve ordered fish in a restaurant and ended up feeling horrible, and the only thing I can attribute it to is the sauce because I eat a lot of fish at home. I avoid fried foods anyway and especially now that I know fats make me sick, although I will cop to stealing a two or three of Jason’s fries a couple of times.
The sickest I ever got though, was due to a sugar-free cough drop. Even though they are supposedly sugar-free they still contain sugar alcohols, and I’m apparently much more sensitive to those than I am to actual sugar. Now I check labels carefully for those when something claims to be sugar free because I’m pretty sure I used one of my nine lives on that one.
My diet isn’t perfect but I spend 99% of the time in my comfortable little protein food box and do pretty well.
Megan asked: “My lingering concern for you is swapping of addictions. Mitch’s aunt had WLS (don’t know which type) and then ended up with a pill problem. I’ve heard of gambling addictions, etc. after this surgery. Is that what the therapy is supposed to help avoid?”
Addiction transference is turning out to be a lot more common than was once believed, and the biggest problem is alcoholism for two reasons. One, since we can’t comfort ourselves with food we turn to something else to take the edge off. Two, because of our altered digestive system alcohol affects us much more quickly. It goes straight into our bloodstream so what used to take 2 or 3 drinks to get tipsy now only takes a half a glass of wine. The quick effect of alcohol makes it that much more enticing as a stress reliever. Most doctors advise avoiding alcohol altogether for the first year. Shopping and gambling, and pills are other problems that can come up too.
I started therapy for a number of reasons, primarily that I’m going through a really stressful time right now and I needed to keep myself healthy to deal with it. I chose my therapist because his office is the one who did my psychological evaluation prior to surgery, so I knew they had experience with people like me. He helps me find healthy ways to deal with stress so that I am less likely to turn to more harmful coping mechanisms. He also zeroed in on what is probably my main reason for overeating within one session, so I’m pretty happy that I finally seem to have found my therapy match after so many failed attempts.
I’m happy to answer any and all questions (that I can) either now or later. If they’re short I can address them in the comments, but these two seemed like they needed more attention.
And don’t worry. I didn’t start blogging again to bore you with this stuff. We’ll be back to more fun subjects like photography and crazy stuff I do in short order. I did have to get this out, though, before I could blog about other things. It seemed to be the cork in the bottleneck of words for me, so hopefully now that it’s out I’ll have more to say.