Tag Archive | food

“Mindful Eating”

I’ve spent 59 years eating a certain way.  I’m kinda used to it.  Now, that must change, and I’m finding it incredibly difficult in these beginning stages to adapt.  I’m one week (7 days) out from bariatric surgery, and am well aware of the “obvious changes” with my new way of eating ~ smaller portions, no carbs, no sugar ~ but there are so many small nuances associated with eating that I never took into consideration that I’m now having to contend with.

**First, let me explain the term “dumping” ~ it’s something that potentially happens to a bariatric surgery patient, for life, post surgery:

“Dumping syndrome after gastric bypass surgery is when food gets “dumped” directly from your stomach pouch into your small intestine without being digested. There are 2 types of dumping syndrome: early and late. Early dumping happens 10 to 30 minutes after a meal. Late dumping happens 1 to 3 hours after eating.  What are the symptoms of dumping syndrome after gastric bypass surgery?

Most people have early dumping symptoms. Typical early dumping symptoms can include:

Bloating

Sweating

Abdominal cramps and pain

Nausea/Vomiting

Facial flushing

Stomach growling or rumbling

An urge to lie down after the meal

Heart palpitations and fast heartbeat

Dizziness or fainting

Diarrhea

About 1 in 4 people have late dumping symptoms. The symptoms of late dumping syndrome can include:

Heart palpitations

Sweating

Hunger

Confusion

Fatigue

Aggression

Tremors

Fainting”

**From the University of Rochester Medical Center Encyclopedia**

Nobody wants to go through this, right?  Least of all me!  So, basically, from my perspective, the rest of my life will be dedicated to avoiding this very possibility.  Although, I do understand that, as time progresses, you learn what to avoid from experience.  I also understand that, just because you might eat a hard boiled egg in the morning and be fine, doesn’t mean you won’t eat the same thing in the afternoon and not dump.  And I knew this going in.  I’m just trying to help ya’ll understand.

So, imagine going through your life thinking about, thinking ahead, reading ingredients of every morsel that may enter your lips and gauge it for whether or not it’s going to make you sick.  I’m already at that threshold.  What I didn’t count on are all the little ways we put food in our mouths without much forethought.  I went out into the world today, my first post-surgery solo drive to pick up a couple of things at the local WalMart.  I had to keep reminding myself that there was literally nothing in that store that I could “safely” eat right now.  I’m so used to just picking things up off the shelves, grabbing fruit that looks yummy, some decadent ice cream, and how about that checkout?  FULL of temptation!  Every single thing there designed to make me sicker than hell.  Reese’s peanut butter cup?  So innocent!  Surely!  Ummmm, no!

I managed to leave the store purchasing only a few food items that would be yummy for my husband.  I got into my car and sat there for a second.  Something from a drive-thru was missing.  I typically would go to a drive-thru after shopping, or to a smaller store to get some awesome goodies before I head home.  Or maybe stop at the drug store and, while there, just pick up some crackers ~ they’re surely harmless.  No again.  What made things worse is that I wasn’t even hungry!  Imagine if I were even hungry a little bit how much stronger the temptation would be!

I’m probably reeking of paranoia right now.  I can currently only eat about 5 items (water, protein drinks, bouillon, sugar free popsicles and just added sugar free pudding.  But, even those 5 items were “tolerance tested” prior to consuming.  I tried just a taste on my tongue or lip and waited about 5 minutes before even sipping 1/8 of a teaspoon.  Sip, wait.  Sip, wait.  So far, so good!  This weekend I can start pureed foods!  (digging out my Ninja!)

Tammy mums

Lavender mums as a get-well from a very special friend.

Indeed, it’s early in the game for me and I’m pretty much scared of everything.  I’ve already experience the abdominal pain associated with sneezing and coughing ~ 6 incisions are still healing and very sore.  I cannot even think of how painful and frightening it would be to vomit at this point!

Thanks for stopping by, and pardon my paranoia.  This, too, shall pass.

~ Tamara

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July 31, 2017; Journal Entry 3: De-Carbonated

Well, it’s been 6 days without any carbonated drinks.  I’m pretty proud of myself for that.  I’m pretty well addicted to Pepsi, or any other soda.  I’ve known for a long time, and I didn’t need Dr. M to tell me, that carbonated drinks are SO bad for you.  I just hadn’t gotten to the point where I really cared enough about my own health to stop drinking it.  And, indeed, it’s been a very difficult week.  I wish I was  one of those people who could just chug water and be happy and healthy.  I’m a flavor addict.  If it doesn’t taste good, I want nothing to do with it.  I’ve tried some of those little bottled flavorings that you add to water, but they give me heartburn.  So, I don’t know what the future holds in store for me to drink… I might just have to bite the bullet and drink the flavorless water anyway.  I’m in this for the long run.

I’d like to say I’ve been doing exceptionally well with my food intake.  But I’m not feeling guilty about it, as Dr. M (the endocrinologist) said he doesn’t want me to change my eating habits until I get my blood workup done next month.  Even so, I’m consciously holding back and eating better.  Mostly.  Dr. M said he would be “teaching me” how to eat/avoid carbs etc. after the blood workup comes back.  I’m hoping when I go see  him again that I’ve lost some weight.

Even so, I have this scary symptom(s) that does not seem to abide by my rules.  It rears its ugly head whenever/wherever.  Usually when I have to stand for any length of time.  First I’ll break into a profuse sweat (soaking anything/anyone around me), then my hands will begin to shake, then my arms and, if I don’t find a place to sit fast enough, my entire body will tremble.  My breathing will come much faster and uncontrollable, and to the point where I will pass out.  The only resource to stop it is to sit down for around 15 minutes at least.  It can be terrifying.

I will be contacting my primary care doc about this one!

So, that’s about it for tonight.  Not so much.  I’m distracted and need to go quilt.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  Blessings ~ Tamara

 

July 27, 2017; Journal Entry 2: Eat Clean ~

I guess the term “eat clean” is the mantra for those (of us) who are trying to get healthier, lose weight, and live (not a “better life”) up to our potential. I haven’t researched all that is involved in this journey yet, it’s going to take awhile to take it all in. Besides, Al reminded me that Dr. M doesn’t want me to change my eating habits just yet. He wants me to be “raw” (in my natural state of gut health) for when I get all of this blood work done that he has requested. That’s next month. He said after he sees the results, THEN “we’ll talk”! He said he is going to teach me how to read carbs (and avoid them), sugars, fructose ~ I sure hope he teaches me how to replace them with stuff that tastes good! Regardless, there is plenty of information out here on the web just for the asking. And I already have several/many friends who are supportive and willing to help. One particularly special lady in one of my quilt groups has requested to be my partner in my endeavor! I almost cried! We’ve exchanged phone numbers and will keep in touch with each other throughout the journey. One of my goals is to lose enough weight to be able to fly down to see her next year (she’s in Florida). No, I won’t fly like “this”. Massively obese and unhealthy. I filled the dishwasher yesterday and had to take a shower afterwards as I’d broken out into a soaking sweat. Then, drying myself from the shower made me all sweaty again. No, I want to go to Florida and not be ashamed to wear shorts, or even a bathing suit, or sleeveless shirt or tank top.

Anyway, the research begins. Mostly, I need to find good, clean alternatives to the crap I’ve been eating ~ and it’s gotta taste good. Flavor is my downfall. Can’t they make a nice, dark lettuce that tastes like a potato chip? Is that asking too much? I’m not kidding myself, this is going to be tough. I’ve been craving carbonation all day so far. Soda will be the hardest thing for me to give up… but I am determined. I want so hard to make this work this time. No tricks, no special pills ~ just healthy eating and bring in some exercise and I’ll get there. I HAVE to.

Input is very welcome in the comments. Know of a good, healthy recipe? I have an awesome Ninja blender that could make rocks into a smoothy. What’s yummy?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Blessings ~ Tamara

Love/Hate Relationship ~

I hate food.  I seriously, really hate it.  You might ask, how can someone so fat hate food?  Well, I can hate it, but I still have to have it to live.  If only it weren’t that way at all.  I hate how it makes me feel, and I hate that it’s my own fault that it makes me feel that way.  It all comes back to me, and I acknowledge that.

When my siblings and I were kids, my Mom was an awesome cook.  We were made sure to have three meals a day, two of which were usually home cooked.  Don’t forget to add on those after school snacks, and the ice cream or pop corn before bed.  And no, we did not eat either healthy portions or healthy foods.  And I’ve always been “large” – yeah, that means fat.  Always.

Now, since I’ve become “aware” that I hate how fat I am, I hate how I look and I would love to feel better about myself by losing weight, I’ve examined every possible reason for WHY I am so overweight.  I’m thinking if I can understand the reason why, I can change my lifestyle and get some weight loss going on here.  I’ve come down to the conclusion that I just plain and simple love the taste of it.  If it were socially acceptable to eat a meal, chew it up and spit it out rather than swallow it, that would be my Utopia.  I have very strong taste buds, and they are a source of great pleasure for me.

I have tried, over and over, even very recently, to change my lifestyle, my way of eating and my food choices… and it works, for awhile.  I cannot maintain that for very long.  Let’s face it, a breakfast sandwich and Frappe from McD’s is a whole lot better tasting than a bowl of oatmeal and an apple or banana.  Even if it fills me to the extent that it makes me feel like absolute crap afterwards.  I’ve proven I can lose the weight if I can eat right.  I have not yet proven that I can maintain eating right of my own free will.  I’ve tried to tempt myself with nice clothing, with “do it for Al”, “do it for yourself”, “do it for your grandchildren”, “do it for God”!  I cannot get myself on board for any length of time.

I found myself feeling like an absolute blimp at lunch today after eating a KFC “bowl” and a McD’s medium Frappe.  I STILL feel awful, and I will not want to eat dinner with my husband as a family.  But, I will, because that’s what families “do”.  I felt full at lunch after eating only about 1/3 of the bowl, but I kept going.  This little voice in my head kept saying “Finish your plate.  There are people starving in Africa.”  I looked at my bowl and could not get myself to throw it away!  And now I’m paying the price with discomfort.  Serves me right!

Did I tell you that in 1988 I had my stomach stapled?  It worked so well, but was not without its nightmares!  Even today, I have a very small capacity for food in my stomach.  A half sandwich will do me fine for lunch.  A small bowl of cereal for breakfast is great, and one hotdog (no bread) and 3-4 fries is all I need to be full for dinner.  But still I choose to overeat.  Is it truly a flavor addiction?  I wonder.

After I first had my surgery, it took me months/years to “learn” how to re-eat so I didn’t make myself sick.  Not sure I ever really did get that down (so to speak).  I vividly remember eating the “wrong thing” more often than not, and spending hours, sleepless nights even, vomiting or wanting to vomit but being unable to.  You see, I’d rather die than vomit.  In fact, to me, vomiting is the closest thing to death without actually dying.  So, in many ways, I simply refused to allow myself to when it probably would’ve made me feel better in the long run.  And, back in the 80’s, we did not have “support groups” for fat surgery.  Even so, I did lose weight.  I lost 30 lbs before I ever left the hospital.  Then I continued to lose through the 80’s and 90’s and it was GR8!  Overall, I think I lost about 98-99 lbs before it leveled off and I began to gain again.  I learned that eating junk food digested easier, tasted better and made me feel better.

It was a tough road, and it took a long time, but I finally gained back all the weight I’d lost and a little more!  Success!!  ???  That’s where I am today.  Sitting here approximately 5-6″ from my desk because my ample belly is in the way from me reaching my desk.  That ample belly that I know is the greatest risk of me dying sooner rather than later.  What’s it going to take before I finally hit rock bottom and decide I need to start losing (again) and maintain it?!  A heart attack?  And someone needs to have a serious discussion with my enabling husband.  I have had such a discussion many times, but he does not maintain it either.  He brings me chocolate, ice cream before bed, soda…  I’m not blaming him, as he does it out of love and wanting to please me.  I have, in the past, begged him not to capitulate to my food whims.  Neither of us maintains.  Sometimes I look at him like he’s a saboteur, then feel bad.  He has this “way” of guilting me into eating, even if I am full and don’t want to!  At dinner, “Aren’t you going to eat something?”  “Aren’t you going to eat with me?”  Eating is always  a social event to him.  We go to visit his mom, we must eat and eat big (she used to be, but no longer, a gourmet cook).  I’d try to nibble just a little of each thing, but was always pushed by his family for not eating enough.  He never did speak up for me, even knowing I could potentially spend the entire 2 1/2 hr ride home sicker than a dog.

More food for thought?  Recently there were two incidents that happened that really brought it to the forefront, once more.  Shopping at Lane Bryant at Destiny USA – cause that’s the only “fat store” locally that might have something pretty for Valentine’s Day, I was browsing in the lingerie department cause I’m “older” but I ain’t dead.  I just wanted something new and pretty for our special V Day weekend.  A customer service person approached me and asked if she could help.  I explained I was looking for something special for Valentine’s Day and she actually took me my the arm and redirected me away from the pretty, sexy things to the frumpy, cotton, tee shirt type crap!  She said “Oh, we have something just right for you right over here.”  I left informed, not insulted.

The second recent eye opener was literally an eye opener.  I was going through our 2013 vacation photos and came across several Al had taken of me, and I gave them a thorough examination.  I was simply aghast.  I had no idea that I was that big!  You know how you have a certiain idea of what you look like to others?  I was duped.  I didn’t look “that bad” in the bathroom mirror, which is quite large.  Holy cow!  Meant literally, or something more like a pinniped (seal).  It embarrassed me to myself.  A couple months ago I was thinking I was a pretty beautiful woman, but this was NOT beautiful!  I just kind of stared at some of the photos of myself for a few minutes, burning the memory into my mind so as to give me momentum to maintain once again.

So, here I am.  This is, essentially, a vent.  It’s one of those “ate too much at lunch, feel like crap and wanna puke” vents.  I’ve never been this honest about this aspect of my life, but here it is.  This is my life.  Where am I going from here?  Well, I’m not going to give up!  I’m going to go home and have yet another talk with my enabler husband, shop for better foods (fresh fruits/veggies) and get back on the wagon yet again.  Dinner tonight?  I doubt it.  Lunch today will last me clear into tomorrow mid-morning.  “Sorry Honey, eating by yourself tonight.  I’m going to work on my quilt, I’m not hungry!” 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  TTFN – Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave: Down 20 Lbs.

I’ve met my first weight loss goal.  Earlier this week, I weighed in at 306, which is exactly 20 lbs. lighter than when I began at 326 on July 15th, 2013.  Now it seems “real” to me.   I’m thinking that can’t just be “water weight”… maybe I’m actually, seriously losing poundage.  This is a happening that has not occurred since 2001 when I lost some 45 lbs while training for the Kona Marathon for the American Heart Association!  Always, the scale has continued to rise.  Maybe I’ve turned a corner in my own life for a change!

I’m going to do it… what a lot of other weight loss enthusiasts are doing, which is taking “before” and “after” photos.  THIS is what I would consider BRAVE!  Way braver than just putting my weight out there!  But it’s a part of my determination and accountability for my weight loss.  Mind you, I’m not saying I’m going to POST such photos ~ that is currently beyond my bravery limit.  But, maybe, some time in the future.

20kf72e

But, I’m looking ahead and thinking of my Weight Watchers scale as my friend… good or bad.  I was introduced to a website called “FatSecret” and I signed on.  I really don’t like the NAME of it, but the content and stuff that it does to help me chronicle my weight loss journey is pretty cool.  Including a calorie counter, a journal, forums, blogs, exercise stuff, low calorie recipes etc. etc.  So far, I’m liking it.

So, that’s today’s update.  Looking forward to when I can report the NEXT 20 lb loss!  BTW, I had a checkup at my doc’s earlier this week and he was VERY pleased!  He even gave me a hug!  Also, all of my “levels” have finally begun to get better!  Cholesterol, sugar, yada yada yada… all that stuff.  I’m so happy, I’m in stitches!  (quilter’s joke)

Thanks for stopping by and checking in with me.  Would love encouraging comments, or even critical ones.  Either way, until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt