Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Post Lapband Changes

Yesterday I posted a response to someone on obesity help about ideas for protein sources. I listed a bunch of seafood options and this morning I got a reply post that stated: "I don't eat seafood". This got me thinking about how much this band has changed me. It also got me thinking about how important it has been in the process to make those changes in my life but also how those changes can cause difficulty.


Pre-band I said "I don't eat" a lot. I didn't eat brussel sprouts. I didn't eat seafood. I didn't eat pork. I didn't eat brown meat. I didn't drink hot drinks. I didn't eat what I termed brown foods (health food type items) what is worse than this close minded attitude towards a whole range of foods is that whenever I made these statements I did so with a holier than thou attitude towards anyone who did.

What did I eat instead? hamburgers, french fries, chicken breast, steak, lots of pasta dishes. If it could be made fast I ate it. I ate in my car frequently and through drive up windows. I ate out frequently and sure occasionally had a nice rich calorie laden salad but more often than not I would either choose a burger or a rich pasta dish.

For Breakfast I often had a cheese sandwich (two thick slices of french bread or baguette with at least two ounces of cheddar cheese and butter. For lunch it would be leftovers. Either some box of take-home or the occasional large quantity of leftovers from a home-made meal (two or more cups of spaghetti reheated or three pieces of pizza was not uncommon). If I had my lunch via drive up window I would have a two cheese-burgers meal tossing back a medium french fry followed by both cheeseburgers and washing it all down with a diet coke. on particularly bad days I might follow this up with an ice cream a couple of hours later. Dinner would be late-around 7pm and it was often out-Chinese, Red Robin, or Indian food. I would knock back two or more cups of chicken tikka masala, a burger and fries at Red Robin or Orange chicken. In between these meals I am sure there were lots of mindless snacks that I did not even register or remember.

Today is very different. I approach my food as an adventure. I think this may have something to do with the fact that with such small quantities I want the biggest bang for my buck I can get. I want each bite to be of high quality and I want it packed with flavor. My favorite foods now are seafood. Grace, David and I shop the vegetables to try new things and the fish aisle to see what we can experiment with.

A good day (I don't know if typical exists anymore). A morning skim peppermint mocha. lunch-1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich, or 2-3 squares of cheese and crackers. I usually have a mid-afternoon snack when Grace gets home from school. Yesterday it was another latte and 1/2 a cookie. Sometimes it an ice cream cone while other times i behave myself a bit better and have a protein bar or a yogurt. Dinner is almost always home cooked these days. This week we had chicken curry (chicken breast, curry powder, rice, raisins and peas) on Monday. On Tuesday it was Chicken pot pie with a powder milk biscuit topping. I eat these out of a coffee mug or small glass bowl to help my eye register the 1/2 c I will be able to eat. Some of our other favorite dinners are turkey burger cottage pie, spaghetti with turkey burger meat sauce, home-made fish and chips and salmon patties.


Before I did a lot of sitting. I would get David or Grace to go get things for me. Laundry piled up, dishes piled up. I had piles of papers and books next to my chair along with a daily pile of dishes or pop cans. I was tired a lot. My legs ached a lot and my ankles were often swollen. I drove my long commute to work and yes I did run into buildings for observations and teach workshops on my feet. During those times I was constantly looking for things to lean on or sit on so that I could take the pressure off my legs, back and feet. I drove around parking lots to find good spots to park in.

Today I move. I still have 'my seat' in the family room and I still do spend plenty of time on the computer or watching TV but when I want or need something I get up and get it for myself. The dishes are almost always done, the laundry is washed, folded and put away reasonably quickly. I don't crawl out of bed slowly because my body hurts although I might still want to stay in it for its warm and cozy qualities. My legs don't hurt. My back doesn't hurt. I walk around the classroom when I teach now instead of perching myself on the furniture. I walk up three flights of stairs to my office instead of waiting for the elevator. I park at the first spot i can find when shopping (usually near the road entrance) and walk to the door. I have the urge to get up from the couch and go do something now (this always puts me a bit off kilter and I have to do a mental check every time the urge hits-what? are you sure you want to go do something?)...usually it is to take a bike ride. On the weekend I worked and dug in my garden two afternoons in a row and had a grand old time.


I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here...but man o man weight-loss increases ones libido and flexibility and stamina.

Outlook on Life

This is a bit of an odd one. On the one hand I have found a zest for life that I am so extremely happy with. The world is my apple and I want to experience each day actively. Ont he down side I have become a tad more impatient. My family is used to the old me and the slower pace and interactions I have had with them for years. It makes them uncomfortable sometimes when they expect me to always be at the end of the phone for them or willing to wile away an evening or weekend doing nothing.

David and I have had some conflicts lately. He married me as a fat person and our togetherness was largely sitting companionably next to each other watching a film or working separately on our computers. I think in all marriages there are times when a couple are on the same page and then others when they are out of sync. In changing my lifestyle with this band somethings have improved (like family meal times) while others have hopped me onto a separate path from him. I would desperately like to ride our bikes together or work int he garden together or go do stuff that isn't food or shopping related. I get a tad impatient sometimes with this (or in an uncleaned up version..get really pissed off and snark at him to get off his dead arse).

Before the band and weight-loss I always felt like I was sitting at the bottom of a canyon with steep rocky sides. I never had enough energy to climb out and kept slipping back down rolling around like violet in the old version of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. During this time David was half-way up the sides throwing me the occasional rope and saying come on up. The view is great up here. Now I feel like I have climbed out of the canyon and am now standing at the top looking back down at him and trying to pull him up...the only problem is you can't pull anyone else out. They have to climb out on their own and that bugs the hell out of me.


tessierose said...

Wow, what a great post. I'm looking forward to all of those changes in my life too. My husband is embracing my life style changes and we are really in sync right now. I sure hope it continues. The image of the canyon brought tears to my eyes, I can so identify.

amandakiska said...

Great insight, Tina! This is really an amazing post. Thank you for sharing. You are so inspirational.

DB said...

Awesome post - I can totally relate to som much of this.

Jacquie said...

Great post Tina!

Girl Bandit said...

Great post. I am sure David will catch up with you soon. You have changed in lots of positive ways. Did you get the book???

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