Home > Uncategorized > Three months after bariatric surgery

Three months after bariatric surgery

Well it’s been a bit more than 3 months since my gastric sleeve surgery and I wanted to give an update.

Clothes

I finished cleaning out my closet yesterday. All my old clothes are gone. I’m ashamed of just how many clothes I had to get rid of. I’ve gone from a size 24 to a size 18, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve decided to go goth.

That means my closet has basically only black clothes in it now. I made a handful of exceptions for stuff I didn’t throw out that was way too small for me 3 months ago, knitted things, and some workout clothes that are not black.

Going goth has been lots of fun, and deciding in advance what to buy has been a time saver as well as efficient. Since everything is black, everything goes with everything else. And since I’m vaguely looking for a certain type of clothing in a specific color, it means I can narrow down my shopping goals quite quickly. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have no rules and start buying a new wardrobe.

The only downside is that it’s kind of boring. But I think that will change once we enter winter and I can wear colorful scarves and hats, that are guaranteed to go with my black outfits. Also, I’m not sure what black summer dresses will be like. I might need a different rule for summer things. Suggestions welcome.

Food

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have more or less changed my entire eating style since the surgery. I rarely eat meat, although I sometimes eat sashimi (especially salmon). I tend to avoid desserts because I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, and things that seemed bland to me before taste rich to me now, which means I don’t seek out buttery things anymore, since olive oil is already buttery to me.

I more or less live off of a quinoa recipe I learned about in college, which is spicy, savory, and somewhat cheesy:

  1. saute one or two heads of garlic, one or two onions, a bell pepper, a few chopped potatoes, and some hot peppers in olive oil until soft
  2. add 2.5 cups of quinoa and 5 cups of water, simmer for 25 minutes
  3. put a bag of shredded cheese on top, stick in 325 degree oven for 12 minutes

I think the most important difference in my eating now versus before the surgery is how hunger works with me. I still get hungry, but it’s of a totally different nature than it used to be.

So before, if I got hungry, it was like a loud panic button in my brain had been set off. I had to eat, and I’d scavenge the fridge for something to turn off the noise. Nowadays, I realize I’m getting hungry, but it simply means that I have to start thinking about food pretty soon. I have time, for example, to cook quinoa as described above, even though it takes at least an hour.

One positive consequence: I have more time to think

One negative consequence: I can never, ever, ever overeat. I have never really tried to do this, and so I’ve never thrown up or anything, but trust me, I’ve gotten uncomfortable. It’s not something you want to do regularly. It makes you regret your choices.

Exercise

I’ve started running. For the first time in maybe 12 years, I’m regularly jogging. And when I say jogging, to be clear I’m incredibly slow and I don’t go far – it’s fair to say that speed walkers would easily overtake me – but it’s something I couldn’t have done 3 months ago so that’s cool.

But it’s also necessary. I have lots of anxiety, and I need to let out steam somehow. I’m trying my best to make that healthy rather than unhealthy.

Why am I so anxious? I don’t know. It’s hard being a parent to teenagers. It’s hard being a woman in this age of misogyny. It’s hard being a human in this age of political cruelty.

I don’t want to become an alcoholic. I’ve noticed that, since my operation, alcohol works really really well. It hits me hard, it makes me forget my problems, it takes me on a fast ride. It also ends soon and I don’t end up with a hangover. What’s not to love? Except I have plenty of reasons to know better.

Moreover, I have lost food as a source of comfort. To be honest, I don’t think I ever had a disordered way of eating (except for the doctor-approved diets I went on!) but I did know how to comfort myself with food. And before you blame my obesity on that, let me suggest that thin people comfort themselves with food all the time but aren’t accused of bad behavior.

That’s not to say I don’t love my quinoa – I do! – or that I don’t like running – I do! – but that it’s more like an outlet to deal with anxiety and grief than I’d like it to be.

Long story short, I’m doing great, and I feel healthy, and the world still is what it is.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Michael Scanlan
    October 31, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Congratulations – Very Positive Attitude

    Like

  2. October 31, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Love the update! Thanks.

    George J. Peacock 301-704-2440

    Like

  3. Mickey Gillmor
    October 31, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Great that you are doing well!! Hooray!

    Monochromatic clothing: I wore only shades of purple for many years and it DOES make shopping really easy! Could your summer problem be solved with grays?

    Recipe: 1-2 HEADs of garlic? Really??? Cloves of garlic maybe? I do know people who might mean heads, but . . . that’s a LOT of garlic!

    Like

  4. deaneyang
    October 31, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Just want to say that I’m very happy to hear that things are going well. Do you still drink coffee? Maybe we could meet some time

    Like

  5. October 31, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Your adoring public wants photos of you in Goth!

    Like

  6. Nutt Eugene
    October 31, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Great move, each coming year will leave in much better straights, Happy.

    What a story, adventure working your way big time.

    Regards,

    Like

  7. Louisa Wu
    October 31, 2017 at 11:26 am

    so inspiring and honest!
    suggestions for summer clothes: white (to contrast the black) but then it stains easily? grays (like the summer version of black). maybe earth tones or something the same color as soy sauces stains?

    Like

  8. dotkaye
    October 31, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    ” thin people comfort themselves with food all the time”
    quite true, and I also stay myself with flagons, buying Scotch by the jug since 11/9 released all the demons.
    anxiety and grief seem to burn a lot of calories though.

    Glad you are running and able to run, I have found that a great boon and solace.

    Like

  9. October 31, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I eat a lot of soup. Two things that make the soup taste great is “Super Fine Almond Flour” and “Better than Bouillon (that comes in three flavors: vegetable base, beef base, and chicken base – I use the vegetable one)”. One of the owners of the health food restaurant called Lettuce Inn taught me about using the Super Fine Almond Flour as part of the base for the soup and a friend introduced me to the Better than Bouillon, I found both products at Costco. I also add garlic, quinoa, organic beans of my choice, a variety of vegetables, et al.

    Like

  10. Emily Bell
    October 31, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Extraordinarily proud of you…my aim is to join you on a jog once I have….er….well maybe cheer you on XX

    Like

  11. Guest2
    October 31, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for the update!

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest runs stories in “Nutrition Action Health Letter” about the food situation in America (and now, sadly, the world). Researchers are trying to grasp the changes that have occurred. See April 2017 cover story, “What Makes Us Eat Too Much.”

    How are you sleeping? One of the issues with success (viz., your book launch and follow up) is that it energizes and intensifies periods of high “emotional energy,” which is not sustainable in the long term. Randall Collins’ e-book, Napoleon Never Slept, covers the ups and downs.
    Life is good when expectations and achievements are weakly monotonic, but not good when they bounce around. Nate Ware, The Expectation Gap is excellent on this (probably the only TED talk that I like).

    Like

  12. October 31, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Congratulations.

    Jogging never did it for me. I’m arythmic when it comes to zumba classes. But I thrive in kickboxing class and I’m much older than you. Perhaps some structured gym class could work for you better than solitary jogging. Also just walking along the river(s) for a couple of miles a day can do wonders. It does for me. Good luck whatever you do.

    Like

  13. Carrie Davidson
    November 1, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing all that. I really appreciate what you shared about your feelings about food. I’m on the thin side but definitely related to the anxious voices in your head pre-surgery. I still have them. I never plan or have the patience to cook a nice dinner. I eat cereal for dinner a lot. Anyway, thank you for your honesty. 🙋

    Like

  14. Bobito
    November 2, 2017 at 4:34 am

    “It’s hard being a woman in this age of misogyny”

    What gets my attention about this is that without any doubt there has never been any moment in history when there was less misogyny operating than there is now.

    Like

  15. Bobito
    November 2, 2017 at 4:37 am

    About alcohol: Maybe it’s a slight exaggeration, but the intent of this comment should be clear to those who think statistically, there are two things that people do that in general dwarf all the other things with respect to their potentially negative health consequences – they are drinking alcohol and riding in cars. All the rest is comparatively marginal if one does either of these things.

    Like

  16. November 2, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Have you read the food paradox? Very interesting book and he suggest pressure cooking quinoa and other foods we are not evolved to eat. Glad you’re doing well with your diet and hunger!

    Like

  17. November 4, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Great update! I recently joined a study for fitness motivation, and I have a activity tracker/watch which I upload its readings each night so the daily goals can be monitored. I found it boring to just walk around the neighborhood (and sometimes didn’t hit my goal), then I added Pokemon GO to my routine – I’m now outperforming the daily activity goal, since I’ve actual (virtual) places to go on my walk. Sort of silly, but using the two together has kept me from slacking off, and since the study is for a two year period, I figure the daily habit will be a concrete habit after the study is over. Keep moving, and keep us updated on your progress!

    Like

  18. calcroteaus
    November 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Always a fascinating read when you provide updates on your progress.
    BTW…
    You’re an alcoholic when you decide you are an alcoholic. Until then…enjoy!

    Like

  19. Auros
    November 12, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    That quinoa sounds tasty. There’s a place in SF that I used to get lunch from regularly, when I worked up there, that did a killer quinoa-and-arugula salad, in a Spanish-inflected style — sherry vinaigrette with smoked paprika, and shredded manchego. So very yum.

    Like

  20. November 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Glad to hear your update — and love that you’re going goth. I’m thinking of going goth too, just because it’s winter and everything i own is mostly dark blue or black anyway. hang in tight. teenagers are difficult but your kids are great ❤

    Like

  21. A. Wallace
    November 16, 2017 at 6:17 am

    I am sorry to hear that you feel anxious sometimes. If that is the case, it is for the wrong reason. You are a great source of inspiration for women like me, and men as well. I enjoyed reading your excellent book. Thank you again for writing it.

    Like

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