Well, that was a certainly a week.

In addition to the election and the fallout that came after, our resident couch potato — who is more the healthier sweet potato version these days, really — headed back to the grind after being off the past few weeks following his bariatric surgery.

Let’s catch up with him on how that went, what issues he’s facing now and, of course, Election Night.

How was it going back to work this week after having the past six weeks off to recover from surgery?

If I just said “exhausting,” would that be too short of an answer?

Actually, as much as I was having anxiety attacks the night before about going back, it was pretty, pretty, pretty good getting in the groove again.

You look like quite the different person now. What was everyone’s reaction?

It’s strange because the first day, everybody I ran into kind of made a big deal about it, and then there are people who I didn’t see until Thursday, and they were kind of surprised about it because they thought I’d been on vacation the whole time. Who goes on vacation that long and loses weight?!

What was your biggest concern about going back to work after surgery?

Well, this just happens to be our busiest time of year, which means there’s not a lot of time to leave the building when people start bringing their lunches in to eat at their desks. Luckily, my officemate wasn’t here most of the week, and I was very glad he wasn’t, because man, even though I hate garlic, I fucking wanted his pizza.

It’s the smelling of the foods and the seeing of the foods that was the biggest concern for me. It’s not like being in the safety of your own home.

How did you handle eating? Do you plan on doing anything differently next week?

I don’t know. This week, every day I’ve gotten an oatmeal and sugar-free iced tea from Dunkin Donuts, and each time, it lasted me from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

That’s gross. 

I started bringing in protein to add to it, so it seems kind of like an economical choice, until, of course, somebody brings a slice of pizza into the office.

Aside from being a working stiff again, how do you feel?

For the most part, I feel really good. I feel like while I was out, I was feeling physically strong, but now, being back in the office, I think I’m becoming more mentally strong.

What’s your biggest post-surgery issue right now?

As of right now, I don’t think there’s too much of an issue. Starting today, I get to have crunchy foods like toast and crackers, which is kind of a big deal because I feel it is the last piece to getting back to all the normal food groups.

I will say that the changing of the diet and being out of the house and back in a routine is definitely putting me in a better mental place than when I was pre-op going into work since the original pain has diminished.

What’s your favorite cracker?

Ritz! Although if you make a matzo ball soup and that counts as a cracker, I’d totally go for that.

You are wearing things I haven’t seen in a long time, including, gasp, non-black T-shirts. What’s that like for you?

It’s only because I ran out of black polo shirts! I feel my clothing options have changed. My normal clothes don’t look the same because they are bigger, and it’s like my wardrobe more than doubled since I kept so many clothes that I grew out of.

OK, the election. I woke up just before 3 a.m. and found you more emotional than I’d ever seen you before as Trump was giving his victory speech. Did you have moments where you were battling emotional eating as the night progressed?

Yes, it started the second we turned the TV on. The entire night, I kept getting up and going into the kitchen, looking around and walking back out again. Every time I was doing it, I knew I was in danger of comfort eating since I knew I wasn’t hungry.

Now that the election is over, I feel there might be a lot more of that behavior in the future. I just have to remember to turn right back around and walk out. At least it’s cardio, right!?

And finally, do you, at this exact moment, recommend bariatric surgery?

If someone really needs it for something outside of cosmetic reasons, I do. I think people should really, really, really research every aspect of it, because the one thing that you don’t look up is going to turn your life upside down until you come to terms with it.


For me, the diet. When we were going over the diet, I feel it was communicated in very broad strokes. When we started getting into the details during the pre- and post-op weeks, I realized just how much I’d be missing — some things forever.

What is gone forever?

Soda is the huge one.

I think you mean “yuge.” 

Categories: Roly Poly Roarty

When Nikki M. Mascali is not working as a journalist in New…

Leave A Reply