ROLY POLY ROARTY – PUSHING IT (TOM)

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rpr_body_w6This week has been a little different from previous weeks in that my pain has subsided greatly. To me, the most important aspect of this whole journey, which was to have the pain in my lower chest possibly being caused by crushed intestines, seems to have been fixed for the most part. That is really all I wanted from this operation from the start. There are still a few times a week that that stabbing pain comes back, but it is far less than the thee to six times a day I was getting those attacks before the surgery.

Now there is a new but familiar pain of getting back in shape again after trying to rest. It is amazing how fast your body will fall apart without exercise. Of course, with bariatric sleeve surgery, walking is a big thing. It was only a month ago that walking five miles a day was no big deal, but now it is a struggle to get there again. I’m doing it, but I’m way more conscious of it. Im still at a point where I am not allowed to lift weights, and I can literally feel the heaviness of my arms as I try to reach for things, which is also kind of exhausting. You really take for granted how much energy everyday common tasks take when you don’t do them for a long time.

I feel as if a lot of these issues were also caused by the liquid diet. I have to say that I do feel better since I started the soft food diet last week, although that may be a mental thing since bringing back some form of familiar foods is, in a way, helping me to see that there is normalcy ahead.

So far I have been able to avoid baby foods, which was a plan heading into the week, by finding some awesome meal options in online sleeve surgery groups. So far I have had scrambled eggs with some taco sauce on them, noodle-less lasagna, tortilla-less burritos and lots of low-fat cottage cheese with pineapple, which is comfort food in a way because it reminds me of my grandmother and the struggles she went through with her weight over the years.

There is also a great recipe for a crustless pumpkin pie dessert, and my saving grace to date: Halo Top ice cream, which is 240 calories a pint and filled with protein. The stuff is amazing! However, it is not all that easy to find, so two of my five-mile walks this week had the ulterior motive of hunting down different flavors at specialized markets in the area.

I have to say with the introduction of these foods, my mood has definitely improved, although I feel every time I put that in writing, I have a meltdown soon after. There is a huge difference in the amount I am eating. It is so hard to believe that I am the same person who would cover as much real estate on their plate as they could, never leaving a scrap by the end of a meal, to now eating four tablespoons of something and being done for the majority of the day. I try to get two meals in, but even that is not easy, I fill up very fast, and I am finally at the point where I am learning how to portion my foods correctly. In the beginning of the week, I’d make two eggs for myself and throw most of it out. Now I know to buy smaller eggs and scramble just one. My food bill has gone down tremendously, which is another benefit I hadn’t even really thought of.

Of course, there are still times that I will crave things I know my body is not were ready for, such as dumplings and peanut butter (oh, how I miss you, peanut butter), but I know what eating it would do to me. There is a strong burning feeling when you eat out of your new stomach’s capabilities, and anyone who has had the surgery will tell you, that is not a feeing you would want to experience, but it is a good way for your body to warn you to the hazards you may face if you decide to try and cheat your way through a healthy lifestyle.

Luckily, the brain knows how to shut down the cravings after that feeling for most people, which is a good thing. The other positive abut the surgery is now that the initial pain is gone, I can see the benefits of the weight loss. Going in to this, I had reached an all-time high weight of 302 pounds, which was partly due to my not being able to digest foods properly, Today, just three weeks since the surgery, I am down to 257!

I know I am by no means done losing yet, either. My goal weight is 160, and I realize there is a lot more work to do in order to get there. In one more week, I will be able to start working out, and with continued walking, things will get easier.

I am kinda liking the idea of having to spend all that money I am saving on food on new clothes in the coming months. People who know me also know I do love reinventing myself every so often, and this time around the change is hopefully going to be a little more drastic!

Categories: Roly Poly Roarty

Tom Roarty is a professional art director with a degree in graphic…

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