Tuesday the 12th was my pre-surgery meeting with my dietitian. She gave me a lot of information, much of which I already knew, but it was good to go over it again. I needed a refresher, and this time I had my husband with me. He hadn’t been to any previous meetings, so we both wanted him to come to this one so he would have the opportunity to ask any questions he might have had.
Today, the 13th, I started my pre-op diet. I am to drink five to six protein drinks a day, take two multivitamins a day, and then drink only clear liquids the rest of the time if I still insist on putting something into my mouth. And that’s it. So far, it’s…going. The mixture they’ve got me on is ok, I suppose, but my first impression of it…wasn’t too impressed. I was worried at first about how I was only supposed to be drinking eight ounces of it at a time. Now I’m happy about that.
Before beginning this very restricted diet, I had two primary reactions to the idea.
Number one, relief. I don’t feel so much pressure to eat things I know I shouldn’t anymore. I have a prescribed, pre-op diet that I have to stick to—the goal is to make me lose two percent of my body weight and shrink my liver prior to surgery. So if I want to go under the knife—and I do—I need to keep to my restricted diet.
Despite how limited my food choices currently are, it’s pretty freeing. Hungry? I’ll have a protein drink, thanks. I don’t have to decide what to eat anymore, at least for the time being, because the choice has already been made for me. And, as I mentioned, I don’t feel any pressure from my internal monster to eat junk. It’s this weird compulsion I’ve always had where if I knew there were cookies in the house, I had to eat them. Now it doesn’t matter if there are cookies in the house, because I can’t eat them.
And number two, there is a five year-old walking around inside my head, stamping her feet and grousing that she can’t have whatever she bloody well wants to eat. (Incidentally, someone needs to wash her mouth out with soap.) This is a familiar feeling to me, and one of the primary causes of my poor willpower in the past. If I want a food item but I know I can’t have it, I feel…angry. Hurt—like, emotionally, like a bigger kid just walked up and stole my lunch money or something. This again leads into that whole why do I have such a strong emotional connection to food? question.
For now I’m trying to focus on the first reaction—ignore the addiction withdrawal and instead keep in mind the relief I feel that the choice has been made for me—and take things one day at a time. I’m going in for a weight check next week to make sure I’m getting down around where they want me prior to surgery, and I need to reach that goal if I want to avoid having to postpone the operation. I’ll worry about the other diet and lifestyle changes when I get there.
Weight as of today:
Days until surgery: