So, reading my blog might leave one feeling that for the most part, I am having a pretty easy time dealing with life after weight loss surgery. For the most part, I’d say that is pretty true. You wouldn’t know it from this weekend, however.
Somehow, I have managed to get myself upset over a situation that I created. It is all in my head. I know this, but still, I have allowed it to control my moods. With a couple of exceptions, I pretty much moped around all weekend. In the past when I would get like this, I would over eat. I have not really been able to over eat since the surgery since my stomach is so small. I have manged to get my diet up to about 1200 calories per day. This means that my stomach pouch is a little bit bigger than it was shortly after the surgery. This is as it should be and I am right where the doctor wants me to be. That also means I can eat a little bit more.
Since the surgery, I have for the most part, been able to manage my stress level and keep my emotions in check. I have been much better about dealing with life. Friends have commented on the changes they see in me. They say I am more confident, I speak with more authority, and I carry myself differently. But for some reason, this weekend, I allowed something that has been bugging me to really get me down. That and some poor meal planning really left me struggling last night.
I have a hard time when my meal schedule gets thrown off track. Most of the time when it is time for me to eat, I do not actually feel hungry, or more to the point, my stomach doesn’t feel hungry. I just start feeling the effects of not having eaten enough. I get light-headed and cranky and eventually, my stomach starts to hurt. This usually means it has been probably six hours since I have eaten something and I have missed my protein snack. Bad Colleen.
I had been out yesterday and had not eaten for quite a while. I stopped at the grocery store because I knew I did not have anything that I could just eat right away. I was going to have to cook, which would mean another 30 minutes or more. I could not wait that long. I bought some food for the week and I bought a rotisserie chicken. This was the beginning of my downfall.
Pre-surgery, rotisserie chicken was one of my trigger foods. You can also include chips, pretzels, pizza, pretty much anything that was salty, crunchy, or savory would do the trick. And I didn’t just eat a little bit of it. I could eat almost an entire rotisserie chicken in one go. Same thing with chips. All or nothing. The bigger the bag, the better. Pizza, pretty much the whole pie.
For anyone not familiar with the terminology, this is called bingeing. Want to know what a binger looks like? Look it up in the dictionary and you will see a picture of me. Anyone who has suffered from bulimia is also familiar with bingeing, the difference is they follow it with some kind of “purge”. Purging can take many forms, vomiting, exercise, or laxatives are a few. I didn’t purge afterwards, unless you include tears of guilt.
The drive to binge is overwhelming and uncontrollable. Sometimes the binge starts out as hunger, just a meal. I tell myself I will buy the chicken and just have a little bit, combine it with a potato or rice and some veggies, bam – dinner. What really happens after I have the chicken home is something else entirely.
This is what happened to me last night. I was hungry. I was stressing out over my own self-created mellow-drama. I bought a rotisserie chicken.
Now, in my defense, I have bought rotisserie chickens since the surgery and had just a drumstick and some vegetables, put the rest in the refrigerator and was fine. That is not what happened last night, however. And it is really no excuse.
I put together my dinner, which was a piece of chicken and some fruit, and I sat down to eat in front of my computer. I knew I was having a hard time dealing with my emotions, so I decided to write about them. I started a word document and just started writing down everything that I was feeling. What I was not paying attention to was my eating. I just kept right on eating. I ate until my stomach started to really hurt. It hurt so much that I thought I was going to vomit. Fortunately, I did not.
I had two drumsticks and was working on a wing. I had also started to pick at the larger pieces of chicken. I was sitting on the edge of my bed in pain and ready to cry. I felt like I had really slipped up and felt guilty. I could not believe I had done that. I knew it was a mistake when I bought the chicken. I could feel it. But I thought that I had all of that under control. Clearly, I do not.
I did not save the rest of the chicken. I threw it into the trash can and then bagged up the trash, took it down the hall, and threw it into the garbage chute in my building. I then went back into my apartment and put my shoes on, grabbed my sweater, and took a good long walk. I had to leave the scene of the crime.
I took a book with me. I walked around my neighborhood for a very long time. I thought about everything that had just happened. I thought through my problem. I analyzed why I had allow myself to fall down that pit again. Then I stopped at the coffee shop and had a good hot cup of tea while I drowned my sorrows in the fantasy of a novel for a while.
When I finally returned home, I deleted the word document and cleaned up my mess. I did not really come up with any good solution to my problem. And there may not really be one other than to just let things be for a while.
There are some things in life I just cannot control and I need to accept that. What I can do is take charge of the things that I can control. I can control what I eat, the food I buy, and whether or not I allow this one incident to completely throw me off track.
I have had small mishaps since the surgery, accidentally having too much sugar, eating a little bit too fast, eating protein bars that made me a little sick, etc. I have paid the price for those mistakes, and I have learned how to handle them.
This was the first time I have really fallen completely off the wagon since October. I thought that I was beyond all of this, but I guess not. I learned something about myself last night and it was not pretty.