My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.
Yesterday was my first day out of the house after my surgery. I felt good to be out of the house. Not that I really did much. Every place I went I spent my time sitting so I wouldn’t hurt my incisions or my staples. Still, I was pretty worn out by the time I got home.
One of the things I did was attend a family reunion at my parents’ house. Two of my older sisters were there, the two who have had their own bariatric procedures. It was good to be able to talk to them. I spent more time talking with the sister who had her surgery three years ago. That was an interesting conversation.
In the three years since she had her Lap-Band, my sister has lost 120 pounds. She hasn’t kept it all off, though. She had pneumonia this winter, and complications from that caused her doctors to need to completely deflate the band. While the band was deflated, she found that she was able to eat anything that she wanted. And that is exactly what she did. She was able to eat and so she did, gaining back a good amount of the weight she had lost. I don’t know exactly how much she gained back. I am not sure that she told me a number. What I remember is thinking, “That’s why she doesn’t look so small.” She went on to ask me about my food restrictions after my stomach has healed. When I told her that there are really not any, other than eating smaller portions, she said that’s what everything was like for her, too. She said it was easy at first, until the irritation of having the band cleared up, but that it got harder to stick with the smaller portions once she was able to eat more.
Somehow, we got into a discussion about reading labels on food. I said that I am careful about sugar, calories, fat and protein content. I want the highest protein I can get with the lowest sugar, fat, and calories. She said that all she worries about is high protein, low calorie. That seemed a bit odd to me. I mean, isn’t it the fat, sugar, and calories combined that have led me to this out of control weight?
Right now, everything I have is low-sugar or sugar-free. At first, I wasn’t sure I would like it. I was afraid that sugar-substitutes would not be sweet enough for my taste buds. And I really was not happy about going low-fat! No more fried foods, no more extra cheesy potatoes. Oh, how was I supposed to live? But I have lived, and while I still think a bite or two of some of those fried, fatty, and sugary things would be wonderful, I am not willing to take that bite. I haven’t gone through all of this pain, all of this change to my anatomy just to fall back into old habits. Seems to me that even smaller portions of unhealthy foods are going to hinder my weight loss.
Talking to her really brought home one thing—I can’t do this alone. I need God on my side. And I need the support of my surgeons, the clinic dietician, and Overeaters Anonymous. If I turn away from any one of those things, I fear that I will compromise my health too much. I am NOT going to go back to the high fat diet and sedentary lifestyle that I “enjoyed” before the sugery!!