It is hard to believe I am coming up on 4 years (September 2nd) since my first bariatric surgery. It is even harder to believe I have had a second. And even harder to believe than that is how much I still really struggle to eat well and stay on track. We all know that weight loss surgery is just a tool, we hear it over and over. I am aware of this. But I also somehow believed it would be so much easier. I had this fantasy that I would never be hungry again and that I would forget to eat. I don't forget to eat. Maybe in the beginning when I had a lot of swelling and could only eat thick liquids... but that was more because I didn't care to eat what I could eat.
I am very aware that a good part of my weight issue is food addiction. Food addiction is so unfair because we can't just give it up. Yes we can give up entire food groups, we can stop eating sugars and refined sugars and white flour and so on. However, I still have this desire to live a somewhat normal life. I don't want to stop eating sugar for the rest of my life. Maybe this is where I lie to myself and say, "in moderation". But I really love food. People say this is unhealthy... I should eat to live. But I enjoy eating. I enjoy sitting down with someone I love and sharing a delicious meal. It is an experience I just don't want to give up. On a side note, I have been in therapy many times, sometimes for years. I am not claiming to have conquered my issues but I am very aware of them. I have coping strategies and know the power of my mind. In fact, my last therapist did not think my desire to enjoy food was unhealthy. She thought it was a very normal desire and would be a part of a normal food relationship.
Anyway, I digress. Everyday I have to make the choice to eat "well". It starts with the first meal of the day and ends with the last. Each time I decide what I will be eating I make a decision. Most of the time, it is the healthy one... but sometimes it is not. Sometimes I just want to eat ice cream. Sometimes I want a carby fried something for dinner. This is where the "there are healthy alternative" talk comes into play. But you know what... there aren't truly healthy alternatives for all things. Sometimes you just have to have the real thing. Replacing it with the light version just doesn't do it justice. This is probably why I am only losing one pound a week these days. I am choosing the unhealthy things and enjoying them. I think about how I could be at goal right now if I just cut out all of those things. But I am not sure if that would make me happy. I am making a conscious effort to pick 1 and only 1 day a week to eat whatever unhealthy things I want. After that there is no alcohol, no sugary yum yums, and no Starbucks. I may not be perfect, but I will try.
I do have to say, I find so much inspiration in all of you who make it happen each and everyday. Newbies are always fun to watch because their determination and motivation is at top notch. They are rock stars. And all of us who stay the course, continue to struggle and put in the hard work and slay our demons are doing great things.... even if it is only a pound at a time.