No tracking, no problems

Now that I’m on a somewhat regular diet, one thing that I won’t miss is having to keep detailed records of exactly what I eat and when I eat it.

For the two months after the surgery, I had to monitor my food very closely to make sure I was getting enough protein while limiting my calories. I created my own trackers to record what I was eating and drinking. If I missed something, the trackers served as a reminder.

Today, I still need to be very conscious of what I eat and drink, but I don’t need to record everything meticulously. So, no more paper trackers.

Up, up, and away

I’m taking my first flight since the surgery today, and the Complementary Spouse and I just boarded. The seat belt fits, but there is not a lot of slack, which disappoints me a little. But I’m not too upset, as previously seat belts were either way too tight or I’d have to use a seat belt extender, which is just embarrassing.

The time for healing is over

Great news! It is two months and two days after my surgery, which means my stomach is mostly healed and I can eat a variety of foods. Of course, some things like pasta are still off limits, mainly because they’re high in carbs and I’m still trying to keep my calorie count down. But I can have steak and chicken (Footnote 1), fruit and veggies that aren’t fibrous (Footnote 2), and even an occasional piece of bread (Footnote 3).

Despite the expanded dietary freedom, I’ve decided to preserve my current eating habits on weekdays. This includes two protein shakes (8 ounces each) twice a day, two Dannon Oikos Triple Zero yogurts, a light dinner, and perhaps a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich as a treat.

On the weekends, I expect I’ll be more experimental with my diet. I think I’d like to go out for a proper steak soon — until now, I’ve been having meatloaf and chopped steak.

1. I have left turkey off this list, because it no longer agrees with my stomach. I guess I’ll be having something different for Thanksgiving.
2. As examples, I have to avoid pineapple and celery.
3. Actually, I’ve been sneaking in some toast for a few weeks now. Don’t tell anyone.


As disciplined as I’ve been for the past two months, I have cheated on two occasions. Once, at a Starbucks drive through, I got a cheese Danish. I was only able to eat half. Not too long ago, I ate a Rice Krispy treat. I finished the whole thing.

I’m not too worried about the cheating. Two incidents in sixty days shows a lot of discipline for me, and I recognized the mistakes immediately. I don’t feel too remorseful. I didn’t atone for these things during Yom Kippur.

Going forward, I recognize that it’s very important to minimize cheating, but not to attempt to eliminate it altogether. Thinking I’ll never eat a forbidden food again is setting myself up for failure. There’s no way I can live up to that expectations. Instead, I have to remember that I’ll slip up, and that it’s OK as long the incidents are isolated and I learn from my mistakes.

And, even though I’ve slipped up twice, I’ve been able to resist temptation every other time. For example, the Complementary Spouse has been hiding a package of Pepperidge Farms chocolate chip cookies from me. I know where they are (Footnote 1), and I haven’t had one. I don’t eat any of the baked goods that are left in the break room at work. I haven’t succumbed to the allure of pizza.

1. I know all your secrets.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear

When I was unconscious in the operating room, my chest was shaved. It was expected, but I was a little disgusted by my smooth belly when I woke up. I’m happy to report that the chest hair is growing back, and I’ll be back to my hirsute self in no time at all.

Now I just need to cross my fingers and hope that I don’t experience any more hair loss. From everything I’ve read and heard, it’s not uncommon for people to start losing a little head hair about three months after surgery. It’s usually not noticeable, and the hair grows back a few months later.

I am not too worried about hair loss on my head. For one thing, my hair is ridiculously thick (Footnote 1). For another, finding a few hairs on my pillow for a few months is a small price to pay for a surgery that has already drastically improved my quality of life.

1. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

Caffeine a no-no

I had my first major screw-up this morning. I was running to work and decided to stop at Starbucks. As I’ve had a mild headache for several days now, I accidentally ordered my usual drink, an iced coffee with some cream and three Splendas (Footnote 1). Then I started to drink it though the straw.

This was a no-no.

First of all, I’m not supposed to have any caffeine. I should have ordered a decaf — but I despise decaf coffee, so my usual order at Starbucks these days is a decaf iced tea.

Second, I’m not supposed to use straws. As it was explained to me, a straw makes it hard to regulate how much you’re sipping, and can put extra air into the stomach.

This is the first mishap in about three months, as I started to eliminate caffeine and straws about four weeks before the surgery. I know it was an honest mistake caused by me not being thoughtful, so I’m not too mad at myself.

Still, I shouldn’t have been so careless.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the caffeine has helped me with my headache.

1. Is Splenda or Splendas the plural of Splenda? Actually, as a grammar nerd, I’m actually hoping the plural is Splendae.