Foreign foods

One of the things I’ll miss after surgery is ethnic food. I’m a rather picky eater (Footnote 1), but I do like experiencing other cultures through food. I can always find something on a foreign menu that looks tasty.

Eventually, I’ll be able to eat ethnic food again. But it will probably be while before I’m eating any type of solid food at restaurants at all, and with my limited stomach size I won’t be able to sample as many dishes as I do now.

I had three ethnic meals recently, and they were all wonderful. About a month ago, the Complementary Spouse, our good friend Ali, and I went to a local Turkish restaurant. I like pretty much all Turkish food, except for the dessert pudding made out of sweetened shredded chicken breast (Footnote 2). I ordered the most indulgent and delicious entree, the Iskander kebab. It’s slices of lamb, covered with butter and a rich tomato sauce, served on top of soft pita pieces and accompanied with a creamy yogurt sauce. I finished the entire plate. I think I had to loosen my belt at the table.

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Backsliding behavior

I’m finding it difficult to get back into healthy eating habits after my disappointing visit to the nutritionist last week. As I wrote in my last post, I have developed a bit of a “fuck it” attitude. If I’m not going to lose weight, I tell myself, I should just give up.

Needless to say, I recognize that this is the least healthy attitude I can take. It also doesn’t portend well for weight-loss surgery. What will I do after the operation when I get depressed? Eating the wrong things will no longer be an option, and can make me physically ill. If eating is my only outlet after a disappointment, perhaps I need some additional psychological counseling. Continue reading

Weighty matters and a little bingeing

I saw the nutritionist yesterday, and I was shocked to step on her scale and find out that I’ve only lost one pound. On my scale at home, I have lost about six pounds. I’m puzzled to provide an explanation, except that the first time I went to the nutritionist is was in the morning, and this time was in the afternoon. Still, that doesn’t account for the differences between scales.

I’m inclined to believe my scale at home is right. It’s very advanced and supposed to be highly accurate, and it connects through Wi-Fi to my phone so I can track all my measurements in the Apple Health app. Nonetheless, the only scale that counts for my nutritionist is hers. Continue reading

Focus on foods and fluids

The surgeon and my nutritionist have ordered me to lose about 10 pounds before August 1. I think this is doable, and based on the nutritionist’s notes, I have already started making plenty of changes to help with the weight loss:

Eating three meals a day, and not skipping meals: I’d give myself a B+ on this, as I have a tendency to skip breakfast as I’m running out the door. That leaves a stop at McDonald’s, Starbucks, or Wawa as my only options on my commute to work, and the food offerings there are high in calories. If I get to work without breakfast, I’ll eat one of the snacks (such as apple slices) I have saved for later in the day.

Decreasing portion sizes: The Complementary Spouse, who does most of the cooking at Camp David, has been measuring portion sizes and preparing smaller meals. This doesn’t always happen, though — I ate a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs a few days ago, along with some garlic bread. Continue reading

Drinking problems

To make this weight-loss surgery work, I’ll have to make major changes to what and how I drink. Here are the rules:

  • No caffeine
  • No carbonated beverages
  • No straws
  • No drinking any liquids during or right after meals
  • No alcohol for a year

These restrictions may sonewhat problematic. When I wake up, I either reach for a Coke Zero (caffeine and carbonation) or a Starbucks iced coffee (caffeine, drunk through a straw). As the Complementary Spouse can attest to, I gulp down water like Aquaman during meals. To make this surgery work, I’m going to have to make quite a few changes. Continue reading

Celebrate good times (c’mon)

Birthdays. Anniversaries. Holidays. Seeing friends. Any time there’s a celebration, there’s food. And that’s a problem for me, because I have come to associate these events with eating.

After surgery, I will have a very limited diet — probably three small meals a day, and two healthy snacks — once my stomach heals and I can consume normal food again. As protein will be crucial, one or two of those meals might come in the form of a protein shake (Footnote 1). Continue reading