Eating Food

I hate counting calories. Counting calories to me puts some horrible science around something I’ve always just done. My parents engrained good eating habits in me from a young age. Sure, I read the nutrition labels and try to make sensible decisions. But mostly my favorite meal at my desk at work is some awesome marinated skinless chicken breast with some jasmine rice and something sweet for dessert. I tried to only eat when hungry and listen to my body. During my pregnancies I gain 40-45 lbs (it was crazy, but with my low BMI my doc was good with it)! And I lost it afterwards with my marathoning. It all taught me to listen to my body.

Now, I can’t understand what my body is trying to tell me. I do know I get dizzy from being tired and dehydrated. But I think hunger is somewhat replaced by an empty feeling. The trouble is, by the time I get that feeling, it takes me too long to eat to catch up. This whole gastrectomy thing is the polar opposite right now of being healthy. Instead of listening, you have to be proactive and count calories…a whole science thing. Everyone else in this world is trying to gain weight and so they’re told to drink a glass of water before eating; I’m told not to drink 30-60 min before eating. I’m not sure how the numbers work out if I do that and eat 5 small meals a day. Other advice I’ve gotten is I’m going to have to eat calorie dense foods if I’m going to orally get up to my calorie needs without the feeding tube crutch. Bacon has been going well and yes you need fat to live, but this can’t be a good trend. Sadly, I agree that at least it’s calories.

I guess the saddest thing right now is my love of fruit. My post morning run food has always been a cinnamon bagel with peanut butter and a banana. Right now, I can eat half a banana at a time pretty well. And I used to snack on fruits all the time…mangos, strawberries, blueberries. And my OCD fruit of choice, grapes. My husband said it’s uncanny how I could sit there, staring off in thought and just methodically pick off grapes. My children too have acquired their love of grapes. I’m sure that as time goes on, I’ll be allowed grapes with the skin on (I’ve actually resorted to eating the grape and spitting the skin out in the sink. Yes, I’m that desperate.) For now though, I was told nothing with seeds or skins, etc.

That’s my sob story for the night. I just miss my cancerous stomach signaling my brain, “Hey dummy, don’t forget to eat now.” For now, I eat teeny tiny meals and feel as though I just finished a Thanksgiving meal. It takes me forever to eat; this is unchanged from before my gastrectomy, but the length of “forever” has extended to a lot of finishing meals on couches.

I have to say that walking does help. It was 82 this morning and it felt nice to walk the neighborhood instead of having to go to the mall to walk (like all the cool people). It’s sad that after 108 heat, the 80s at 8:45 AM feels pretty good. Guess that’s how you know it’s summertime in the gulf coast.

Though, this blog isn’t meant to be a pity party. And I know not everyday is going to great, but I can admit I’d like to eat a big meal and feel like I knew my body had full energy and was fully hydrated. Maybe I should remember this is 4 weeks post op. Goodnight.