Rules for Rule Followers

I need rules. When I have rules, I can be successful. That’s a big part of why I chose the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass over other procedures. 

One of the rules for gastric bypass patients is that you cannot eat anything with processed sugar (pretty much anything sweet like a jar of Nutella, birthday cake, or the crap they bring to work on Fridays) or fried or fatty foods. Eating these foods can cause what is called Dumping Syndrome, which sounds horrifying without knowing what it is. Sweating, nausea,vomiting, cramping, etc. Sounds like fun — not! I liked that there is a consequence for doing bad things, but that also means I need to be careful of people who say, “just this once,” “just a little,” “in moderation.” I don’t need saboteurs. 

Here’s some more rules:

  • Protein first
  • Don’t drink at the same time as eating
  • Wait 30 minutes after drinking before eating
  • Meals should take 30 minutes to eat
  • Wait 30 minutes after eating before drinking again
  • No drinking with straws
  • No caffiene
  • No gum
  • No NSAIDs – ever!
  • No soda or anything with bubbles
  • No alcohol
  • No bread, rice, pasta and other obvious processed carbs
  • Goals every day are for 60-80 grams of protein from supplement every day
  • Minimum of 64 ounces of fluid
  • 3 meals a day 2 ounces or 1/4 cup each
  • Exercise 30-60 minutes 6 days a week
  • Bariatric formulated vitamins every day

It’s a lot of things to think about, and I am sure I am leaving something out. But it is structure. It is totally overwhelming the first few weeks because it’s so hard to do. My teeny tiny stomach holds about 2 ounces, so in the beginning when everything is still healing and swollen, it can take an hour to drink a protein shake. Everything took forever. Over time, all of 3 months so far, it’s become more of a routine and isn’t quite so overwhelming. 

But there is more. Since my surgery, I have never been hungry. Like ever. I can go for days without eating I have discovered (more on that later), so I have forgotten to eat. Especially since I went back to work. I set timers on my watch to remind me to eat and drink because there is no real physiological trigger. Apparently this goes away at some point, so I am trying to get the most out of this “honeymoon” phase. 

Other surprises since waking up from surgery:

  • I can’t tolerate anything sweet
  • I’m a spice wuss. I hope this gets better for sure. 
  • The thought, sight, or smell of chocolate completely nauseates me. This is the saddest one, but definitely is playing into my goals. 

These are rules for life. Forever. This is a giant lifestyle change. And worth every sacrifice. 

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