Thanksgiving After Gastric Bypass

How do you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner after gastric bypass surgery?

I don’t know about you, but for me Thanksgiving dinner used to be all about the food. Everything is sooo good, and much of it is stuff you only eat during the holidays. Green bean casserole is one of my all time favorites. So is sweet potato souffle. And of course stuffing. Can’t forget the stuffing.

Last Thanksgiving was my first with Pouchie. And while my brain wanted to dive into the carb-laden overabundance that was covering my dining table, Pouchie was pretty firm in his (her? is Pouchie a girl or a boy? Hmmmm… Probably something deep-seated and psychological about calling my stomach “him”. Of course, naming my stomach at all is a little weird, come to think of it…) resistance.

I tried to be a good girl. I put my food on the salad plate. I started with the turkey – great source of protein, turkey is. My extended family was suitably distressed by how “little” I ate. But what I really wanted was mashed potatoes, the dressing, the sweet potatoes, the green bean casserole.

I WANTED it. And as the day progressed, I had it. Every time Pouchie cleared out what had been eaten, I’d go get just a few more bites. You see, there are ways around gastric bypass surgery. You’ll discover them eventually. One is just to wait a bit. Drink just enough liquid to help slosh the food out. There’ll be more room soon.

It helps (or doesn’t help, depending on which way you want to look at this) that the really “good” stuff I was craving are all slider foods. Stuff that doesn’t stick around in the pouch for long, but slides right on out so you can eat again much sooner.

By the end of the day, I still probably hadn’t eaten as much as I would have at the first sitting before having surgery. But I felt like I’d pigged out pretty consistently for the whole day. And I had. If I were to eat like that on anything resembling a regular basis I’d be right back to pre-op weight in no time.

There are lots of post-oppers out there who would jump all over me for this. And maybe they’re right. It’s the habits we form during our honeymoon period that determine our success or failure long-term. But does one holiday dinner (even if said “dinner” is a day-long event) equal forming or breaking a habit? Don’t healthy people throw caution to the wind and “live it up” every now and then?

Is it possible to live every single day in the strait jacket of perfect, healthy habits?

I don’t know the answer to those questions – I’m asking you. Thanksgiving is only 2 days away right now. And I can tell you right now that I’ll probably do exactly the same thing I did last year. Eat. Eat a lot. Eat way more than I probably should. Even while a lot of my family looks at me and says, “Is that all you’re going to eat?”

Part of me wants to say that life isn’t worth living in a straight jacket, even if that jacket is a smaller size than you’ve worn since Junior High School. Another part is concerned because since my latest gastric bypass complication saga, the pain meds I’ve been on have made me throw nutritional caution to the wind a lot. (At least, that’s what I’m blaming it on. I hurt. I take a percoset. I get a happy-ish, numb feeling. And suddenly, I don’t care if what I eat isn’t good for me.)

So when I finally get all the way better from this catastrophe, and the holidays are behind me, will I really go back to my healthier new lifestyle? Or have I already begun to sew the seeds of my undoing?

I guess we’ll all just have to stay tuned to find out the answer to that one.

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