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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Safe Foods: The Bariatric Ball & Chain

So, today is St. Patrick’s day and what appears at the office but a giant plate of sugar cookie shamrocks with green frosting and sprinkles.


But there is not a chance in hell a single bite will cross my lips. Why? Not safe.

As we move forward in this little bariatric experiment most of us will identify safe foods. For me, I must eat safe all day long at my job. I cannot get sick by way of dumping or vomiting. So every day I bring my safe food with me: hard cooked egg, cottage cheese, sugar free Jell-O, plain canned tuna.

Talk about a ball and chain. The monotony is wearing me down. My palate is bored. And those cookies smell divine. But they are not safe and I will not eat them. There are times when I’m so angry and resentful that I had WLS and imposed these restrictions upon myself. Why couldn’t I have been stronger and lost weight the old-fashioned way? It is easy to play the role of martyr.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret WLS or the wonderful life I have because I am healthy, fit and comfortable in my own body. This post is simply about the days when it is utterly frustrating to be restricted in so many ways by the gastric-bypass body. Fortunately the frustration is far less common than the jubilation over all the things this surgery has given me. But there are those days. . .

For example, yesterday I was out of town for meetings and starving by day’s end. I had a 90 minute drive home so stopped at the convenience store. The only thing that looked good was a package of Ritz Bits Peanut Butter Sandwiches. So I purchased a single serving package and a bottle of water (of course!). I’ve eaten Ritz Bits before without dumping, but I worried “What if today they make me sick? (That’s the curious thing about dumping: it’s a sneaky bitch and will catch you off-guard. Talk about a ball and chain.) So, I determined to wait until I was 60 minutes from home, then I could have a few and be home in time if they made me sick. I was lucky and did not get sick. Big sigh of relief.

Every day of my living after WLS I must make multiple choices and considerations to avoid getting sick. That’s why sometimes it is simply easier to stick with the safe and the planned and the known foods. It’s just easier to be safe.

Sometimes I leave my safe zone. Sometimes I get away with it, sometimes I don’t and I get sick. But the fear follows me always. Talk about a ball and chain.

I’m interested in hearing from you: What are you’re safe foods? How do you deal mentally with the bariatric ball & chain? Post your comment or Email me!

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