Sunday, January 8, 2012

Yes, I Still Eat!

One of the biggest questions I've dealt with over the holidays was "Do you eat?"  Well, duh!  Food is necessary for survival and having RNY surgery did not change the fact that I still eat food.  I guess a little science lesson is in order before I continue.

According to the Obesity Help website:

1. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB)This operation is the most common and successful combined weight loss surgery in the United States. First, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch to restrict food intake. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum (the first segment of the small intestine), and the first portion of the jejunum (the second segment of the small intestine). This reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. Rarely, a cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) is performed to avoid the gallstones that may result from rapid weight loss. More commonly, patients take medication after the operation to dissolve gallstones. 
Advantages of this weight loss surgery:
  • greatly controls food intake, leading to rapid weight loss
  • dumping syndrome dumping conditions to control intake of sweets
  • reversible in an emergency though this procedure should be thought of as a permanent
Disadvantages of this weight loss surgery:
  • staple line failure
  • ulcers
  • narrowing/blockage of the stoma
  • vomiting if food is not properly chewed or if food is eaten to quickly
  • weight re-gain is known to happen if dietary changes are not followed long term
Now it is true that there are a LOT of dietary changes I have had to make but by now means did I stop eating.  What this TOOL (yes, it's a tool!) has done is force me to look at what I'm eating and why.  I have to question if I'm eating because I'm hungry or just bored.  I ask myself  is this sometime I really want to spend my calories on or if I walked away, would the desire to eat that item still be there? I choose to not waste pouch space on junk and unnecessary calories.  Now when I eat, I make an honest effort to eat healthy, high quality foods.  There will be times when I slide but one day at a time is my motto.   Yes, I've lost significant weight through the help of the surgery but if I want to keep it off, I have to be the one to continue to think about what passes through my lips.

Is it easy?  Not at all and it really irks me that people think I've got it made because I had the surgery.  I'm facing a lifetime of vitamins, calcium, iron and whatever supplements my doctors feel I need.  There will always be the constant mental issue of my relationship with food. Let's face it, food has been my best friend to the determent of my health.  I've had to reevaluate the role food plays in my life but I wouldn't change a thing.  I know this was a great decision for me and I don't regret it at all.

So once again, the answer to that question is "Yes, I still eat!".


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