Food For Thought
Stuff the Turkey, Not Yourself!

I remember Thanksgiving from the “good ol’ days?. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you my fellow food addicts? Before my VSG two and a half years ago, Thanksgiving was a time when I could blissfully stuff my belly without feeling apologetic. Everyone is supposed to do this on Thanksgiving…right? You fill your 18-inch plate and extend that stomach, which feels a mile deep…over and over again. Of course, this is coupled with alcohol and dessert and then followed by a nap. Ahh…life was good!

Wait one delusional minute! If life was so good, then why did I have WLS?! Oh yeah, I was fat and unhappy. Still, I can’t help but feel cheated somehow as I stand before the Thanksgiving spread knowing I will never again be able to stuff myself in that same pre-surgery way. Does this always keep me from trying? Heck no! I eat a few bites of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing…try to slide in a couple of bites of dessert…and if I’m feeling really stupid, I attempt some wine. But now I’m “whining? all right because I feel miserable and “full.? But it’s not that same kind of whole belly “full? that I used to be able to get before WLS that made me feel so satisfied. Instead, this “full? sits at the top of my abdomen, backs up into my esophagus and causes a few painful spasms. So, do I give up? If I keep down what I already ate, I try again in a little while, squeezing in bites of this and that. Must…keep…trying! Now that I have eaten all the things that send my body on that blood glucose roller coaster there are many more opportunities throughout the day to feel hungry once again and take another stab at this self-destructive behavior … and down I slide on that slippery slope of self-destruction. I end up feeling out of control, sick and frustrated. I just can’t get the emotional satisfaction from food that I am seeking. Ugh!
 
So now what? Forgive me if this sounds trite, but times like these are when it is most important to remind myself why I had WLS and why I committed to the sacrifices involved. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought, “This surgery is ruining my fun.? Ding, ding! THAT is my cue. Let’s rethink fun.? Was it fun to feel overweight and unattractive? Was it fun to always feel tired and sluggish? Was it fun to get critical looks and comments from others? How about the health consequences…were those fun?

Let me tell you about fun now. I feel sexy! Woo-hoo! I have much more energy, move a lot more quickly, and my health is better. Instead of critical comments and glances, I get compliments and sometimes a little envy from other women. Now, THAT’S fun!
 
Might I suggest a new approach to this year’s Thanksgiving spread? Pull a little switch-a-roo with that hungry and deprived way of thinking. No, you and I cannot achieve that same full feeling that we used to. I don’t know about you, but that feeling was a big deal for me. However, once I accepted this, a whole new way of thinking was possible. Instead of trying to get back that lost “fun with food? feeling, (which you can’t get anyway) relish in the new satisfaction that come from looking and feeling better. If you are new to WLS and aren’t quite to that place of looking and feeling better yet, remind yourself that this new tool will bring you something much more gratifying than pumpkin pie. Ask yourself: “Do I want to feel frustrated and sick today or do I want to make the choices that will make me feel healthy and ultimately more satisfied??
 
This turkey leaves you with a bit of “food for thought? when staring down that Thanksgiving spread. Instead of feeling cheated and trying to stuff ourselves, we could do what the holiday suggests and feel thankful for this tool we have been given, a tool that can improve our lives in ways too numerous to count. Instead of feeling physically “full? we now have a much better chance of feeling “full-filled? and that is the most fun of all.
 
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