Suddenly freaking out 12 days before surgery
After 5 months of preparing and waiting, I am now 2 weeks away from having RYGB Gastric Bypass surgery...and I've been excited this whole time, until these last couple of days. I start my "liver shrinking" diet tomorrow, greatly restricting what I eat..and of course that leads me right into near-fasting the day or two before surgery, 2 weeks of liquid diet, and a lifetime paradigm shift in what it means to eat.
Suddenly, I find myself extremely sad. I am sad because I feel like I'm saying goodbye to most of the food and eating habits I've had my whole life...and while I certainly understand how destructive they've been, they are a bigger part of my life than I realized...and I am near tears today realizing I'm never going to enjoy my morning bowl of cereal, English muffins, mac & cheese, Panda Express orange chicken, or most of our homecooked favorites the same way ever again. I didn't realize until now how much I really LIKE all my (unhealthy) foods, and how upset I would be to say farewell to almost all of it.
There are a hundred reasons why I am having this surgery and why my lifestyle needs to change...I'm 51, 5'5", 252 lbs, with Type II diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, severe back problems, etc...and I am doing this intentionally with much forethought and planning. I know I'll enjoy my new lifestyle and I'll forever be grateful I did this. But right now, as I have my "last ____" and "last ____", I am finding myself REALLY upset about losing these indulgences that I have always loved. I even started thinking about chickening out on the whole thing a couple of times this week.
I don't know if this is the right place to go for support on something like this -- I'm not a big participant in online forums or support groups -- but my wife said I should really see what was out there for perspective and support. So, I am reaching out...something I rarely do...hoping there are others who had a similar crisis before surgery who can help.
It is an emotional roller coaster - You are looking at the 'great unknown'!! The other side. It is a quite a journey in the beginning, figuring it all out, but you will do it... we all did it, you can too. As many challenges there are, there are many victories.... I personally have no regrets.
As far as the last time you can eat those foods...just know there will be a time where you can eat those foods. Maybe not as much but there will be a time when you can eat them. That is why you need to work on your routine and habits after surgery, that is what is going to carry you in the long term. That is also why take advantage of the beginning when it is the easiest to lose weight... and lose the weight.
Cynthia 5'11" RNY 7/23/2014
Goal reached 17 months. 220lb Weight Loss
Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Michaels - LBL and Hernia Repair 2/29/16, Arm Lift, BL, 5/2/16, Leg Lift 7/25/16
#lifeisanadventure #fightthegoodfight #noregrets
Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my RNY surgery. For the first three years, I did stick completely to my program. I had no flour, sugar, bread, cake, cookies, candy, ice cream, or soda. I ate very little fruit. It was protein, non-starchy vegetables, and sugar-free jello.
I was always full on a few bites of food, and I experienced no hunger ever. Now there is no food that I will not eat. I am still full on very small amounts, but the last meals and last bites of things are not really the last.
It does help me to participate in this site. I have found wonderful friends and a lot of moral support. I still weigh myself every morning, still track what I eat, and still make sure I get enough exercise.
I was ready to chicken out during the last week before surgery. Once it was over with, I did not feel any different than before. The only big difference was that I never get hungry. If I eat a old favorite at a restaurant, there is enough left over for two or three more meals at home.
I remember watching a commercial on TV for a hamburger and really wanting that hamburger. That is head hunger. It is part of the journey and it helps to have a support group that has been through it all before you. People who have not had the surgery will not understand a lot of the feelings and emotions.
I know that my surgeon's support group really helped me. With COVID that might not be an option. We have a daily thread on the RNY site. You can find support there from other members and get ideas for what to eat and how to deal with the issues that will come up. There are a lot of great people who will be glad to answer questions and help you when you need help and support.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
I was able to eat all of those things once I hit maintenance. I wouldn't be able to eat a lot of mac & cheese or Panda orange chicken because all the fat in them would make me sick - but yes, I could eat some of it. Maybe a half cup or so. English muffins and cereal aren't a problem.
you WILL have to give up a lot during weight loss phase (including the items you mentioned), because after all, you're trying to lose weight. But once you're at your goal, adding some of that back in - within reason - isn't usually a problem as long as you're monitoring your weight and your intake.
also - you may be losing some things (at least temporarily and later, in amounts that you don't currently eat), but think about what you'll be gaining! Much improved health, more energy, more self-confidence. I know I had some of the same worries pre-surgery, but I wouldn't give up my current life for ANYTHING!!
Hello from your future.
Fret not. I have some good news and some bad news.
First the bad news: Still no flying cars.
Good news, however, is plentiful:
In the first several months post-op you established good habits by following your plan. While you were doing this, you got positive reinforcement by losing weight. All this caused much of your plan to be your new normal. Isn't that just too cool?
And, those things you thought you would never eat again? Well it's just not so, unless you no longer want them.
Cereal? Sure, you can have that sometimes. Surely not a huge bowl, and you may get gassy, but you might have a bit;
English Muffin? Again, maybe not a whole piece, but again, it PROBABLY won't kill you outright if you're careful;
Mac & Cheese? Ooooh, I love me some M&C too. You'll be able to manage a small helping;
Orange Chicken? It's protein, eat away! Of course, it will not be what you eat now, but still... enjoy.
You will be able to eat just about anything, in small quantities. Not often, and not over much, but you may.
But, knowing all this you need to stay on plan consistently and any of the above that is not on plan needs to be far and few between.
I know I didn't have surgery to deprive myself for the rest of my life. That said, I don't feel deprived on my plan. It is sustainable. Make sure yours is, or it's just another fad diet that you will abandon just like before.
Now, nose back to that grind stone.
LOL - thanks, and I appreciate the humor too.
I woke up feeling much more positive about it all this morning...partly due to the responses here and in the Facebook group I joined for bariatric newbies, but mostly because, I don't know, I feel like today is the START of a big journey I want to take, whereas yesterday was like the END of a lot of things I was reluctant to let go of. I was being stubborn and pouty and feeling sorry for myself yesterday, but today? I'm taking the first serious steps onto this path...and maybe I'm a little excited about that.
on 10/19/20 9:39 am
Darren0769, I had much the same feelings two weeks prior to surgery, but it's all behind me now and I am feeling rather GREAT that I made this decision to take control of my future. Five days ago I had the sleeve, and feel energized and like anything is possible if I stick to the plan I have made with the RD's. Good luck, you won't regret this!
on 10/19/20 3:11 pm
Thank you for this. Still looking forward to the flying cars, though!
on 10/19/20 3:06 pm
I just had surgery last week and felt the same way and almost backed out. I am low key regretting things, but know it's for the best. I am trying to get some things answered since I have been stalking these message boards for a while and finally joined so I could ask some questions and get some insight from those who have walked the path.