Pre-Op Diet, SAD and ME
Jun 26, 2021
I went into low-carb, low-fat, low-sugar cold turkey. I got an email from my nutritionist detailing what to eat and what not to eat (in general terms) at night after binge eating (chugging down some marshmallow brownies drizzled in chocolate syrup). My expectations are that I lose about 10 or so pounds per month for the first few months since I've done a keto diet in the past and basically lost 16 pounds a month for the first three months without counting calories or being very mindful of fat.
Actually...I'm kind of hoping that losing monthly is the case pre-op because my weight causes immense pain on my feet (especially) and body. I can't do exercises I'm used to anymore and therefore must think outside of the box. Some days I feel like I'm at the mercy of my pain and whatever it decides I'm able to do that day.
Nevertheless, I try to get up and get steps. My house has two floors so most of the times I'll get only enough water to sate myself in the moment to have to get up and go downstairs to get more. I try to do step workouts to help strengthen my legs and raise my heart rate. I know for a fact that some exercise is better than none. And anything I can do to work my body is beneficial at this point in time. It seems to be working.
So the switch in diet has resulted in way less calories consumed. I feel tired sometimes--maybe from not getting enough carbohydrates on most days. So today, I added sweet potato to my plate. I'm interested in seeing how it works for me. My nutritionist said it's okay... I just don't want to eat extremely differently from what I need to eat after surgery.
In addition to that, I do not want to risk any weight gain. As most of you know, failure to lose or maintain weight means failing the weight loss trial. I cannot afford to do that.
The major differences in the way my body is responding to the pre-op versus SAD so far:
- I feel weird at night. This is the time of day I normally eat the most carbohydrates...
- I'm having trouble reaching my carbohydrates...
- It's super easy to go over my protein target...
- I'm eating way less than I was before...
This journey is bigger than what I'm eating and what I'm not. It's about shifting my mindset and living with intention and seeking help for issues I have with disordered eating and mental health. It's about sticking to that resolve and choosing me and self-care over things and behaviors that no longer and have never served me.
It's early on and I don't exactly feel better. But I know that this is better for me in the long run so I'm sticking with it. As a person who doesn't hate themself or feel unnattractive because they are fat, I have to say sometimes it can be tough when I think about weight loss and sticking to restrictive programs. But I'm not reducing for a look, I'm reducing to be able to actively participate in my life and be able to do the things I want to do again.
SAD is a form of rebellion for me. I only began eating poorly (on top of disordered eating) because I was angry. Angry that my healthy diet didn't stop me from getting sick. Angry that my healthy diet didn't stop me from experiencing mental health issues or at least improve them. But now, years later, I'm angry that I decided to stopped caring about what I ate. I'm angry that no one took my disordered eating seriously when I reached out for help in the past. So no, I don't feel better with this new diet, but I do feel like it's better in the long run.
Seeing the greater of the evils, I know that I can generally stick with this lifestyle. But I do fear, that my habits surrounding eating and exercise won't be healthy and sensible. I worry that I'm shifting from one extreme to the next. And so I decided to write this long blog post. I know I'm not the only one experiencing this and am not alone.
*SAD stands for Standard American Diet for those who don't know.
I apologize for any typos to all the grammar nerds out there. I'm a little frazzled and not really in the best space to sit here and proofread and edit.