And a second week of pre-op dieting comes to a close. One more week to go. I’m pleased with the loss, and not surprised that it is significantly smaller than last week’s. I am pretty positive that I won’t have another weekly loss like last week’s ever again, barring anything unusual like another bout with Giardia (no fun) or food poisoning of any sort.
This week was tougher than the first week for several reasons.
- Boredom with the routine. I am not one to like a whole lot of sameness with what I eat. I like variety in what I eat, and this has been difficult since there have only been a couple of protein powders and drinks that I like and can tolerate. Compounding this problem is the fact that now my lactose intolerance has decided it is going to kick in. AWESOME. The timing on this could not have been worse. Also, I’ve tried a couple of almond milks that don’t do my system well either, so I’m pretty limited to what I can drink that doesn’t upset my digestive tract too much. This could either be a good or a bad thing.
- Cravings for solid food. I want so badly to chew, chew, chew. When most of your meals are liquid, this desire to chew intensifies as the day wears on. I’ve done the sugar-free popsicle thing, and have chewed gum, but they are of little help. They do little to quell a growling stomach. I did try out some sugar-free shaved ice this week, because we have a shaved ice joint up the street that has a plethora of sugar-free flavors. That helped some, because I had to eat it with a spoon. This whole ordeal has made me appreciate the lone meal I get each day just that much more.
- I went back to work this week. Only for a few days, but during the summers I teach professional development courses to science teachers, and my classes are very, very active. It is not unheard of for me to walk 5,000+ steps in a 3 hour class because I am constantly walking around, observing and helping my adult students. This was more activity than I had done in the previous week, where all I did at work was sit and write curriculum documents. The first day I taught class, I was completely wiped out. I came home and napped afterward for a couple of hours. The second day I taught, I made sure I had a snack to eat at the break and drank plenty of water and I was fine the rest of the day. I still took a nap, though. Why? Because it’s summer and I can.
- Special occasion dinner. I was installed as a member of a Rotary Club this week, and we had an installation dinner this past week at a local Bavarian restaurant. The menu had many items on it that were pre-op diet friendly, thank goodness, but it was served family style so that made it a bit tricky to measure portions. Thankfully, my fellow Rotarians were aware of the fact that I am prepping for surgery and kept the bread basket and potato dumplings away from my end of the table. I did indulge in about a 1/3 cup serving of pan-fried potatoes, though. I ate them, was satisfied with them and didn’t want any more after that. I didn’t beat myself up about it either.
Factors contributing to this week’s success:
- 12+ cups of water daily. I continue to slam water like crazy.
- Tracking every bite in MyFitnessPal. I’m getting better at this.
- Telling myself that this is nearly over. And it is. It really is.
- Telling myself that new things are on the horizon. And they are. Soon.
- A supportive spouse. He’s the best. He’s doing this alongside me as preparation for his own procedure next month.
This week’s challenges:
- Fighting the urge to have one last carb-laden meal. I’ve done so well so far, and the thought of having one sounds so amazingly good right now that it’s not even funny. I keep telling myself that doing it would derail any progress I’ve made toward making my liver suitable for surgery, thus making my surgeon unhappy, and jeopardizing my procedure altogether. I really do want next Monday’s surgery to go off without a hitch. I also want to hear my doctor say, “Your liver was beautiful!” after I’m out of recovery. So that keeps me from flipping my shit, going to Olive Garden and sticking my face in a basket of breadsticks and chowing down. I broke down today and asked to go out for steak. I was craving red meat, so we went out and had steak for dinner. I ate prime rib (I trimmed off all the fat I could see) and plain green salad. It could have been worse, I suppose. But I feel a little disappointed in myself.
- Boredom with food, again. I’m running out of creative things to fix for my single meal, since I’m also working around my husband’s food allergies, as he is pre-op dieting with me as well. This makes mealtime kind of tough, but I keep telling myself: One. More. Week.
- Family dinner and poker party on Saturday. This one is tough. My mom is inviting everyone over for dinner Saturday, where the menu is spaghetti, garlic bread and salad, to be followed by card night. I’ve explained that I won’t be eating and that my preference is to simply not be there while everyone else eats. She has offered to fix me something I can eat, and I’d prefer to just eat before I arrive. I am not yet mentally ready to be in a place where everyone else is eating something I can’t eat but really want to eat. I know that this situation will happen plenty of times post-op, and that I will not always be able to shun situations like this one, but I want as much as possible to be able to control my environment right now while I still can. I’m trying so hard to make good choices, and a situation like this will make it close to impossible for me to do that. It’s like inviting a recovering alcoholic to a cocktail party and expecting that they NOT want anything to drink. Wrong. Just wrong. So I think what I will do is this: have dinner before I go, take a protein drink to sip on and a low-carb snack like jerky and just enjoy the company that gathers. I hope it works.
One more week to go. One more week. I can do this.