Q: I'm pre-op and I'm realizing that so many things in my life are centered around food. How do you deal with that after weight loss surgery?
A: That is the reality of the world we live in. Most family get togethers, celebrations, and work parties are food centered. It's important we learn to continue making healthy choices, even in the face of a sea of unhealthy ones.
A few thoughts...
There are lots of delicious party foods we are still able to eat post weight loss surgery. In fact, most non-ops won't even realize any difference. So start bringing foods you enjoy, that are in your plan and share your new healthy choices with everyone at your next family get together. You'll be surprised how many people will choose the healthier choices over the unhealthy if given the choice.
Focus on connecting, talking, sharing stories, sit away from the buffet and be ready with your answers when people ask you to partake in something that isn't healthy.
"Oh thank you Aunt Sally but...
I ate before I came
I am saving room for (insert food you can eat)
I'm good for now
Your famous (insert food you'd rather not eat) looks absolutely delicious but I've been looking forward to your (insert food you can eat)
I'm not hungry just yet
I'm full, I couldn't eat another bite"
Stay strong and remember...
Don't trade what you want most, for what you want at the moment.
Get a few willing family members to head out on a neighborhood walk (kiddos will love this) I especially love this at Christmas time, bundling up to look at the holiday lights. Bring a thermos of No Sugar Added Cocoa.
In the summer, host an active get together like a beach day (sand castle competitions, Frisbee, long walks, bonfires) or backyard picnic (field day stuff: potato sack races, tug of war, balancing an egg on a spoon, badminton tournament, hopscotch, I am in love with this game.) Serve healthy food choices (Shelly's Beach Bean Salad, Shelly's Award Winning Jazzy New Orleans Muffaletta Salad, Shelly's BBQ Baked Bean Casserole, Grilled Chicken, Shrimp Skewers, Shelly's Strawberry Cannoli). Focus on the activities. Make and give out awards. Start new family traditions.
You will be faced with challenges and decisions. This is a lifetime war against obesity. Like any war you head into each battle hoping to win. Sometimes you do and sometimes the enemy gets the upper hand.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." ~Winston S. Churchill
P.S. We'll do this Q & A again next week. I get a bunch of emails asking about post-op life I figured (this just dawned on me after 6 years of blogging LOL I'm slow on the uptake) that if I just blogged my answers it might help someone else who might have the Q too. Of course it's just one post-ops perspective and **we're not one size fits all** but... I hope it helps :)