Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lots of Randomness

Happy Saturday everyone!  I just wanted to thank all the people who left very kind, supportive comments on my last post.  I really appreciated it.  I think I was just overwhelmed by the enormity of the decision I have made.  Realizing that I can no longer use food to soothe me, stifle my emotions, celebrate, keep me company, etc. is pretty huge.  I am so grateful for a community that provides support, encouragement and endless amounts of information (and entertainment).

Random Thoughts:
  • I am really new to blogging and am having the hardest time figuring out how to do what seems like it should be easy.  Like, how do you add a tab?  Can we only use the design templates provided in this program? etc.?  So frustrating.  And there is no way in hell I am asking my husband because I don't want him to know how to get to this blog.
  • I started on soft foods a few days early.  I am justifying the move because I start my new job on Monday and I want to make sure I know what foods I can tolerate before getting into the office.  It would be mortifying to have some sort of sliming episode when I am the new kid on the block.  So far, tuna, ground turkey in marinara sauce and scrambled eggs all seem to be winners.
  • I'm getting a facial today - woohoo!  My little "new job" treat to myself.  I am sooooo looking forward to it.
  • I weighed myself Thursday Friday today and find that I am the exact same weight I was last Saturday.  How is that possible?!?  I have been following Dr's orders to a T.  Could I have already plateaued?  I'm freaking out a little bit.  If anything, maybe I am getting too few calories.  But I am trying really hard not to "test out" my band limits yet since I am still healing.  Of course, I feel no restriction so far.  I get to see the doctor this Thursday so maybe he can tell me.

After reading Amanda's post yesterday, I thought it was fortuitous to come across this article this morning.  You all might find interesting.  It's by Mark Hyman, MD and explains food addiction.  It's a long read, but well worth it.   In part, it says:
Here are some of the scientific findings confirming that food can, indeed, be addictive(ii):
  1. Sugar stimulates the brain's reward centers through the neurotransmitter dopamine, exactly like other addictive drugs.
  2. Brain imagining (PET scans) shows that high-sugar and high-fat foods work just like heroin, opium, or morphine in the brain.(iii)
  3. Brain imaging (PET scans) shows that obese people and drug addicts have lower numbers of dopamine receptors, making them more likely to crave things that boost dopamine.
  4. Foods high in fat and sweets stimulate the release of the body's own opioids (chemicals like morphine) in the brain.
  5. Drugs we use to block the brain's receptors for heroin and morphine (naltrexone) also reduce the consumption and preference for sweet, high-fat foods in both normal weight and obese binge eaters.
  6. People (and rats) develop a tolerance to sugar -- they need more and more of the substance to satisfy themselves -- just like they do for drugs of abuse like alcohol or heroin.
  7. Obese individuals continue to eat large amounts of unhealthy foods despite severe social and personal negative consequences, just like addicts or alcoholics.
  8. Animals and humans experience "withdrawal" when suddenly cut off from sugar, just like addicts detoxifying from drugs.
  9. Just like drugs, after an initial period of "enjoyment" of the food, the user no longer consumes them to get high but to feel normal.
I've long believed that the introduction of high fructose corn syrup and the explosion of fast food/chain restaurants since the mid-70s has contributed to the explosion of obesity in America. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's been 10 days since I had surgery.  Things seem to be healing well and I am starting to get into the groove of eating small portions and protein first.  I have been out to a couple of restaurants and aside from temporarily forgetting not to use a straw or drink with my meal, I have done OK.  The only thing is...once in a while I think to myself, "What have I done?"  I'll think of going out and splitting a pizza with a friend or getting a huge pile of hot wings at this fun biker bar in Denver and think, "Well, I can't do that anymore."  and panic a little bit.  And then I realize, my food addiction is HUGE.  I love food.  I am hopelessly addicted to food.  I need to find some way - on top of this tool that I now have - to deal with my addiction.

My father was an alcoholic.  My sister is an alcoholic.  And my little brother has battled drug addiction.  My family is no stranger to addiction.  It just seems that my older brother and I used food instead of drugs or alcohol to fuel our own addictions.  And, unlike alcohol or drugs, you can't just go cold turkey on food.  I got the band because I need assistance in battling my addiction.  But I also know that substance abuse - no matter what the substance - is a substitute for dealing with my underlying pain or issues.  Food masks the pain.  It makes me feel good.  I can stuff my emotions with food.  I can relieve my stress, or anger, or frustration, or boredom with food.  But food never cures the underlying problem.  And the terrifying thing is, I have been covering up the problems for so long, I am not even sure what they are about anymore.  And I am scared to uncover them.  Now, with the band, I don't think I am going to have any other option other than to try to address the issues that caused me to become addicted to food in the first place.  And scary.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Well, I made it through my birthday weekend.  No cake, but I did have frozen yogurt yesterday and it was WONDERFUL.  My DH took me out for dinner last night.  I had 1/2 small crab cake and a bowl of lobster bisque.  I am not suppose to be eating anything other than pureed foods for 2 weeks which means I have about 7 days left but I just couldn't resist some crab cake and I made sure to chew, chew, chew.  So far I have not had any instances of nausea or needed to throw up so I think my recovery is on track.  I guess I am wondering what everyone else had to do post-op as far as diet?  My doctor recommends 2 weeks of pureed foods followed by 2 weeks of "soft" food including things like ground meats, tuna and chicken packed in water, melon, etc.  Basically any thing that could be mashed with a fork.  The other doctor I met with had a much shorter recovery diet plan and said it was based on each individuals reactions to food.  I am just getting super bored with pureed food and I have started to get my appetite back so, consequently, I feel hungrier more frequently.  I know that pureed foods will not keep me satisfied as long as more solid food but I don't want to do anything at all that might jeopardize my band placement or health.  I'd love to hear what others have experienced.

This week is going to be insane.  I have to run a ton of errands before I start my new job on the 18th.  I've been unemployed since I got laid off last February (except for a stint from May-August when I worked a contract job).  It's been a long haul and I can't believe I am finally going back to work.  I also can't believe that I only have a week to get it together.  All this down time, you'd think I'd have it more together.

So friends, it is off I go to bed to try to get a decent night's sleep before the week of crazy.  Hope everyone had a great weekend!