The Post-Birthday Hangover

Birthday Card designed and created by Kristina Daniels.

…you know, the one when you wake up and realize you not only have a mile-long list of stuff to do today but also have to catch up on all the stuff you didn’t do yesterday because you were busy goofing off? Yeah. that hangover.

It should have been a great day, really. Due to unexpected circumstances, I got to see my parents and my brother, as well as one of my best friends, who made me the card you see above and brought me a bouquet of flowers as well. (Yes, men are allowed to like flowers. I checked.) I got an awesome lightweight laptop from my in-laws, who wanted me to have something to write with while I was in the hospital and recovering from surgery next month. I had dozens of birthday wishes from friends and family all over the country.

So why didn’t I enjoy my birthday more?

In a word: food.

I wanted to go have a beer or three to celebrate. I couldn’t.

I wanted to go out to dinner somewhere, like I’ve done for my birthday every year that I can remember. Not only was this a bad idea from a diet perspective, but I couldn’t exactly go by myself. (Lor is still recovering and on a liquid diet besides.)

I wanted a birthday cake and ice cream so bad it almost felt like physical pain.

I got through the day successfully, managing to stay under my daily max of 105 grams of carbs with room to spare. But I was miserable all day. I smiled while visiting with everyone, did my best to be nice to Lor, and spent most of the day trying not to think about food. It was hard – probably harder than any day I have experienced since the first week of our low-carb diet switch. As a result, I was probably not as friendly as I should have been, and my nursing care for Lor definitely suffered. As did all the stuff that I should’ve been doing around the house. Which I am getting to do today. Which is not making me very happy.

See a pattern here?

At the beginning of this pre-surgical process, I was really worried about being restricted from various foods, because fat men love food, right? (And no, I am not afraid of the term “fat”, political correctness notwithstanding. That is probably a whole other post.) These days, I am beginning to resent my attraction to food. These overwhelming cravings just drive me crazy – they make me feel like an addict in recovery. Ok, ok – I am an addict in recovery. But that doesn’t make me like it any better.

Many post-bariatric surgery patients talk about how their entire relationship with food had changed. They no longer want to eat, but now look at food as nothing more than fuel – the body has to be “gassed up” every once in a while, but otherwise they do not enjoy eating. And that whole idea makes me sad, too. Because deep down, I don’t want my love of food to be removed from my life.

Because I love eating so much that it has made me obese.

Someone help me off this carousel – it is making me so dizzy that I want to throw up.

Looking For The Nearest Trash Can,

– Hawkwind

Food Porn

 

Happy April Fools Day! And no, sadly, nothing in this article is an April Fools joke.

I had another one of “those” dreams last night. I looked around to see if anyone I knew was watching, then opened the door and hurried inside. I paid the girl at the front, trying not to look her in the eye, afraid of the pity or disgust I might see there. Taking a deep breath, I went around the corner…

…and grabbed a plate and joined the line at the Golden Corral buffet.

And then woke up, gasping, in a cold sweat.

Seriously, is anyone else having this problem? Because for sure no one else is talking about it. But I am seriously starting to fantasize about food. There’s the usual kind of stuff – drive by McDonald’s with Lor and talk about how much we miss french fries and all that. But I seem to be having some more serious issues. For instance;

  • In the grocery store, I find myself lingering in the bakery section, looking over donuts, cakes, and pies. Even the ones I would not have been interested in before I started this process!
  • On those occasions when we are allowing ourselves “forbidden foods” (one meal a week currently), if I have been sent to get them without Lor, I strongly consider if I should get an extra item and eat it before I get home.
  • I now watch cooking shows – something I rarely did before we started the pre-surgical process. I am not watching to learn how to cook. I am watching so that I can see the forbidden foods that are being prepared.
  • I am having the most bizarre cravings. On the way home from a workout earlier this week, I was craving toast. Toast!

Seriously, folks – this is addict behavior. I thought I ate too much because I was bored – my disability and impaired mobility left me with nothing to do, so I would eat. Right? Apparently wrong. All this time I have been blaming boredom and the fattening effects of my anti-seizure medications for my obesity, but apparently there was another factor: I seem to be a food junkie. Who knew?

Well, yes, ok – probably every significant person in my life knew this about me, but the important thing is that I didn’t know. I literally had no idea that addictive behavior was a part of the problem. And now, I begin to have some serious doubts about the Gastric Sleeve – is this going to be enough to overcome these impulses and urges? I know that the Sleeve procedure removes the majority of the stomach, the parts that produce Ghrelin – the hunger-causing hormone in our body. But is a lack of hunger from the stomach going to do anything to deal with this hunger that I know is coming from my mind?

It makes me wonder, what kind of person fantasizes about food? Am I the only one on the planet with this condition? Because it certainly isn’t anything I have heard of or read about before. Binge eating? Sure, that one is talked about on a daily basis. Fantasizing about binge eating? That’s a new one to me.

Staring Into The Fridge, Waiting For Chocolate To Appear,

– Hawkwind