Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Liquid Diet: Week 1

One of the pre-surgery requirements for gastric bypass surgery is to do a liquid diet prior to the actual date. The minimum number of days, at least with the program I'm working with, is 10 days. I was told on March 2nd that I would need to do 21 days of a liquid diet.

I was assuming this was in large part to get me down to a weight that would make it safer to have this surgery. I was also told the length of time was, at least in part, based on what they needed my organs (specifically my liver) to do prior to surgery. I'd had an ultrasound done earlier that day - and based on those results it was determined I'd require a longer liquid diet. I wasn't particularly shocked to hear this news - nor was I jazzed.

I was able to enjoy my Easter - eating as many cheesy potatoes as I could handle at the time. I even allowed myself a piece of aunt Linda's french silk pie. I knew I had my liquid diet sentence starting the next day, so I tried to enjoy every bit of it.

Here is what I can have: 65-70grams of protein a day through protein shakes made with milk, protein powder or carnation instant breakfast packets. Broth, Tea, Propel, sugar-free jello, popsicles and Crystal light (I was approved to use Spark instead)

Monday morning came, and I did a little shopping. I bought 2 gallons of milk (which is more milk than I've probably had in the last 10 years combined) and used the protein powder I had on hand to get a couple of shakes mixed up. I was sad to discover that Costco didn't have a huge case of sugar-free jello. I guess there isn't a real need for fruity flavored air in bulk quantities? I'm going to confess - I thought to myself "maybe 2 weeks and 6 days is enough - -I could have one more day of eating". It was short-lived, and I didn't do it, but the thought crossed my mind.

My trainer Scott had shared a secret with me earlier - if you mix up your protein shake, and put it in the freezer for about an hour, it tastes icy and delicious when you drink it. I decided this was going to be my secret to success. I mixed up the 3 shakes as described by my dietician to get me to the appropriate amount of protein. I supplemented that with a couple of Spark (fruity powder you mix with water - made by Advocare) shakes. Monday was long, and boring - but it was the first day so I was naively feeling confident.

Then day 2 hit. I was starving! I had to work that day, so I was grateful for the distraction. I had my 3 protein shakes again that day, had a couple of Spark shakes, and decided I was definitely going to need to get a couple of other things on my extremely limited list of approved items to supplement this thing. I went and bought sugar-free jello, sugar-free popsicles and carnation instant breakfast. The carnation packets are lower in protein than my protein powder, so I'd be able to have more of them. I had a new strategy for the fight. I had a popsicle as soon as I got home, and it may have been the most delicious thing I'd ever eaten.

Wednesday I had 2 protein shakes and 2 carnation shakes. Two sparks shakes, 2 cups of sugar-free jello and a couple of popsicles. I was still hungry. Every. Minute. This is also the day that I really started to notice a couple of the less-than-pleasant side-effects. I felt like I was on fire much of the time. I am going to go ahead and blame the feeling of starvation for the increase in body temp. I also started experiencing - and I apologize in advance for being so graphic - a fair amount of gas. How is this even possible, with the limited things I'm consuming!?!? But it's the reality.

Thursday was the same. Friday was the same. I started praying that one of these days I would turn the corner and not be hungry every second of every day. Gratefully, that day came on Saturday. I finally realized I wasn't starving all the time. Don't get me wrong - that was day six, and I hadn't experienced anything close to feeling full in all of those days....but it was the first day I noticed I wasn't actively hungry all day long. It felt like such a victory. I added some broth in on day 7 after a couple of friends on my page urged me to do so - and it was so delicious. A different flavor from the chocolate or fruity I'd been experiencing for 6 days. I totally recommend.

I am now on day 9. I'm down a total of 54 pounds. I have 13 days left of this liquid diet, and then it's the big day. But there are a few things that haven't changed for the better in these 9 days - - I still think about food constantly. I catch myself planning out my next meal. I spend my time on social media hiding all of the food ads/videos I come across. I turn the radio when food commercials come on. Unfortunately, I have to go to the store to get my rations. I almost dove face-first into the Doritos display right inside the door at Target this morning. I keep expecting to wake up one morning having had a dream where I was wrapped lovingly in a pizza.

The truth of the matter is - this is pretty miserable. I'm trying to keep my eyes on the prize. I'm trying to remember why I'm doing this - and focus on all of the things I'll be able to do in 6 months that I can't do now. I'm trying to...maintain some semblance of sanity. I try to forget the fact that I'd be done tomorrow if I wasn't a special case. I try...but a lot of the time I just don't win.

Here's to the next 13 days flying right by!

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