So the opti stage is going much better than I anticipated. It's not easy by any means but I think the fact that there is an end in sight and there is a purpose behind it (besides losing weight) has made it easier to stick to it. It's not just a fad diet or a quick fix because I'm feeling shite about myself.It's for liver shrinkage baby!
Having said that, I'm only four days out. It's still early days. As a serial dieter, we all know how this normally ends. If I was good at dieting, I wouldn't be needing the surgery. So in the back of mind there's always this nagging little thought 'When are you going to slip up and cheat?'
I started on Saturday and I went straight onto the 'intensive' phase, meaning I replace all three meals with an opti product and can also have 2+ cups of non starchy veggies a day. I must admit the first couple of days were a real struggle. I was hungry all the time and I was drinking so much water I was running to the loo every five seconds. When my hubby crunched into an apple after dinner one day I just wanted to throttle him and then pry that globe of green, juicy goodness from his cold, dead hands!
On Tuesday morning I had an appointment with Jess, one of the dieticians at Dr D's office. She was so nice and very helpful and spent a good hour and a bit with me. We started by going over my history, the issues I've had in the past with my weight, we discussed in depths my eating disorders. She also asked about what I would eat over the course of a typical day. Do I skip meals? Is there anything I feel I'm addicted too (I'm looking at you Coke Zero!). What causes me to binge? Very thorough to be honest.
Once she had gotten an idea of what my habits were, we moved onto the pre-op diet. Apparently I was being too strict on opti and had a little more leeway. I only have to replace two meals with an opti product and the other one I'm allowed a palm sized piece of protein or two eggs. That, as well as the veggies makes it a little easier to follow. Then she dropped the bombshell on me. No caffeine.
I'll pause here for that to sink in. No coffee.
I'm two days caffeine free now and my head is absolutely pounding. And it has been since yesterday afternoon! Last night I was so irritable that I threw a wobbly that would put a toddler to shame. My poor long suffering hubby is most likely questioning his decision to commit to a lifetime with me. I really wish I'd known sooner that I'd have to kick the caffeine (for those of you wondering why, caffeine inhibits the shrinkage of the liver and if your liver is too big and 'buttery' then they can't clamp it far enough out of the way and it will get knocked about during surgery) because if I did know, I would have weaned myself off it rather than go cold turkey.
We then moved onto the first four weeks post-op. Jess was very adamant that I needed to listen to my body very carefully afterwards. They give rough guidelines - two weeks on thin fluids, then a week of puree and finally a week of soft foods transitioning to normal food. However, depending on how my body heals, I can either move quicker through the stages or stay on them longer. If I start to feel hungry after a week on thin fluids, my body is telling me it's time to move onto more substantial food.
The one thing I really appreciated was when she told me that the pre-op diet would be the last diet I'd ever go on and afterwards I was to rip up the paper outlining it and never look at it again. Once I'm on the sleeved side I'm to give my body what it needs ( 2-3 serves of protein, 2 serves of veggies, 1 serve of fruit, cereal and dairy) and then afterwards if I want chocolate or something else, I can have it without the guilt because my body has already gotten what it needs. Obviously my new tummy will be much smaller and so I might only manage one square of choccie, but the important thing is there should be no guilt!
I found the appointment really useful, I got some good tips (I've already ordered the Nutristart pack from bandbuddies.com.au that comes with some plates and vitamins and a guide to eating after WLS) but more of all, I came out very hopeful. I've tried and failed so many times to lose weight and in the back of my head there's that nagging thought that this is going to fail as well. Jess really made me believe that it is possible, I can lose this weight and I can keep it off but most importantly, I can become healthy. She told me that she would prefer if I was a fit size 14 than an unhealthy and sickly 55kgs. She set a rough weight goal for me of 70-75kgs but ultimately she'd prefer me to aim for a size 14.