Weighty Matters

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Miniscule Meals

on February 25, 2012

Today’s my first full day of pureed and soft foods after six weeks of liquids.  I woke up excited to taste things other than broths, protein shakes, plain Greek yogurt and juice.  I will admit that I was also apprehensive.  I have a history of binge eating and compulsive overeating.  What if I was so over-the-moon at the idea of cottage cheese that I shoveled it down into my small stomach pouch, only to have my body rebel and bring it right back up again?

Fresh in my mind was the dietitian’s reminder the other night that we really should eat a small amount of something – beginning with protein – every three hours.  At the time, I thought, “Every three hours?  Geezus, I’ll be eating all freaking day.  How’s that going to help me lose weight?”

I needn’t have worried.  I started the day with a single scoop protein shake because it was easy and I don’t mind the taste for breakfast.  (No time to scramble an egg this morning before Tai Chi.)  When I got home from Tai Chi class I knew I needed some protein and I gleefully opened a four ounce container of cottage cheese, ready to luxuriate in the tangy creaminess.

Four half-forkfuls later, I was done.  Seriously done.  I couldn’t stomach one more curd.  I felt full enough that if I’d tried another tiny forkful, I know I would have heaved.

The container wasn’t even half empty.  I now completely get the “eat a little something every three hours”.  The key is that bit about “little something” and the reminder that at every meal or snack, we need to get in the protein first.   Sure, if every three hours a person consumed the equivalent of a McD’s value meal, they’d gain weight at an alarming rate.  Two ounces of food every three hours — not so much.  In fact, now having taken my stomach sleeve on a soft food test run, I see that spacing out the food is the only way that I’m going to be able to consume enough food to satisfy my nutritional needs and remain healthy.

I put down the fork and drove off to pick up my dogs from doggy camp where they’d stayed while I was out of town overnight.  When we returned home I ate another small forkfuls of the cottage cheese and then took in some more fluids.  (Everything in balance.)  I did some chores, cleaned the pool and did some water exercises and just now finally finished the rest of the cottage cheese.  One four-ounce container eaten over three “meals”.

Wow.  I’m pleasantly satisfied, but don’t feel stuffed.  This is a totally opposite way of eating for me and radically different feeling.  In the worst days of my eating disorder when I was completely out of control, I felt like there was never enough food to fill me up.  Of course, I was trying to satiate more than physical hunger, but in the meantime I packed in huge quantities in relatively short periods of time.

This is so different and so incredibly pleasant.  Miniscule meals — yet another new tool for success!

4 responses to “Miniscule Meals

  1. londonmabel says:

    My body prefers to eat that often too, so I’m also just trying to keep the meals smallish!

  2. Thea says:

    When I was seven I had my tonsils removed and could only take liquids and – yay! – ice cream. (Yogurt loomed not so large on the shelves back in the day.) I was seven, ate what was in front of me, never thought much about food. Lying in bed, recuperating, captive of my restricted diet, I had extraordinary food fantasies that I still remember. What’s it good for today? Picking out the good recipes from a sea of bad for my husband to cook. He’s in the kitchen right now whipping up ground turkey and scallion meatballs with Asian glaze, a recipe I found on SmittenKitchen. Yummies! I’ll eat about six tiny meatballs, and then the savor will go and I’m outathere.

    On the other hand, and in your corner, I can still savor cottage cheese ounce by ounce.

    Good atcha. I know you’re a winner. I look forward to following your journey.

  3. Marti says:

    So, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, what happens when you reach your goal weight? What keeps you from losing too much? Do they remove the sleeve?

    • Mary Stella says:

      That’s a great question. Right now I’m on a high protein/low everything else plan with fewer calories. When I reach goal weight the dietitian will help me adjust to take in more calories without increasing the portions. That way I’ll be able to maintain without gaining back pounds or losing more than I should. (My brother had the same question.)

      They can’t remove the sleeve. The sleeve is actually what remains of my stomach. It’s about the size of a small banana. They cut and removed the rest.

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