Weighty Matters

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Celebrating Food and Eating Guilt-Free

I had another solid day with my food plan.  I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate the positive effects of building a great day.  I’m choosing to celebrate how I feel right now because I’m fully aware this will help me bridge the effects over to tomorrow.

During the day, the food plan was sort of boring and uninspired.  Nutritionally sound, yes.  Fabulous, no, but I stayed committed.  🙂  I made up for it at dinner — not in amount of food, but in quality.  I’d made plans for a couple of good friends to join me for a porch sit.  I don’t remember if I’ve explained a porch sit before.  Basically, it’s just like it sounds.  My friends come over and we sit out on my porch and chat.  Usually we have some sort of food and wine while we enjoy each other’s company, conversation, and the view of the harbor.

While we normally get take out from somewhere, I felt like cooking so I ran out last night and got the ingredients for Gnudis.  (To read more about my discovery of these delicious treats, click here.)  Tonight after work, I took fresh basil from my herb garden, walnuts, garlic and olive oil and mixed up a fresh pesto as an additional choice to the marinara.  Add some spring greens for salad and crusty bread (for my friends, not me) and we had a light, tasty meal.

The process pleased me for so many reasons.  One, I love to cook.  Two, I love to cook and serve friends food then watch them enjoy what they eat.  Three, everything I made and served fit my food plan.   Not only could I enjoy the flavors in the immediacy of the tasting, but I didn’t have to deal with an aftertaste of guilt.

That’s how food and eating should be, don’t you think?  We should all be able to celebrate food for its deliciousness, the nutrition it provides, and the social and cultural aspects of preparing and sharing meals.  We should all also be able to enjoy the celebration without descending into crapitude afterwards.

All of my life, my relationship with food and how I used it was immensely dysfunctional.  Improving this connection is doing great things for me right now.  I’m relishing the positive changes.  All I need to do is follow my food plan and I can enjoy this feeling every day.


Choosing to Win

At work over the last couple of years, we’ve been working with an amazing coach.  This woman has worked at the United Nations, mediated in the Middle East between two completely opposite religious sects, written books and done other impressive things too numerous to mention.  In one of our earliest sessions, she explained how every day before she gets out of bed she chooses her attitude.  That resonated with me.

Every day, pretty much every action we take is preceded by choice.  Sometimes we choose appropriately, but lots of times – not so much.  Sometimes we let reaction jump ahead of whatever we might have done if we’d taken time to think about our choices and then acted.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  As a compulsive overeater, I have a long history of acting without conscious thought when it comes to food.  I’ll obliterate my ability to correctly choose, act too fast.   I can’t count the number of times that I’ve eaten something and had it all the way down in my stomach before it even registered that I wasn’t hungry, didn’t particularly want the food, and had hardly realized that I’d eaten it in the first place.

I hate that feeling of not being in control of my choices.  Hate it, while at the time time it feels like losing control is in and of itself another choice.  I mentioned yesterday that it’s felt like I’ve floundered a lot in recent weeks.  I was determined to get back on track today.

Not following my food plan or falling back into old compulsive behaviors are not choices that I wish to make.  Today before I got out of bed, I revisited the lessons from our coach.  I told myself that I chose to have a solid, good, productive day and to follow my food plan.  This mentally and emotionally set me up for success and I rode it through all day long.  I stuck to my food plan, even though I walked out of the house and forgot the yogurt I’d planned to eat for lunch.  Luckily, a good friend at work had just purchased a bunch of sliced turkey breast and offered me some.   So, I made the choice to adjust and eat healthy, instead of using it as an excuse to run to the lunch cart and buy something that would have taken me too far off my day’s path.

It’s 10:34 p.m.  I stayed on my food plan all day with the emphasis on protein, low on carbs and fat.  I also got in plenty of fluids.  It’s always a great reinforcement to me when staying on point physically improves and boosts me mentally and emotionally.  A day like today can power me through.

I have a lot of tomorrows ahead of me.  I can let them slide and be mediocre, or I can choose to make them as great as possible.

Guess which I plan to choose?

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The Airplane Analogy

Anybody who has ever flown on a commercial airline has heard the pre-flight safety announcements.  At some point the flight attendant talks about what to do if the cabin loses air pressure and oxygen masks drop down.  What do they always say?  “If traveling with someone who needs your assistance, put secure your mask first.”

I always try to remember those words and act that way in a variety of situations.   I can’t help someone else with their problems if I am not solid, secure, and in balance.  If I’m gasping for air, how can I assist others with their oxygen masks, right?

I’ve been floundering a little the last couple of weeks.  So many emotions, with a heavy load of sadness, impacting my heart and mind.  As an emotional eater, it has been really difficult for me to stay in balance with my food choices.  For the last week, I also had some internal system problems and physically felt awful, too — to the point where people could see it on my face.

I just flew up to Connecticut for my cousin’s memorial service and back.   Two flights meant hearing that announcement twice in 48 hours. It really struck a chord.  There are times when I can help someone else and times, like with the massage on Thursday, where someone else can help me.  However, there are essential times and aspects of life where each of us is solely responsible for progress and successful outcomes.  When all is said and done, I’m the only one who can put on my mask and keep myself functioning on my food plan.  I’m the only one who can remember to keep my intake on target and in balance so that I satisfy my nutritional goals and don’t let my system get out of whack.

It’s still a learning process for me to stay on the right course regardless of what happens around me and how what happens affects my emotionally.   I need to make sure that I have tools and resources within reach.  If the pressure gets to me, I need to know that I’ve installed the oxygen masks within easy reach so that I can continue to function with a clear head.

Breathing in and out is fairly simple.  Staying on my food plan is too.  I know what works best for me.  Tonight, even though I’m tired, I feel like I’ve cleared out my head.  I know exactly what I’m going to have for breakfast, what I’m taking to work for lunch, and what I’ll have for dinner tomorrow.  Before tomorrow’s over, I’ll have myself organized for Tuesday and so on.

Even though I’m helping myself and not someone else tomorrow, I’ve put the mask over my own face first.


Understanding Myself / Having Others Understand

I’m up in Connecticut for my cousin’s memorial service.  This afternoon, I visited with my aunt and my younger cousin’s family.  I last saw them in December when my uncle passed away.  They all knew that I’d be having weight loss surgery the following month.

We’re Italian.  To some extent, this means that we are genetically and culturally programmed to focus a lot of our attention on meals and eating.  Any plans to visit involve the hostess to think about what to buy, fix and serve for a meal.  Whether people only eat a little or plan to eat a lot there just has to be food around, with a strong concern that the people being served will want it, eat it and like it.

I’m the same way. When I make plans with friends for them to come over, I then immediately start thinking about what to serve or, at least, what to arrange.  Sometimes I cook and other times we mutually decide beforehand that we’ll order in, but there will be wine and there will be food.

I know this.  I embrace it.  I am comfortable with this practice.

That said, I also know my aunt and that, while she might hear me say, “Don’t fuss.  I really don’t need anything other than some protein — meat, cheese, heck, a couple slices of deli ham and I’m good to go”, she’ll still fuss.  Fussing is in her nature. 🙂  I called her yesterday, just to touch base.  Yes, in the phone conversation she asked what I could eat.  I told her not to go to any trouble and that I knew I’d be able to snack on anything she happened to have in the house.

When I got there this afternoon, after about ten minutes of visiting, she asked if I was hungry and explained that she’d taken some chicken breast, lightly cooked it in the pan and had that ready.  Did I want it over salad?  Would that be enough?  If not, she also had some cheese and some low-sodium ham.  I assured her that the chicken would be perfect and that I’d have some salad after if I had room.

After an hour or so of chatting, we  started to gather for a meal.  She brought out her chicken, all concerned about whether it would indeed be okay and would I like it.  In all of my life, I don’t think there’s ever been anything that she’s made for a meal that I haven’t eaten and enjoyed.  So, the uncertainty surprised me.  I thought about it while I sliced off a couple small pieces of chicken and slowly ate.

While I ate, I realized that this whole experience of having me in for a meal now isn’t the same as it was all the previous times and years of my life.  She’s watched me eat hearty meals for over 50 years.  I don’t think she’s ever eaten with a weight loss surgery patient before and she’s certainly never seen me eat so little — except maybe that time when I was a kid and had a 103 degree fever.  

I think that it was more a question of whether what she offered would be the good choice for me rather than whether the food itself would taste good.  Further, I believe until she experienced sharing a meal with me now in my new normal, she couldn’t know for sure.  Once she saw that I was absolutely happy and satisfied with the small portion of chicken and then the spoonful of salad, she relaxed.  Now it isn’t a new experience anymore and I’m positive she’ll be less nervous the next time.

I will be too.  Each time I travel or go somewhere out of my normal environment, I learn more.  I might not be able to 100% always control my eating environment, but more and more I’m learning that I can meet my nutritional needs and goals no matter where I go.  Understanding this about my life and myself relieves a stress that I didn’t know I carried.


Body Self-Acceptance

I do not like my body.  There.  I said it.  Actually, I first typed that I hate my body and then deleted the stronger verb.  You might find this hard to believe but it’s not just because I’m still fat with lumps, bumps, rolls, cellulite and other less-than-attractive features.   I’m also big-boned with broad hips and shoulders, large hands and feet, and a longer torso with shorter legs. 

There’s debate on that last part.  My nail tech says that I have longer legs than I think.  I vehemently disagree, but at the same time willingly admit that I am not the most objective person about my own body.  I’m not even a close second.  In fact, truth be told, I am the last objective person.  I hope this improves as I continue to lose weight, but there’s no guarantee.  So rather than worry about whether I will love, hate,  scoff at or scorn my even more slender physique, I’m just going to work on acceptance. 

It’s a damn good thing no guys have been interested in me for a long while.  No way in hell could I have worked up to getting naked with them.  When I think about the fact that for a couple of hours I was naked on an operating room table in a room full of doctors, all I can say is, “Thank God I was completely out of it and asleep.”  I purposely don’t think about it on my followup appointments with my surgeon.  It will do no good to look at  him and think, “Oh crap.  He saw my entire naked self.”

Where was I?  Oh right.   Acceptance.  I really am working in that general direction.  I look at some of the positive changes and smile.  I admire the length and grace of my fingers and my thinner wrists and forearms.  I notice that my ankles at the end of the day no longer look like I’ve slipped water balloons under the skin.    When I sit, I can tell that my thighs are less broad.  These are all good things to note and admire. 

Still, I’m a long, long way from really accepting myself and, hopefully, moving on to actually liking my body.   However, I think that today I made a big step forward.   I got a massage while wearing only my panties and a sheet.   Granted, the massage therapist was a woman and not some textbook fantasy hot Swedish guy with great muscles and strong hands, but still.  I willingly got more than half naked.

I’m so glad that I’d moved at least far enough forward in my quest for self-acceptance that I could take this step today because I really needed the care.  Last night I strained my back enough for it to be extremely stiff and painful today with slight, twisting movement.   I was miserable.   Six months ago I would have suffered through the pain for days until it eased on its own.  Today, when a friend suggested I call her excellent massage therapist friend, I took the leap. 

Thankfully, the woman had an opening.  She spent an hour working on the trouble spot as well as the rest of my back.  By the time that she was done, my pain was gone.

Today at least, progress in self-acceptance led to easing of agony.  

I’ve never loved massages.  Much of the time, they’ve been uncomfortable as the practitioners dug in too hard.  Lying face down on the tables has also not been the best position.  I’ve had times when I needed to adjust because it felt like my lungs couldn’t inflat properly beneath my excess pounds.  That problem is gone with the excess weight, I’m pleased to say.  I also didn’t worry about whether I was too heavy for her table.

Not only did I enjoy today’s massage, but I was also helped a great deal.  I’m planning to get a massage once a month or once every six weeks.  It’s a great way to reward myself while also working on more of that body self-acceptance.


Adjusting the Food Plan

My weight loss slowed a little last month.  By that I mean that I “only” lost 12 pounds in between visits to my doctor.  Don’t anybody hit me.  By any calculation, 12 pounds a month is still a helluva lot of weight.  Logically, I know this.  Emotionally, I wanted it to be 15 pounds or more.  When you eat as little as I do, you expect big reductions on a regular basis.

Allow me to smack myself upside the head for irrational griping.

Ok.  I’m back.

The truth is that over the last few days, I’ve gone over my conversations with the doctor and physician’s assistant and realized that while I’ve been “pretty good” about my food plan, I’ve slipped a little here and there.   No, I didn’t gorge out on carbs because, face it, I can’t physically gorge myself on anything any more.  However, I noticed that I had a little bit of carbs more times than I should have.  Likewise, I’m not planting myself face down in desserts and candy, but I’ve rationalized too many small pieces of chocolate or a single cookie with greater frequency than I did when I first started.

Is any of this behavior truly awful and horribly harmful?  No.  On the positive note, the fact that I’m controlling the individual portions so well is great progress for a compulsive overeater.   Seriously.  Eating one cookie is a miracle for a person who could chow down an entire box in an evening when on a binge.

So what, you might ask, is the big deal?  Simple.  I don’t want my progress to slow.   Carbs and/or sugar too often slow the progress.  So I lose 2 1/2 pounds in a week instead of 3 1/2 to 4.    I ask myself, what do I want more — that cookie or small serving of rice or a lower number on the scale?

The lower number wins.

I’ve been obsessing that I can’t seem to get vegetables into my diet on a regular basis.  I really do still concentrate on eating protein first.  I mentioned this to the doctor and he told that, for right now, I shouldn’t worry about it.  Intake of protein and drinking enough water are the top priorities until I get to my goal weight.  He understands that it sometimes gets boring and reminded me that when I’m at goal weight, additional food choices will be worked into my maintenance food plan.

All weekend I thought about these things and made a conscious decision to be more careful with my food choices.  I’ve realized anew that potatoes, rice, bread, chips, and crackers aren’t all that important or desirable.  Results are.  Doesn’t mean I can never ever pick up a piece of fruit or sample a fry, but I’m not going to make a meal of them either.

I can already feel and see the results of the new resolve.  My body is clearly happier and responding nicely.  Mentally, I like that I worked this all out and am pleased with my decision.

Happy body + happy mind = happy Mary.

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NSV – My Boat

Finally, I got out on my boat today for a while.  This is the first time since December, which means it was also the first time post-surgery and after losing almost 75 pounds.  I have a 22′ power catamaran which is not teeny but not huge.  It’s just the right size for me to handle and do the things that I like to do.

It is so much easier doing them now that I’ve lost weight!  I even fit on the seat behind the wheel more comfortably, which is a good thing when I’m steering. 🙂  I was also ever so much more agile and well balanced just getting on and off her, or walking around on the deck.  It was wonderful and provided a solid boost to my confidence.  I also realized that I can wear my life vest properly and still breathe.  Bonus!  (I’ll admit that I don’t wear it if someone else is on the boat with me, but if I’m going out alone, I want to have it on and be as safe as possible.

Boating brings me joy.  Being out on the water, cruising along, brightens my heart and fills my spirit with a lightness of being.  Whether I’m going fishing, to the sandbar to meet up with friends, or just taking a ride over turquoise water, I love this activity.

Last summer, one of the things that cemented my decision to have weight loss surgery was a big realization.  I was out at the sandbar in deeper water and I could not haul myself up out of the water on my boat ladder.  I actually had to let out more anchor line and back the boat up to shallower water.  That was a huge upset.  I also love to snorkel and the Florida Keys has a beautiful, colorful, living reef.  One of the things that I really want to do is take friends out to great snorkel spots.  I realized that day that if I did so, I wouldn’t be able to snorkel myself because I wouldn’t be able to get back on the boat.

Unacceptable!  It was one more solid reason why pursuing surgery was the right choice.

Things are going to be so different this summer.   I haven’t tried to climb back onto my boat from deep water yet, but I’m confident that before the summer ends, I’ll be able to do it without a problem.  I can’t wait!

Adding to my glee today, we saw dolphins when we were on the way back to the harbor.  We stopped the boat and watched the group play and forage.  I shot some photos.

Such bliss!


Doctor Follow Up

Yesterday was my monthly follow up appointment with my surgeon.  Blame that for me not getting here to post.  It takes me a little over 2  hours to drive to the doctor’s office in Miami.  By the time I got home yesterday evening after the round trip, I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open.  I certainly couldn’t muster the brain power to write.

Things went well.  I’ve lost around 73 pounds, depending on whether I use my scale or the doctor’s.   The doctor is really happy with my progress.  So delighted, in fact, that he now doesn’t need to see me again until August!  I really like this surgeon and his entire staff.  It makes me very happy that I can say that.  Really, when you think about it, nine months ago, they were strangers to me but I took the leap of faith and put my life and future in their hands.

Yes, my primary care doctor had experience with this practice, so it’s not like I closed my eyes and stuck a pin in the phone book listing of bariatric surgeons, but still.  When one is about to change her life forever and the first step is non-reverseable surgery, connecting with the surgeon in a positive way is important.   If the man had been a jerk when I first met him, I don’t think I’d have gone ahead — at least not with him.

One of the things that I like about Dr. W. and his physician’s assistant is that I never feel like they’re in a hurry or rushing through the appointment.  They sit down, ask me how I’m doing in general and then ask me specific questions.  They want me to stay healthy and be successful.  They’re very encouraging and supportive in their suggestions.  I also feel like they give me the straight scoop and don’t blow smoke up my butt when I have a question or concern.  I walk out of the appointments confident that I’m making solid progress in a healthy way and that nothing in my after care gets overlooked.

The doctor’s office is in the same building as a glorious Whole Foods.  I met friends down in the cafe and had a small meal from the W.F. yummy food bar.  I then browsed their fabulous array of other foods and made some selections to bring home.  Yummy herb-encrusted tenderloin, juicy and rare . . . a blackened, spicy chicken salad with chunks of flavorful meat . . . a spinach and feta “ball”.  I got the smallest portions and still have enough for five or six meals.  A little food goes a lonnngg way when you’ve had weight loss surgery.  Whole Foods also has a spectacular flower department.  I rewarded myself with a bright bouquet of red roses, rose-tipped yellow roses, sunshine yellow calla lilies, and daisies in complimentary colors.  I adore flowers and the bouquet sitting in front of me on the table makes me smile every time I look at it.

Every day that I get up, I work hard to follow my food plan and continue to make progress.  It’s important to reward myself for this effort in ways that make me happy and don’t involve overeating.  Delicious, healthy food and fresh, beautiful flowers are definitely positive reinforcement after such a great follow-up at the doctor!




Quick Changes and Daily Choices

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that things change pretty quickly when you do something relatively drastic like have 70% of your stomach removed.

Yeah, Mary.  You think? 🙂

There really wasn’t much “easing into” aspect to the new way of eating, even though it seemed like a lengthy transition process.  Yes, I did a week of clear liquids, then four weeks of full liquids, and a week of mushy and soft food before I started on solids.  I’ve sort of slowly integrated individual foods over the last months.  However, the essential change from being able to eat large quantities of food at one meal to only eating really small portions happened immediately.

Still, it sometimes surprises me.  Last night after Tai Chi, friends and I went to this popular little pub that’s known for their pizza and for the fact that the walls and ceiling are covered with dollar bills that guests staple to the wood.  I love pizza and particularly the hot, fresh, thick crust variety served at this pub.  In the past, I could easily have eaten three slices from a large pie, chased down with a couple of beers or sodas.

I was really looking forward to the treat.  I ordered an 8″ personal pizza for one.  It arrived in front of me and looked absolutely huge.  Granted, it had a thick helping of yummy melted cheese, but even then, it still looked, to my eyes, like it could feed a family of four.  That’s the change that I’ve already seen in how I now perceive portion size.

Logically, it was probably the equivalent of two slices from a full-size pizza, but to me . . . Wow.  I took a quarter of the pie and then cut it in half.  I admit that I ate all of the cheese topping but then only picked at the crust from one of the smaller slices.  That was it.  I was completely satisfied.

Another quick change has been the rapid reduction of my blood sugar.  I haven’t taken meds since the surgery but my morning numbers are terrific, even going into the low-to-mid 90s some mornings.  While I hoped that this would resolve, I truly didn’t expect the change to happen this soon.

A change for which I’m very grateful is the one in my attitude.  I was truly afraid that I’d go through the surgery and then resent the unreversable change, so it’s been a blessing so far that I’ve embraced the lifestyle alterations I’ve made so far and continue to make new ones.  I think it was my biggest fear that I’d regret doing this and then be pissy and miserable about it for the rest of my life.  Even worse, I feared that I would choose to push the limits of my new stomach size and try to stretch things out.  Did I say feared?  To be completely honest, it’s much deeper.   I’m still on the brink of terrified that I’ll eventually sabotage myself and return to the old ways.

The road to success takes me past a neverending series of choices and options.  There’s the big choice — success or failure.  Believe me, that’s a choice I have to make every day.  Then, as each day progresses, I have to decide to stick to the food plan and narrow it down to the individual food items for each of the six times that I eat each day.  Add in daily decisions on exercise.  This is a journey with a lot of thought and steps.  No coasting!

The bottom line is that I like the changes that I’m seeing in myself and that I’m feeling in my mindset and emotions.  These are all positively reinforcing and that makes it easier for me to continue picking the right choices.


Changing Tastes

I’m starting to notice some differences in the foods I like and don’t like or that no longer seem to like me.  I’m not eating a humongous variety of food items yet, so it’s a little hit or miss, but when I actually notice that a taste preference has changed, I remember.

A week or so ago, I made those gnudis — like the inside of a spinach and ricotta ravioli without the pocket of pasta.  Prior to making that dish, I’d never sauteed spinach.  I’m not a big fan of it raw in salads or sauteed with dinner.   Usually, I just like like it in a couple of preparations where, quite frankly, the spinach really doesn’t taste like spinach.  Take spinach and artichoke dip for example where there’s no one overriding flavor, but a blend of the veggies with the sour cream and mayo, accented by parmesan cheese.  I love spanikopita — Greek spinach and feta cheese pie — but, honestly, the spinach really serves as something green to separate the layers of buttery filo pastry, right?   Between the pastry and the sharp, yummy feta, who can taste the spinach?

I actually thought about skipping the spinach in the gnudi recipe, but at the store decided I’d go for the authenticity.  I dreaded buying a bunch of mature spinach and going through the whole multiple rinsing process.  Then my attention was caught by a container of organic baby spinach leaves.  “Washed 3 X” proclaimed the label.  “Oooooh,” I thought.  “Organic and clean, with no help from me!”

I brought home the package whie the olive oil heated, cautiously sampled the smallest leaf.  It was delicious.  I ate another and, suddenly, couldn’t wait to taste the sauteed variety.  I used it in the gnudi and have now made sauteed spinach two more times as a side dish with dinner.  Cooked baby spinach is a new favorite food.

In the past, I’ve loved butter like Paula Dean loves butter — although I used a lot less of it than she.  Still, I’d slather it on bread, waffles, French toast or pancakes.  I’d melt it to pour over popcorn or corn on the cob.  Butter in mashed potatoes, butter on steamed veggies, butter in the pan when cooking just about anything.  Did you see the movie Julie and Julia?  In it,  Meryl Streep as Julia Child smells a sizzling pan of fried fish, inhales and proclaims in awestruck adoration, “Buttterr.”  I could definitely identify.

Not so much these days.  It’s not that I’ve grown to dislike butter, but I’m just not head over heels for it the way that I used to be.  Granted, I haven’t had popcorn or corn on the cob yet, but I don’t have the compulsion to slice off a healthy pat and spackle it onto a hunk of bread.  Sometimes, the butter tastes off to me — but it isn’t the butter that’s bad.  My taste buds have changed.  I’m sure of it.

This is not a bad thing.  I’m sure my arteries are quite happy with the turn of events.  I’m also not as big a fan of bread anymore when, believe me, I could have lived on it — the better baked, the, well, better.   Mentally, I still think I want it.  Even though I’ve cut way back on carbs, my mind sometimes tells me that I’d like a break from the morning protein shake so I slip a slice of bread into the toaster.  When it pops, I apply some peanut butter and no-sugar-added jam, happily anticipating the treat.  A few bites into it and I’m scraping the peanut butter onto one half of the slice and then onto a quarter.  Yes, I still love the PB&J, but I’m content to split the rest of the toast between my two dogs.

I usually pack lunch but yesterday forgot.  I thought it would be a real treat to have half of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  I figured eating the smaller portion would be okay since I don’t indulge in this very often.  (Yesterday was actually the first time since my surgery.)  I ate slowly, focusing on the filling before the bread.  Unfortunately, I could barely finish even half before my stomach started to ache.  I thought that, perhaps, the stress of the last week was contributing to my less than stellar stomach.  The ick feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day.  However, I was still sure it was a reaction to circumstances and I anticipated all would be well when I heated up the remaining half for today’s lunch.  Sadly, I experienced the same reaction.  This leads me to believe that this is a meal that I need to cross off my list because it no longer agrees with me.

For the most part, it’s interesting to experience the changes in my likes and dislikes.  I’m not mourning the loss of sandwich bread from my life if, indeed, that’s what’s happening.  There are plenty of other foods that I still enjoy and that are better choices for me anyway.  I’d be much more sad if I no longer liked chocolate or steak.  I’m waiting for the night when I have dinner with friends and someone orders a really fresh, locally-caught piece of fish.  All of my life, I’ve hated the taste of fish, even shellfish.  Logically, I know it’s a healthy protein source and it would be great if I could learn to like it.

Maybe, like spinach, that will be one of the things I now enjoy.  We’ll have to see.  If it happens, I’ll report back!

**Edited to add:  I forgot that I’m also not drinking hot black tea the way that I used to.  I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but I used to always start my day with a hot cup of tea and usually had one or two additional cups throughout the day.  Now it’s no longer part of my daily routine.  Sometimes I stop for a cup, but most of the time it isn’t even on my radar.  Weird!