Weighty Matters

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Managing Food During Recovery

on March 24, 2017

In the past, days that I spend hanging around the house are usually days when I find it more challenging to stay on my food plan and not make compulsive eating choices.  I was concerned about how I would do with maintaining my abstinence and not overeating these weeks that I am recovering at home. Even grazing with a couple extra bites here, a couple extra there means that I’m giving in to the compulsion. The behavior can also add up to a lot of calories. Given that I’m also not able to do good calorie-burning cardio, I’ve been fearful that I would gain weight.

So far, so good. Right away after surgery I had a false-water retention gain of ten pounds. I was filled with fluid and my sister-in-law cautioned me to not even get on the scale for a few days. They weighed me in the hospital and, of course, I weighed myself as soon as I got home. Then, knowing that this gain would gradually go away as the fluids flushed from my body, I stayed away from the scale for most of the week. When I weighed again this morning, I was quite happy to see that not only had the gain gone away but I was also a couple of pounds down from my pre-surgery weight.

I was also surprised because my diet since home has included more carbs than I usually eat. I started to really think about it and note exactly what I was eating and when. I believe the weight loss is due to a combination of behavioral adjustment and overall quantity of foods.

I am not indulging in unplanned snacking as I feared I might. I am also eating smaller portions at meals. I feel fuller on less food and have less appetite overall. The appetite  reduction could be a side effect of the pain meds. However, I think reaching satiety with less food indicates an overall reset in my body and habits. This is something that I’ve been working toward off and on for several months.

I definitely want to make the most of this and build on it moving forward. There are a couple of guidelines that I’m following. I make sure that I have protein and produce at lunch and dinner. Even if I also have a little bread or potato or beans that add carbs, I focus on the protein and produce first so that those important nutritional components are in my body before I reach satiety. I continue to pre-plan my meals. This is particularly useful since I’m dependent on rides to get to the supermarket.

It’s also important that I continue to work on drinking enough water each day. I’m aiming for 64 ounces of plain water and green tea a day, with the majority of the fluids coming from water.

I’m not fixing a weight loss number in my head during my recovery weeks at home. I’m happy just to lose any pounds at all. It’s a good way to maintain a goal and be pleased with positive results.

In other news, I had my third PT appointment today and also continue to do my home exercises. We’re seeing improvement in my extension, flexion and leg straightness! I believe that overall level of pain is dropping along with the duration of the painful periods. Although I’m still not able to sleep through the night, I compensate by taking naps whenever I need to do so.

Recovery – both physically with my knee and emotionally/mentally/physically with my eating disorder – is on a good, positive trend!

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