Saturday, April 29, 2006

Felicia's Story: A Gastric Bypass Patient Goes Raw- PART II of II

Photos: Felicia, Winter 2005 before going raw / Today, after going raw

In Part I, Felicia discussed her experience after gastric bypass surgery. In Part II, Felicia talks about having to deal with her food addictions after losing over 150 lbs, and how she decided to try a raw lifestyle.

For me it started with admitting that I could visibly see without a shadow of a doubt that I had a problem. It sounds so cliché but I can honestly say that I know where it comes from. I sat in my house running from room to room (I hid the cookies in the guest room) munching on cookies until the bag was gone. When I weighed myself at the end of the week I had gained about eight pounds. I was sick! I don’t mean physically (though I should have been) but sick with remorse, guilt, frustration and whatever other emotion you want to attach to this. I HAD to do something because I had read stories of OTHER bypass patients gaining all their weight back, but that would NEVER be me. PSYCH! It was becoming me; with a vengeance!

Enter Allison; gently coaxing me to join her in the raw food revolution. She had been there all along, whispering sweet benefits of being raw. Her depression had lifted; she was losing weight at the rate of a gastric bypass patient. She wasn’t craving anymore and she seemed to genuinely be satisfied with the lifestyle and willing to stick to it. I couldn’t do a thing to make her “cheat”. I wasn’t interested though, I had all kinds of reasons why I wouldn’t be able to do this. I wasn’t strong enough to adhere to all the rules of being raw. I felt like if I couldn’t eat my favorites then I couldn’t eat anything… and I surely couldn’t survive on a raw diet. After my “Costco” episode I started to “hear” her calling me to her side. I guess I was ready to listen, because I knew my life depended on it.

I said I would do it, but only for one week because I could not possibly survive anything more! That week was hard. I craved and I compensated by overeating all the fruits and veggies that I wanted. The sky was the limit, and I said to myself if I can’t have cake, damn it I am going to have 4 bananas! They are sweet delicious goodness! I was making fruit pies, and drinking fruit smoothies. I made my version of raw cookies and tried my hand at other raw deserts. The only problem with that was that my GAS(troentestinal) problems became even worse with all the fruit I was eating. Sugar is sugar folks!

At first I didn’t care. My week came and went, I decided by the end of the week NOT that it wasn’t so bad, NOT that I wasn’t having cravings because I thought that I still experienced craving, NOT that I was ok with doing this for the rest of my life but I had lost my eight pounds and that was good enough to keep at it for at least another week. By the end of the second week my problems with gas continued to bother me and those around me. I told Allison that I thought maybe my body was trying to tell me something… maybe this diet isn’t so healthy for me and that I should cease immediately and go back to the old way of eating. After all I was having problems. But the problem was that I was still eating too much fruit and through education and common sense I had to stop drinking smoothies and eating more fruit than actual food. By the time I looked up I was three weeks into the program, jamming in the kitchen; trying my hand at new creations by Felicia… yada yada yada and that brings me up to the present.

I can’t say that this was an easy journey as much as it was necessary. I don’t feel like it’s over but I certainly feel like my eating is more manageable since I went raw. I say on my obesityhelp profile that things are clearer for me since I started this program. Before with all the sugar, the little voices in my head were always turned on and revved up; telling me to eat this and eat that. Now, they are still there but they are muted by the other little revved up voices that say “good job”, “you’re finally in control”, “keep up the good work”, “how about a nice tasty salad?”, “it looks like we are going to achieve our goal this time”. It would be awfully hard to ignore the newer, friendlier voices these days. It would be a deliberate and extremely conscious move on my part that I am not willing to make. I feel like I could do this raw thing forever because I like being rid of my bigger problem which is my food addiction.

Although I still think I can eat more than a gastric bypass patient should be able to eat, I feel blessed that I can eat a normal amount of food. Now that I am paving a path to good nutrition and health I feel that eating a regular amount should not be a problem. I feel confident that what I am putting in my body is helping me and I feel really proud to be able to say that day by day I am further and further away from my old, bad habits and on my way to a healthy lifetime of good, new RAW habits!

Thank you Allison… MWAH!
NOTE: Felicia started eating raw March 26th, at 215 lbs. Today, almost 5 weeks later, she is at 197 and counting. If you'd like to visit Felicia's gastric bypass journal, you can click this link.




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