Taking Small Bites

Three years after having weight loss surgery, two years after losing half my body size — and then gaining some back during pregnancy — I still have issues with food. It’s like a dirty little secret: the surgery affected my stomach and my intestines, my duodenum and my pylorus, but NOT my brain. I still love food the same way I did when I weighed 275lbs. I still eat a lot of the same things I ate when I weighed 275lbs. In fact, if you want to lose weight, do NOT hang out with me. My diet consists of eggs, full fat dairy, red meat, and most grains. And I never skip dessert or chocolate. I eat more carbs and sugar than most weight-loss surgery patients, and I do “suffer” for it — bloating, gas, diarrhea, all that fun stuff. Coldstone ice cream is worth some pain. Other foods (spinach, tomatoes) aren’t.

Another thing I suffer from is can’t-believe-I’m-an-adult-eating syndrome, which means  that sometimes I get the urge to eat all my childhood comfort foods and nobody stops me. Then I realize (1) I’m not actually hungry, just feeling emotional, and (2) childhood comfort food doesn’t help that and (3) goldfish crackers are just salty fake cheesy nastiness and I don’t even like them.

Right now I’m on a bit of a food burnout. Because I eat whatever I want, I run out of cravings pretty quickly. Plus, when nothing is off-limits (thanks to Lact-aid) everything is a little boring. Meanwhile, the other day, as I inhaled some flautas at a Mexican restaurant near our new house, I realized that no matter how hungry I am — or not — I eat like a ravenous squirrel at every meal.

Part of it is the reality of eating with five children. “Mom, I spilled my water.” “Mom, I need a cup.” “Mom, where are the napkins?” “Mom, can I have more?” “Mom, this is yuck.” “Mom, daddy needs salt.” “Mom, Zesty just threw up.” My children are expected to take care of their basic table needs for the most part, but I find myself getting up and down seventeen times a meal. If I want to eat it hot, I need to eat it fast, before the natives get restless.

But another part has no explanation. Even if I’m eating by myself, I find myself eating quickly and taking huge bites. Even if there’s plenty of food. Even if I’m not hungry.

I talked to My Chemical Romance about this, and told him that I’m going to try and take smaller bites when I eat. And I found it extremely difficult. I ate lunch with The Informant and My Masterpiece and we had plenty of food and everyone was happy, nobody needed anything — and still it was hard not to act like a total food vacuum. I’m going to work on this, but it may take some time.

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