in Not a Diet
This afternoon I’ll have my six-month post-op check-in with my surgeon’s office. Of course, it’s actually been eight months, but they didn’t have any open appointments for awhile when I called to book, so… well, it’s a little delayed. Which doesn’t really matter.
So, in preparation, first of all I went into my old friend SparkPeople, and entered in the foods that I normally eat in a typical day, just to make sure that I’m hitting my target protein range of 60-80 grams per day. I know my nutritionist will be asking me to give her this information and then doing the math on the protein, so I wanted to be mentally prepared for her to scold me if I wasn’t hitting it.
This is what I entered:
4 oz. low-fat cottage
cheese (12 grams protein)
Spinach salad containing:
3 oz. grilled chicken breast (20 grams protein)
1 hard-boiled egg (6 grams protein)
1 cup spinach (1 gram protein)
1/2 oz. feta cheese (2 grams protein)
1/4 avocado (1 gram protein)
1/4 tomato (0 grams protein)
2 tbsp. non-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing (0 grams protein)
6 oz. light yogurt (5 grams protein)
3 oz. lean ground turkey (17 grams protein)
1 cup whole wheat spaghetti (7 grams protein)
1/4 cup tomato sauce (1 gram protein)
According to SparkPeople, this gives me a grand total of 72 grams of protein on the day, smack in the middle of my target zone. So, that’s great. But what I was more struck by was the total calorie count it provided. Of course, it isn’t exact because, for example, I make my own spaghetti sauce from scratch, and I eat different things every day, and I didn’t include brands on some things, so all of this is an estimate.
But the calorie total at the bottom of the page was 818 calories.
Now, this isn’t ALL I eat in a given day. One of the things that I love about this surgery is that I don’t feel guilt and shame about my eating choices anymore, because my body naturally does what it should. So, if I want to grab a handful of chips, I do. If I want some ice cream for dessert, I have it. I would guess that I add 200-300 calories to my daily intake through this type of snacking. And I’m totally fine with that.
But STILL. My main meals of the day (and I do feel that this was a pretty accurate summary, though I don’t measure my food anymore so the amounts were approximate) add up to under 1,000 calories? I mean, that’s good, that’s to be expected, and it’s great that I feel full and energetic after that amount of food. But I just had no idea, you know? I really didn’t know.
I think the issue is that I’ve gotten so used to eating these smaller portions that I don’t even remember the portions that I used to require in order to feel satisfied. This is my new normal. It has become old hat to only eat this amount. So it doesn’t feel like a small amount. In fact, it feels like a lot. In fact, as I was typing all this food into the list, I was thinking about how it was SO MUCH. And then I saw the calorie count at the end.
I mean, what a sea change from a year ago, when I was all about resisting eating what I wanted, feeling hungry all the time, and yet eating much more than I’m eating now. What a difference from the constant internal dialogue–should I eat or shouldn’t I eat–to the place where I am now, where it’s just natural. Where it doesn’t have to be a battle. Instead it’s just fuel, and enjoyable.
This must be what some people always feel like in relation to food. But I was never one of them before.
Also, in preparation for today’s appointment, I had extensive bloodwork done a few weeks ago. The tests analyzed my nutrient levels, my kidney function, my white blood cell count, my cholesterol, my blood sugar, and my thyroid function, among many other health indicators. And then, because I didn’t want to wait until this appointment to find out the results in case there was a problem that needed to be rectified, I called my surgeon’s office to discuss the results. And I was told that they are textbook perfect. Every single one of my health indicators is within the normal range, exactly where it should be. Every. Single. One.
AND, to boot, I’ve lost 65 pounds so far.