As I prepare for the new birthday of my body on December 13th, I continue to read material, research diet/exercise/preparation steps and as well as the following of three different bariatric surgery support groups.
One of the recurring posts I read are examples of how people are completely disconnected from their own bodies. The questions and the posts from people who are post-surgery complaining about how they “feel” are all so telling that they are not aware that their bodies speak to them at all times and in so many ways. Whether it is pressure, discoloration, pain, balance or “feelings”, there are a symphony of indicators that play the tune of how our bodies are working at that exact moment in time.
What I have learned is the stomach is a muscle bag. Being a muscle it is easily stretchable and when you remove 85-90% of said muscle, many things are going to change. Capacity for food goes from approximately 34 ounces to 4 ounces. Thus eating too fast or too much can cause upper stomach pain and pressure. Not chewing food to the consistency of applesauce or taking larger than minuscule bites may result in food lodging above the stomach. And drinking liquids before/during/after meals will wash the food through making you hungry sooner and you greatly reduce any nutrients absorbed. All of these actions are going to cause adverse effects. These are lessons we are taught early in the preparation process. Why these prescriptions to a successful experience are ditched early on is beyond my understanding.
There is much joy to be found in the journey and in the sleeve, which is simply a tool to success. Failing to listen to how our bodies respond to the changes can be our demise.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is to “listen” for the cues of when my stomach is full and to STOP eating. I have learned that these signs are different for everyone. Some will experience a small burp or hiccup, while others notice their nose begins to run. I invite you, this week of Thanksgiving, to “listen” for your sign of fullness, and recognize how “full” our lives are as we give thanks for all that we have and all the love that surrounds us.
Surgery or not, each day is a gift and our body the messenger of our health. So take a moment to stop, to look and to LISTEN.