These are probably things you heard from your NUT or surgeon, but lets face it sometimes it doesn’t sink in until you hear it from someone who actually has gone though this.
- Start cutting out the foods that you won’t be eating during early months pre-op or potentially forever after surgery. The caffeine and carb withdrawl that you go through won’t be nearly as bad if you slowly reduce these things before your pre-op diet or surgery. Having to suddenly give up these things when you are forced to can make the pre-op diet much worse than it needs to be (or the early weeks after surgery if you don’t have a pre-op) both because of the actual effects that will have on your body as well as the mental games that will throw you through.
- Sit down and write out why you are doing this. Write down the reasons you are doing this and why you want this change in your life. Write down some post-op goals. It is common to go through second thoughts before surgery – having these things written down will give you something to go look at when you have these second thoughts. Knowing I had reasons for doing this and I wasn’t going to reach those goals without this surgery made it easy to scare away second thoughts right before surgery. Part of what I wrote down as goals can be found on my blog here.
- Start taking your vitamins. This is something I wish I had done. It takes some time to build a regimen and make the pattern stick. It’s not easy if you have to take as many as my surgeon has me on, so learning when you’re going to fit them in during your day without interactions is important, and ingraining this before surgery should be a big help. For reference, these are the vitamins my surgeon requires.
- Start listening to your body. Train yourself to only eat when you feel real hunger. If you think you are hungry, drink some water, wait 10 minutes and see if you are still hungry.
- Chew your food 20-30 times per bite. Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full. For a lot of us, we eat until we are full, not satisfied. Learning to stop eating when you are no longer hungry, but not yet full will help you post-op.
- Start using the protein first rule. After surgery, for awhile you won’t be able to fit anything but protein, so training yourself to eat the protein first before surgery can help ensure you do the same after. If you go out of order, you won’t have room for the protein – learn the picking order before surgery. Doing it is different than hearing it and knowing you need to do it.
- Start passing up the free donuts. Say no to the free carb laden lunch. Whatever it is that’s being offered, learn to start saying no. Life is full of horrible food being thrown in our faces. Learning to say no, before you have to say no helped me a lot.