Hi, my name is Melissa and I used to be…
Weight loss surgery is not an easy thing to do. In particular, the wls liquids stage pre and post-op can get really hard. It depends on where you have your surgery and which surgeon does it but you could be on a liquid only diet for up to three weeks after surgery and it gets rough. I thought it might be a good idea to put together some of my top tips to help you get through the liquids stage when you’re newly post-op.
Pills and medications
Taking pills after surgery sucks. You can’t swallow them whole because you are on a liquid diet and you have to crush them. Usually when they’re crushed they taste awful so mix them into the smallest amount of Optifast, or something like yogurt, that you can. If you don’t have a pill crusher but do have a pestle and mortar you can get two muffin cups, put the pills in-between the two muffin cup papers, bash them up, and then tip the powder into whatever you’re putting them in to get the down. The muffin cups stop the pestle and mortar from getting covered in your medication.
When I got to the three-week post-op mark and my sheets said I could stop crushing pills I swallowed a while Centrum tablet in one go. It HURT. Like oh my gosh I think I’m having a heart attack kind of hurt. The next day I got a small sharp knife, cut the tablet into four and that was much easier to get down. Then after a couple of weeks I did halves and finally got to whole tablets.
Have some broth to break up the sweetness
Having Optifast, or any other protein shake, day after day gets tiring for many reasons. The main one is that everything you eat is sweet and it gets overwhelming. If you need a break from the assault on your tastebuds and you have time to fit it in try and drink some broth. You can usually buy premade ones from health shops, maybe supermarkets too, but it will give you a bit of variety. If you finish a shake and have some time left before your next one you can go and brush your teeth. I found this helped me so much. My mouth would get all furry from the Optifast and it cleared my mouth out while I was waiting to be able to drink water again.
Avoid preparing food for others
If you are really struggling not being able to eat and chew then try to avoid cooking or preparing food for other if you can. It won’t be possible for some of you but if it is at all possible, please pass that job onto someone else. There’s no need to drive yourself crazy looking at and touching food you can’t eat. I never considered it before surgery but I got really bored of not chewing. I guess I never really realised how comforting it was and when I started puree foods I made sure I chewed it even though I really didn’t need to.
Make your shakes up with ice
I think the liquid diet gets so boring because it’s the same texture, which if you were wondering is no texture, when you’re drinking everything you need. I would make one shake a day up with ice and eat it with a spoon. It almost, kind of, felt like I was eating ice cream and the little ice bits gave me something to chew on. I would usually leave this for my last shake of the day so I had something to look forward to. I would use 7 ice cubes, tip in the Optifast, chuck in some water and blend with my stick blender.
This stage seems so long and never-ending when you’re in it. If you’ve done 2-3 weeks of Optifast before surgery you can start to get taste fatigue too. It’s important to remember that you will get through it, it’s something that needs to be done and in a years’ time you’re not going to remember much of this stage at all!
Do you have any fantastic tips to help our newly modified buddies get through the post-op liquids stage? Do any of these tips sound like they might be helpful for you? Comment below and let me know what got you through.