There are some really common questions that you get asked…
There is nothing like having weight loss surgery and completely changing your lifestyle to make you realise just how much Christmas revolves around food. Not only that, the amount of expectation around the types of food and how much you should eat is under a magnifying glass when you’re around lots of family and friends. While your first Christmas post-surgery is likely to be very different try to remember your next one will be different from normal but not as restrictive as your first one.
It all boils down to how recently you’ve had your surgery before Christmas. I had my RNY Gastric Bypass done in February so by December I was getting into my post weight loss surgery eating normality and it wasn’t such a big deal. If you’ve had your weight loss surgery in the weeks or months leading up to Christmas, then things are going to be very different for you.
Depending on what dietary stage you’re at you can plan ahead and try to have something festive. If you’re in the post-op liquids stage then you may have to give Christmas food a miss this year. It’s important to keep in mind that you made the decision to have weight loss surgery knowing there would be things you would have to sacrifice and give up and unfortunately this is one of them. Keep your mind focused on your goals and remember the bigger picture of what you have to gain. One Christmas is not so bad to lose when you have so much awesome stuff coming!
If you are in the puree/mash/soft foods stages then you will be able to modify standard Christmas foods to suit. Pick your main protein source, that’s usually quite easy with some sort of meat, if it’s not turkey, usually being the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner. Add some vegetables to it, maybe steer clear of potato if you’re recently post-op, and whizz it up, mash it, or pick the most tender pieces to make sure it’s suitable for you.
Be mindful of the amount you put on your plate! My first Christmas post-op was the first time I had seriously overeaten after my gastric bypass. I didn’t get to the point where I lost the lot but I was so full I had to sit down for a good hour after Christmas lunch until I started to feel comfortable and like I could move around again. Measure out your portion and don’t go back for seconds. This will make sure you have some of what you want but don’t end up regretting your meal completely.
Abide by your other post-op rules. No fluids for 30 minutes either side of eating, eat slowly and mindfully, and take no more than 30 minutes to have your meal. I always struggle with eating slowly when I’m in a large group and when something is a bit special and I don’t have it all the time. I am going to be following my own advice this year and eating slowly and enjoying each mouthful. There is nothing worse than ending up being sick or majorly uncomfortable for hours on end on Christmas Day.
I always start my day with my normal protein shake for breakfast. I used to do a special Christmas breakfast of some sort but now I don’t bother. Everyone else eats so much throughout the day that there’s really no need to have a bigger than usual breakfast to start with. My husband and son are fine with it and it’s just become our normal Christmas day thing. To make the day a bit easier on me, since it used to be so much about the food, I focus on the other things that bring me joy. Spending time with family, seeing my kid have the most awesome day and taking the time to be in the moment and enjoy the day.
I’ve done a Christmas post the last couple of years so I’ll link them below, they are similar to this one but as each Christmas passes after my gastric bypass my perspective changes a bit and you may find them useful.
Is this your first year on the post-op losers bus this year? Are you looking forward to Christmas or are there aspects of it that you’re dreading? Comment below and let me know, I might be able to give you some tips for things I haven’t covered here.