My older daughter is home from college for two weeks and one of my biggest concerns about having the procedure this close to her coming home was not being able to enjoy special meals with her. I really agonized over not making lasagna or going out to eat with her before she got here. If you haven't guessed, much of what we do is food centered. The first week she was home was also my first week with the balloon so we certainly were a little limited. What I should have realized, but didn't is that my family is entirely capable of cooking what they feel like eating and are perfectly happy to eat whatever they are served. The next thing I realized is that ORBERA really is a lot more flexible than I thought. It's a mindset change more than anything and my family has been very supportive of that. Once I made that mindset change, things became a lot easier.
This week I transitioned to more solid foods. Although some people require pureed foods for longer than others, adjusting to the balloon really is different for different people. I couldn't stand the thought of pureeing food before eating it, so I've stuck to softer foods that I can just chew a lot before swallowing for the most part. I've tried chicken salad and egg salad sandwiches, meat sauce on a baked potato, lots of cottage cheese. I've done well with most things, spicy foods have been tough though. I'm not a fan of spicy so luckily I won't feel too bad avoiding it.
We had a snow day yesterday and for my family that means EATING. I made the usual preparations including a Morroccan chicken stew with couscous, modified to be healthier and ORBERA compliant. The entire family loved it (my college girl even said it was one of her all time favorites!) I also got plenty of the usual junk food. Here's where the mindfulness comes in. I have made a decision to make a change to my dietary habits. My family can still enjoy the foods that I am TEMPORARILY avoiding. This actually gives me a lot of pleasure because I still get to provide them with special treats and I'm not particularly tempted by any of it especially if I eat before I present it to them. Surprisingly, the rest of my family has started having sympathetic balloon symptoms as well! Smaller meals, more water, and healthier choices for everyone.
I have tried to stick to protein shakes or a yogurt drink (Oikos is my favorite) at night as it definitely does go down more smoothly than solid foods. Drinking 50-64 ounces or more of water throughout the day helps as well. I also had my first consultation with the ORBERA Coach nutritionist. I've never met with a nutritionist before and am approaching it with an open mind. Obviously what I've been doing hasn't worked so I'm willing to try it their way. The biggest take away for me was that while I'm modifying my eating habits and portion sizes, nothing is truly off limits to me forever. That certainly makes committing to it now a lot easier.
As always, reach out to me if you have questions, I'm happy to answer them if I can. I'm down 8 lbs this week and Mildred, our medical assistant is down 16! We are both really happy about our results but know we have a long way to go. Thanks for taking this journey with us.