This weekend was a bit rough for me, minus all of the amazing weather by the ocean. My sister and I traveled down to Old Orchard Beach to meet up with the rest of our family for a weekend of birthday celebrations (both my sister and my father had a birthday this week). I was quite excited and looking forward to going because I LOVE being by the ocean, and for the first time I was feeling comfortable going out in public wearing my bathing suit. I still have a loooong way to go before I actually love how my body looks in a bathing suit, but it was nice to not feel overly subconscious about wearing it.
Now the rough part comes in: I felt pretty ill for most of the weekend, and I’m pretty sure the biggest reason was the food that I ate and how my body reacted to it. Both Saturday and Sunday I spent most of the day with a weird dizziness that I’m not entirely sure what the cause is - perhaps not enough vitamins or too much sugar or not enough water? I can’t really pinpoint the reason because nothing seemed to help, not even taking some tylenol on Sat afternoon. Sitting down I was fine, but moving around made me feel kind of like I was in a daze and it made socializing a bit difficult.
The other issue involved a few periodic stomach aches and bouts of nausea that sent me to the bathroom. I’m pretty sure food choices came in big here. For one, I’m positive I did not drink enough water the entire weekend. It’s easy to get caught up in a trip and order things I used to - like choosing iced coffee instead of water. I did opt for sweetener rather than sugar in my coffee, but I know full well that coffee dehydrates me and should have chosen wiser. We also ate out at a few different local places in Old Orchard where it was hard to find a healthier choice that works for my usual food intake since my surgery. Breakfast on Sat I had iced coffee and about a quarter of a homemade blueberry molasses doughnut (usually for breakfast I eat a greek yogurt for the protein content and generally don’t eat things like doughnuts or bready/sugary foods). Amount-wise I ate fine there, I stopped when I was full and eating that small portion of the doughnut didn’t contain many calories, but I think the sugar content and the fact that it was heavy in carbs didn’t start me off so well. I also didn’t eat lunch until maybe four hours later and didn’t have anything in between aside from maybe a few sips of water.
For lunch I had a chefs salad, which is something I have been eating fairly often because it provides me with both the protein I require and a lower caloric and fat amount due to the filler vegetables. Plus I always generally feel good after eating a salad. Now this salad was HUGE. I mostly ate a few pieces of the deli meat and cheese with some of the vegetables to round it off. I figured it would be a good meal choice because of the protein and I knew I was probably a bit on the dehydrated side. Of course they didn’t have fat free dressing, so I opted to just use a small amount of the italian they did have to save on fat. I felt a bit better for a little while, aside from the random dizziness spells. By the time we went to dinner, which wasn’t until about 9, I was beginning to feel really ill again.
For dinner we went to a pub on the pier. Pubs aren’t generally known for their healthy food options, and by that time I was starving because I foolishly hadn’t been eating small sustaining amounts in between or barely drinking water. I ordered a taco salad, which there was made with chili instead of simply beef and taco seasoning. It was delicious, but in retrospect definitely not the best choice. My thoughts were that it would have a decent amount of protein as well as lettuce and tomatoes, but I didn’t think of the fact that the beef was likely not lean, the cheese was definitely not part skim or fat free, and it was a large amount of food. After gastric bypass surgery your body doesn’t absorb some things in the same way that it used to, such as fats. Basically the fats ran right through me and I felt very ill by the time I got back to the hotel and was going to bed. Perhaps if I had eaten it in more moderation (I kind of fell back into the bad habit of eating more than I should have - I was full but continued to eat a few bites afterwards) it would not have made me feel so ill. It’s hard when you’re in the atmosphere of a pub, and just trying to enjoy yourself with everyone else, to remember and implement the things that I have learned to do for the last three months. I even opted to order a Woodchuck, which is hard cider for those who have never had one (delicious, by the way). I know that I’m not really supposed to be drinking much alcohol due to the calorie amount and I was still at a low hydration point where I should have been concentrating more on rehydrating myself with some water. But I used the excuse that I was at a pub with my family and just wanted to enjoy myself and made the poor health choice. I only managed about half of the bottle within two hours, but still.
This morning I again chose to drink iced coffee instead of water (when will I learn?!). Ordered an omelet with cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and broccoli. The omelette was very good, I managed about a third of it (it did come with home fries which I ate about half of). I think the cheese may have been the culprit that time around. I already had a bit of a lactose intolerance before my surgery, and post it’s only gotten more sensitive to what I eat. I wasn’t feeling awful at that time, just a little unsettled. We went to the beach and I felt pretty good for the most part while we were out there - my brother and I jumped the waves (well he jumped them and I basically let them crash me over haha) and I took a small nap laying in the sun listening to music.
It was the cake that really got me.
Since it was a birthday celebration for my sister and father, my grandmother baked a funfetti cake and used some very sweet vanilla frosting to top it off. I made a good choice and opted for a very small piece (this was actually the first piece of cake I have tried since surgery) and ate it pretty slowly. I couldn’t finish off the frosting because it was too sweet and I was getting full, so I passed it off to someone else to have. And frosting is usually my favorite part! Maybe a half hour later the nausea and terrible cramps hit me and I felt awful. I’m thinking the sugar content was more than I’ve had in months and my body couldn’t really handle it. I spent a good chunk of time in the bathroom wishing I had opted for a SMALLER piece of cake.
All in all I can’t say I did terrible this weekend, and perhaps I have just come down with something on top of it all to make me not feel so hot this weekend. I enjoyed myself, but felt really bad that I was not really myself during the weekend - when you don’t feel well you really don’t feel up for socializing and conversing. The dizziness also made me super sleepy, so I think I spent most of my beach time napping.
But I’m going to use this as a take home lesson. It can be really hard to stay on track when on a trip, and I know I need to pay more attention to what I eat and how much I eat when I’m not making the food myself. Restaurants’ portion sizes are giant, and just because I enjoy the taste doesn’t mean I need to overindulge myself to the point of feeling ill. And I can get the foods that I like, I just have to opt for healthier alternatives where I can and moderate amounts so that my body can handle it. It’s tough, but I can do it. And I plan on doing it for the rest of my life!
Now to get back to a normal food regimen now that I’m back home :) It’ll be good to get my insides feeling less icky again.
And here’s me on the beach <3