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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lessons from a sandwich......

You can learn a lot from a sandwich......

Even 5.5 years into this Lapband thing, I have to be reminded of a few things every now and then.

The other night, out of sheer exhaustion and a whole lotta  self pity, as I raced through snarled traffic and snow flakes flying,  I decided NOT to cook dinner for my father.  
Call me a lousy daughter but listen up.....
It was cold, I was running late getting out of the office, I had a caregiver to relieve,  traffic was lousy, I was on my 4th day of disrupted sleep, I had a few hours of office work to finish up that night, I realized that I had forgot to pack a certain outfit enhancing accessory for the following day and I just didn't feel like cooking in a kitchen that wasn't mine.   Oh and that pricey new lipstick that promised never to fade had faded.  
So, you get it....
On my way to my sister's to do my daughterly duty, I pass by several fast food places.  But, trying to be mindful of the fact that my father's ankles were swelling at an alarming rate because I had been feeding him all the wrong stuff (which he loves!) , I opted to go to Panera to pick up something just a tad more healthy for him.  So, I called the caregiver and told her I'd be late and yes I know I owed her extra money for her trouble and I headed to Panera....
As I stood in line, I decided that my dad would do best with a soup and sandwich combo.....half a sandwich and a cup of soup. 
As I was reading the  menu board,  I was hit with an overwhelming craving for a tuna salad sandwich on a soft bread..... 
I have not had a sandwich in years......probably close to 5 years to be exact.  Even before that,  during those early Lapband days, when I did try to have a sandwich, things got ugly didn't go all that well.  Yes, I was trying to eat the entire sandwich...I didn't understand the idea of just a few bites....
After that....BAN THE SANDWICH! 
So, for the past 5 years,  I have stayed as far away from sandwiches as possible.  I might have tried grilled cheese a few times and I might have had a PBJ on toast once or twice  but never, ever, ever, ever a sandwich with soft bread. 
But, that sandwich was yelling my name from behind the counter.  And, before I knew it, I heard myself ordering that sandwich.....

Sorry, I didn't mean to yell in all CAPS!
But, here's the beauty of it all..... after I finished the half of sandwich.....I was 100% full  and completely satisfied.  
The rest of the night, I didn't go scrounging for little snacks in my sister's pantry or raid her fridge for just a little something or ransack her cheese drawer for a little extra protein.
And, even better (or so I thought!)....I was left with another half of sandwich for the next days's lunch. 
Well, that was until my father noticed I wasn't eating the other half of my sandwich and said that he wanted to eat it.  So, I gave it to him. 

One of the things that is so easy to forget about being banded is that you got your band to limit your intake.....NOT to limit the  foods you eat. 
A  Lapband provides restriction so that you don't eat the massive quantities of food that your body allowed you to eat before you got your band.  
Yep, me too.  
Here's what we need to remember.  No, here's what we need to carve into our brains..... 
And, you should.   
Doesn't that sound so much better than you can never eat a tuna salad sandwich or pasta or FILL IN THE BLANK again?
Naturally, it's always good to choose wisely---with health and nutrition as your major focus.
But, so many times---we (myself as the #1 offender) lead ourselves to believe that we really have to stay away from certain foods.  FOREVER.
That sounds pretty terrible....doesn't it? 
When we only eat those foods that are band friendly (and we ALL know what foods they are)...aka known as foods that go right through that band with no matter what quantity you so desire.......WE ARE COMMITTING A BAND SIN & WE ARE DISRESPECTING THE GIFT OF THE BAND!
And, we wonder why we are having a hard time controlling our weight!
Guess what?  Calories are calories.  
Just because creamy soups and chocolate and loaded mashed potatoes go right through my band, that doesn't mean they don't count.  Yes, I knew that.  Why didn't I know that?

And, even though I do enjoy creamy soups and chocolate and loaded mashed potatoes, there are a million other things I enjoy more.  
So, why not eat the things I enjoy more?

Now, just to be sure that half a tuna sandwich thing was not anomaly, I decided to try it again.
I find it's always safest to conduct sufficient research before really saying BINGO.  
So, yesterday, we had a little social luncheon at the office where they offered a table full of snacky foods and sweets in the conference room.  Most of the offerings were very Lapband friendly....for me at least.  I could have definitely had a very calorie laden lunch eating from the table. 
However, before venturing into the conference room to join the crew, I decided to test out my tuna salad sandwich thing.   I went to the food court and ordered a tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato.   I asked the server to wrap each half separately.  One for yesterday and one for today.... 
I figured the key to my little experiment was to see if after I ate my half a sandwich if I was inclined to eat any of the snacks and sweets in front of me.  
Since these things were right smack in front of my face, I was curious what I would do.....
Would I reach for the chips and the dips or the brownies a piece of the cherry pie after I ate my half of a sandwich?

 Thankfully, the tuna salad sandwich experiment worked like a charm.
As everyone chatted and snacked and complained about all the calories they were consuming, I happily indulged in my fabulous tuna salad sandwich.  I wanted for nothing more.
Hold on a minute.....the experiment is not over.  It took an unexpected and unplanned-for turn.....
After the little social activity was over, all the leftovers were transported to the kitchen.....where they remained the entire rest of the day.  No one would have seen me eat a brownie while I was in there getting more water or ice or heating up my tea.....
But, I didn't indulge.
As a matter of fact, even when I had to clean up the kitchen (since it's my turn this week), I didn't touch a single morsel that was leftover.....


Hello Sandwich.....come to MAMA!



Barbara said...

LOL.. I loved this post!!!! and good for you.. I have steered away from the sandwhich, cheese steak and all (believed to be) forbidden food. I am having some band restriction issues just now, but when things normalized I would LOVE to have that half tuna sandwich. GOOD FOR YOU!!

Chris said...

You are my hero. (no pun intended!)

Darlin1 said...

Yep...I agree with you...I don't deprive myself of any food. It's the quantity!


Jody V said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed it! This is the perfect post. AS soon as my band agrees we'll be in sync! LOL! But that's okay...restriction is what we need right?

thelapbandchronicles said...

This was a really important post for me to bookmark. I'm three weeks pre-op and hoping to live my band as you've described here (i.e., not just sipping liquids for the rest of my life, fearful of being stuck). Thanks for the roadmap.