Tag: <span>Christmas</span>

It’s just under 4 months since I had my gastric bypass, and as such my Christmas dinner was somewhat different and much smaller than in previous years!

I still enjoyed the traditional turkey and ham dinner, but it was a smaller portion served on a side plate. The turkey came in the form of a boned, rolled and stuffed turkey crown from my local butcher. It cooked much more quickly than a whole bird, and one slice was the ideal portion size.

There was no starter, but I did manage a mince pie and some icecream for desert a couple of hours after the main course, and later still a few bits of cheese and crackers.

It was perhaps the richest and most abundant food I’ve had since the weight loss surgery, and I was actually surprised at how much I was able to eat. And I think it helped that I was able to pace myself, and eat when I wanted – rather than having well-meaning family members trying to constantly load up my plate.

Diet Surgery

It’s Christmas Eve, and pretty-much 4 months since my gastric bypass. I did a weigh-in this morning, and I find that I’ve lost just over 30 kg, and am now half way to my goal weight!

I’m delighted with my progress so far. Especially as it comes straight after a two-night stay in a fancy hotel.

It’s going to be a fairly quiet Christmas, what with the current COVID-19 lockdown, but I think that might be a good thing. We’ll be having a turkey and ham Christmas dinner tomorrow, but it’ll be on a side-plate, and won’t be a multi-course meal.

Not being in a room full of relatives helps avoid those difficult moments when people want pile every more food on my plate, or offering me countless mince pies or chocolates.

There’s one or two small treats in the house, but just a fraction of what there would normally be at this time of year.

Anyway, hope you all have a lovely Christmas 2020, and here’s looking forward to what 2021 brings!

Surgery Weight

It’s only two weeks until Christmas, but this year it’s going to be very different. This year I’ll be 4 months post-surgery from my gastric bypass.

Every other Christmas in the past has involved me eating my own body weight in turkey, potatoes, christmas pudding, and chocolate! There would be a lots of rich and calorific food consumed, both at home and in restaurants and pubs at meals out and parties.

Christmas, like a lot of other celebrations, is inextricably linked to food, and often lots of it! Plates are usually piled high, and meals are often rich and decadent. And usually there’s a fair amount of drink flowing as well.

Christmas food

This year my Christmas dinner will be served on a side plate. There’s no point piling food up on a dinner plate, because there’s no way I’ll be able to eat that much, and it’ll be a waste of food. The portion sizes after my gastric bypass are considerably smaller than I’m used to, and I’m physically unable to eat large portions. Indeed, if I did attempt to overeat it would make me really uncomfortable or sick.

I’m also going to have to resist the urge to graze on food and treats during the day, because if I eat between meals then I’ll not be able to eat anything at the dinner. I’m also not going to be able to eat lots of fatty or sugary foods, as I know they’ll make me ill.

And so food this Christmas is going to be a different proposition for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still going to enjoy my turkey dinner – but I need to get my head around the fact that I won’t be eating to excess. And I won’t have my face stuck in a tub of Quality Street for a week!

I guess I just need to get used to a Christmas that isn’t dominated by food.

Christmas drink

As for drink I’m undecided whether I’ll have any over Christmas.

The advice from bariatric surgeons seems to be that patients avoid all alcohol for the first 6 months after surgery. And for the last 4 months I’ve not touched a drop, and I haven’t really missed it.

I suppose the only reason why I’m considering it is to be social, and because (like food) drink is so heavily associated with Christmas celebrations. I don’t want to get drunk – I’m too old to be dealing with hangovers – but maybe one or two glasses might be ok?

But then again, I’m not meant to drink any fluids while I’m eating, so the glass of wine with dinner isn’t going to be a thing.

Argh! It’s no wonder I’m undecided.

COVID Christmas

In these COVID-19 pandemic times, Christmas this year is going to be very different for most people. We’re not meeting up with family and friends, we’re not having office Christmas parties, and (thankfully) there are no occasions when someone is trying to shove a plate of mince pies in my face.

Some people are also not going to have a happy Christmas at all, as they deal with grief from the loss of a loved one, or the hardship that comes from losing work, or with physical or mental health issues.

So although my Christmas will be very different this year, I still feel very lucky. I’m still in work, my friends and family are all well, and I was able to have surgery that will help me live a healthier, longer, and more fulfilled life. And so I feel very blessed!

Diet Surgery

It’s nearly Christmas, and it’s custom in my company for everyone to receive a gift. In the past it’s been something like a couple of bottles of wine. But this year it’s a huge gift box full of chocolate!

The gift boxes are from Butlers Chocolates and each one contains four different boxes of chocolate, two chocolate bars, and the ingredients for hot chocolate drinks. It’s probably a million calories in total!

In previous years I would have been delighted to receive this, and the chocolate wouldn’t have lasted more than a day or two. I would have been eating it now instead of writing this blog post. But this year, having just had a gastric bypass 3 months ago, I don’t think I should have any of it.

I’m scared that I’ll get dumping syndrome if I eat them, and I’m also scared it would derail my weight loss. You see, I don’t think I could open them and just eat one. I’d want to finish the box!

So the idea will be to get them out of the house and re-gift everything to friends and family.

Diet Surgery

I don’t know about you, but my calendar is getting very busy on the run up to Christmas.

There are so many social events at this time of year, as every group, company and organisation decides that it wants to celebrate Christmas with a party or dinner.

For anyone doing Slimming World, the sheer number of social occasions can seem quite daunting. Many people wonder if it’s even possible to say on-plan at this time of year!

Start with a plan

For me, the very worst thing I can do is throw myself into the festive season without a plan. For instance, if I turn up at the work Christmas party in a couple of weeks time and haven’t thought about it beforehand, then the chances are that I’m going to eat and drink everything around me.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

If I have a plan then I can at least mitigate some of the damage I might cause. I might not spend the whole night food optimising, but hopefully I won’t undo all of the good weight loss I’ve achieved throughout the year!

Of course the type of plan I need will depend very much on the type of gathering:

  • For drinks, I need to plan ahead about what I’m going to drink – if indeed I am going to drink. One of the best ways to stay on-plan at a drinks party is to stay sober, which can be reinforced by deciding to drive that night. Of course, not drinking can be a bit boring, and in that case I like to remind myself of the number of syns in alcohol, and plan ahead what (and how much) I want to drink.
  • For dinner out, I like to think ahead about what I will eat that night. It helps if I know where we’re going to be eating out in advance so that I can check out the menu online. Otherwise I’m likely to make some very bad decisions in the spur of the moment!
  • For a house party, I like to engage with the host in advance. Most of the time they are very amenable to looking after all their guest’s needs. The chances are they are looking after all the vegetarians and those with food allergies, so why not those of us who are trying to lose weight. I like to offer to bring free or low-syn food and drink as a contribution to the party – then I know it’s safe to have as much as I want.

Think about before and afterwards

Once I have a plan sorted for the upcoming event, I need to also think about before and afterwards:

  • Do I need to save up my syns from the proceeding week?
  • Do I need to eat before the party, to reduce the amount I eat when I’m out?
  • Do I need to take low-syn food or drink with me?
  • Do I need to stock up on healthy snacks for when I come in drunk, so that I don’t get a late-night kebab?
  • Do I need supplies for when I might be hungover the next day and not wanting to cook?

These (and countless others) are the questions I need to ask myself when I’m putting together my plan.

What if the plan falls apart?

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t quite work out. I may have planned a controlled night when I was only going to go out for three low-alcohol beers and then come home – but instead I end up staggering in the door at 3am completely hammered, and with the stains of a burger and chips down my front.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

And the temptation is to think that everything is ruined, and give up entirely on Slimming World and weight loss entirely. Or at least give up until next week. Besides, I’m going to be hungover tomorrow and craving cheesy puffs and sausage rolls – so there’s no point trying.

But I know that if I continue to eat off-plan for the rest of the week then I’ll regret it, because I’ll probably put on all the weight I lost in the last month!

So I know that I need to get back on to food optimising as soon as possible – ideally as soon as I get in the door after the party. After all, I’m now back home, and am fully back in control of what I eat and drink – so any damage from now onward is entirely my own doing! 

Have a Happy Christmas

I suppose with all things, it’s about striking a balance. I don’t want to be overly restrictive and end up having a miserable time. But similarly I don’t want to go mental and regret it. I don’t want to step on those scales in January and find I’ve put on two stone!

Anyway I hope everyone that reads this also has a Happy (and well-planned) Christmas!

My Story Slimming World

It’s the 10th of January, and the Christmas and New Year break is already a dim and distant memory.

Gone are the long lie-ins. Gone are the days spent languishing on the sofa. And gone are the hourly trips to the fridge to graze on all the worst food possible!

We’re back at work, and we’re back on plan!

Over the break we enjoyed a very nice Christmas, a two-night trip over to Galway (party capital of western Ireland), and an amazing wedding. Indeed, we indulged so much that when it came to New Year’s Eve, we opted to stay at home and give our livers a rest.

But it took till our first Slimming World class of 2017 to encourage us back on plan. However before that we needed to find out what damage we had done over the last 2 weeks.

The class was somewhat busier than normal last week, so it was easy to hide amongst the crowd. I had literally not set foot on a set of scales for 2 weeks, and so I had no clue what my weight would be. And so it was with some trepidation that I stepped gingerly onto the scales.

I was pretty such I had gained weight. But by how much?

Well, I actually LOST weight – 1½ pounds in fact!

All that wine and chocolate, and sausages, and everything else I had enjoyed over the holidays hadn’t done the damage I feared. I guess the fact that I stayed on plan up until Christmas Day itself may have helped me mitigate my excesses.

The only down side was that, because there were loads of new members joining the Slimming World class, our consultant didn’t have any time to do the usual Image Therapy, and as such nobody in class heard about my amazing achievement!

Oh well. I’ll just have to keep losing again this week!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention, back in December I had set myself an interim target to try and achieve a 4 stone loss by Christmas. And you know what, I only went and did it! In the space of 6 months I lost 4 stones, which I think is amazing. Now If I can just lose another 4 stones over the next year!

My Story Slimming World