You, Me & The Sleeve

I can be a little obsessive at times (cue: audience laughter). When my brain gets stuck on something, it’s really, really difficult to move past it. The last couple of months have been filled with reading blogs about bariatric surgery, researching VSG and hours of YouTube stories about various experiences with the sleeve. Work and summer school have been taking up the majority of my time. Whatever free time I have left is split between spending time with my husband, pre-op appointments and learning as much as possibly can about the sleeve.

Recently, I’d been reading & watching blogs about spousal experiences with the sleeve and bariatric surgery. The first few bloggers terrified me. They talked about when they lost their weight, they ended up divorced or in really, really terrible marriages. Others mentioned that it had been constant disagreements and arguments since their operation. There is another blogger who said 75% of marriages end after bariatric surgery. I’m fairly certain this number is made up and there isn’t any solid data to support it. However, I’m also fairly certain that marriage won’t get easier after having the surgery. Thankfully, I’m not counting on it to be that way!

Finally, I stumbled on a few YouTubers who actually had their spouses comment on their surgeries and weight loss. I felt a massive wave of relief hit! They equated it to any other major life change. Moving, having a baby, switching careers- if the marriage is solid before, it’ll be difficult but you’ll be able to handle it. If the marriage was rocky before, work it out before and during the process and you’ll be able to handle it. If the marriage sucked before and you don’t try to work on it, it isn’t going to make it. All of this sounds like common sense- but it was an enormous relief to hear that from other people!

In a weird way, I’d been feeling like I was abandoning Alex. I was (and still am) devoting a massive amount of my free time to research and appointments. My diet is about to change in a major way. My activity habits are about to change in a major way. Our life together is about to drastically change! I am so thankful to be married to a man who supports and encourages me. However, I couldn’t help but feel like he’d be all alone to eat dinner while I was trying my best to enjoy my pre-op diet of shakes and broth.

When I talked to him about everything I’d been reading and my distraught feelings about leaving him alone to fend for himself in the food department- In my mind, I pictured some pitiful spotlight on me at one end of the room, sadly sipping on a shake while Alex sat under a separate spotlight eating lonely chicken wings. First off, we don’t own spotlights. Secondly, this is ridiculous.

He just laughed and said he’d been feeding himself for years before and had already resolved to prepare food for himself while asking for minimal help from me. Of course he was prepared! Of course he’d already thought of it! Of course he was ready to support me through this enormous change.

We talked a lot about how relationships are food-based. We call each other after work to see what’s for dinner. We make plans with friends and family around dinner or lunch. We celebrate with food. We are already making dinner plans while we’re eating breakfast that morning. The pre-op and post-op diets will be difficult, but they aren’t the end-all-be-all. Ultimately, I think we’re both excited to make these changes together!

For the time being, we’ll continue to enjoy regular meals together and once that changes, we’ll adjust accordingly. No spotlights and different foods. I’m okay with that. Also- I haven’t decided on a final meal yet. While I’m leaning towards sushi, steak seems more appropriate. Suggestions? Whatever it is, it’ll be accompanied by some sort of scotch or whisky.

Scotch is always appropriate.
-Alee

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3 thoughts on “You, Me & The Sleeve”

  1. I know it’s been a minute since you wrote this post, but I’m just now getting back to it and wanted to chime in with my experience.

    Pre-op, I too, read all the stats about divorce and was worried. I wasn’t even married yet (we got married about a month post-op) and I was worried! Like you, I brought it up with my husband and we talked about my worries and the statistics and all the reasons people tend to separate post-op. It helped and, to be honest, we STILL talk about it nowadays every so often just to check in with one another about how things are going.

    I was worried about the same stuff you were worried about: how would it be if I was suddenly not eating the same meals he is? how would family gatherings be if I wasn’t eating with everyone? would he get irritated when I couldn’t go out and celebrate with food or grab beers with friends on the weekend?

    He wasn’t worried too much about any of that and instead was worried that I’d get so fit/thin/attractive that I’d want to leave him for someone better! Which had never even crossed my mind as something he’d be worried about!!

    Lots of reassuring on both of our parts and here we are almost 18 months later, happier than we’ve ever been.

    I eat something different from him for every single meal. All of them. Every day for 18 months! But I still mostly cook for us both. I cook fish for the both of us and also sides for him. I cook eggs for me for breakfast and him an eggy-meaty omelette. I pack snacks for hikes that include stuff I can eat (apples, peanut butter, carrots, tuna & crackers, etc) and throw in extras for him like jerky and trail mix. It works just fine. You guys, too, will find what works and it really won’t be a big deal. My best advice to still make it feel like you’re eating together is to eat the same protein and have different sides.

    We have had some hiccups – like post-op for whatever reason the mere smell of any kind of mexican food makes me sick to my stomach. My husband could eat tacos and salsa every day and never tire of them. So after a lot of drama it’s now something he’s agreed to eat at lunch at work away from me and not at home. Another fun one has been the smell of fried foods, like french fries makes me nauseated. My stepson could live on french fries so that’s now a treat they get out together and not something we cook at home. Lots of trial and error at first, but we’ve got the hang of it now.

    Oh! Last meals. I had an entire last day of meals, my “food funeral” lol, which included not one but TWO slices of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and also I had a pizza. A whole one! LOL

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    1. Oh gosh- what a RELIEF! Thank you so much for your response. It is extremely encouraging to hear people who are doing it and doing it well. The suggestion for eating the same protein with different sides is brilliant! We love cooking together and it’s been a huge part of our relationship. I think this is definitely something we can both work with!

      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay! I’m glad to hear that might be useful. 🙂 It really works for us! As a bonus, he’s lost a little weight too. I’ve even gotten my husband on board with eating tofu as the protein a couple of times, including tonight! He just had a lot more stir fry veggies with his than I did!

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