I’ve Become A Picky Eater

One of the reasons I have been obese most of my life is because, well, I love food. Who doesn’t? I’ve always had a pretty exotic palate and have loved trying new things. Before surgery, even when I didn’t like something, I’d usually eat it. Now…I (inconspicuously) spit things out.

I still like to eat, but it’s not as satisfying as it was. When I was in North Carolina last week for Type A Parent Conference, I realized how picky I was compared to other people.

Take these enchiladas – I ordered them because shredded beef in sauce is usually pretty tolerated in my pouch. But I didn’t eat the pico de gallo on top (can’t eat uncooked onions, tomatoes weren’t ripe enough), ate the guacamole, fished some beef out of the enchiladas, but left the tortillas. I poked around my plate a lot. I maybe ate 20% of the food I was served, and didn’t bring any leftovers with me, for two reasons 1) No fridge in my hotel, 2) Leftovers almost always make me sick (especially leftover meat.)

Some restaurants are easier to order at than others. I went to Cheesecake Factory about a month ago, and only found 2 items in their expansive 26-page menu that I could tolerate. And again, I picked around my plate and barely made a dent in the gigantic portion. My go-to restaurant items are soup or maybe a side of meat. I watch other people eat with mixed feelings – some jealousy that they can eat things I can’t eat anymore, but it reminds me of the portions I used to consume. I also get a lot of apologies  – “Sorry I’m eating something you can’t eat” or “Will this make you sad if I eat this in front of you?”

Eating at home is hard too. I feel like I have to put so much thought into my food choices, and can’t just make decisions on the spot. My husband and I often have this conversation in the morning when he wants to get me something for breakfast.

  • Do you want me to make you a smoothie?
  • No.
  • How about some yogurt?
  • Meh, no.
  • Do you want eggs?
  • Ugh no. I’m not in the mood to vomit.
  • Geez, you’ve gotten so hard to make breakfast for.

We also are now sharing a fridge with my family (since we moved into my parents basement) and there’s not as much space for our food selections. Or things get accidentally eaten. Also, instead of being 3 blocks from the grocery store, we’re about 5 miles. It sometimes feels easier to just not eat than go shopping.

My meals are supposed to be be 70% protein, 30% vegetables. But I don’t always get the ratio right every meal. My lunch the other day was a few slices of Mocetta beef, a couple of pistachios, a couple of carrot chips, and some watermelon.  It’s been so nice to add some fresh veggies and fruit back into my diet, but they don’t always stay down. I’ve been craving salads, but my attempts at fresh romaine lettuce and baby spinach have been quite uncomfortable.

Despite the small portions, my weight loss hasn’t been exceptionally impressive. I spent a few weeks hovering between 298 and 301, and I was getting frustrated. Yesterday I was at 295, and I hope to leave the 290s behind very soon. Still, it’s hard to be upset about losing 78 pounds in less than 5 months.


  1. I’m sorry that you’re struggling w/the adjustment – but you look incredible and you also look really HAPPY. I didn’t know you before, obviously, but you should be so proud of how far you’ve come and think how being picky is just a part of the road to getting you to where you’re going. Or something. 🙂 Sending you hugs! You do you and you’ll get there! I’m so excited for you!

  2. Nicole,
    Dumb question but…once you achieve your goal weight, does the bypass surgery ever get reversed? I can’t imagine eating so few things every meal. Are you required to take certain types of vitamins and supplements to insure your body is getting what it needs.

    • Although the bypass is reversible, it’s usually only done for patients with major complications. The pouch is a little more rigid for the first year, but will stretch out to 6-8 ounces after time. Many people who have had gastric bypass have gained the weight they lost back, even with the reduced capacity. I should be able to eat just about anything after I hit the year mark, but I’ll still be having small portions.

      And yes…lots of vitamins and supplements. I take two different multi-vitamins (tablet and chewable), calcium, iron, B-12, Vitamin D, and biotin.

      • What is the size of a stomach before bypass surgery? You said it will be 6-8 oz. after one year. If I hadn’t told you before – you are amazing and brave. So glad that you are achieving success with this program. Your health and happiness are the most important things to consider. It sounds like you are doing everything right.

        • Suzanne — I got a vertical sleeve gastrectomy a month ago; it’s not a bypass (they don’t touch the intestines in a VSG), but I can give you some info on the stomach. For overweight people, think of our stomachs as holding as much as the size of a football. Maybe not quite that bit, but it’s quite a lot.

          Once they remove a big portion of your stomach (such as what they did with me and Nicole), for the first year, your meals should not weigh more than 2 ounces. Much more, and you wind up prematurely stretching your stomach pouch. Two ounces isn’t much. I’m having to weigh everything–for example, *I* can tolerate eggs, so my scrambled egg I had yesterday for breakfast was one egg=2 ounces. I add a lot of seasoning to it (currently my favorites are Greek seasoning or Cholula hot sauce).

          What I learned when I was doing research for my surgery, is that the diet that accompanies your surgery is designed in general to run about one year… that’s about how long your stomach stays tight, so you’re supposed to be on a very strict diet during those 12 months. I’m on a 600-calorie diet, for example. After I hit goal weight (theoretically after my 1-year anniversary), I’m allowed to go up to a maintenance plan, which will allow me to eat 1200-1500 a day (depending on how much I exercise). If you’re familiar with Weight Watchers and such, you know that 1200-1500 is considered a good amount for people who need to watch their weight.

Speak Your Mind