Three months ago this coming Monday I made what I believe to be the best and most important step in my life so far second only to becoming a veterinarian—I got my lap-band. Life since then has been a series of ups and downs and relearning the habits I’ve developed over the last twenty-seven years. It hasn’t all been easy, but it hasn’t been hard either. My life did not change as drastically as I had hoped for and feared in equal measure. I’m still early in my journey and believe that those good changes are still to come but I am far enough out to feel that my fears have been properly assuaged.
I can still eat the foods I love—this week alone I’ve indulged in pizza, ice cream and chocolate cake (insert horrified gasp here, for I am a naughty bandster). That’s right people, I’ve eaten all of that…and enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t have time to feel guilty over enjoying the foods I love because let’s face it—food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Would most of us struggling with our weight have gotten there if it weren’t? The difference is that now I can eat just a few bites of the cake and put the rest away or order the smallest sized ice cream and still be unable to finish it. And when I’m done with my teeny, tiny portions, I do not feel deprived or as though I need to keep eating—I feel satisfied. Can you believe it? Being satisfied with only a few spoonfuls of ice cream? I know a few months ago I never would have thought it possible.
And now that I am firmly on the new path that this amazing tool has led me down, it is time for me to make another big change in my life. This past Thursday I bought my first home. Although if you ask my sister, the lawyer, she will disagree—she will tell you that I am not a home owner, but rather a “stock holder in a cooperative corproration with a proprietary lease to a unit in the corporation's asset.” What the heck does that mean? Well, I didn’t buy a house, but rather a co-op. I think these may be a New York phenomenon, so for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s similar to a condo only instead of buying a specific unit in the condo complex, you buy a share of the entire complex and get to live in one of the units. Either way, to me it’s a home—my first home.
I’ve been living at home with my parents for the last year and a half since I graduated vet school. I appreciate the opportunity to live rent free and enjoy a comfortable roof over my head but I am more than ready to move out and move on. Being at home and having support post operatively has been great but living with my parents has also added some extra hurdles in my way. For example my mother usually seems to be under the impression that kitchens should not be used for cooking food since it’s too messy. I relish the thought of having my own kitchen to stock with my own foods which I can use to experiment with healthy, band-fiendly recipies. In addition, my mother is overly critical of everything I eat. She means well but often makes comments that are hurtful and make me want to eat even more. In one instance I remember talking to her about the plastic surgery I might need after I hit goal to which she replied “all this because you ate too much.” Or a couple of times I’ve snacked on a Weight Watchers’ ice cream bars in the evening and everytime she asked me if I was supposed to be eating that. She constantly asks me if that food I’m eating is “dietetic” no matter how many times I remind her I’m not on a diet. She is not trying to make things harder for me, but despite her best intentions, she often does.
It will be a few more weeks before I am fully moved into my new place but I am thouroughly looking forward to the opportunity to live as an independent adult. It is only one more step, like the lap-band to gaining control over my own life. I can’t wait.