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There are things that just don’t work after bariatric surgery and a stack of Pancakes with Vermont Maple Syrup is one of them. What would you give up in order to be slim and healthy forever? Anything for Everything?
IHOP on the way home anyone?
Our Facebook Support Group has well over twelve thousand members and on some weekends it seems that all we do is smack pancakes off forks. It is disheartening having folks who had most of their stomach removed just four days ago asking ‘how long before I can eat pancakes again?’.
Our group administrators often ask each other if the person could be joking. It is a sinking feeling, that so many really do not truly understand that in order to live at a normal weight for the rest of their lives, serious decisions are to be made about the way they choose their food.
Pickles and Maple Taffy
I grew up in Vermont – world center for maple syrup production. In April when the sap is collected from maple trees and boiled, Vermonters celebrate with Sugar on Snow. The maple syrup is boiled to a thick caramel and poured over pure fluffy snow; the coldness instantly turns the molten sugar into taffy. It is pulled with a fork and eaten with warm raised doughnuts and dill pickles to cut the sweetness. Maple is one of the world’s most ethereal natural flavors.
We’re never ever ever getting back together
Before having my gastric bypass surgery way back in 2001, I remember having a real moment that Maple Syrup would be something I could never eat again. Not that I ate it every day, or that I couldn’t live without it, but the fact that I could never ever have it again bothered me. Anyone headed into bariatric surgery understands that we all have a personal list of foods to grieve over before they’re even taken away. Anything we stand to gain is clouded by the sadness of what we feel we are about to lose.
Final Food Tour 2001
Last Suppers have our emotional attention and normally add at least ten pounds to our pre-op total. The Last Supper I forgot to have was Pancakes and Vermont Maple Syrup. Of course as time passed and the weight fell off, it made me laugh, as I have gained so much by having my bariatric surgery that foods I no longer eat do not bother me. I don’t live in the negative of what is gone, only in the present of what I can have and have been comfortable with my last fifteen ‘maple syrup-less’ years.
Where’s Aunt Jemima?
The other day at Whole Foods, there was an ‘all about pancakes’ end display with three or four varieties of of real maple syrup and my husband Ty asked if I would make him pancakes this Sunday as he placed a bottle in our cart. He may be from Georgia and grew up putting corn syrup on pancakes – but once I introduced him to the real deal there was no turning back.
I am not a qualified butterer
So one glorious morning, I got busy in my kitchen with a Martha Stewart cookbook. In about half an hour I had turned out a big beautiful stack of buttermilk pancakes worthy of a magazine cover. Ty carefully buttered them, poured on way too much of the thick dark syrup and retreated to his tray table in front of the television.
One protein pancake coming up!
I quickly mixed a glop of ricotta, a scoop of Inspire Banana, an egg and some blueberries and made myself one saucer sized ricotta pancake, no syrup.
When Ty saw that I wasn’t eating the same breakfast that he was immensely enjoying, he paused. ‘I am so sorry… I forgot you can’t have pancakes!’
I answered, ‘I made myself a ricotta pancake. It’s fine!’
He apologized for having me cook something I couldn’t have. I repeated ‘I could have them if I want to have them but I choose to NOT have them. It is okay, what I have is really good.’
The key to post op life and turning smart ‘now’ changes into permanent ones, is to not keep inventory of what you are missing, losing out on, or cant have. Focus on what you can have. It’s healthier for your emotions and your body.
Try to feel gratitude for a better life, even though it doesn’t contain pancakes and maple syrup. NO ONE DIES WITHOUT PANCAKES. It’s not that we can’t have a particular food, as there is free will and we can truly have anything we want. What I eat is now my choice and no longer my compulsion.
I believe that you will find my way incredibly empowering!