Studies show that people who are naturally slim eat a similar number of calories day in and day out.

They don’t go off the wagon for a vacation or eat a wildly high number of calories for a holiday. If they do eat something that is higher in calories, they cut back during other meals to maintain a total. They simply have a caloric standard they tend to maintain. I am not inherently one of these people and although I am trying hard, it’s not effortless.

Luckily I don’t look my age

I turned fifty six last week. There was a time in my life where I would have cried all day (cough cough forty nine) but given that my beautiful mother did not have opportunity to grow old, I feel blessed with each year I live beyond her exit. Birthdays are actually happy happy happy!

Fried Shrimp, Whale Fries & Birthday Cake?

Any excuse for a ribeye

When considering what I wanted ‘to do’ for my birthday, all my ideas were food related. My husband asked me to choose a birthday restaurant and after debating my choices I realized that Special Occasion Eating sort of exemplifies our ‘problem’. Birthdays, vacation, long weekend, holidays… you deserve a splurge!

Diner or Dive?

I chose an early Sunday beachside dinner at a great little local seafood dive that was crowded before Guy Fieri made it worse. (Thanks bud!) My favorite food is shrimp – a perfect bariatric food – moist, great texture and super low in calories. That is unless dipped, deep fried and served on top of an enormous basket of homemade chips called Whale Fries! I found myself thinking about ordering this ‘just this one time’ and how good it would be.

Predisposed for cake

I’ve lived with bariatric surgery since 2001. What is wrong with my hard wiring that my immediate thoughts were to eat something fattening and over the top because I had a birthday pass? Do slim people think that way? We go to this place every weekend and without even thinking I have steamed rock shrimp or raw oysters. My inner fat girl was working hard to give me an excuse for some bad eating, even after fighting years to lose fifty five pounds of regain!

Happiness in a potato

I came to my senses and by the time we ordered, the very idea of ‘splurge or cheat eating’ was making me sick. Would eating fried shrimp and chips have made me so much happier that it would have been worth it? No. Truth is, it would have made me sad. It’s just food and even good choices taste great!

They say it’s your birthday

I ordered a Bloody Mary and Steamed Shrimp, heavy on the Old Bay. I had a nice birthday sitting next to someone I love (who ordered Whale Fries!) We laughed and had a great evening… no fanfare or singing or flaming waiters carrying a dessert. Later on at home there was a tiny sugar free cheesecake I had baked for us to share.

It helps to remember that we can have anything we want – but it takes a lot of years for it to be our choice and not our compulsion or obsession. Disaster averted. 



14 thoughts on “Fried Shrimp, Whale Fries & Birthday Cake?

  1. Marianne says:

    Thank you Thank you! am still fighting and still sometimes losing the mind set of eating. I admire that you were able to think between your former self and present self. I am still having major difficulty with that.
    You inspired me to think it’s a birthday not an invitation to EAT differently.
    Again Thank You!

  2. Andrea Luraghi says:

    So good and helpful. Great article. I am working on my regain. And this was the first birthday where I didn’t indulge. Shrimp grilled wth veg. And then ate half of a cupcake. Dark chocolate salted carmel. My favorite. It was a victory in what I hope is a long line of victories.

  3. Nicole says:

    I believe we share a birthday. I’m just 6 months out, so this was my first ‘special occasion.’ It was a new experience to plan a celebration that doesn’t revolve around food. Luckily, my boyfriend is VERY supportive and it wasn’t an issue at all. I love cooking AND eating your recipes. Thank you and keep it up!

  4. Sue williams says:

    1 yr 9-15-15 63 lb loss
    Need help with keeping my motivation and trying new things. Need more communication with others that have had the same surgery..The sleeve

  5. Jackie says:

    Just had the sleeve on 9/2/15 still afraid of overeating. So skipping meals is not a good decision wondering how I’m barley eating but not losing. I have to remember to eat breakfast, noon meal,snack, Pm meals just over the protein shakes. Good Luck . Please share stories to motivate others..

    • Sheila says:

      I have problem sometime with eating 3 meal aday at times I have skip lunch, due to I take so much medication in the morning. He told me that fine just drink a lot of water. I keep protein water I not house for when have this problem.

  6. Denise says:

    The nutritionist class wanted us to start eating again. I new this was a disaster waiting to happen. “Add Carbs to the diet” are you kidding. After 4 months and 40 pound loss I added a few foods that were suggested. and I am not loosing and I am afraid of gaining and I am hooked on the few carb foods I added. I didn’t give up totally the protein drinks. Thank you for this site. Today I searched for support and you were here with the FACTS of Life. Exactly what my pre op diet included. and I lost weight then. I was OK with the Plan It was simple and worked.

  7. Lea says:

    Always a good reminder of how our thinking, not just our eating, MUST change. I am 9 months out and have lost 90 pounds but have been really lax about my eating lately. Need to get back on track and stop the mindless, entitlement eating.

  8. Susan Sherrouse says:

    I find that when I’m going out I’ll stick with a good steak or fish (grilled please! No fried fish here!) but I’m also struggling with being gluten free. That being said, I’m eating to live, not living to eat. And we stay home more often than not these days!

  9. Christy says:

    Such a great article! Thank you for the reminder. I am a 6 year post op RNY, getting back on track. I need to think through all those food decisions again, food is NOT my comfort anymore! There are so many healthy choices that taste amazing! Trying to rewire my thinking once again. This time FOR GOOD! Again, thanks for the reminder!

  10. Karen says:

    This story reminded me of what I encountered in the first few years after my surgery. I had to drive by a Dunkin Donuts every Sunday on my way home from church. It would have been so easy to use one of those lame excuses: “well, just one time” or “I’ve *earned* it this week.” But instead, I had this same inner dialogue (lecture, really) with myself each time I approached the place:

    “You already KNOW what those donuts taste like. You REMEMBER what they taste like, and how it felt to eat them. And since they taste EXACTLY the same as they used to, and since you can easily visualize/remember how they tasted and how it felt to eat them, you have no need to eat them again. You will not experience anything you haven’t already experienced by eating a donut in the past. There will nothing new, surprising, or exciting about eating a donut. It won’t be any more enjoyable now than it always used to be, and frankly, donuts were enjoyable for about maybe 20-30 seconds at the most, depending upon how quickly you inhaled them. It really isn’t worth it just for basically a minute or less of mild enjoyment that you can actually just relive in your head without having to actually eat the thing.” (By this time, I was 20 minutes past the place!😄)

    But seriously, if I wanted to remember how it felt to enjoy a donut, I could still recall how it felt to take a bite, the taste, the smell, how it felt to chew it and swallow it – so all I had to do was just relive it in my mind, and it would always come to mind that it wasn’t that great, and certainly not for very long. That was enough. It kept me from donuts for 4 years. And guess what – after I fell off the donut wagon and had one again, I was reminded that I was RIGHT: the minimal amount of enjoyment WASN’T worth ititNot at all. Now, I don’t even have to give myself that 20-minute lecture when I drive past a donut place, or ice cream place, or any other place that sells food I used to *think* that I loved and enjoyed, but in reality, not so much. ☺

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