Alternate Title: How to not GAIN Weight on Your Summer Vacation. The fast answer: Have respect for the surgical changes you've chosen to make to your body.

Consistency is they key to post op success. Studies show that slim people eat about the same number of calories every day. Jumping off the wagon because its a birthday, anniversary, or vacation is not how Normal Slim People live - but it's certainly a hallmark of Obese Life.

On your cruise, look at the naturally slim people around you. They aren't eating Fish & Chips or double desserts at Lunch and Supper 'because' they're on a cruise. Heck, they are walking an extra lap around the Promenade Deck because they had butter with crab legs last night. They aren't in the All You Can Eat line either. Is it a coincidence that there are more 'large people' at the Lido Deck Buffet? Probably not. I find it shocking in a completely judgmental way. Sure, I'll own it. I find it sickening that I was once in that line making a spectacle of myself. Did I think that no one noticed... they noticed.

There is PLENTY to eat on a cruise or all inclusive resort vacation that isn't fried or cream filled! Would eating beef filet, asparagus and berries with a bit of whip be a hardship? Naaaaa. Especially when you are wearing the smallest dress size of your life, a pair of high heels instead of clogs and a necklace that's not choking you. Think I haven't been there? There is no bad side to respecting the lines your surgery has thrown down for you.

My husband and I took a cruise to Alaska on the Oosterdam with Holland America Line - the epitome of 'trip of a lifetime'. I looked to see if I had some dinner photos for this article and could not find a single food picture aboard ship. I didn't take any! Point was that while the food was fabulous and I still LOVE food, there were other things that were just *better*. Like the quiet solitude from our terrace, whales jumping, crazy blue glaciers and a milestone birthday celebration. The only food that broke into the top 100 was at Tracy's Crab Shack in downtown Juneau. I'd go back to Alaska JUST to eat that crab again. ONE food photo on an entire vacation. (rolls... what rolls?) Maybe I've turned the corner after 20 years.

Going to a Summer Family reunion? The slim normal family members are staring at you - the person who had obesity surgery - and thinking 'is she supposed to be eating chips and cake?' or if you have a sister, even judgier 'no wonder she stopped losing, she's eating cake.' You don't want to be in that spot. Don't put yourself in that spot. Respect the lines.

Listen up. You didn't have 85% of your stomach pulled out of a one inch incision in your belly so you could go back to old crap food habits. We all knew that choosing this life would require permanent edits to our food list. It's like 'Deal a Meal' - after obesity surgery some foods just are not printed on the cards anymore. There are foods that are anytime, sometime, and *no time*. You know the *no time* foods and it doesn't matter how much you *like* them, it's too late to back out of your side of the bargain. Respect the lines.

If you are in a restaurant holding a menu... it doesn't matter if its in Cancun, Disneyland, Key West, Las Vegas, Juneau, the Jersey Shore or Paris... pick a protein and add a vegetable... you can do this anywhere in the world, from sea to shining sea, North pole to South pole. Steak and broccoli, shrimp and asparagus, salmon and spinach, lobster and cole slaw, chicken and salad, crab and more crab! See how easy this is.

Here is the real tip. Find happiness in something besides the food on your plate - if once in a while you LOOK UP, you'll see that LIFE is full of really cool things that are swirling all around you. FIND THAT JOY THAT IS INSIDE OF YOU. Even if its been a while, dig deep and find it. Smile a little bigger smile at the sunset because you are in size 12 jeans. You can do this. We are here to help you.

June 28, 2023
Bariatric Recipes Advice, Rants & Support Podcast: Real Talk