John 6:35 KJV “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
My official last meal will be Thanksgiving dinner. Today, I started my liquid diet for weight loss surgery. I didn’t have to, but I wanted to. I was supposed to start next Monday, but I’ve been feeling more and more bloated and more and more guilty. I have had all my favorites and then some. I have eaten out. I have ordered in. I have eaten all the things. I had pizza, burgers and tacos. I had bacon-wrapped crab, crab rangoon and sushi smorgasbord. I had BBQ, KFC and NEP (Never-Ending Pasta). I am officially full. Forever!
My daughter seemed sad at the thought that I would never have another “normal” meal. She asked me if, after I recover from surgery, we could make homemade pretzels. (She had hot, soft pretzels last night, add pretzels to the list). I told her, “I can’t ever have bread again. They told me to stay away from it.” The reality of a breadless life settled to the bottom of her little heart. She knows about my food addiction and how much I struggle. And she knows that bread is a go-to comfort food for us. But I told her, “I’ve had a lifetime of eating whatever I want. It’s time to eat right. I’m okay with that.” It’s important that my daughter see me willing to do what it takes and give up something so important (if not important, then something so treasured) to live a healthy life. I’m teaching her a tough lesson with my body. For that, I’m thankful.
You see, I’ve always had my way when it comes to food. I realize now that it’s a spiritual, mental and physical discipline that I must face and accept. It’s an animal to be tamed, a demon to be exorcised. I haven’t served anyone by eating what I want. I’ve only served myself and had others serve me when it comes to food. I’ve eaten whatever I wanted to the point of severe degradation to my physical well-being. That’s an addiction. I’ve put my physical body at risk. For food. An addiction is something to overcome, not indulge. If I never get over this mountain, I’ll die trying to climb it. It will take my life. And I don’t want it to. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to be healthy.
I am going to have Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family on Thursday. One last meal because I can’t go to someone else’s home and not eat while everyone else is eating. I could stay home, but I don’t want to. I want to enjoy one last holiday without restrictions. I am not going to pay attention to calories, portion size or fat/salt content. The only thing I will pay attention to is taste. Savor. Every. Bite. If it tastes good, I’m eating it. I can’t imagine that anything will taste bad. It will be my last meal. The last time I eat what I want. The last time I indulge.
It just got real, y’all. Can you imagine never doing something you love ever again? Kissing your spouse? Hugging your child? Talking to your friend? Food has been my companion for 43 years. My best friend, my keeper of secrets, my deep gorge of feelings. Thursday is more of a funeral than feast.
I’ve been waiting for this surgery for over 6 months. I knew this moment was coming. I’m not exactly ready, but I don’t have a choice. It’s like getting married or having kids. You’re never ready, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to you.
Wish me luck. Or power. Or discipline. Or love. I’ll need it.