For all of my excitement in my last post over a “last hoorah”, my farewell to solid foods was not at all what I expected it to be. I didn’t bother making tacos because there were very few people on shift this week at my ambulance company, and I would have likely been the only person to even eat them. I didn’t go for one last trip to a sushi buffet with a friend– our old favorite spot– because she ended up going away for the weekend. Instead, I wandered the supermarket in search of something– anything that stood out. Anything I wanted to buy, perhaps one last time.
Nothing really caught my eye. I pulled a few items from the shelves, sure, and examined them for a moment– some pasta, a bag of Lindt truffles– but I put them down almost immediately because I could no longer rationalize filling my cart with items that would only hinder this long-awaited process. It was a revelatory moment when, aisle after aisle, I found myself simply saying goodbye and letting go of that which no longer served me. I left the store with several bottles of seltzer (which I will not be able to have post-surgery), a box of TAZO passion tea, and a bag of marshmallows so that I could have a proper cup of cocoa at least once this season.
I was so worked up about what I would eat that I forgot to actually eat. Around 9 pm on Saturday, I got to the garage, and finally had a plate of turkey and chicken with broccoli (no shortage of food there!) I ate some of those chocolate-covered holiday-tin cookies. I made myself a cup of cocoa and let five marshmallows melt to a froth at the top. I skimmed a few spoonfuls but found drinking Swiss Miss itself to be far too sweet, and I poured the rest down the drain.
After my shift, I bought a sausage-egg-and-cheese on a roll from my local bagel store, but I didn’t find it terribly satisfying. I think these past 7 months have fundamentally changed me. I rounded out the day with a post-holiday parade party at a local firehouse, where I ate two hotdogs and had two glasses of cheap light beer with friends. We toasted, I believe, to my health and happiness, although it was difficult to hear over the hum of a hundred lively conversations. Whatever it was, we toasted to it, and I trust that it was kind and well-intentioned. I can’t say that hot dogs and frat house beer would have ever been my first choice in a “last meal”, but the company I kept more than made up for it. It was satisfying, at the very least, to be able to fit in with my friends in this way one last time for the foreseeable future.
This morning, I started on my long and long-awaited liquid diet. Many people worry about having the willpower to stick to this part, but I have been eagerly awaiting this from the beginning. This is where the weight will begin to melt off, and I could not be more eager for that. I also know that I have stuck with far more stringent plans many times in the past, including several water fasts– once, for 6 straight days. This is far less restrictive. I’m ready to knock this out of the park.
I’ve been taking short sips, trying to prepare myself for two weeks from now, when I will only be able to handle 2 ounces at a time. I’m still working on my first shake from this morning. I prefer Premier Protein, which I get by the case at Costco. It’s pre-made and has 30 grams of protein per 11-ounce bottle, so I will only need to drink two of them daily in order to meet my protein needs.
This evening, I plan to take my dreaded “before” photos and measurements. (May God have mercy on my soul.) I’m going to clean out my fridge and cabinets and get rid of any remaining contraband. I also have to work on setting up my cottage in a way that will make my life easier immediately following surgery. For months, I have been meaning to heed the advice of Marie Kondo in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. She writes about letting go of things we do not need and that no longer bring us joy. Now seems to be the perfect time to lighten up, in every sense of the word.