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The Awakening



Following a very strict liver-reduction diet and five days of post-operative mush, I am a quarter of the way to my ideal weight. At this rate, I will be at my target of 14 stone (196 lbs or 89kgs) in about two months. Now, obviously I am not stupid enough to think that this is a) possible or B) entirely healthy. But it makes me determined that this thing is going to work.I have another 24 days left of the puree diet (yes, I am counting the days) and I think I may well burst into tears of joy when I finally get round to chewing on something less akin to toddler poo. That said, the toddler poo to date has been truly satisfying and quite tasty following far too many days on water and herbal tea.I should stipulate that the band I have been fitted with may well not be operating to full effect at the moment, as I have not yet had my first saline fill, which is due in four to five weeks. However, the restriction due to surgery is currently quite effective and doing a damn good job.The interesting thing about this procedure for me has been an awakening of senses. My life before was very much a case of "I don't care what it tastes like - as long as there is plenty of it". Now, unable and uninterested in quantity, I am very much focused on the taste of the small portions that I am eating. My initial fear of losing my love of food may well be unfounded; my passion seems that it may be adapting to becoming a dedicated follower of "small and exquisite" instead of "bloody huge and bland".The other thing I notice is the fact I am now able to distinctly tell the difference between the physical and the more dangerous emotional hunger. Where as, I was always hungry and needed to eat until I was in very great danger of "doing a Hendrix" one night, I am now able to see how it all works and expose my true desire for satiation.My two girls came over for lunch a couple of days ago and they were given pizza. Normally, I would have joined them in this Mediterranean decumbent feast - but I was fresh out of hospital and full up from a half a cup of jasmine tea I had been given an hour previously. Yes, half a cup.I looked at the pizza pieces - sumptuous with melted cheese and tender sweet corn. The pepperoni pieces calling to all and sundry like the Harpies enticing Jason. I looked...and my stomach waved away the notion with a blasé gurgle. That is when I saw my emotional hunger show its face for the first time.For 36 years, the yearning desire for emotional satiety through food had been hiding behind my real physical hunger - sometimes disguising itself as such. But never showing its true face. Up it popped out of nowhere. I felt myself thinking - "you deserve that pizza...it will make you a happy man indeed". Unfortunately for said beast of an emotion - without the ability to hide behind the true need for sustenance or pretend to be growls of hunger - it looked pretty pathetic. Standing naked in the spotlight in front of a rather bemused audience. It wasn't too many seconds later that the ridiculous thought embarrassingly shuffled off to weep in the changing rooms. It was a very bizarre experience and one that I am indebted to the little piece of silicone that is now part of my body for having.When you see the demons that have been part of your life for so long exposed in such a manner - you begin to realise how wonderfully deceptive your own brain can be. Seeing such deception played out in the cold light of day also makes it look quite stupid. However, before I write off the power of my subconscious; being millions of years in the making, I guess it won't be long before it adapts and I have to expose its new tricks.My Blog - Banded BenMy Site - Benedict Francis


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