We are approaching the 4th month anniversary of Tom and Teresa's surgery date. They are both seeing amazing physical changes as their weight drops day by day, and week by week. Now that they are pretty well through the physical recovery phase of all of this, we are finding that we are increasingly confronted by the other changes that are becoming more and more a part of our lives.
One of the biggest adjustments that is being driven by the post-surgical changes is that we are learning to figure out how to be social in the world without the very common lubricant of food.
Think about all the places where food is an integral part of our social lives. Most holidays revolve around food, or have traditional foods at their center: turkey at Thanksgiving, Christmas cookies, Easter eggs, barbecue at the 4th of July. Here, in the heartland, summer is the season for community festivals, and festivals are all about food: corn on the cob, and turkey drumsticks, funnel cakes, and lemonade. If you go to the movies, there is popcorn. If you go toa friend's wedding, or a bar mitzvah, or a funeral, there will be food in abundance. We meet for dinner and drinks, and we do business over lunch. We make birthday cakes, and we give chocolates to our sweethearts.
For Tom and Teresa, food has become something to be approached very deliberately and with purpose. There is the daily need to consume an adequate quantity of protein, and that must be accomplished within the constraints of what they can actually consume in terms of quantity. Right now, neither of them are able to eat more than about 1/3 of a cup of food at a single sitting. There are still a number of foods that simply do not go down well. Every bite has to be eaten with conscious intent.
So food can't serve as the social lubricant anymore. Food has to be FOOD. It is necessitating a complete re-examination for us all of the place of eating in our lives. We are learning to be social by being social rather than by eating with others. It is an interesting shift. Feels like a whole other level of living an alternative lifestyle.