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When Weight Loss Surgery Is Like A Bad Breakup

Posted by

Jun 06, 2016

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

For much of her life, Nikki had a passionate love affair with food:

"I loved food in general and I didn’t really pay attention to how it was cooked or what it was made with," she says. "The big thing to me was: does it taste good?"


But when Nikki (above) reached 340 pounds and couldn't keep up with her two young daughters, she decided it was time for a change.

She underwent gastric bypass surgery and then radically changed her diet to eliminate sugar, carbs, and fats.

Basically, she broke up with her old eating habits. And like any bad break up, the aftermath was painful:

"Food was on my mind all the time but I wasn’t able to eat it," Nikki says, noting that she could no longer digest so many of the foods she used to crave.

In fact, many of them made her really really sick:

"You want it…but if you have it you have a bad reaction. It’s like…'Call me sometime, but you really hurt me.'"

This week on The Sporkful, Dan talks to Nikki, a Sporkful listener who lives in Baltimore, about how weight loss surgery changed her life -- from abandoning her family’s rich Southern food culture to the unexpected emotional "side effects" of her new relationship with food:

"I would go to the grocery store for absolutely no reason. I wouldn’t buy anything. I’d just go look at the food," she recalls. "My inability to eat [after surgery] had a really traumatic psychological effect on me."


And then there was Nikki's family, whose diets changed along with hers after surgery.

Her teenage daughters (above, with Nikki) really missed her old "food flames" -- cheese steak, pizza, and Southern specialties like fried fish, mac 'n cheese, and collard greens.

Listen in to the full episode to hear how Nikki's relationship with her kids changed after her weight loss surgery and why lasagna made with zucchini instead of pasta (below; recipe here) is tearing her family apart.


Plus, Nikki opens up about feeling guilty when she sees her daughters struggle with their own weight.

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Connect with Dan on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

- "Pong" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "Steady" by Cullen Fitzpatrick

- "Clean" by James Thomas Bates

- "Midnight Grind" by Cullen Fitzpatrick

- "New Old" by James Thomas Bates

Photos: FlickrCC/Tom Sens; FlickrCC/Eleni Preza; courtesy of Nikki M.

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