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Monday, June 13, 2016

Ramadan After Weight Loss Surgery

I'm revisiting this topic again this tear because I've received a lot of questions about my fasting for Ramadan this year.

Just me
First off, I am not Muslim, but as a spiritual person I respect Muhammad as a true prophet of God. The way that I see it, it is exactly the same as a non-Catholic giving p something for Lent.
 In every major religion, fasting is a required tenet. It is a time to refocus your mind and reset your body. For these reasons, I choose to fast and I have been fasting for Ramadan since well before my gastric sleeve surgery in 2010. However because I am a weight loss surgery post op, I choose to make modification and accommodations in order for me to be healthy during the month long fast.

Did I already tell you that I was a VSGer? I sure I mentioned that fact at least a couple of times.  I'm already starting with a much smaller stomach capacity, so take that fact and couple it with the super stomach shrinking power of Ramadan fasting, and by the end of the first week and can get in more than a small bit of food. I'm able to eat I can have a cup of soup and be full for what seems like hours. There is just NO room for food and water at iftar, the meal eaten after sunset. Because of this fact, I allow myself liquids during the day.
I make this accommodation because the goal of Ramadan is not to end up in the hospital needing an IV.
I ate one enchilada. That's the equivalent of a corn tortilla with a sprinkle of cheese inside.

This year is the longest and hardest Ramadan fast because it occurs over summer solstice. If I can't eat until the sun takes a nap, that makes for extremely long, extremely trying days. Sundown today is at 8:36pm. Starting dinner at that time is not an option for somebody with acid reflux. This year, I've made an additional modification and I elect to end my fast at 7:00. By doing so, I allow myself at least a two hour window before bed and I minimize the risk of waking up gagging and choking when my food comes back up from because I ate too close to bed time.
I make this accommodation because the goal of Ramadan is not to end up in the hospital with aspiration pneumonia.

Take what I do as just a guide. I allow myself these modifications because I beleive that my intentions are true and my heart is in the right place. Having liquids doesn't mean that I get to have a milkshake or imbibe mimosas. My goal is to stay true to the spirit of Ramadan, patience, understanding, empathy, and compassion while honoring the unique needs of my own body.


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