One year later…

I’ve gone up to 445 and went down to 396, which is the “lowest” I’ve weighed in at least 7 years.  Yesterday I was 407.  Today I am 405.

I’m currently fighting self-sabotage because I have my annual checkup at my doctor on Tuesday.  I have authority issues along with the need for approval.  At my age, it’s the most ridiculous nonsense, but it’s deep-rooted and it is very much a problem.  There is a part of me that wants my doctor (the “authority”) to be proud of me and for him to feel anything less makes me a “failure”.  I wanted to go in there weighing less than I did the last time I was there.  I wanted it so much that I pressured myself to the point that the stress from it triggered my emotional eating issues.

Now, my brain KNOWS this approval from authority thing is totally BS.  Unfortunately, logic loses against the ingrained toxic abuse from my childhood almost every time.  I put so much pressure on myself to make my doctor “proud”, that I’m straining with all my strength against the urge to cram comfort food into my face at the speed of light and in mass quantities.

Crazy?  Hell yes.  If not, it sure feels like it.  I don’t know how I can possibly make things harder for myself.  Honestly.  I know I don’t deserve all this.  I am worth happiness and health.

Too bad that doesn’t help when I’m in deep in the middle of this addiction/eating disorder/version of Hell.

 

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So, what if I just stopped fighting?

Just had my weekly therapy appointment.  Told her how absolutely alone I feel, and that I am so just effing tired of struggling.  Told her that I think I’d actually be happier if I just gave up.

We talked about what that would look like to me and what I think would happen. If I stopped thinking about every single thing I put in my mouth, SHOULD put in my mouth, BETTER NOT put in my mouth, already put in my mouth, the calories left to put in my mouth…what would happen?

Naturally, the first thought is “Oh my gawd, will I eat myself to 600 pounds and drop dead?”, which crossed my mind and of course concerned my therapist.  If I decide to just stop all the counting, planning, restricting, will I literally go hog-wild and eat like it’s a competition?  Right now, today, I don’t want to.  I want to be good to myself.  I feel sick from eating processed food PLUS I have all the emotions that come along with knowing that I messed up my food plan.  The guilt, the feelings of failure, the anger at myself for not being strong enough to make a better choice, etc.  I’m so hard on myself.

So, for the next few days, I’m letting go.  All the “shoulds”, the counting, the weighing, the pressure, the fighting, the struggle, the stress, GONE.  I’m taking a break from all of it.  Giving my mind and my spirit a vacation from all the food-thinking.

It’s going to be an adjustment.  It’s going to be observed.  Not like the food police; more like a scientist observing an experiment. I’m checking in with my therapist on Friday to see how it’s going.  If this isn’t a positive thing, I’ll stop and go back to the counting, etc.  I’ve tried pretty much everything.  Maybe it’s time to try nothing.

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This all happened yesterday.

One of the worst things about being over 400 pounds is the lack of freedom. I can’t drive my car because I’m too large to fit behind the steering wheel.  I have a small car.  I wasn’t overweight when I bought it.

I’m sitting here right now feeling trapped.  I haven’t left my apartment in over a month.  My husband does the grocery shopping and the few errands we need done, as his office is located directly across from pretty much everything.  Since everything is right there, it would be crazy for me to do it even if I could drive.

So, it’s Friday and tonight we planned he’d pick up dinner from one of our favorite places and we’d watch a movie.  I ate light today in preparation and I’m hungry.

Five minutes before he was finished working he asked if it was ok if he went with some work people “for ONE beer.”  I know that this was arranged prior to the last-minute because there are people who have kids.  They don’t have the luxury of making last-minute plans. They need to make arrangements for their kids if they’re going out after work.  SOOO this means that my husband purposely waited until the last minute to tell me (oh excuse me, “ask” me) about it.  He does it all the time.  Not that he goes out with them “all the time”, but when he does, he waits until the last minute to tell me about it.

This might be a good time to add that I have NEVER said no, in 18 years, to him going out.  When we first got together, I had to pretty much force him to go do things with his friends.  I believe separate friends and separate activities are crucial for a relationship to last.  He still says no to invitations from his non-work friends more times than not, because he would just rather be home.

What I have a huge problem with is this last-minute stuff, this pushing off the plans we already made, and the “I’ll just have ONE beer” BS.  He texted me a bit ago “asking” me if I minded if he had another beer.  I knew that was going to happen.  It’s an insult to my intelligence.  I honestly don’t care how many beers he has (as long as he isn’t over the legal limit), but don’t treat me like I’m stupid by PROMISING that he’s just going for one and then leaving, when he expected to stay longer in the first place.

So, here I am, two hours later, and he’s still out.  It’s not that he went out.  It’s that he lacked the respect to ask/discuss it in advance,  back when it was really planned. It’s that he knew we had plans for tonight (no matter how lame they might be), and decided that he wanted to go out anyway.  It’s that he lied from the beginning about the whole “just one beer” thing, knowing that some of the people joining him wouldn’t be there for at least an hour.

I could throw a fit. I could be a total b#tch.  I could give him the cold shoulder, and not talk to him.  I hate all that BS.  I don’t play games.

I want to talk to him about this, but it’s happened before and I talked to him then about how it made me feel.  I don’t know that it would help to talk about it again.  I can’t change what his priorities are.  I can’t make him respect me.  I think if he did, he would have acted differently.  Trying to force him to treat me with respect seems worse than being disrespected.

It tears me to bits to see how things have changed.  I remember when he brought me little gifts.  I remember when I felt like he cared that I was happy.  I remember when I felt like he thought about me.  I don’t know what to do. Can I say something that will change things?  Will talking about it make anything better?  I can’t magically say or do anything to make him care like he used to.  He feels how he feels.  How can talking about it change that?  Actions speak louder than words.  If he wanted to make me happy, he would do things to make me happy.  We’re together 18 years. He knows what I like. He knows how I feel about what he’s doing right now and he’s doing it anyway.

I know I’ll get through this moment of sadness, but I really wish I didn’t have to.  Watching love change into whatever this is, is torture.  And feeling trapped physically and financially just makes it that much worse.

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Well, THAT wasn’t very helpful.

Felt lonely today, and in spite of trying to not cave in, I used food for comfort.  After I ate, I texted my husband, because I needed to talk to someone.  He’s usually understanding and compassionate.  Today his response was, “You need to figure out something with that.  I’m not trying to be mean, but you need something to keep you busy.”

Ya gotta love when a statement starts with “I’m not trying to be mean but…”, because you know whatever’s coming after that is going to be something that sucks, or maybe even breaks your heart a little.  It took my breath away.  It took a lot for me to get to the point to reach out to him knowing he’s busy at work, but he texted first, to check in.  Am I supposed to lie?  Am I supposed to say “Fine” and give him a smiley emoticon?  This is my husband of almost 11 years, my partner of over 18 years.  He has never talked to me like that.  For a split second I felt like it was someone else texted back using his phone.

Sure, now he’s sorry.  My response to him was “Wow.  Where is the compassion?”  I understand the male need to want to solve problems.  He knows that I know about that.  He also knows that I’m not looking for that, because I have explained that to him a million times over the course of our relationship.  That all I need is some kindness and compassion in a tough moment.  And now, I feel worse than I did before I talked to him.

Having Binge Eating Disorder/Food Addiction is a horribly lonely thing.  There is help out there for Bulimia and Anorexia, but if you binge eat and don’t purge, trying to find support is close to impossible.  I know OA is out there, but when you are very large, transportation and seating accommodations are an issue.  Shame stops me from putting myself out in public because there is nothing worse than going somewhere only to find out that when you get to a venue, you don’t fit in the chairs.

I am not sitting around all day crying and feeling sorry for myself.  I have seen at least 5 different therapists in my local area who all pretty much thought my solution was bariatric surgery or nothing.  My insurance excludes bariatric surgery and I couldn’t afford it if I wanted it.  I know the problem goes way beyond the physical eating.  It’s part addiction, and it’s part disorder and if I don’t find a way to deal with all of that, reducing the size of my stomach is not going to solve anything.

All I can do is remember I have been through this before and try to get to the part where I feel less lonely and ashamed.  I keep hoping to find a support group, chat room, anything out here on the internet, because I know there are many others living with this looking for compassion and help.

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One year ago today and other insanity

There’s a piece of paper hanging on my fridge.  It’s a calendar page for September 2014.  It was something I was doing for motivation.  I bought some stickers and put them on each day I stayed on track.  “On track” meaning I made healthy food choices, didn’t use food for anything other than a meal, and stayed within a healthy calorie range.  One year ago today, I weighed 429 pounds.  Today, I weigh exactly 429 pounds.  365 days passed and no progress.

Sure, I can spin it in a positive way, and say something like, “At least I don’t weigh MORE!”, but I have.  Just 2 days ago I was 435.  6 pounds away from my highest weight of 441.  There is no positive spin and I’m tired of trying to see the good in a situation that is simply very bad.

I’m stuck in this nightmare of trying to be kind to myself, which somehow leads to a denial of sorts.  I can’t seem to “love my body” AND see it realistically at the same time.  I can’t look at all this weight and be fine with it.  I’m NOT comfortable and I don’t WANT to be comfortable at this size.  I don’t want to embrace this weight.

I spend so much time in my head.  I’ve been in therapy most of my adult life.  My childhood was a horror show, but it was so long ago.  I feel like I’ve explored it as much as I can in therapy.  I’ve done the forgiving.  But all of that being said, there is so much sadness inside of me that is so close to the surface that it comes out almost on a daily basis.  I break down, and sob like someone’s just died.  Exploring it, I feel that it’s grief for the life I had before this weight.  With each day I live at this size, I am missing so much.

I almost wish I’d always been this size.  To know a completely different existence, a life full of activities and events, just to end up like this, sitting at home, unable to walk beyond the shortest distance, is heartbreaking.   I’m mourning my old life.  I’m sad, angry at this “disorder”, and frustrated because I want help but can’t afford it.

And now the weekend is here.  My husband will be home, which is great, but it’s also a reminder that I’m not physically able to do anything other than sedentary activities.  Before this weight, we would have done something like go to a Fall Festival, or to a Flea Market, or some other activity outdoors.

Now, I’m too ashamed of my size to risk being seen by someone I know.  Also, people STARE at someone that’s my weight.  Our society hates fat people and isn’t afraid to be hideously rude about it.  I don’t handle that type of blatant cruelty with charm and grace.  I tend to react loudly and with much cursing.  So it’s really best for all involved that I avoid all such scenarios.

I dream of just moving away somewhere that no one knows me.  The anonymity would be a blessing.  I hate the shame that comes with this.  And to those who say that it’s all on them, and not to take it personally, I would venture to guess they have not experienced the embarrassment of being stared at like a side-show attraction.

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Four months later and nothing’s changed

I spend most of my days crying.  I’m on meds, but I think they’ve stopped working.  I’m in mourning for my life.

As I type this, my husband is at his sister’s wedding.  I wish I could be there.  I’m not there because I am physically unable to sit in a normal chair, because I am unable to walk more than a few steps at a time, and I am too ashamed of the way I look to be seen by 100+ people.  This is her special day.  I would never do anything to take away from that.  I wanted my husband to enjoy this time with his family, without worrying if I was ok.

I binge-ate out of sadness today.  The amount of food I consumed is incredible.  I ate a rack of ribs. some roasted potato wedges, and probably 20 cookies.  Not in one sitting, but over the course of the day.

I don’t know what to do.  I can’t afford a treatment center and of course insurance won’t pay for it.  My insurance won’t pay for any type of gastric surgery, either.  It seems like the only people who can get help are the wealthy.

I deserve better than this, but I’m not strong enough to do this alone.  I sometimes wonder what it would be like to just stop fighting it, and give in.  But, I’m not making any progress with it, no matter how much it feels like I’m fighting it.

I’m so very tired of all this.

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Chronic Illness + Food Addiction = 435 pounds

Over the past 10 years, I’ve gained over 200 pounds.  I’m starting this blog because I know I’m not alone.  I know we are out there, but we tend to hide.

I hide because I was not always this big.  I was “normal” for the first 40+ years of my life.

Then, overnight, I got sick.  It took 6 months of tests, specialists, poking, prodding, scanning to come up with a diagnosis.  “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”.  One of the most useless labels ever created by the medical community.  No one is clear what it is, no one is sure what causes it, and there is no cure.  There is pain, there is exhaustion, there is fever.  Migraines, joint and muscle aches, “brain fog”.  Pain meds kept me asleep more than I was awake.  When I wasn’t seeing a doctor, I was in bed.

I gained most of the weight in the first few years.  It was like my metabolism screeched to a halt.  I stopped cooking, because I simply couldn’t perform the physical tasks, and the meals came from any place that would deliver.  I could not drive, so the food came to me.

I don’t live in a big city.  Choices here for food delivery range from pizza to Chinese food to subs, fries, etc.  I went from eating healthy meals that I prepared to living on whatever would come to my house.

And the more I ate of the food, the more I craved it.  It triggered something in my brain that numbed the emotional pain from having a chronic illness.  My life changed completely.  I lost my job, I lost my freedom and independence, and I slowly lost contact with my friends, as their lives moved forward and I was house-bound.  The physical illness created depression, and in spite of therapy and even MORE medication, I found myself abusing food like an drug addict abuses heroin.  Sugar, fat, and starch caused a physical reaction and it was nothing for me to eat an entire pound of pasta, or an entire pizza in one sitting, and then zone out on the couch, dozing off from the chemical reaction created in my brain as the food metabolized.  Some people throw the phrase “food coma” around as a joke.  I can testify that I can eat myself into a physical state that is exactly like being drugged.  When you fall asleep sitting up from eating a pound of pasta, there is something serious going on with your body.

So, I stopped the delivery.  I made arrangements to get groceries and started buying the healthy food I ate before I got sick.  For the most part, I ate healthy meals.  But, if something happened and I got upset, I went back to the trash food.  And that’continues to be the pattern.

Some people would say I am trying to kill myself.  I’m not.  I have tried everything short of surgery to get this under control.  I even went so far into debt from paying for a Residential Treatment facility that I had to declare bankruptcy because I couldn’t make the credit card payments.

Insurance won’t pay for food addiction treatment, unless you’re a purger.  I’m not bulimic.  I binge without the purging.  My health insurance won’t cover any of the surgery, either.  They specifically exclude it and explained that too many people abused it.  Their words, not mine.

So here I am.  What I would call an average person.  I have a college education, had a decent job, a great group of friends, varied interests, and a physically active life.

That’s still me on the inside.  Unfortunately, on the outside I am super morbidly obese and lack the financial means to pay for any of the options that will help me.  I isolate and carry so much shame and guilt because I feel like I should be able to control this.

I sometimes wish it was alcohol or drugs that I abuse instead of food.  At least I could physically avoid being anywhere near them.  With food, you have to eat to survive.  Like making an alcoholic drink 3 times a day.

I don’t know what I hope to accomplish with this blog.  I know I’m hoping that somehow someone out there will read it and know what this personal hell is like and know they aren’t alone.  Maybe people who don’t know what this feels like will read this and learn that we are not disgusting lazy animals that choose to live like this without trying to do something about it.

I fight every hour of every day.  It is so hard, and it is exhausting.  To know what I’m doing to myself, and to do it anyway?  I live each day hoping that I can get through it without eating myself numb, and keep searching for something to help me.  For the strength to be able to save myself.

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