My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.
I was told that dealing with food would be easy right after surgery. The doctors, dietitian and other patients that I spoke with said in the first few weeks after surgery, I wouldn’t even want to eat. That was tru for the first week. Now, though, I am finding the cravings coming back. Part of it I think has to do with the surgery. Maybe not the surgery exactly, but the post-op diet. I started on a pre-op liquid only diet on May 9. I am on that liquid only diet until June 7. Three more days. I keep telling myself that. It’s only three more days. And I have lost 31 pounds in the time I’ve been on liquids only. Still, I am finding myself thinking of the other foods that are in the kitchen. The family had Hamburger Helper last night for dinner. I keep thinking that the noodles are probably real soft. If I cut them into smaller pieces and make sure the meat is chopped up really well, I could eat a little bit. What could it hurt? I put a cup of it in the freezer, thinking that it would make a nice lunch next week when I am moved to pureed foods. Eveything is soft enough hat it should puree nicely. But that hasn’t helped much. There is this voice in my head saying, “But that is next week. Why should I have to wait until next week when there is some in the fridge NOW?”
I know that is my disease talking. Knowing that, though, isn’t helping me to not think about the food.
You know those little surveys that go through email every now and again, the ones where you fill in your favorite things so that your friends and family can learn more about you? I remember one about a year ago that I got back from a friend who had gastric bypass a few years back. On the question, “What is your favorite food?” she responded, “Food is not longer a favorite thing of mine.”
Oh, how I envy that statement!
I want to get to that place. I want food to not be that important to me. Right now, I am not hungry. Thirsty. Very, very thirsty. But I am not hungry. Still, I am thinking about the leftover food. I’m not hungry, but I want to eat. Even knowing that if I do eat, it’s going to leave me in incredible pain (think childbirth but in the chest) isn’t enough to keep me from thinking about eating. The other day, I decided to try a stick of string cheese. I ate about half of it before my chest started burning. I had it happen one other time, when I drank my protein shake too fast. That sure taught me about eating slowly. It SHOULD have been enough to keep me from trying foods that are not on my diet. But it didn’t. I still tried that cheese. And I know that if I give into this craving for solid food, I am going to be in that kind of pain again. Yet I am still thinking about it! My tummy is so full of protein shake that I feel like another sip will make it explode, and I am still thinking about real food. I so hope that it will be easier after I am on pureed foods. At least the food won’t be quite as bland as the liquids are.
To try to combat these cravings, I decided that I would write this blog post and pull out my OA 12 & 12. I am reading Step Three now, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” This should be easy for me. I mean, for years I have worked to put God first in my life. I know what I want for my life, but I am willing to give up all of my dreams in order to be the woman He created me to be. If I can give over all of my dreams for my life, present and future, it should not be difficult to give Him control over my food and eating habits.
It shouldn’t be hard. So why do I have this feeling that it is not going to be easy, either?