Author Archives: madfatlady

About madfatlady

I've struggled with my weight for as long as I remember. It has now ballooned to over 400 pounds. I don't like that. At the same time, I don't know what to do about it. I am mad at myself about this weight gain. I am mad at the world for allowing the fod to be so readily available and relatively inexpensive, while diet and exercise programs are so costly.

Accountability

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Good morning.  My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about accountability.  I say that I want to do certain things with my eating and my exercise.  I am even good at keeping up with it for a day or two.  But when the “newness” and “excitement” of whatever it is I’ve decided to do wears off, I stop doing it.  At least I stop doing it on a regular basis.  I still track my food.  I still read my daily literature.  I still ride my stationary bike.

I just don’t do those things every day.

I don’t even remember to do them all on the same day.

The OA group that I am a part of recently started an accountability group.  For a few weeks now, I have thought about going.  This week I actually went.  It was one of the worst OA meetings I have ever been to.

OK, so calling it a bad meeting probably isn’t fair, especially since I could see that the others in the room were getting a lot out of the meeting.  But it didn’t work for me.  I don’t know if the meeting was a bad fit or if I was just in a bad frame of mind for it.  Heaven knows that I didn’t put puch into the meeting.

It was odd for me from the beginning.  Rather than using the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of OA, they were reading from the AA 12 and 12.  Why that was uncomfortable to me, I don’t know.

Anyway, one thing they talked about was emailing their food plan and action plan to each other; they said that keeps them accountable for following through with what they are committing to do.  Now THAT is something that I can get into!!  Nearly every morning, I make up a plan of what I am going to do that day, and I have in my head what I will eat for the day.  But I have yet to share it with anyone.  If no one knows what I have planned, they can’t get on my case to make sure that I am doing it.  Yeah, OK, so I know that it’s not up to anyone else to stick to my program.  But I do think having some encouragement throughout the day would be helpful for me.

Who can I ask to be my accountability partner, though?  I suppose I could post it all here on my blog.  Only I don’t know how many actually read it.  (It’s not like I have been very good about keeping up with this blog in the past few months!)  I’d prefer to share with someone I KNOW will respond to me daily, pushing me to stick with my plans.  Maybe my sponsor will help.  And my best friend.  I suppose I will have to ask them.

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Swaying God

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

“It makes little difference what I pray for because God is in charge; I don’t sway God.”  I read that this morning in For Today.  And I must say, I don’t like what I read much at all.

If my prayers don’t matter and I don’t sway God at all, then what is the point of praying?

To me, this concept of a Higher Power with OA is really uncomfortable.  I was raised in a Christian home.  I have loved God, often very imperfectly, since my childhood.  I was about eight when I came home from church and knelt with my older sister in front of the window of our bedroom and asked Jesus to come into my heart.  There have been times when I have felt closer to Him than others—because of my actions (or inactions as the case my pay) and not because He actually went anywhere.  God is God.  He loves me, imperfections and all.

I know what the point of prayer is—it is communication with God.  It’s not just me talking to Him and telling Him what is in my heart.  After all, He is God and He knows all of that anyway.  It is my time to listen to what He is telling me.  “It makes little difference what I pray….”  In a sense, I suppose that is true.  God knows, and coming to Him in prayer doesn’t change what He knows.  He is in charge, and my life is in His hands.

But I really disagree with the whole “I don’t sway God” part of that statement.  I may not always sway Him, but I don’t doubt that my prayers can sway Him.  I am not so insignificant to God that He won’t take my wants and desires to heart and change what He has planned.  Not to say that I am so all-important to Him that He will always change everything in order to give me what I want.  There are so many places in my life where I can point out times that God did not do what I asked Him to do for me.  There are equally as many where I know that He did do what I asked.

Who’s to say that my prayers didn’t impact Him and cause Him to rethink things in those times?

There are events in the Bible that show how God changed his mind based on the prayers of His people.  One that comes to mind quickly is in the 20th chapter of 2 Kings.  Hezekiah, a good king who did what was pleasing to God, trusted God, and remained faithful to God no matter what, was ill.  God told him, through the prophet Isaiah, that he was not going to recover from his illness.  Hezekiah knew that he was going to die.  He wasn’t ready to die, though, I asked God to please give him more life.  God agrees and gave Hezekiah 15 more years.

I don’t think that I am anywhere near as honorable as King Hezekiah was.  But I can’t think that I mean so little to God that He would completely ignore my prayers.

I don’t go into prayer thinking that God is going to listen to every word I say and do everything that I want.  Not even where my food addiction is concerned.  But I do go into it with a heart trained on Him and a willingness to change my desires to more accurately reflect His will.  I don’t expect Him to be swayed by everything that I say.  At the same time, I will not close myself to the possibility that He might be swayed by something.

There is no way to know how God will choose to show His love for me.  But I am confident that He does love me and that He will show that love in some awesome way.

Today and every day.

Proof in Pictures

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Hi.  My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

I’d like to show you a couple of pictures today.  As you may remember (and as it has been oh so long since I have written anything here, I fully understand if you don’t remember), I had weight loss surgery on May 23, 2011.  My weight before surgery was 455 pounds.  The expectation was that I would lose 60% of my excess body weight, or a total of 253 pounds, in the first year after surgery.  Of course, we didn’t expect that I would have a herniated disc in need of repair during that first year.  Yeah, that has hampered my weight loss.  It is a part of the reason that I haven’t kept up this blog as I intended.  To say I have battled depression issues since the problems with my back developed would be an understatement.  But the back and depression are only a part of why I haven’t kept up with this blog.

The other part is my laziness.  That is one of those character defects that I have to face when I work on Step Four—and in all honesty, is one of the reasons that I have avoided that Step.

Anyway….  I wanted to share with you a picture of me before my surgery.  As you can see, I look like a whale.  I even wore black that day, knowing that I was going to have my picture taken.  Black is supposed to be slimming, right?  Well, if this outfit made me look any slimmer, I would honestly HATE to see what I looked like in a color that wasn’t black.

Before surgery picture. Weight 455 pounds. YUCK

I went yesterday for my one year checkup.  It’s been more than a year, I know, but the back issues messed up my schedule a bit.  When I stepped on the scale and say my weight at 359 pounds, I wanted to cry.  I was so mad at myself!!  That weight is actually 9 pounds heavier than I was at my 6 month postop checkup.  I swore going into this that it wouldn’t matter how much or how little weight I lost, once the weight was gone it was not going to come back.  And I had allowed 9 pounds to sneak back onto my frame.  Now, that I didn’t lose more, that I have no problem “blaming” on the back issues.  It’s kind of hard to exercise with the balance issues I’ve been dealing with.  But regaining 9 pounds?  I can’t blame that on anything other than the bad choices that I have made.  I’ve not been paying close attention to my food choices.  The number on the scale showed it.  I left the office feeling really down on myself.  Sure, the dietitian had given me a diet to follow for a few weeks, something to help kick start my metabolism and help me get back into losing.  She also gave me some exercise ideas that will help and shouldn’t hurt my back much.  But all I had in my head right then was that number.  I was mad at myself about the whole thing and felt like a failure because I hadn’t done more.

Just before I settled in to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony last night (hey, just because I don’t like to compete in any sport, doesn’t mean I don’t like watching the world celebrate sport!), I opened an email from the dietitian.  She had taken my picture again and had sent me copies.  My jaw about hit the floor when I looked at them!

Fourteen months after surgery. Weight 359 pounds. Loss of 96 pounds.

Can you see the differences?  I actually have a SHAPE now, a shape that is not just blob-shaped.  Sure, I still have a ways to go to get where I want to be, but now I can actually see the difference.  I can see that I am losing weight.  No, I don’t feel wonderful about it, but I feel much better than I did when all I knew was the number.

Now to get myself back on track and really working to get the weight off.

Willingness

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Hi. I am Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

I am also a terrible procrastinator. If you have followed this blog at all, you have probably figured that out. Of course, I have a feeling that most of my followers are no longer following. It has been a while since I’ve updated. Looks like the last update was one month after my gastric sleeve, and that was May 23, 2011. Nearly a year since I have updated. I could tell you why, but honestly no matter what I say will sound like a load of excuses. It’s been an interesting year, to say the least, and my compulsive eating recovery hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind for a while. Thanks to my surgery, I’ve lost nearly 115 pounds. Clothes that I couldn’t fit into last spring are falling off me now. While I am happy with that and happy with the way my body is recovering from all the junk I have put into it over the years, I am not at all happy with the state of my mind. Illness and injury have kept me from regularly attending local OA meetings. It seems that the more meetings I miss, the louder the voices in my head, telling me to eat, get. I want to make those voice SHUT UP already. So I am making it a point to go back to my meetings. Trying very hard to not make excuses to stay home. I figure if I am looking for an excuse to stay home, then I probably REALLY need to be at the meeting.

In meeting Monday night, we talked about Step Ten. The group that meets that night is still working through The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous. One of the questions we discussed was “How willing am I to do a written daily inventory and occasionally share it with another OA member?” I said that I am willing to do that. I even mentioned this blog and said that it shows my willingness—not only am I sharing my recovery with other OA members, I have it out there in cyberspace for the entire world to read. How much more willing can one be than that?

Only the lapse between posts brings that willingness into question. If I am really and truly willing, shouldn’t I be updating a little more often? The question does say “occasionally share.” I don’t think, however, that it means once a year. Occasionally probably means something different to everyone. To me and my recovery, I think it means once a week.

So that is the goal I am setting—to update this blog at least once a week. It has only taken me about 20 minutes to write this post. That is 20 minutes that my fingers have been dancing across the keyboard instead of popping food into my mouth. Small step, perhaps, but it is a step in the right direction.

Step Three Questions

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

My sponsor suggested that I work on Step Three. YIKES. That means Step Four is next. Though she has said that she has an idea for how I can do that, too. Anyway, I had already answered most of the questions in the 12 and 12 Workbook. I just thought that I should type up all the answers here and share what is in my head. The things in bold are taken word for word from the workbook.

STEP THREE QUESIONS

  1. In what ways am I willing to adopt a whole new attitude about weight control, body image, and eating?

    It’s not really about weight control anymore. Yes, I love seeing the number on the scale go down. But I view that lower number as an indication that I am getting healthier. I have spent much of my 35 years at an unhealthy weight. I am excited to be on a path toward better health.

     

    I am willing, probably for the first time ever, to look at food as fuel for my body. It’s not a reward for good behavior or a way to comfort myself when things are not going my way. I am willing now to view food as nothing more than a necessary part of healthy living.

     

  2. What has my attitude been about food and eating?

    Food has always been a source of pleasure for me. I’ve also used it as a reward, a way to celebrate the milestones in my life. Social events at church often revolve around food. Family gatherings revolve around food. Food has kind of been a part of the family or a close friend—and it would be rude to ignore the food by not at least tasting it.

     

  3. Am I ready to give up self-will regarding food? Explain.

    Self-will got me to this unhealthy weight. I am out of control, and I know it. Without help, there is no way that I am going to be able to live a healthy lifestyle. So yes, I am ready and willing to give up self-will regarding food in order to be healthy and sane.

     

  4. How do I feel about completely turning my life over to a Higher Power for guidance?

    First, I am going to say that I dislike the term “Higher Power.” I guess understand why OA uses the term. For me, the ONLY “Higher Power” is God. And He is the One I am willing to turn my life over to.

     

    I grew up in a Christian home. I’ve been going to church for as long as I can remember, even when I didn’t want to go and when I wasn’t sure that God really cared about me. For the past ten years, I have learned more and more every day how to rely on Him and give my life over to Him. How do I feel about completely turning my life over to God? Like it is the only way to really LIVE.

     

  5. Do I have eating guidelines? Will I ask God for the willingness and ability to live within them each day? Explain.

    Oh, I definitely have eating guidelines! I’ve had to adjust my eating habits in the last few weeks because of my surgery. Right now, I am not able to eat pasta, bread, rice, or fresh veggies. I don’t get hungry, but I know when I need to eat because of how I feel (shaking, headachy, etc.) And I can’t each much at a time. My tummy just won’t hold it.

     

    I have been asking God for the ability to stick with those guidelines. I especially have problems when it comes to liquids. It’s been hot where I live, and I get so thirsty. It’s hard to remember that I need to sip and not gulp my drinks, and that I have to drink them very slowly. When I don’t, I get sick. I have to ask God for help to control the gulping impulse so that I don’t get sick.

     

  6. If occasionally the obsession returns, how do I get through these times without overeating?

    The obsession has come back. It’s so annoying! I know I am not hungry and that it isn’t time for me to eat, but I can’t stop thinking about the food. I handle it by writing or sending an email to someone in my support system. Recently, I took the step of asking someone I trust to be my OA sponsor. Having her to talk to helps me feel like it won’t be so hard to beat down those cravings.

     

  7. How do I reach the decision to turn my will and life over to a Higher Power?

    I think I reached that decision the moment I realized that my eating is out of control and unmanageable. There is no way I can handle this on my own. It is only by the Grace of God that my addiction hasn’t killed me already. I know that only He can lead me through this addiction and lead me to a healthier life.

     

  8. Am I willing to earnestly seek God’s will for me and willing to act accordingly? Explain.

    Yes, I am. Like I said above, I feel like I have little choice. My own will is leading me down a dark and dangerous path. I trust God to lead me where He wants me to be, even when I don’t think He and I want the same things! Through reading my Bible and talking to Him daily, I am willing to earnestly seek His will for my life. I don’t know exactly what He wants for my life, but I know that as long as I make the conscious effort to nurture my relationship with Him, He will reveal it in time.

     

    On a side note, I’ve heard the comments that if God intended for me to be thin, He would have given me “the willpower” to follow a diet and exercise plan without the surgery. That seems a lot like saying if He intended me to not be depressed He would have led me out of it without the medications or if He wanted my blood pressure to be normal I would not need to be on medication for it. The surgery is working. I am losing weight and gaining energy, not to mention confidence! If it was just about being thin, I don’t think the surgery would be doing anything for me at all. I think the surgery is a tool for me to use to get totally healthy. And I think God for leading me to a surgeon who could show me the most effective way of using this tool.

     

  9. What can I do when I feel unstable?

    I think I touched on this a bit already. Besides my OA friends, I have a strong support group of family and friends I can lean on. I have the tools of OA, and will especially lean on my sponsor and writing to get me through the unstable moments. As much as I want to deny that I am in any way unstable, I can’t hide from the truth. I feel that I have a firm grasp of where to turn when I feel unstable so that I don’t have to get into the food.

     

  10. Why do I need to follow this new path?

    Because I want to live! My food addiction has led me to a weight of well over 400 pounds, high blood pressure, borderline diabetes, and numerous other health problems. The surgery I had can address a lot of the physical aspects of the addiction. But I need to address the spiritual and the emotional if I want to learn how to leave in peace with the disease of compulsive overeating.

     

  11. What do I do when I face indecision?

    Pray. Prayer, writing out my thoughts and feeling, and discussing what is going on inside my head with outs in recovery will help me more than anything else I can think of.

     

  12. What will it take for me to really work Step Three?

    I need to let go and let God. Sounds easy, but it is not always simple. I trust God with my life. Now I need to put some action behind the words.

     

    Lord, I love You. And I need You. This disease is scary. Without your help and guidance, there is no way I can grow and learn how to live. I ask You now to take control of my eating and exercise habits. I am giving You all I have and all that is beyond my control. You can help me to focus only the things You think are important. Not only can You do it, Lord, but I trust that You will. Thank You for being there for me to lean on. Thank You for loving me enough to want to help me with this.

The Miracle of Me

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My name is Annie. I am a compulsive overeater.

I found a little assignment at the end of today’s reading in The Emotional Eater’s Book of Inspiration that I actually think would be a good thing for me to do. OK, so in all fairness, there is an “assignment” at the end of each reading. I normally do them, but this is one that I think I should post here.

The assignment is “write down 10 things that you are grateful for about your body.” Ten positive things about my body. Are there really ten positives about this body of mine? I could easily name ten negative things, ten things that I would LOVE to change. But I am supposed to focus on the positive for today. So, let’s see what I can come up with.

  1. My thick, curly hair that I have never had to have permed
  2. The smile I’ve often been told is warm and friendly
  3. My ears that can hear my children say, “I love you, Mommy”
  4. Arms that are strong enough to hug all of my children
  5. A brain that is wired for creativity
  6. A heart that beats without effort on my part
  7. Lungs that breathe without effort
  8. A waist that is 5 ½ inches smaller than it was just four months ago
  9. Muscles that burn when I exercise, letting me know that they are working for me
  10. My entire body, which my husband thinks is sexy

Awed and Humbled

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

Last night, I got a huge shock. I decided to Google “Rantings of a Mad Fat Lady.” I do that every now and again. I wasn’t really expecting to see anything. But I got a hit that shocked me.

This little blog has been named one of the Top 50 Best Blogs for Overcoming Food Addiction by the Guide to Culinary Schools.

I totally was not expecting that! I mean, I’d never heard of this website. Since I’d never heard of them, I certainly didn’t expect that they’d heard of me. But they did. And they like what I have to say.

This is very humbling to me. I’ve done a lot of writing in my life, a lot of writing that I’d hoped would get the attention of others. But this blog is not about that. This blog is about saving my life, overcoming my addition to food, learn to live within the boundaries necessitated by this addiction, and sharing my road to recovery with others. Never once did I think that I would capture the attention of anyone in the media or anyone other than other food addicts. That this journey of mine has not only been noted by others but is also being promoted to other overeaters shows me that other food addicts have noticed.

I’m not perfect. I’ve never claimed to be and I highly doubt that I ever will achieve anything near perfection in this lifetime. But I will continue to be honest about my struggle. After all, it is honesty, according to The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, that will lead to recovery. I am honestly amazed to know that others are reading this blog and finding hope in my words.

Thank you!

And if you’d like to see the other Top 50 blogs, click here