Tag Archives: overweight

Affected Relationships

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I am Annie, and I am a compulsive overeater.

Step One, Question 2, Part C

Has chronic unhappiness over my eating problems affected my friendships or marriage?  How?

My eating problems have led to a weight of over 400 pounds.  That weight often keeps me from doing things with my husband or my friends.

It has affected my marriage by basically killing my sex life.  My size makes experimentation impossible; I find sex boring because it is always the same thing.  And I am sure that is my fault, because it isn’t my husband.  I love him dearly and find him more sexually appealing than I can explain.  It’s just that knowing exactly what to expect when we are intimate takes all of the adventure out of it.  It makes sex feel more like another chore, something dull and routine that I have to do rather than something fun and spontaneous that I want to do.

It has affected my friendships by keeping me from going out often.  The last time I went out with friends I sat in the backseat of my best friend’s van.  Getting out at home was not easy.  I felt like I was stuck in the back of a van.  A VAN!  Embarrassing.  And I can’t go shopping with her.  She’s a size 12 now, and me, I’m still in walrus sizes.  I doubt we could find a store that even carries clothes that would fit both of us. 

I see myself becoming more and more of a hermit.  I don’t like to leave the house, and look for excuses not to.  Basically, I leave for church and OA meetings and that’s it.  Occasionally, I go grocery shopping or to visit my parents.  Last week, I would have gone nowhere other than church or OA if not for the subpoena that I received in the mail.

My weight is what makes me unhappy, not my eating problems.  Then again, the eating led to the weight gain so I guess it is all tired up together.

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Victory and Embarrassment

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I’m Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

This weekend, I was feeling pretty good.  I had to testify in a custody hearing on Friday, which stressed me out enough to make me want to eat.  Saturday was my 11th wedding anniversary, something that my hubby and I like to celebrate with a big, fancy meal.  Oh, and also on Friday, my second grader brought home a note about the school accepting registrations for preschool starting this week; my youngest son meets the age requirement and is BEGGING to be allowed to go to school.  All of these things were chances for me to indulge the emotional eater in me and scarf down everything in sight.

BUT I DIDN’T!!!!

No, I didn’t starve myself.  And I am sure some of my food choices were not the healthiest.  But I avoided soda pop (except for the last drink in the bottle that my two oldest sons were fighting over) and I avoided overeating.  I ate enough to satisfy me and nothing more.  That is a victory.

But it is a victory that meant very little to me yesterday morning in church.  About three years ago, the church changed from traditional wooden pews to padded pew chairs.  There wasn’t money in the budget for wide, comfortable chairs, but the ones that were purchased were very nice and very deeply padded.  And they don’t have arms, which is a major plus in my eyes.  We choose seats yesterday morning in the center section, second row.  My husband sat on one end, then our 7-year-old, our 9-year-old, and me, with an empty chair beside me.  I like to have an empty chair where I can place my purse and Bible for the praise and worship portion of the service.  It’s easier to grab them off that chair than to bend over and retrieve them from the floor.  My weight just makes that bending difficult.

Well, something even worse happened yesterday.  When the singing ended and I took my seat, I realized I was really taking my seats—my butt was on both chairs.  I don’t know if anyone else noticed it.  Likely they didn’t (at least they didn’t if they were paying attention to the sermon).  But I noticed it.  I felt so humiliated.  Every time the pastor looked in my direction as he spoke (which seemed to happen quite often because my family was sitting so close to the front) I was almost positive that he could see the way I was sitting on two chairs.  I didn’t tell anyone about it, not even my husband.  Yet I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.  When I tried to take a nap after Sunday dinner, I kept thinking about my butt spanning two chairs.  I dreamed that I was too large to fit into my queen size bed and needed to have a second one set up in my room in order for me to sleep.

A Victory

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

Went to a meeting on Monday night.  I really needed that meeting.  Can’t say that I had any big “a-ha” moments from our reading, but it was good to be there.

A subpoena for a custody hearing came in the mail yesterday.  It wasn’t a surprise.  I knew it was coming.  I also know that testifying in this hearing—subpoena or no subpoena—is likely to cause problems within my family.  Before the meeting, I had to pick up a couple of things at Wal-Mart (not that I wanted to wash any laundry).  Hubby called while I was there and asked me to pick up something for him to snack on before bed.  Just being in that snack aisle made me think of all the yummy stuff I could eat.  I even thought I could get an entire box, eat it myself, and throw out the package so that no one would ever know I’d eaten it.  When I left, I grabbed a bottle of water instead of a soda, which was a small victory for me.  And then I thought about the fast food place across the street.  I knew they had a dollar menu and started to think of how much I could order and scarf down in the 20 minutes before meeting.  “Maybe,” I thought with a grin, “I could just pretend to go to a meeting.  I’ll sit in the truck and eat, but tell my family that I was at the OA meeting.”

But I didn’t do it!  I didn’t buy and snack food and I didn’t buy anything from the dollar menu.  I didn’t buy any fast food at all.  In fact, I made sure to pull out of the parking lot on the side street that doesn’t go past the fast food place.  I was so excited about that!

I was stressed, I wanted to eat.  I wanted to use food to forget the subpoena and was even willing to sacrifice long-term recovery to do it.  But I didn’t listen to the voices in my head, begging to be fed! 

That one little moment made me think that I just might be able to beat this after all!!

Food Secret

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

What has it been like living with me at home?

I can’t really speak for my husband or my kids.  But I can say that I know there are times when I feel like I am hiding and lying WAY too much.  I’ll binge on food and then hide the wrappers.  When I miss something and I am called on it, I have been known to lie about where it came from.  “So and so bought that,” I’ll say.  Or, “This other person bought lunch for me today.”  I have even said, “Oh, I saw that fast food bag in the front yard and thought I’d just put it in our trash.”  Lie, hide, deny.  That is my mantra some days. 

Now that I really think about it, it is like I am cheating my family with that thinking.  It is hard to relax and be sincere with them when I am worried that they will uncover my dirty little food secret.

Commitments to Myself

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

I know that is how I start every post, and it might seem sort of annoying to see it each time.  Still, I think it is important for me to do that.  After all, I am keeping this blog more for my own recovery than for any other reason.  And it helps me to put it out there, right at the beginning, that I am a compulsive eater.

As if I could really forget, anyway.

It seems like I have been working at Step One for a very long time.  Over the weekend, I think I figured out why that it.  I’ve been stuck on Step One because I haven’t really given myself permission to go any further.

Being able to admit to my food addiction was a huge step for me.  Allowing myself to “get to the bottom” of my addiction is an even bigger one.  And it is beyond scary to have to do it.  I am comfortable in my own skin right now.  If I look too deeply and am forced to face what is inside, I might not be so comfortable.

And isn’t comfort what we are all looking for?

Well, comfort isn’t enough for me anymore!  Not by a long shot.  Being comfortable allowed me to put on 200 pounds in the last eleven years.  That’s 200 pounds that I don’t want and I am not comfortable carrying around.  Getting that weight off would be awesome, but that isn’t going to solve anything.  If I don’t look deep inside and figure out what it is that makes me want to eat, what makes me think that it is OK to find comfort in food, then nothing will ever change.  Diets, exercise, surgery—they are all useless if I am not willing to face my fears and my triggers and learn how to deal with life without turning to food.

So I have made a commitment this week.  Actually, I have made two.  The first is to give up soda pop.  Something tells me that will be anything but “comfortable”.  I love me some Mountain Dew!  And even though I normally drink diet soda, I have pledged to give it up completely.  I know that I will have to give it up—at least temporarily but most likely permanently—when I have surgery.  My hope is that if I take small steps toward that new diet, if I eliminate or replace one thing at a time, it will be easier than just suddenly changing everything.

The second commitment I made is to complete the questions in my 12 and 12 Workbook for Step One this week.  No more excuses, no more procrastination.  If I want to conquer this—and I so want to conquer this!—I have to put in the work!

Bad Day

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My name is Annie.  I am a compulsive overeater.

And I am not having an easy time overcoming that right now.

On Tuesday, my 3-year-old youngest son had his tonsils and adenoids removed.  This is a routine surgery, I know.  But when it is your child, there is nothing at all routine about it.

Yesterday was really hard for me.  It was hard for him, too.  Little Man was in a lot of pain, he had a fever, and he did not want to drink anything.  I spent the day cuddling him and praying that he would begin to feel better.  And when he napped, I found myself in the kitchen, rooting through the fridge and cabinets for something—ANYTHING!—to eat.  And I can’t say what I stuffed my mouth with was particularly healthy.  In fact, I’d have to say it was all particularly Unhealthy, as I found my husband’s “secret stash” of sweet and salty snacks.

Little Man is still feeling icky but not as bad as yesterday.  Hopefully that will help me to keep on track as well.

Surgical Thoughts

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

This weekend, I had a conversation with my pastor’s wife about the surgery I am looking at.  Not that I think she really understands why I would consider this surgery—she can’t weigh more than 120 pounds, unless I am really off in my guess.  The woman is so tiny.  But she knew I was thinking of scheduling an appointment to talk about the surgery.  When she asked if I had done that yet, I didn’t think I should lie about it.

One thing she said, though, kind of confused me.  She asked if I had thought about the effect that losing weight might have on my marriage.

Of course I have talked to my husband about it, I told her.  He is supportive, so long as I am doing this for me and not for him.  And I told her that he is pretty adamant about my OA meeting attendance.  Even if I do the surgery, he wants me to keep going to meetings so that I can get to the bottom of the reasons for my over eating.

She said that wasn’t what she meant.  She asked if I realized how many of the contestants on TV’s The Biggest Loser have gone on to divorce because of the weight loss.  “The spouses are very supportive in the beginning,” she said, “but they can’t always handle the way members of the opposite sex look at them.”

Now, a couple of things came to mind.  One was, “so I should keep all this extra weight on me and continue to live a less than healthy life because my husband won’t like to see other men interested in me?”  I didn’t say that to her.  In fact, I didn’t really even think that until I started typing this message.  But the thought is there.  I am making this choice because it is a good step toward having a healthy Annie living a longer life.  I can’t let his insecurities affect my choice.

What I told her is something that my hubby had told me before.  He thinks I am beautiful and that other guys look at me the way that I am.  He has actually said that it kind of turns him on to know that he gets to go home and go to bed with a woman other men find desirable, and that no other man gets to enjoy me the way that he does.  I told her that I don’t know that I believe that other men are looking at me, and that it doesn’t matter to me if they do.  The man I married is the only man that I want.  “Just because other men are looking at me doesn’t mean that I have to look at them,” I told her.

There has to be some level of trust there.  I trust that no matter what, he isn’t looking for another woman, and he trusts me the same way.  The only way I can see my weight loss making a difference in our marriage (other than the hope that being smaller will help me to become more adventurous in the bedroom) is if my new body makes me want to encourage the men who are looking at me.  That is not going to happen.