Tag Archives: Weight loss

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.

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.

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!

Thoughts on Information Meeting

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My name is Annie.  I am a compulsive overeater.

I meant to post this last night, but I didn’t get a chance to type it.  I had an appointment at the University of Michigan bariatric clinic yesterday.  What I am going to share with you now is what I wrote in my journal before, during, and after the meeting.

Info meeting today.  Hubby took the afternoon off to come along with me.  I am nervous and kind of giddy all at once.  There are about a dozen others here.  Some really don’t look like they need to lose any weight.  Maybe they are the support people for the others.  Either that or they hide the excess weight rather well!

One woman caught my eye right away.  She is wearing a pink Henley.  Her hair is short and red, and she has on a pair of glasses with a similar frame to mine.  She looks a lot like I think I must look.  I wonder if she has the same kind of thoughts that I do.  I think we are the two biggest females in the room.  Oh how nice it would be to walk into a room and not feel like the biggest girl there!

Not that I always feel like the biggest gal in the room.  Sometimes I feel like the biggest person in the room.  Every now and again, I think I could be in a room full of elephants and still be the largest creature there.

I came into this meeting leaning toward the lap band.  Now, though, I am wonder if gastric bypass would be a better option for me.  According to the stats Dr. Birkmeyer gave, the band would not allow me to lose the amount of weight I want to lose.  And he said that regardless of the procedure, “bigger patients” will still have excess amounts of skin that just sort of hang off the body.  The sleeve gastrectomy— something that I was dead set against before—almost sounds like the best option for me.  But I must say I am a bit nervous about telling my hubby that.  It would mean more of a hospital stay and a slightly longer recovery time than the band.  Is that going to be a big problem for him?

Still, I have to tell him.  I have to talk to him about all that I am feeling about this.  And I need to do what is best for ME—I need to find the option that will best help me to reach my goals.  I don’t want to inconvenience him with this, but if I am going to take this step, I need to be sure I am stepping in the right direction to conquer my weight and eating issues.