I have not posted in several years. Much has happened! Most significantly, I finally entered and successfully completed the Binge Eating Disorder program at St. Joes hospital in Hamilton. Under the tender loving care of their expert team of dieticians, psychologists, nurse practitioners and psychiatrist, I’m experiencing a level of recovery I never thought possible.
For the last year I’ve been eating like a normal person.
For the first time I can remember. (I have childhood memories, as early as 6, of abusing food).
I eat within the guidelines of the Canada Food Guide. I rarely have cravings. My weight is stable. I don’t remember the last time I binged. I discovered last summer that I have gluten and dairy intolerances, and I have made the necessary adjustments without much upheaval.
I feel normal.
Not bingeing. Not dieting.
Here’s the catch, however.
When I gave up the crazy making of dieting and obsessive exercise (which they called exercise bulimia – who knew?), I had to come to grips with the fact that the body I’ve got is the body I’ve got.
So I’m not crazy anymore. But I am 245 pounds. And on my little 5 foot 4 inch frame, that’s a lot of weight. Genetics (we jokingly call my family the Essex (my maiden name) endomorphs), and a lifetime of disordered eating have ruined my knees and my metabolism. Fortunately I’ve dodged the co-morbidities bullet, so no blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep apnea or type 2 diabetes issues, thank God.
So since my eating disorder program ended last May, I’ve been settling into my recovery, letting my mind and body settle into new healthy habits.
But I’ve had to reckon with the question. Am I willing and/or able to live the rest of my life just shy of 250 lbs? I’m only 42. A youngster really! Lots of miles left on the odometer! I find climbing up and down stairs to my third floor bedroom difficult, and if I get my daily walking in, the pain in my knees flares up and makes the climb a real hardship. I can no longer hike, which I really used to enjoy. I can fit into an airplane seat, but just barely. The load bearing has also taken it’s toll on my feet, and I can only wear Birkenstocks in the summer and Keen hiking boots in the winter, because they provide enough support to ward off the plantar fasciitis that plagues me. Reflux from being overweight has damaged my vocal chords, and I can sing only infrequently now (which is a big deal for me, because singing was a large part of my job description for work). Am I willing for this to be as good as it gets, physically?
I don’t think I am, but going back to my eating disordered ways is not an option.
A third alternative was presented to me, when I was in the ED program at St. Joes. One I had never thought of. But one that I’m now taking seriously under consideration.
I have an information session in early February with the bariatric program at St. Joes to learn about bariatric surgery. Wow, it’s scary to even see that in print. I’ve been talking to my mentors and supports about it for quite a while, but to actually put it out there in a blog is something else entirely.