Recovery from Food Insanity

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The Dreaded Swimsuit January 3, 2014

Filed under: Body Image,Exercise — gohopchick @ 11:55 am

Over my holidays I’ve been devouring blogs written by bariatric patients. It’s been massively inspiring to read their stories of transformation.

Yesterday I was reading this one

And o boy did I ever find it challenging! Like the author of the blog, I have knee issues, due to my weight. The doctor says that swimming and water aerobics would be the best for me.


That means a swimsuit, right?

In my Eating Disorder program, as part of our body image therapy we were challenged to do things we avoid doing due to our negative feelings about our bodies.

“You could go swimming in a swimsuit in a public pool,” Michelle, my psychologist encouraged us.

“I don’t even own a swimsuit!” I replied.

“Well then it’s time you bought one.” she countered.

So I bought one. I’m a proud owner of a swimsuit. It sits oh so happily in my top drawer with my other articles of clothing that will never see the light of day.

But after reading Holly’s blog, maybe I can summon the courage to dig it out.



Brave Bariatric Bloggers January 2, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — gohopchick @ 3:20 pm

Over my holidays, I’ve been extensively researching bariatric surgery. I’ve found blogs very helpful. It’s been illuminating to walk alongside women on their journeys to better health, physically and emotionally. I had decided to keep my (potential) surgery private, informing people on a need to know basis. Mostly because everybody seems to have an opinion about bariatric surgery, and I just don’t want to have to deal with their opinions. But obviously, I’ve reconsidered.

I’ve been really blessed by those brave, bariatric bloggers. Heres a few that I particularly enjoy:

As they have shared their experience, strength, and hope, I’ve been the benefactor. I’ve been blogging for years on other topics. Why avoid this one, other than my motivations of fear and shame?



Breaking the Silence January 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — gohopchick @ 6:43 pm

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.



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