The wrong way to cope

Since the first of the year, my life has felt very chaotic. When things are chaotic, my knee jerk response is a very bad, old coping mechanism of mine, which is to turn to food.

It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly over the last 8 months, I have turned to my old ways more and more. My old best friend food started coming around more and more.

And I know no one would blame me, first the sudden and rapid illness that Poppy went through, his death, having to deal with tying up all the loose ends with his estate, selling my childhood home, Eddie’s surgery and recovery, struggles with my own and his own mental health, fertility struggles and medical tests that go along with that, and now a tumor in my breast that will be biopsied Thursday. So yeah, who would blame me for turning to food?

The problem is that after bariatric surgery, turning to the wrong foods will still make you gain weight, just like before surgery. Sure, maybe you can’t eat as much of the bad foods, but they still have calories and fat and all the crap that is bad for you. And if you eat “slider foods” you won’t feel full for as long, so you can eat more in a short amount of time.

And before you know it, you’re eating crap more than you’re eating healthy, and you begin to wonder why you even had surgery in the first place. You figure you’re already eating like crap, so why exercise? No, that doesn’t make sense, but that is what goes on in your brain. Your clothes start to feel tight and you feel like a sausage in them. You cave and go up a size because it’s better to be comfortable than to feel miserable. Except you do still feel miserable.

People still tell you how amazing you look and ask how much weight you’ve lost, only now you’re embarrassed to say, partly because you haven’t gotten on the scale in so long because you’re afraid of what it says. You don’t like to hear the compliments because you don’t feel like you deserve them because you’ve gained weight. Probably a lot of weight. You’re embarrassed and defeated. You don’t know how to get back on the horse.

You have all the knowledge in the world to do well. You have the tools, but you just don’t use them and you don’t know why. You have support. Your husband is so supportive, you have a huge network of supportive friends, but you still feel alone in your struggle. Like no one could possibly understand what it’s like or how it could happen that you go through such a huge surgery and still fail. Just like always.

I guess admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? So I have a problem. Now what?


2 thoughts on “The wrong way to cope

  1. Time to remember one of your goals: healthy pregnancy. A friend of mine was extremely overweight (BMI in the 40s) when she had her first child. Nonstop complications (gestational diabetes, etc.). She had WLS, lost 75lbs and had her second child: easiest pregnancy AND recovery ever.

    Similarly, I have PCOS. When I was at my highest weight, I was lucky if I even got my period. My docs repeatedly warned me for 10years that if I wasn’t able to manage it, I may not be able to have a successful pregnancy (women with PCOS find it difficult to conceive, are more prone to miscarriage and have increased odds of gestational diabetes). I lost 70lbs and got pregnant–ACCIDENTALLY. While on the Pill. I only missed one. My doc was just as floored as I was. Holy weight loss fertility boost!.

    So while babies are not the END goal (a healthy, happy you is), I know it factors deeply into your motivation to do what you need to do now.

    You have not failed. And even if you do, you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and move forward. Failure can be overcome. Give yourself the respect and self-assurance you DESERVE.

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