Weight Loss as Life Long Activity and Looking for Satisfying Substitutes for Comfort Foods
As a younger woman from teens into fifties I considered my overweight to be a temporary situation, easily corrected if I would only have more willpower, and I expected to become a “normal” weight and to stay that weight after once successfully reaching my goal of 150 lbs – a goal set by a pediatrician when I was 16.
From age 5 my mother tried to control my food intake for 2 reasons: she didn’t want me to be fat, (like her) and; she wanted to keep me from allergic reactions. The more deprived I felt the more I ate. The actuality is easily revealed by photographs. My maternal grandmother, my mother and myself all have the exact same body types, round, and each generation of us is taller and rounder than the previous generation. And just as I look at pictures of myself pre-20 and think I wasn’t fat, so do I look at photos of my grandmother and mother at young ages and see they weren’t fat either. We all were large women with round body types who all thought we were fat.
I found out I actually had an addiction by committing to 3 weeks of eating no sugar, no refined carbohydrates and no problem foods (problem for me).(this was years pre-op) However the withdrawal symptoms started by day 2 or 3 and included headaches, irritability, nausea and ravenous cravings. By the end of 3 weeks the cravings had subsided and the other symptoms cleared much sooner. That is addiction.
I do think it is possible to mend the mind as I have experienced much mental healing over the years. My “I can’t” attitude kept me eating foods bad for me that I was addicted to and got me up to 384 lbs. I absolutely had myself convinced that I had no control over what I ate and how much.
I am now 270. My goal weight is 215 as I am tall, large framed, post-menopausal and 63.
Over the holidays I started eating the sweets again and I haven’t yet been able to give them up totally, yet, but I want to and I will.
My lowest weight post VSG was 247 and the gain started as soon as I started trying to control sweets and other binge foods. I’ve been maintaining at 270 for several months.
I WILL continue to lose weight I am certain of it. I WILL get back on my healthy post-op food plan and stick with it.
I’ve already begun to exercise again with daily walks. I plan to add a weekly yoga class and going to the gym 3x weekly. BUT one thing at a time.
My motivation is the incredibly miraculous changes in myself since eating healthy foods, and losing 130 lbs. My mobility is good again – I can easily walk 2-3 miles at one time now. My asthma is under control. My BP is normal with meds. My digestive problems are nearly nonexistent. My joint and muscle pain is gone most of the time. My depression is lifted. My self-esteem has soared and I am happy much of the time. I’ve become socially active again with activities and friends. My anxiety is very much less. My sleep apnea is GONE. I just found that out last week. I no longer need the C-PAP that I used for ten years. My borderline diabetes is completely gone and all of my diet related blood values are normal now. WOW!
The benefits just go on and on.
I am very grateful for the VSG for many reasons but especially for how it keeps my overeating in check. But since I gained 15 lbs last year I know I cannot afford to allow myself to gain again over this years holidays like I did last year.
I stay in good contact with the staff at my bariatric clinic even though I’ve made poor choices and gained some weight. They couldn’t be more supportive and reasonable. They never scold me or make me feel badly about myself – goodness they don’t have to. I am expert at that. In supporting me to stay on track they ask me what my goals are and then help me break them down so I am working on one “baby step” at a time.
So currently my goal is to walk daily – I am doing it. My next goal is to go back on the pre-op diet for 2 weeks to detox from the sugar and refined carbs and get back on track with the healthy foods – to start June 1.
When asked what my goals were I included both of the above plus several other things and I wanted to get them all done NOW – or by yesterday if doable- so my nutritionist and nurse that I saw a few weeks ago were hugely important in helping me make reasonable and doable goals.
I’m anxious about June 1 and the pre-op diet. I tell myself it is because of an extremely limited food budget and the expense of veggies and “healthy foods”, I tell myself I’m afraid I can’t do it. But I think the truth is my food addict within does not want to give up the sweets and junk foods.
So in order to accomplish this I must become gently more loving and accepting of myself and my issues. Being stern with myself is a setup to fail and that is a setup to comfort myself with the “bad-for-me” foods. I need to be kind and loving to me, and also if I make a mistake it is okay. The important thing is moving forward and making changes to the positive one at a time.
I sssooooooo want to learn how to comfort myself and love myself and reward myself with things other than food.It has been quite the challenge to find something that makes me feel as comforted as sweets (and that comfort is brief anyway because it soon turns to misery).
I know one thing that is wonderful for me to receive in my life is physical affection and as a single woman that hasn’t been easy to figure out. But friends give wonderful hugs, and so do loving family members, as do 12 steppers when I get to meetings. And I’ve just become a dog-companion again to a sweet little rescue poodle, whose owner died – after 3 yrs of being without a pet.
Yoga often feels that positive and comforting – after the practice. One other thing that does is relaxation with uplifting music in a meditative state.
I’d love to hear what works for others. My quest is things that make me feel comforted and happy as I used to think sweets did.
Photos of Author- At Top of Page Polar Plunge Jan 2013 – Pure Joy!
Left heaviest weight 384 lbs, Thanksgiving 2010
– Right 247 lbs May 2014