babble, body talk, mental health, sciatica, story of my life

In Which I’m Really Worried About My Weight

April 2010 – 408lbs

I weighed myself this morning.

The scales said 399.8lbs.

My heart said: “You knew it before you stepped on the scales.”

I’ve been getting winded just by walking up the stairs in the house. There are thirteen stairs in our house. I’ve been getting really, really worried about things like walking short distances. My bras are getting far too tight on me – one of them (the one that’s an F cup from when I got down to that amazing 450lbs, instead of my usual G cups), I’m actually spilling out of the sides – and when I tried to close my purple coat, it was really, really tight on me and it belted up underneath my boobs, and I just.

I’m really really worried about my weight.

I know that I said that I was thinking about doing the 5:2 Diet, and I never got around to doing it, because it, at the time, took too much thinking, and considering Mum does most of my cooking because I’m too effing fat to stand up for long enough to cook for myself without my back breaking in half it’s like… urgh. Too much annoyance.

What I have been doing, instead, is Mindful Eating. I’ve been paying attention to my body. I’ve only been eating when I’m hungry. I’ve been eating until I’m full, and I’ve only been eating until I’m full (with one or two exceptions when I’ve had a binge, but one or two binges in six months is a huge thing for me) and there has been very little in the way of snacking.

I’ve not been dieting. I’ve been eating what I want. And for the most part, my main meals are healthy because it’s Mum doing the cooking, and even when it’s an, “I can’t be bothered cooking,” day, what we throw in the oven isn’t generally that bad. A chicken breast thing, or a fish thing, or something. Chips or a baked potato, or something. Sweetcorn or not. Sometimes it’s just tortellini from ASDA with butter, salt, pepper and a dash of this great stuff I need to review, because it’s an amazing alternative to pasta sauces, and so low in calories and CRAP that I can’t believe it’s real.

I’ve been eating. That’s the important thing here, I think. I’ve been taking care of my body by feeding it. I’ve been eating fruit and I’ve not been starving it, and I’m…

To be honest, I’m completely flummoxed.

And worried.

If dieting/Weight Watchers doesn’t work, and feeding my body what it wants doesn’t work… what the hell does? I know that South Beach works, and I know that Paleo works, but I don’t, to be perfectly honest, want to spend my life not eating pastry and bread and the like.

But is it possible to do that? To have a Paleo/low carb lifestyle where you can make stuff like that? Because to be perfectly honest, worried isn’t really the word.

I’m fucking terrified.

I’m back up toeing the 400lbs line. I’m looking at that line and a good hearty meal could see me sitting over the other side of it (and tonight’s probably will, especially as our dessert includes a really good-looking ASDA’s hand-decorated Millionaire’s shortcake cheesecake…) and I really don’t want to be back there.

To be honest, I never wanted to ever get back past 380lbs, but I gave up on myself and let it happen, because hell, I’m not fucking worth it, am I? (Dear past, present and future self: yes. Yes, you’re worth it. I’m going to kick you in the vagina if you don’t start loving yourself. Love, yourself.)

But I’m here now, and I’ve really, really got to do something about it, because the whole Mindful Eating thing obviously didn’t work. Paying attention to my body and my food and all obviously didn’t work. So I’ve got to change it up, again.

Because I got out of bed today (late – I stayed up way later than usual last night, talking to old, old friends from way back from my college days to present day. We’ve never stopped being friends; we just stopped talking. Just very little actual in the way of communications.) and I was fine. No sign of any disruption to my back. I felt fine. Went to the bathroom and did my business. It’s That Time Of The Month, and I didn’t even have any bad cramps. Came back to my room, sat down at my desk to take my pills, and when I stood up from my chair to head downstairs, my back seized up, and I thought I was going to fall over/backwards/back onto the bed. I didn’t think I was going to be able to stand up.

It’s been a long, long time now since I’ve had a full-on Back Attack, but this felt like one. This felt like how it felt when I go to sit up from the bed and I can’t. I had to sit back down and take some Methocarbamol before coaxing myself out of the chair using the desk (thankfully, my desk is made of tempered glass, and can take up to about 150kg. I figure that if I lean on the ends that I won’t break it.) as a means to get up, and I was all right-ish.

I just couldn’t lean forward. Or back.

Had to stay standing straight up.

Had to put a heat pad on my lower back, right where the jam has squidged out the donut in my back. (Translation: right where the nerves are the sorest because of the prolapsed disc.)

I’m still in pain.

And I think I can guess why.

 

“I weighed myself this morning.

The scales said 399.8lbs.

My heart said: ‘You knew it before you stepped on the scales.'”

2 thoughts on “In Which I’m Really Worried About My Weight”

  1. Hey there,

    I am new to your blog so forgive me if I am covering old, old ground – but I wanted to respond because you sound really scared.

    Myself, I had a really positive experience with Mindful/Intuitive Eating and would lose weight – but only when I noticed and abided by ‘the sigh’. Essentially when eating Mindfully there comes a point where you give a sort of sigh. That is the signal to stop. It takes a little while to learn to recognise, but once you do it is very apparent if you are at all mindful. It is very important because this sigh occurrs WELL before you are ‘full’, or satisfies or mentally ready to stop eating; none the less it is a VERY powerful signal. When I am easing back into this mindset I will usually allow myself three forkfulls after the sigh one week, then two the next week, then one. I was wodnering if your mindful eating experience included noticing and abiding by ‘the sigh’ signal?

    Secondarily I wanted to say that mindful eating for me was WAY more about improving my relationship and attitude with food than it was about weight loss, and it does sound like you have had fewer binge incidents since Mindfully Eating, even if it didn’t help with weight loss. For those of us with Disordered Eating weight loss can be such a mine field. The stuff that takes weight off is often the same stuff that pushes us out of recovery. It is a balancing act, a constant assessment of what is the safest choice now and long term.

    You mentioned that paleo eating works to get weight off you – is it a triggering way to eat? If not, honestly I would suggest getting yourself on Paleo ASAP.

    For now this doesn’t have to be a ‘rest of your life’ decision. While we all know that a short term diet is going to only yield short term results, right now if it doesn’t trigger you, this is a tried and true (for you) effective intervention. Right at this moment you want and need to make sure your body has a chance. You have literally YEARS ahead of you in your weightloss journey – there is time to work out what you can add back in so that it is not a ‘forever’ diet. You have time to work out how and when and how often you can add in foods that strict paleo excludes, or whether further down the track Mindful eating, or something else, or a combination is what will work for you in a sustainable long term way, but RIGHT NOW if it can be done with safety in regards to your mental health you really want to stop the upward climb of your weight, and the downward spiral of your mobiliity.

    I am going to suggest that you go to a doctor (if you have one, or can possibly find one who will be helpful) with regards to your weight and health, specifically your mobility. This is another Catch 22, I know. The doctor is going to tell you to lose weight. They may suggest a plan that is terribly triggering. They may not want to, or even be willing to give you adequate medical support till you DO lose weight. Persevere, find another doctor. Make sure that your physical health is being supported while you are going through this process. Make sure they know you are NOT saying your weight is not a problem, or not a priority, but that you are scared of what will happen if you don’t get medical support until your weight is lower, given how difficult and lengthy that process can be.

    Secondly I am going to suggest that you find and see an Eating Disorder specialist if you don’t already, and again let them know that you are currently stuck between a rock and a hard place, that you need professional support because right now your physical health and mobiliy is severely at risk, and you need to lower that without simply switching to total destruction of your mental health.

    I have spent years doing the mental/physical prioritsation dance. It is hard, and time consuming, and energy consuming but I know that if I go off the deep end I am not in a position to make healthful choices for my physical wellbeing; a short tem loss may be followed by a sould crushing depression, and subsequent bad decision spiral, that could last for up to ten times as long as the ‘successful’ bit of dieting.

    At the same time, if you are in immediate danger of a critical physical collapse it is not a good long term strategy to say ‘look I just can’t priotise my physical health’. It is tricky and you need the support of professionals on BOTH sides of the equation. I know is can be expensive. It can be VERY expensive. Please do whatever you need to to invest in yourself. You are worth it. This is a total stranger, new to your blog saying it. You are worth it! Please don’t skimp on the things that will keep you alive, functional, mobile and able to enjoy life.

    Again I do apologise if this is all old, old advice or things you have tried a million times, or if you have explained reasons why you can’t do any of the above. I just really felt your fear and wanted to offer you something, in the very limited way that I can with just text.

    That is limited to pretty much just advice, and the offer of support – so if you ever want to ‘talk’ feel free to contact me.

    wishing you the very best,
    Mog

    1. Hey Mog. Sorry about taking so long to reply – completely forgot that I’d half-finished the response in TextEdit. My bad.

      Don’t worry about it! 🙂 I’m always grateful when someone comments, no matter what the comment is. (Usually. :P)

      I don’t know which book I read (haha, I’ll need to go back and check now!) but I’m fairly sure it didn’t make any mention of “the sigh”. Because that’s a really marker, far from “the full signal” – and considering I only just realised and learned what my full signal was, last year, I think that “the sigh” sounds like a much better signal. Especially because I recognise what it is. I know what it is. I do it. I did it tonight, at dinner time, when I wasn’t finished eating, but my stomach wasn’t full, and I finished my meal because I wasn’t “full” yet.

      You’re entirely correct about this – my binge-eating incidents have been incredibly rare, since I’ve started eating mindfully, but they’re still there, sometimes. The difficulty with trying to lose weight is that my brain has now become such an annoying place that it’s like I’ve become a sufferer of a mild form of Adult Picky Eating, or like I have an EDNOS. The stuff that I know will help me lose weight is exactly the stuff I don’t want to eat because it’s bland/boring/has a texture that causes my gorge to rise. Annoyingly, most of it’s in my head.

      Paleo is… a little triggering. But only a little. Because a lot of it is plant-based, and I am a staunch believer in not eating plants, hah, then. You see where the problem might arise. I’m fine with the whole green smoothie thing because it’s then mixed with fruits, which I adore, but plants. Taste like green. And I just. Yes. I don’t like the way that green tastes. (Unless it’s Granny Smith green.)

      The other problem with Paleo is the cost. Meat costs a small fortune here. Fruit & veg = small fortune. Tofu = huge fortune. Non-dairy milks = mortgage on my future house. Nuts = selling my first-born to the devil.

      This is where I’m glad I have the NHS. Cost, for healthcare, at least, is something I don’t have to worry about. Need to see my doctor four times a month? I just need to worry about Dr. David telling me to try not to see him for a little while. I don’t need to worry about my bank balance, except for the bus fares to and from the surgery.

      It’s just… ugh. Sometimes GETTING the help is nigh-on impossible. And here’s where I have to get political for a moment: the Scottish NHS’s fund is decided by the UK government in England. They decide how much money that Scotland should be given, based on how much *England* spent in the previous year. England keeps on cutting costs, in part by privatising part of its own NHS – despite the NHS being a tax-funded company, free-at-point-of-service for all.

      So the Scottish NHS has been squeezed and squeezed, to the point where some of the local constituencies have to put rules on things. Like when I applied for gastric surgery and was turned down because I don’t have A) diabetes or B) chronic sleep apnoea. And I don’t receive social care from a nurse. (Apparently they’d rather wait until I’m literally killing myself before they offer life-saving/changing/correcting surgery, instead of offering it semi-pre-emptively.)

      Critical physical collapse isn’t a long-term strategy at this point, really. It’s almost a guaranteed certainty. My body literally can’t go on like this. It’s breaking down, bit by bit and piece by piece.

      So thanks for the comment. <3 I've taken notes to talk to Dr. David about, amongst other things, and hopefully I'll get something sorted out that doesn't involve me walking out the door after having been told, "You just need to lose some weight. I know you've been trying to lose weight…" like so many times before.

      – Tracy

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