When I was a teen, I was a fragile little thing. At 18, I weighed a measly 100lbs wet! Yes I was skinny and frail. At 19, I became pregnant with my now 21 soon to be 22 year old daughter. Her father was my first heart break. When I was pregnant with her, I gained and lost weight. But I was very tiny carrying her. She was only 4lbs 14oz when she was born. She was also born towards the end of my seventh month of pregnancy. I was high risk with her. I was dialated early and my amniotic fluid was leaking towards the end of my sixth month. I only gained 11lbs when I was pregnant with her. After giving birth, I weighed a solid 99lbs.
Can we say “Olive Oil”?
However, I was quite the opposite. I ate like it was my last day on earth. Little did I know…I was headed there. When I was younger my mother would tell me “You eat with your eyes” and “Keep eating like that, and it’s going to catch up with you!”. I would brush it off and carry on with my careless eating habits.
As I got older, I started eating even more recklessly. I would wake up at 1:00am and grab a pack of oreos and a tall glass of milk and eat the entire pack. I would eat Hershey chocolate bars for lunch and Milano cookies for dinner. My eating became an outlet for me. Every time I became upset or angry, I’d grab a cookie or candy.
As I started heading into my twenties, my weight began to take a toll on me. I didn’t care though. My family would warn me and try to help me control my eating. I didn’t want to hear it. I loved food and it made me feel good. I didn’t want to stop. It was my outlet. I needed an outlet and that was one of many that I later found.
In my late twenties early thirties, I became very over weight. I found myself weighing a whopping 280lbs. Not only was I now a plus sized woman, I was also becoming a sick woman. I developed high blood pressure, varicose veins, back problems, blood clotting, sleep apnea, etc…
At the age of 35, things became severe. I became very ill. I was constantly hospitalized for different reasons. My primary care doctor had finally had enough and referred me to a bariatric doctor. This was probably one of the most scariest moments in my life. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never thought to myself I’d be in this predictament. After several tests and labs, the bariatric doctor told me I needed to have a “Gastric Bypass” done. There were no options. I wasn’t able to diet, I couldn’t have the lapband or the gastric sleeve. He straight up told me that I needed to have the bypass done in order to lose all of my weight or I could possibly die.
I was at a dead end. No choices to be made, no alternatives. It was this or death. I had three children to think about. A fiance who stood by me and took my kids and I in at our worst. I could lose it all if I didn’t change my life. My habit of poor eating. I was addicted to food!
It took three months to prepare for the operation. Several visits to different doctors, visits to a psychiatrist, group therapy, visits with a nutritionist. It was the most exhausting three months of life, but my back was against the wall and I needed to do what I had to. I had to give up all my favorite foods, learn to eat differently, and learn HOW to eat properly.
On January 30, 2012, I had gastric bypass surgery. My recovery took more than a year. But in that year I lost 187lbs. I literally lost all of my weight and then some. Now in 2018, I weigh 165lbs. I have managed to maintain this weight for 4 years. The first two years were the most difficult. I became pregnant with my last child eight months after surgery. I wasn’t supposed to. My GYN had me on the wrong birth control and I became pregnant. It was the worst pregnancy out of the four. My son was draining me. I was a battery that he would use and use. He was born on time and healthy at 7lbs 11oz, but I was sick.
Now I eat better. More protien in my diet. I don’t binge eat and I take my time eating my meals. I drink tons of water and more vegetables. I’m getting into exercising every other day until my body is accustomed to it. I’ll have a snack from time to time but not things like candy bars or cookies. I can’t remember the last time I had an oreo! I don’t eat fried foods a lot, maybe twice a month at most.
Most importantly, I learned how to prevent myself from raiding the fridge when I am upset or angry. I now write. I express myself through my words with pen and paper and I absolutely love it. I sleep better at night, I have more energy throughout the day. I am up before the sun and not sleeping in all day. The change has done right by me and I love every second of it.
My weight gain came from my depression and all the things that I have endured since childhood. Things that I have held in and on to for years. I am working on bettering my life still and I am still working on eating healthier because success does not come over night. You have to work towards success if you really want it. I’m not bettering myself and my eating habits because I am obsessed with looking good. I am bettering myself because I have a will to live.
Over eating is a disorder and a disease believe it or not. People have many outlets and believe it or not this is one of them. The same way eating food and throwing it up or starving yourself is an illness, eating even when you can’t anymore is too.
Don’t ignore the signs.