Weight is difficult thing. We exercise, we starve, detox, stuff ourselves with cabbage and ketones, and the big one one! We surgically alter our anatomy to restrict the food we can eat. The one thing we don’t do is fix our brains. I am now two and a half years post op a Gastric Plication. A relatively new procedure that is done through keyhole surgery. The surgeon folds the stomach into itself and sutures it to give you an anatomically smaller stomach.
It is an amazing procedure that allowed me to lose 12 stone in around 18 months. But, two years on I still struggle with my brain. My brain that wants to binge, my brain that can’t cope with stress and wants to eat, in the same way a junky needs a fix. I struggle, it’s painful and dark and so lonely. Eating disorders are a funny thing. As a thin person everyone is anxious to offer help. If you are big, the offer of help involves more criticism of the lifestyle you are perceived to be living rather than actual psychological help.
The NHS recently released some stats about the amount of people eligible for weight loss surgery. It is nothing short of astounding. The costs on the surface, astromical. However, In the long run the investment would save money in the treatment of obesity related conditions over a life time. However, re-routing ones anatomy is not going to change their brain. You can’t roll out a program to band every overweight person in the country without working on their head first. It just won’t work. No magic wands, no fairy dust. Just hard work and exercise to maximize the tool. That’s right TOOL. Nobody can do this for you, no matter how much surgery you have.
But, I digress what this really is about is the mind scramble that happens with weight loss. It creeps up on you sometimes. I thought I had it all together and under control. But, actually was fooling myself. Support post weight loss is so important. Old habits are hard to break and as smug as living within “thin privilege” is, it is a harsh mistress and easily lost. I think to a certain degree, having a back ground in psychology I have managed to identify my failings and as painful as they are am working on trying to keep myself on the wagon. But, it is a dark pain and many many tears later and a couple of big macs later I don’t feel any more normal than I did at 350 pounds. I suppose the concept of normal is one of those things that I am doomed to have come and go. I love the feeling of looking and being treated as a “normal”. Inside there is nothing normal about my relationship with food. In fact for the most part I sit on the cusp of an eating disorder on a daily basis. I, for all intents and purpose am a junkie.
- Self Hatred
I struggle with all of these issues at one time or another. The lure of transfer addiction is strong. A bit like the old cartoon pie aromas drawing the obligitory cartoon character toward the pie cooling on the windowsill. This is why the brain work is so very important. Slip ups are not the end of the world. But, when they happen, they make me feel like a failure. Why is that? Why should I feel the need to devalue all my success because of a bad meal. But, I suppose this is the power of food. Don’t think that I am ungrateful for the body I now have. I certainly am not. I just wish the lure of this demon wasn’t so strong.