It’s Going Fast

There are times now when I feel ‘the pull’ from inside to really get rid of the weight that I gained after 20 months of daily chemo for leukemia, beginning in 2010. I’d been at a ‘livable’ weight prior to that, and was finally settling down (14 years after that last treatment center in 1996). I was still overweight (result of an outpatient treatment situation in the late 80s that banned all diet sodas and frozen low-cal dinners with nothing about a meal plan or portions), but 120 pounds from my highest weight, and about 45 lbs from my lowest adult weight (which was my “ideal” body weight, per the charts). It took a few years to recover after chemo ended. Then menopause hit. Neither helped with attempts to lose weight in a healthy way. When my dad died in 2016, the loss of him and our relationship with me as an adult was extremely difficult- we talked daily, and he came over every Sunday. My last parent was gone. I didn’t grow up with siblings. The ED whip master was closer after he died. I can go months without seeing people I know. I live alone. I’ve been disabled since 2004 (dysautonomia and seizures), so nobody is around to notice anything. My identity was being an RN. Now, my car is plugged into a trickle charger so the battery doesn’t die from lack of use.

If I get rid of the excess weight, it would help my degenerative spine and joints, reflux, hiatal hernia, sleep apnea, diabetes, gout, and kidney disease. It would help the chronic pain I’ve had for 26 years. It will keep me out of a full-time wheelchair longer. It wouldn’t hurt the seizures or dysautonomia. The familiar “don’t eat” has been getting more intense, and the “don’t go back there” (to the eating disorder ‘active’ years) has been fading. I’m recording calories/fat/sodium /carbs/protein again (need to monitor the carbs and protein for blood sugars and kidney/gout issues). Doing grocery orders takes forever. I’m on the scale multiple times a day. Some foods are really hard to tolerate (mostly animal ‘muscle’ protein). I had 74 grams of chicken six hours ago, and still feel bloated. And I’m still so overweight. It’s so crazy that every treatment center says that the numbers don’t matter- but they’re what determines the diagnosis (so the reimbursement for treatment). I want to not be in so much physical pain. Walking, doing housework, using my right shoulder, etc- they’re all miserable if they’re done at all.

I’m focusing on making sure I get enough water in, so my kidneys don’t get ripped off. Tomorrow, I’m having some yogurt and frozen sushi delivered- those still seem to ‘sit’ OK after I eat, as do crackers and bland stuff. But I’m restricting. Then I see my weight, and think that if I can just get to a place where I’m not in as much physical pain, it’ll be alright. I need enough protein to keep fluid balance working right, but not so much that my kidneys are stressed more than they are. So much of just staying alive with the medical junk I’ve got revolves around food.

There are a lot of reasons why I’ve had anorexia and bulimia. The compulsive eating really wasn’t ‘classic’ compulsive eating weight gain, but more of the ban of diet products after the outpatient program in the 80s along with a shot metabolism from years of anorexia and bulimia. Regular soda. Regular food. No frozen diet dinners. It wasn’t always about excessive volume of food. Then came diabetes in 1995, and the focus on food kicked into overdrive, leading to the 120 pound total weight loss over about a year. Add a childhood of mandated food restriction and other ‘inflicted’ eating disordered trauma, as well as a genetic predisposition, and it’s sort of amazing that I’ve ever been able to eat a normal meal. It’s been a long time since that happened, and after a medical procedure done a couple of months ago that left me very exposed (not inappropriately, but for prep) and so painfully aware of my mega-blob body, the inner battle heated up considerably. I tried a meal delivery service that was way ‘over-caloried’ even though I’d spread one meal out over the day (and threw away the bread and juice), and I gained weight. Since then, I’ve lost 20 pounds (2 months). I’m past the point of wanting food, though I do feel physical hunger. But I delay doing anything about it. The longer I delay it, the less time I have afterwards to eat anything until the next round of hunger.

The last few weeks have been the most ‘something is different but exactly the same’ in many, many years. “Old stuff” has been churning, and more clarity about some things has also been hard. I felt responsible for my mom’s emotions starting when I was four years old. I remember it clearly- she was sitting on the end of her bed, and telling me that I needed to be good and not ask for anything from her (she was going to night classes, so she wasn’t blowing me off totally- but a four year old doesn’t know the difference). I was also told never to ask anybody else for anything- it’s rude. That was reinforced over the years at various times. Neither of my folks ever asked me about the early years of my eating disorders-even with 8 months of 1982-Jan 1983 spent in the hospital. So, I was to be self-sufficient, no matter what was going on. I also knew from a very young age about the two babies my folks lost within days of their births a couple of years apart. To my kid brain, I felt like I was the replacement child for two babies. I was never told that, nor was it ever implied- but just knowing that those babies were gone, and then they got me (adopted) was enough to feel some sort of responsibility to ease the loss of them.

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Published by JillinoisRN

A disabled RN who is still trying to find ways to help people. I've got a lot of interests, and a lot of things I'd like to convey to people.... whether they want to 'hear' them remains to be seen :)

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