Life 4 Years Post-op & Living with Binge Eating Disorder

So, this is the blog post I’ve been kind of regretting. I haven’t kept up on this blog, in large part due to some of the stuff I’ve been going through since my last post, and it has been difficult for me to write about.

Some of it was difficult because of my self-imposed restriction of talking about work on social media. I still do not wish to discuss my job, but I am going to discuss a few of the general situations that added a tremendous amount of stress to my life. And there are two different issues I will write about here in reference to my previous job.

I enjoy a certain amount of intensity in my job. I like a challenge, and I have a ridiculous competitive streak in me. I work at a fairly high level, (not in position, but ability).  I have a good ability in my profession to see the big picture, and I understand how to breakdown the different parts of an operation. I willingly take on a lot of work, often more than I should.

In my last job, I was one of two people who did my job. I worked for a good company, but one that did not understand the nature of how to run my kind of office. It’s not their fault. They absorbed my office when they bought the company I worked for. Their business was something else completely.

What caused me stress was they wanted my office to be more profitable, but they did not know how to make that happen. And they did not understand that bringing in more work did not make the office more profitable, it only increased the work and stress level. As a result, I was working 10-14 hours a day and seemed to make no progress at all and no one understood why I couldn’t get more done. And no one listened to my suggestions on how to improve the office.

Finally, I realized that the situation was completely untenable and I left that job. I did have a very frank discussion with them before I left, but I do not know if it ever made any difference, and I never looked back to find out what happened.

The other situation in that job that affected me negatively was one of my staff. She was a friend of mine and I have actually written about her in this blog before. She was one of the people who was an inspiration for me having the gastric by-pass surgery.

I lost contact with her over the years, but then I sought her out to work with me at this job. I did not realize that even though she had the surgery and had lost weight, she never really dealt with some of the emotional stressors that lead her to be obese in the  first place. She says she did, but it became clear to me that she did not.

She actually went the other direction with her eating problems. Because she never regained her hunger after the surgery, she would go days without eating. And when she did eat, she ate all the wrong things. For example, she would try to get all of her calories for the day in one meal by eating cheeseburgers and fries from Burger King. And those calories would have to last her a few days until she ate again. She still saw herself as fat. She still even wore some of her fat clothes that just hung off of her because she was so thin. And she did a lot of stress eating.

Being in a closed office with her, I fell back on some of my own bad behaviors, stress eating, binge eating, etc.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not blaming her. It is my fault I fell off the wagon. I knew better than to engage in those behaviors, but I did it anyway. Mostly because I’ve never dealt with why I gained the weight to begin with. I had many cheesy poof breakdowns.

As a result, I gained about 40 pounds.

I have been away from that job and situation for a year now. Somehow, I thought leaving that behind me, I would miraculously go back to what I was doing before I fell back on my bad behaviors, but I did not. And I’m very angry at myself for having regained any weight at all. And for a while, I was feeling very frustrated and lost.

I would not say that I’m 100% over that feeling. I still feel kind of lost. I’m still angry at myself for failing to control my my binge eating. And I still beat myself up for falling off the wagon.

What has changed apart from my job?

Well, I’m working with a nutritionist and an eating disorder psychologist. I realized that I had a problem that I could not deal with on my own and I reached out to find someone who could help me navigate through the crazy part of my brain that deals with stress, loss of control, difficulty by overeating.

For instance, I had to write, and re-write the above paragraph probably 5 times. Part of my therapy is getting me to think differently. To stop putting everything in such negative terms.

So, I got the negativity out. I am not going to write over and over again using negative terms. That’s not going to change anything. That does not meant that I’ll never write about another bad feeling or frustration, but I’m going to try to find another way to express them.

For example, instead of saying, “I didn’t lose any weight this week! I suck! This is never going to work!”  I may something like, “I did not lose any weight this week. Not really the result I wanted, but these are the steps I’m going to take to keep the big picture in mind and keep moving forward.”

I’m also focusing on all that I have accomplished and creating new goals. I’ve achieved much of what I set out to do, and that has not changed. I can walk anywhere I want. My breathing is greatly improved. And my health is greatly improved. So now what?

I have written down some  new goals that I want as part of my new, healthier lifestyle.

So, what is the future of this blog going to look like? I have put a lot of thought into this.

  • I am still going to write about my weight loss journey.
  • I will write about my new goals.
  • I might write about some of the things I’m talking over with my psychologist.
  • I will write about some of the things in the real world that effect me emotionally or activate my eating disorder and how I deal with that.

My next post, that should come out in the next couple of days, is going to be about a book a friend of mine wrote. His main character is a FBI agent struggling with anorexia. Reading about her dealing with, or not dealing with, her eating disorder struck a chord with me, and I want to write about that.

One of the first things my psychologist asked me was what did I want to get from my therapy.

I immediately answered, “I want to feel good about my body.”

It occurred to me in that moment that I never have. That no matter what I weighed, I always felt ashamed of how I looked.

So, I guess to answer my own question, I want this blog to be about how I go from feeling ashamed of my body, weight gain, the number on the scale, who I am, how I look, to someone who is comfortable with her body and who she is no matter her weight.

A small task, to be sure…


3 responses to “Life 4 Years Post-op & Living with Binge Eating Disorder

  1. This post took a great deal of courage; facing the truth is always the first step in dealing with it. Brava!

    From strength to strength!

  2. Colleen, You don’t realize how brave you are. We all have problems but you choose to deal with yours. I wish you all the best. Love, Aunt Joann

  3. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing, for your candor and for your bravery 🙂

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