Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Confession: Still Eating Compulsively

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
-James 5:16, KJV

"Confession is good for the soul. It's also humbling to see it in writing and makes one more motivated to correct the error of their ways."
- Pam, on ObesityHelp.com's RNY message board. (Pam blogs at Journey to a Healthier Me.)

I couldn't decide whether to share this weekend's foibles publicly. I wasn't sure whether documenting my total noncompliance would be helpful, to me or to others. But after reading Pam's statement, the last line of a post in which she made her own confession, I realized that I need to post this if I'm going to deal with it and move on. Denial is what got me from 209 back up to 310 in the three years before my surgery.

I didn't log amounts of what I ate; I was temporarily insane and was eating whatever I could fit. So, here's a list of the items in which I over-indulged:

  • Pecans with raisins and semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Strawberry-rhubarb cider
  • Edy's slow-churned triple chocolate ice cream
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Baked cheddar & sour cream chips (these were my favorite pre-RNY snack)
  • FitNutz chunky powdered peanut butter with more raisins
  • 100-calorie sandwich thin
  • Nutella (didn't eat much, but shouldn't have touched it at all. Fortunately, I didn't enjoy it - too sweet.)
  • Cameo apples
  • Probably other stuff that I don't remember
I've heard some post-ops say the foods they binged on pre-op no longer taste good to them. Sadly, that I doesn't apply to me. My tastes have never changed. I enjoyed eating this food, at least while it was in my mouth; the guilt came later.

The worst part is not that I tasted carby food, but rather that I ate uncontrollably. I overstuffed myself to the point of sickness 4 or 5 times on Saturday and Sunday alone. Not to mention all the Fiber One cereal I ate on Thursday and Friday nights.

I'm more concerned about the overstuffing than the nutritional composition of the food. I become morbidly obese binging on foods that are generally considered healthful. My childhood was full of baked chicken and vegetable stir-fry cooked in Pam, not fried chicken and macaroni pie. Overstuffing is extremely bad news post-RNY: It stretches the pouch, stretches the stoma, and could seriously injure me.

This is definitely not the first time I've overstuffed, of course. In fact, just last weekend, I overstuffed at Alex Guarnaschelli's Butter Restaurant in NYC. I felt slightly guilty about overeating and about what I ate (including a cheddar biscuit and a chocolate filled with caramel), but I was ultimately charitable with myself because it was a special occasion, and the food was incredible.

Not so this time. This was just a weekend at with the family. I'll be up there again in less than a month. And the food I ate was not special in any way.

I need to make sure overstuffing doesn't become a regular habit. The question is, how? I ordered a couple compulsive eating self-help books off Amazon yesterday. I'm usually not a fan of that literary genre, but desperation can make you do crazy things, like read self-help books.

So I've confessed. Now, here's hoping for humility, healing, and motivation.


  1. How do you feel about therapy? I have an AWESOME therapist who has helped me so much with those very same issues. He actually specializes in WLS patients, and to a lesser extent, ED patients. He recovered from Binge Eating Disorder himself, so he really gets it. His office is in Columbia, MD, which might be workable for you after you move up here. In the meantime, he also is doing video and phone appointments now. I really can't say enough about the difference seeing him has made for me. http://www.thebodyimagecenter.com/bariatric_surgery.html

  2. I came from Eggfaces blog. I am 1 year post op and you WILL be able to eat most of the foods that you mentioned after your surgery... well a few months after surgery. So relax! BUT the choices you choose to make will improve. I hope you find as many of us have found that you will no longer even WANT to eat the food... I know it sounds bizarre and unfathomable and you are saying HUH! No way! well WAY. It is the strangest thing that what you go through after surgery to heal your baby pouch wll make you stop and rethink things (Oh and vomiting will help discourage you too). Therapy? A great idea! I go to the support groups but would love to also get some formal therapy. I will be keeping my eye on you and wishing you the best as you continue this journey to health! Congrats on joining the losers bench YEAH!

  3. Thanks HOA Mgr Lady. I am actually over 11 months post-op. Unfortunately, I never experienced that thing about not wanting to eat food. I've loved eating food since 2 weeks post-op. LOL. In general, I make great choices. I just slipped way off the wagon this past weekend.

    Thanks for the encouragement and well wishes, though :-)