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Origins of Overeating



Many of you can probably relate to the seemingly never ending yo-yo dieting of a fat person. As I sit here and get pretty retrospective as I await my first introductory meeting at the surgeons I can't help but thinking about the journey before this journey. The many attempts at losing weight over the years and I've learned a few things about myself in the process.


From when I was twelve years old I have a memory that I won't likely forget. I was putting on a little weight and I had to go to the doctor for my annual physical. After they weighed me and took my vitals I had to bring my physical paper and chart to the next room. On it was 148 lbs and the notation "grossly overweight."


Grossly overweight. It was bad enough that gross was already a term with negative connotation having it used in the 80's made it worse. Gross was a Valley Girl slang term that was as overused as "twerk" and "YOLO" are overused today. When I saw it my heart hit the floor. I had to hand this paper to a doctor and he will also know my totally gross status. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. I didn't crawl into a hole and I didn't die. I did, however, crawl into a bag of cookies and gorged. That moment may just be the very first time I took a negative situation that gave me a bad feeling and numbed it out with cookies. It wouldn't be the last.


Using food as a coping strategy only made matters worse when the general population likes to celebrate with food. So now food is great if I'm happy, sad, angry, mad, or any other emotion. So then food became not a fuel source but an anchor. An anchor that has weighed me down -- literally -- for 30 years.


I know that I'm not going to be successful with any form of weight loss until I change my attitude toward food and last year I purchased a book titled: The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook - An Integrative Approach to Overcoming Disordered Eating. I started to read it and answer the questions and then I put it down. I probably told myself I was too busy (I wasn't) but honestly I didn't enjoy uncovering all the emotion behind WHY I eat. I put it on a shelf for several months.


Picking it up again when I decided that I was going to look into surgery it really hit me that my problem is more that I tend not to feel my feelings because I fear I may be ruled by them so instead I tend to swallow them... usually chased with ice cream. Like I said earlier until I understand my eating and the emotions from my eating this will be another trip on the yo-yo train and I'm not going to have a major surgery, redesign my insides, and then go back to my old habits. It's time. I'm not twelve anymore but I am truly grossly overweight and I'm sick of it. It's time to do the work.


QUESTION: Do you eat your feelings? If you did would exploring it further have helped you on this journey after surgery?


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I can relate to your doctor apt. accept with my situation I remember in elementary school, everyone was lined up in the gym, they would call your name, you would go to the nurse, standing there in front of the scale, you would get weighed in front of your entire grade, then have it spoken very loudly to the assistant writing the total down for each student, why she couldn't have just sat by the nurse, but the whole class would know what you weighed, now mind you even though I was taller than most in my class, it didn't matter, my classmates just heard the amount, so then the teasing would start and the staring and the talking about you quietly to someone else as you walked by, I lived this every year til junior high, and the physical fitness tests, well I won't even go there, everyone knows what happens there in gym class when the heavy kid can't do anything. Thanks for sharing.

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Junior high. How well I remember the calling out of your weight to be recorded. Being the highest weight , the teasing begins....

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