Dysfunctional History

Ever since I can remember my relationship with food has not been a healthy one. I can remember as a young child always looking for food.  And looking back now it wasn't because I was hungry, it was always because I was searching for something.  Let me explain this a little more.

I was born in 1970.  My conception was really not from a loving relationship, it was from an affair my mother had with my dad.  The thing is that my dad was a black American and in those days it wasn't so long ago that segregation was lawful in the great U.S.A.  There you have it my first void.  So what I hear you say, so what?!  I was also born mixed, I was darker that the white people and lighter than the black people.  I recognised from an early age that I was different from the average bear.  It was from those early days that set in the need for acceptance.

My family is an old fashioned east end family, where meals are when the family are up the table and all together.  Food was a big part of our life.  It came in abundance, so I was never hungry or did I go without.  When I was younger I had ADHD so everything I ate was quickly burned off.  I maintained an average weight right up until I was around 18.  It was then when some kind young man pointed out that I was overweight and I should lose weight.  I mean really!?  If someone said that to me today they could expect a lecture on how to keep their opinions to themselves..  Anyhoo this wonderful man decided I was fat, I think I was probably about 11 stone at the time and at 5 ft 8 that really is not overweight at all.  Knowing nothing about nutrition I embarked on a salad and diet coke diet. This was the true trigger for my eternal struggle. I had lost a stone, but soon to put it back on with an extra bit as soon as I started eating normally.  My appetite had changed and also my mind set.  I was now not only self conscious about my skin colour I recognised I had a weight issue.  I was very conscious about my body shape and how big and hulking I was.  Well I wasn't at all but that's how I felt. Thank you Big Gob Guy!!!!!  Hello yo-yo dieting!!

I am a firm believer that we all have vices and some are more extreme than others.  I don't starve, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't take drugs, I don't gamble, I don't even have sex.  What I do, do is eat, I binge and my emotions are attached to food.  But on the other hand, I love food in all shapes and sizes.  My nemesis is sugar.  OH how I love it.  Cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate, cookies if it's sweet I'm going to eat it allllll.  I have eaten so much of the stuff that the sugar rush doesn't even effect me.  I believe that the years of abusing food has made me a sugar junkie.

So where do I get help for overeating?  Over time I will spend hundreds and probably thousands of pounds trying to get some help.

Which Diets.

  • Weight Watchers - Calories, points, pro points, smart points
  • Slimming World - Red Diet, Green Diet, Fast Track, Easy 
  • Slimming - The Low Fat Diet, Counting Calories, Chocoholic Diet
  • Rosemary Conley Diet & fitness Club
  • The Cambridge Diet - Shakes and light meals
  • Lighter Life - Prepared Meals
  • Slimfast - Shakes & Light Bites
  • The Tesco Diet
  • Healthy Living with NHS
  • Low Fat Cooking
  • Can Do Diet with Dr Colbert
  • Dukan Diet
  • Atkins Diet
  • South Beach Diet
  • GI Diet
  • Several Magazine drop dress size diets, Christmas countdowns, count down to summer diets
WOW! That's ridiculous.  And not on top of the medication diets, have a look at this.
  • Dodgy G.P. who gives me some concoction of diet pills and water tablets
  • G.P who sends me off to the market for fruit and vegetables.  
  • G.P who put me on Xenical which made me leak oil.  
  • G.P puts me on Reductil that gave me dry mouth and headaches
None of them worked.  Of course I did try the laxative diet and lost 10lb in one week.  YIPPPPEEEEEE!!! Stopped doing that and put on 15lb arghhhhh!!.  So I've been there.  Give or take 30 years of Losing weight - putting it on - losing it - oh you know how it is. 

About 8 years ago, not that long, I am now feeling destitute, alone, so alone.  I can't keep a relationship, I feel ugly, fat.  I have no confidence, no self esteem.  At this point in my life,  I am the worst version of myself.  I once again sought help from my doctor.  This time was a different story.  I asked if I could have weight loss surgery, the answer was no because I was too healthy, I was not having sleep apnea, I was told that the NHS does not support Weight Loss Surgery.  I actually broke down in tears, I think I took the doctor by surprise.  But Dr realised that there was more to it than over eating. She recognised I was suffering.  She recognised that over the years, mentally I was drained.  It was at this point I was referred to Dr Gillian and treated me for Depression and Anxiety.

Dr Gillian is a Psycho-Dynamic-Therapist  She really sorted my head out.  She helped me to recognise that my eating is to do with my emotions and that because I feel so alone/different/unaccepted I use food to fill the gaps.  WOAHHHH! What a smack to the forehead.  I controlled my depressions and Anxiety by obsessive cleaning, binge eating, secret eating and over eating.  I was anxious about events in my past that I had not dealt with, I was anxious about things that I wasn't dealing with now.

Slowly over the time I was seeing Dr Gillian my mindset changed again.  I began to feel in control, my self-esteem and confidence improved and the weight started coming off.  Old habits die hard though.  I'd lost around 30 lbs and had a got in to a disastrous relationship.  I turned to food for comfort.  Nibble - Nibble.  Again I maintained an overweight state, not losing and not putting on.  Back on track no more binge eating, just the over eating of sugary food.  I think more of a habit than an addiction.  I am not an expert.

So here I am now 28 years on from my first diet and mentally tired, physically tired, but not as unhealthy as one would think.  Which doesn't help one little bit.

My Health Status:
  • Liver functions - Normal
  • Respiratory functions - Normal
  • Blood count - Normal
  • Diabetic Levels - Normal
  • Cholesterol - Normal
  • Blood Pressure - Normal
  • Kidney Functions - Normal
  • Sleep Apnea - NO
  • Thyroid Function - Normal
  • Joint Pain - Excruciating pain but NO signs of osteoarthritis (Except for my left hip deteriorating due to breaking my Achilles Tendon)
  • IBS - Due to anxiety and overeating
  • Depression  & Anxiety - Mainly due to being overweight (controlled with citalopram)
So yeah, I am sooooooo lucky that I have got away with being so overweight for so long.  How I do not know, I think God has a plan for me somewhere along the line.  My Dysfunctional history with food .  I will tell you more about my decision regarding bariatric surgery on my page Choosing WLS.

(This page will update as I remember other relevant information)

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Paula xx