Where to start? I'm at a point where I'm coming out of some

Where to start? I'm at a point where I'm coming out of some turbulent years and have a high energy level to refocus, move on, and do it right this time so life is enjoyed, not endured. It's become apparent to me that to reach one of my goals, which is recovering from what is clearly eating disorder (yes, it's true) that having somewhere to talk and support others is needed.

Both sides of my family have morbid obesity. My parents had little concept of preparing traditional nutritious meals so that was how I was raised. I don't blame them for anything; I love them dearly and I know they did the best any couple could do with their first child.

From a young age I was obese. I also had severe undiagnosed depression; many on my father's side have either taken their lives or been hospitalized for it many times. That includes my father. I've never gone in for suicide but I have for crushing depression and anxiety. The nature of American children is inherently cruel and I suffered some pretty bad mental abuse during the formative years. As a young adult a lot of doors close because of it until I was in my mid-twenties and learned to trust in myself.

So in my late twenties & early thirties I was morbidly obese (360 lbs 6' 00") and on blood pressure medication with terrible cholesterol. My doctor told it to me like it was; I was borderline diabetic and if I didn't change something that within five years I would certainly develop a serious medical condition, likely heart related. My mother had achieved great success with bariatric surgery and she was happier than ever. I decided a major change was required and followed suit.

After my surgery life in many ways became great. I felt healthier, I slept better, I had better clarity of mind & body. I was at around 210 lbs which I accept is the lowest that someone with my broad build will ever achieve. It wasn't the number that mattered anyway. It was my self-esteem and let's be honest here, and I'm sorry to be blunt about human cruelty, people treat you much better when you're not obese. I was in my first major relationship where we loved one another and I'll be brutally honest and acknowledge I would have stayed lonely without the weight loss. It's sad that our society hasn't evolved past this but in the end that is how even well meaning people thing.

Alcoholism also runs on my father's side. I drank before the surgery but it was never really a problem back then (you're invincible when you're young). As part of the weight loss surgery recovery I cut all alcohol out of my life. I didn't miss it one bit and had a nice five year stretch of sobriety (at that point in life I didn't consider myself an alcoholic).

Years went by and things just started getting worse by the day. I'm engaging in extreme summary here but I went through almost every torment a man could go through. I caught my wife cheating the month after our wedding, my job relocated me far from my home state, and I had no one. Every dream would seem to come into focus but then would be snatched back in such painful fashion that I came to believe that the Father was tormenting me for something, anything, I'd done to upset Him. It was bad. The alcoholism reared its head and this is when I became a true insane alcoholic. There was an extremely mean-spirited divorce (by her) after years of trying to make it work. There was financial disaster. There was two significant medical emergencies; one required three months of hospitalization learning how to walk again. There was extreme loneliness and lack of comfort. It was bad. It was hopeless.

Two years I ago I started emerging from the storm. I've been in alcoholic recovery throughout this period. I got a good job with a major firm in my area. I had, and still have, significant adversity and the world doesn't want to let me move on. Nevertheless, I'm tired of waiting so I'm rebooting my life and this time I'm going to let nothing convince me I have no value nor that I have to settle. This time I'm living life right.

Here comes the point, and thanks for sticking with me until now. I'm on psychiatric medication for trauma and genetic dispositions; they of course cause weight again as a side effect. I've also begun a terrible coping mechanism in food (more on that later). I've watched in horror as my weight jumped to 230, then 245, then 260, and as of right now 270. It hit fast and every effort has been futile. It's making me miserable to be obese again; I feel like I've been through enough.

Now if you don't change anything yourself you can't expect life to change. I tried exploring medical programs but artificial constraints, from the past, make those all unavailable to me. I tried working with a health coach over the phone that my company provided; however, they deemed that I was "too healthy" and took it away just three session in (this stuff looks good to new hires but the company has no intention over ever letting an employee use one).

I have to do it alone and I knew from what I learned after surgery how to calculate out caloric intake versus time including activity level, to come to an eventual goal. I'm starting in bite sized blocks, going from 270 lbs to 255 lbs is an obtainable goal in the short term. As far as activity goes I'm on my game; however, I keep hitting false starts with the eating. I've come to realize that coming out of trauma I traded one artificial coping mechanism with another. I remain in alcoholic recovery (and proud of it) but I get down and keep collapsing on the wrong foods. Just like with alcohol, willpower has nothing to do with; it's all the mind trying to fill in all the empty places. Last night I was up until 6 AM, unhappy, and I once again collapsed and gave into unnecessary eating. This morning I'm so upset and ready to fight for this.

That's what brings me here. I can't tolerate any more false starts. I need to be in a support group of some kind. Physically I cannot get to one but thank God for the internet. Everyone has a chance to reach out.

So that's my story. I kept things very succinct to relay just enough for this to make sense. I think most who read this will get the point. I have terrible nutritional habits so I've designed a plan that replicates what the local hospital's weight loss programs do. I know I can do the activity increase because I've already successfully incorporated it. I have it within me to stick to the meal plan; again, it gets crushing when your mind and body are screaming for something to cope but you so desperately want to succeed. Again, willpower has nothing to do with it. I know from AA that it's support, changing your habits out, and service that will get you through recovery from any addiction, including destroying yourself and sabotaging your happiness by giving into eating junk food.

Thank you for letting me join you here. Hopefully I'll have good news to report and that maybe I can help support others on the same journey that I am. For those who are doing it right and reaching their goals, any and all advice is quite appreciated. I'm blessed to have a forum to turn to.

God Bless,

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WilliamAndersonLMHC's picture
Jun 18

Welcome, Michael! You have been through the mill, my friend, and being here is a good sign that you are continuing to get better! If there is any way I can help, I will.

I saw your other comments as I was reading the comments here this morning, and was impressed with what you said, your knowledge and your attitude. Also, you write excellently.

I have written a great deal about my own story and what I have learned, both from experience and training. You'll be surprised, I think, to see how much we share.

Glad to know you!

Michael_2265's picture
Jun 18

Thank you for being so welcoming. I know this is an important component of doing this right with a proven, measurable increase in success rate. You can't change out lifelong habits without support!

It's good to know you are well my friend.

WilliamAndersonLMHC's picture
Jun 19

@Michael_2265 - Getting there. Do you remember hearing "Better and better, every day, in every way"?


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