← Return to Obese, diabetic with high BP; need help with food addiction

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@noreenf

I definitely know about food addiction. I am 68, and over the years, I have lost more weight than I weigh right now. I put on weight after my first child, and more with my second. My family called me fat my whole life, but looking back at pictures, I never was a bit overweight. I did put on weight my senior year of high school, mom took me to her Dr, who was really obese, he gave me a diet to follow, and diet pills. I lost the weight, then met my husband. My first real weight loss was when Weight Watchers came to our area. I lost over 100#, then my husband, who was in the Air Force, got transferred, and I lost my support system, of the weekly meetings. The next time I joined Overeaters Anonymous, when they first got started, and lost the same over 100#. Then the group lost the meeting place, so I lost my support system again, and gained the weight back, again. Then, I started hearing about bariatric bypass, and had that done 7 years ago. I lost 60 pounds, then quit losing. I maintained that 210# for about 4 years, then was put on meds for nerve damage pain, and started to put it back on again. I’m at 235# now, and not happy about it. The doctors thought I would be a good candidate for the surgery, since I had managed to lose the weight twice, but they didn’t realize that the reason I was able to do it was the weekly meetings, and I thought they would have more support than the once a month support group they provided.
If it was possible to undo the bypass surgery, I would. Actually, I wish I hadn’t had it in the first place, because now my body doesn’t absorb nutrients, so I have to take loads of vitamins, and am supposed to eat lots of protein, etc. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. I went to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting a couple of times, but it has changed so much, it didn’t help me any more.
So, I have pretty much given up. I try to eat the things that will help me lose the weight, but my husband expects me to cook him the foods he likes for dinner, when I would rather just have a salad, etc, but I don’t know how to cook meals he likes, and not eat what he eats, like casseroles, hamburger helpers, etc, We end up with more leftovers than I can use as it is.
So now I pray and do the best I can. I know God doesn’t want me to keep hating myself over this, so I take it a day at a time.
This is the first time I’ve seen this site, maybe it will help, hearing other food addicts share what they are dealing with.

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Replies to "I definitely know about food addiction. I am 68, and over the years, I have lost..."

@noreenf, I’m glad you found Connect and this group. It can really help to have a peer group to help us meet our goals and encourage new behaviours. Have you heard about Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Diet Experience? @ihatediabetes writes about it here http://mayocl.in/2lLlELX
What helped you the most when you had weekly meetings to attend? How might we replicate that here?

I think what helped me the most was having the meetings and getting to know other people who knew what I was going through. We were also on the same basic “food plan”, so we could share recipes, etc., call each other, get to know each other.
I did check into the Mayo Diet plan, but it was more than I could afford. We are on social security, and can’t afford any more payments.

x

@noreenf, I just reread your initial post. I have a hunch that you will not be able to keep your weight off until you get some counseling. I had to establish myself as a separate, strong individual/ before I was willing to do good things for myself. I had to be willing to cook for myself and let my husband cook for himself. Your husband may have to learn how to cook. I had to be willing to put myself and my health in first place. It is hard to do, especially for those of us who are “caretakers” and have been taught that this is our role in life. I recommend that in addition to working on your weight loss, you also work on your emotional health. Once I began my journey to self discovery I loved it. Gail B

@gailb, every couple has it’s quirks. If I expected my husband to cook for himself he would be very hostile and either eat out of just unhealthily graze.

@contentandwell, You are right that every couple is different. What I heard in @noreenf‘s post is that she cooks food for her husband that isn’t good for her to eat. But, being a food addict makes it hard, if not impossible for her to turn down eating the same food. My recommendation is that she only cook for herself and her husband can cook for himself if he wants different food from what she is eating. If her husband wants to support her, he will be willing to help her in this way I think. Perhaps he’ll eat the same healthy food she has made for herself as another way to help her and be more healthy himself. There are times when we have to put ourselves first in our lives. I think this is such a time for her.

So, I am wondering why you felt the need to protect @noreenf from my comment? I think she is stronger than she knows and doesn’t need protection. I try to be helpful and not harsh or intrusive in my comments to others. Please let me know if you think I was inappropriate.

@gailb, I apologize if you took my comments personally, they were not intended that way. When I prepare dinner I generally prepare something that we both can eat but then additional things for my husband. I usually have some meat or fish and a salad, but I make a starch for him also. Some nights I do cook a different meal for him, generally I will try to do something where the two meals can be somewhat coordinated so they are not totally different, for instance I will have fish and prepare a steak for him, or if he wants pizza or something that I do not want to eat I will have a salad with something on it like chicken, or shrimp.
This was not to “protect” @noreenf, it was simply a statement that we cannot all do as you suggest.
I do not want my husband to sound unkind for not wanting to prepare his own meals. In other ways, particularly in the last month and a half prior to transplant, he was a saint, doing basically everything. He was good through the whole thing but for most of the waiting time I felt well and was pretty self-sufficient.

The Mayo clinic diet experience is a lot more than food plan. It’s a big physical assessment with a stress test, body composition, movement assessment etc. You’re making a plan for wellness. That includes nutrition, physical activity, and resilience. It’s customized for the individual. They try to help you find activities you will actually do. Right now I’m signed up to monitor bluebird boxes in state park. That is a plan that is customized to me because I like hiking and nature. The route will be 4 miles hiking per week up and down hills. My resilience plan includes taking a bath every night and taking part in hospitality ministry at church. I bring snacks and put them by coffee pot. My nutrition plan includes putting smaller portions of leftovers from supper in plastic containers that I can microwave during day. That’s to cut down on unhealthy snacking on high calorie foods. I’m going camping today. It’s been a big project to figure out what I need. The first try i just rented camp site and came back at 6pm. Now I have a heater and some food packages in aluminum foil. I am going to heat them up on Smokey Joe. I had to get Firestarters because last time it was difficult to light charcoal. I have a wellness coach that I talk with about what I’m doing. She’s my support person. She cheers me on, gives me ideas, and helps me think through my plans. The wellness coaching is such an important part of the program. The wellness experience is supposed to be a major intervention on your life. I signed up when they ran a special last December. I think you can also make payments until you have it paid off. Then they schedule you. That’s what I did. I made $100 deposit initially and then paid off the balance. I also think it’s good to try to exercise and eat well before you go. I had already been hiking since last summer so we already could see the results of my hiking. Following a wellness plan is way way cheaper medicine than developing chronic health conditions and the effects of those conditions. I have type 2 diabetes. I’m avoiding complications like peripheral neuropathy and eye problems with following my plan. How can this plan be too expensive to avoid medical complications? One CT scan costs more than the program I think. People always end up getting what they pay for. There’s no free lunch. But in the case of healthy living program you can get a lot more than what you pay for. That happens if you actually engage with it and do the program with diligence and enthusiasm. You do that from your home, in your kitchen, in the health club. They are giving you a plan. You have to do it. I’m sure there are people that go through program and don’t end up doing anything. They don’t talk to coach. They wait for coach to call them. To me that’s for kids, not grow ups. In my case I am really engaged. I send coach photos of things like hiking trail or meals I cooked. So I am getting a lot out of the program and now I am convinced it was a very good deal financially. I paid once and have my coach following me for a while year. I don’t need meds for diabetes now. I don’t take statins. I lost 9 pounds. And today I am going camping by myself because it scares me. The plan includes doing things that are hard so you can have a fuller life. You learn and grow so much just to overcone something that scares you. Peace.

Thanks @contentandwell. I appreciate your response. Gail B

I’m camping now. I woke up in my tent with my little dog. I am glad a brought a heater. This was a goal I had for awhile because I could not stay overnight my first try. It’s raining a bit so I’m waiting for it to stop. There were bird sounds earlier today.

***Confetti***
Congratulations @ihatediabetes!
I’m so proud of you. It’s not many people who can say that they met their fears head on. Well done.

I bet your little dog loved the adventure. How does the air feel as you take in a deep breath crawling out of your tent?

@ihatediabetes Let me add some more confetti to your parade! You have become a great encourager for healthy living and for the Mayo program! Thanks for sharing and encouraging others. Teresa

Hi everyone, well I decided to camp a second night. It was so much work to set up tent and heater that I decided I needed another night to consolidate the experience. I did take dog home. Then I came back and went hiking for miles. My fitbit says that I went six miles today. I also met the staff naturalist and we talked about the bluebird monitoring program. Bluebird monitoring goes under both physical activity and resilience under my healthy living program. It’s physical activity because it is a 4 mile hike to check all the boxes on my route. Its resilience because nature is peaceful and helps me with mindfulness. Lots of thought goes into a wellness plan. Plus you can change it any time you want. Find out what works for you. Peace.

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