The title of this blog post is something that my mam said to me a long time ago, Sadly I never listened back then. . . .
When I was a young child, life was pretty perfect, but when I was 10/11, my Nana passed away, I remember seeing everyone upset and crying, hearing that howl of loss which is so unmistakable. It was then I started to take food, two biscuits, a slice of bread, whatever I could get hold of and then I would go into the bathroom, lock the door and nibble it like a mouse, taking tiny bites very quickly after each other, until it was gone, then I would flush the toilet and leave. For some reason I would feel calmer whilst I was doing it and afterwards for a little while. This went on for a couple of weeks and then life kinda went back to normal. About a year later, I lost my Granddad, I was very close to him and it hit me very hard that unmistakable howl of pain was coming from me too, from then on my eating became out of control, I was taking much more food and would blame my siblings if anything was said. I would even offer to help clear the dishes so I could eat what anyone had left, things continued like this and I obviously started to gain weight, by the time I was 13 I was a size 14 and I thought I was huge. How I would love to be a that size now, but like what happens to most children, I went through bullying and this just added to it to the point, I actually hated myself so much, I thought I must be such a horrible person, as well as being a disgusting monster.
I continued to gain as eating food, was the only time I felt better about anything and that only lasted while I was eating it, as straight afterwards I would feel terrible then torture myself for eating it, whilst telling myself how disgusting I was as a person and how I looked physically. I felt like I was such of a failure at everything and would tell myself how nobody liked me and laughed at me which was why they bullied me and so the years went by and this went on, eventually I had children and went through relationship breakups, each time I continued to eat more and more at 26 I weighed 25 stone. I made a vow to myself to sort it as I didn’t want my age to equal my weight and other than my weight at that time I was really happy at least I thought I was. I was in a relationship had a job etc, thought I was planning for my future but over 4 months all that changed, I lost my job, my other half thought the grass was greener and I was burgled twice, and I think from then on I started to downward spiral, I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to see anyone, I think subconsciously I thought I was stopping myself from being hurt, so by the time I was heading for my 30’s I literally didn’t go out unless I got a taxi, I had anxiety over everything from people looking at me, meeting anyone I new was horrific but worse still bumping into someone who knew me and I hadn’t seen for a long time, all I could think standing there was I how disgusting they must of thought I was and I just wanted the ground to swallow me up, so they didn’t have to look at me anymore and I didn’t have to feel this wave upon wave of shame.
I used fall asleep all the time or be awake when I should be asleep, everything seemed black to me I felt like I was in the bottom of a very deep hole and there was no ladder, I was clearly depressed and didn’t realise it, I thought it was just what I deserved, at times I barely even got washed, I cried a lot and sometimes I just didn’t even know why. I always made promises to myself on my birthday that the next one would be different and the day after I would end up feeling shit and fail again, I used to make the same promises to myself at the beginning of a new year and I remember clearing my house of crap one year and I’d literally kept enough for the meals for that day barring a couple of tins of sweetcorn. I was laying in bed it was about 11pm and all I could think was how I needed and I mean needed some food, I had pains, sweats and I tried for what seemed like a week but was about about an hour to not give in. I went in the kitchen and I literally poured that sweetcorn down my mouth then cried for about 3 hours afterwords.
When I was 31/32, I joined weight watchers, I remember ringing up and saying I don’t know what I weigh but reckon it’s over the 30 stone, she said that it wasn’t a problem that their scales weighed a lot heavier than that and everyone was friendly, she wasn’t wrong but for the days leading up to my first meeting I was terrified kept talking myself out of it on many occasions. As you can imagine standing in the queue waiting was horrific, I so wanted to run away and hide but I waited and when I stood on the scales for the first time in 5/6 years. I weighed 32 stone 3lbs and though I was horrified at the numbers, I was also weirdly relieved that it just didn’t say error or worse still shout get off at me.
The first week I tried so hard and as you do you look forward to it because it tends to be the biggest loss and I hadn’t done anything wrong but when I stepped on the scales I had gained 2lbs. I was devastated I remember going to my parents house and I just cried. I don’t recall going off the diet but it was also time of the month and my mam kept repeating that it would be because of that and not to lose heart etc. I didn’t go the following week because I was ill with a sore throat etc but when I went the week after I had lost 16lb I was floored and absolutely gobsmacked. I did pretty well over about 4 months lost 3 stone 4lb. I was fighting my issues everyday forcing myself out and I even remember getting back on the bus again, I had stopped using public transport after having a panic attack because the bus had filled up, I was near the back and I knew to get off I had to pass everyone which meant I’d literally knock them out with my arse, it would then make me sweat with the anxiety of it and I would just be thinking omg I stink as well as giving them a left hook with my arse cheek 😂 I’m sure Kim Kardasian has the same problem 😂
The day I gave up again, I had went to the town with my Daughter and Niece. I was in the high street and needed some money out the cash machine, so the kids decided to go look in the shops while I waited as the machine was really slow and very busy. While I was waiting for my cash there was a drunk man shouting at me very loud, “fatty fatty… hurry the fuck up man” Oi Fatty man” “fatty man your so slow….is it cos your so fat?” he continued and as soon as the machine spat my money and card out. I raced as quick as could tears stinging my eyes… I hid round the back lane to try and calm down. I thought I was just about ok when two old ladies were near by, one elbowed the other and with a look of disgust on her face and said “omg look at the size of her” she was literally only 3 feet from me I was horrified, I mean being fat doesn’t make you deaf, I quickly walked away to get the kids and went straight round to the taxi rank jumped in the taxi and that was that. I wish I could go back to that moment and tell them both to do one, rather than letting shallow arseholes affect my life, never again will I let someone do that to me.
It is human nature to judge or assume and look at or stare at anyone we are all guilty of it especially with those who doesn’t fit the view of “normal” despite the fact there is no such thing. People would double take me all the time and I hated that but understood it, but no-one has the right to say anything to you, you really don’t know what that persons life is like you don’t know how they feel inside and how your actions could affect them, we are all human. I smile now at everyone and 99% of the time people smile back, it costs nothing and may make a difference to someone.
A few more years passed and I had been ill one day and my mam forced me to the doctors, who basically just seemed to just go on about the weight I’d gained. I hadn’t seen him for years he offered to refer me to bariatrics at the hospital and at first I was like no as again it felt like I was a failure, but when I went home and thought about it, I figured it doesn’t hurt to go, so few days later I rang and asked him to refer me I thought I need to change things and plus I only have to listen to what they say, I don’t have to go through with it, so just after my 34th birthday in June 2009 the referral was sent. I received a letter to attend a group seminar, which I was horrified at the thought of but my mam said she would come and despite my usual panic I went, it was October 2009 and everyone I guess felt the same.
First thing I noticed was that I was the biggest person there but I tried not to dwell on it, they talked through everything the different types of surgery available and what results they had with them, reducing a lot of peoples medications as they were no longer diabetic etc, it sounded great. We all had to be weighed and I did not look so I have no clue I just concentrated on my height for some reason. As I was leaving the consultant said if your thinking that having this is failure then you are wrong having a option to help yourself and not taking it would be failing, those words struck a cord with me at the time and afterwards my mam seemed keen for me to go ahead and surprisingly so was I.
I had to have some bloods done if you choose to go ahead, that was the way they knew you wanted to go forward, so I had them done then got a letter to go see my gp, I was really worried but figured she was gonna tell me I was diabetic but she told me that my thyroid (hypothyroidism) didn’t work at all. I was given tablets and some leaflets with an explanation, it made loads of sense to me, my hair was thinning, memory was bad, constant tiredness and it also would of contributed to my weight to because it affects your metabolism.
My next appointment was in March 2010 and my mam came along again. I had to answer loads of questions and talk about how my life was effected by my weight, including my sex life which when your mam is there isn’t a conversion you want to have 🙈 not that there was anything to say 😆 my mam told them I hardly left the house, I wasn’t gonna say but because of that she said that they would refer me to see the psychologist before I could precede further. I was weighed again but again don’t remember finding out what I weighed or maybe I was just not wanting to hear it.
My first appointment for the psychologist was in early May 2010, I did my usual thing of panicking, cancelling, talking myself out of going, talking myself in to going, but I went and I learnt a lot, over two or three appointments, we talked about lots of things but mainly when I started to gain weight. I hadn’t associated the deaths of my grandparents with my eating, but he made me realise that the reason I started to do that with food was because my world had fell apart and I needed to control it but couldn’t, so controlling the food was my way of controlling the life that was going on around me, and what calmed me down, it made total sense to me, so what I needed to do was use other ways to calm myself without using food in order to do that, he wanted me to have a gastric balloon so that I couldn’t use food, plus this is a none surgical procedure and there are very few risks, he said he would refer me for one and it would be done in about 6 weeks I was like wow that’s quick and left feeling positive.
After a few weeks I still hadn’t heard anything and the psychologist couldn’t go no further until that was in place and so I agreed to ring him once it was done to arrange follow up appointments. The months went on I rang up in September, December 2010 then again in January and then March 2011 and as every month went by I just thought to myself more and more why did I bother no-one will ever help me because this who I am, just a horrible useless mess.
The psychologist couldn’t believe when I rang him again to tell him it still hadn’t happened and so he sent a letter for the 3rd time, finally on 18th May 2011 nearly a year later it was done, it’s not a nice thing to have done as you just want to gag but I managed to keep calm somehow and get through it, oh also I finally looked at my weight I was 39 stone 7lbs 😢 the first two weeks I did ok, I tried to contact the psychologist who was on leave, by the time he came back and I had appointment I had a had the balloon 4 weeks, and my anxiety was through the roof and I was having daily panic attacks. I guess at the time I thought it was because I couldn’t eat the food that shut the fat bitch up inside me. I didn’t know how to cope with my life without it. I missed that appointment as my fear and won again and I talked myself out of it. I did cancel and made another for the following week. I managed to get to the taxi but they sent the wrong type and I couldn’t get my legs in, I was horrified the driver offered to ring for another, but I just got out and hid in my house, cried my eyes out. I ordered a take away, ate it and spent two hours after feeling terrible stomach pains and vomiting, it didn’t stop me from doing it again though, a week later I got a letter from the psychology department as I had missed two appointments I had been removed from the service, initially I took comfort in food and again made myself ill.
The next few weeks passed in a blur and then I had my 3 month check in the August with the hospital and I had lost 3 stone 7lbs. It give me the boost I needed but also made me realise that I needed help still, so I rang the psychologist who said I had to be re-referred which the baratric nurse could do so I left her a message to ask and she did it. I also wrote a letter explaining my anxiety to the psychologist and the reason I had not talked about it to him was because I was at the appointment so how could I say I was scared leave my house or to meet new people or how I’d worry so badly over things like getting there etc. When I was in front of him but that took a lot to do that. I rang a few more times and gave up as I always did after hearing nothing and feeling like I mustn’t deserve it.
I was told when I got the balloon out that they usually did the gastric bypass around 2 weeks later so not to undo the work already done, the balloon was removed and my total loss was 5 stone, it was November 2011 and I now weighed 34 stone 7lbs, again things didn’t go to plan and I waited and early in January I rang up still no news and every week that went on I lost more and more hope and I knew I was struggling to control my eating, finally in May 2012 I was called in for my pre op. I had gained 2 stone 2lb of the 5 stone I’d lost. I went home and they said they’d speak to doctor and get in touch. I got a call at home about 6pm to say the doctor has refused to do the op because of the weight I’d gained, but he would like me to come to an appointment in 2 weeks to discuss where to go from here.
I never went to that appointment in fact I never went anywhere for a long long time, I knew I had again let myself down massively and that maybe I didn’t deserve anything more than the disgusting monster I was. There was no fairy-tale to this operation and I think that was my way of my thinking to be honest in parts I could blame the hospital but at the end of the day if I don’t fight for me no-one can do it for me, you can’t fight against someone who isn’t willing to help themselves, it is hard but anything hard is but that’s because it’s worth it.
The next 5 years of my life followed and I think I left my home 3 times in that time, last year 2016 I asked for help again, I felt if i could get help with mental health. I could get there, in October I was weighed I was 47 stone 7lbs but the waiting lists were huge and to honest I was running out of time. Luckily for me I got help, it’s now August 2017 and my current weight is 31 stone 7.5lbs. I have a life, I feel so positive, I have plans, things I want to do. I am still hitting hurdles but I get through them and I am loving writing again. I’m sitting here now and bloody crying again but this time they happy tears, I can truly say I love myself and mean it, I remember crying on the phone to my auntie, she had said something to me and I realized for the first time in my life that I was worth it!