Sunday, 30 August 2009

Tough weekend

Today my mood is totally different to my jubilation on Friday. It has been a tough weekend. I feel like what happened on Friday was almost supernatural. Like not me at all. That I was very guided to doing what I did. I'm sure I felt so good because I was sent a lot of healing that day. The people who give the healing are so good to me. Someone always send me healing on Friday morning to help me get there. And on the rare occasions when I don't turn up they always send me plenty of healing.

It was a brilliant day, both for eating, being able to ignore my hunger and feel OK about it, and for the fact that I now have a totally useable, ultra clean fridge and freezer!

But obviously eating so eating much less for one day was bound to have a knock on effect. The carb monster has been on me ever since then. I tried to hold off but I couldn't. I was back to the 6 bowls of Readybrek on Saturday.

Friday made me realise how much this thing is in my head. That when I'm in the right place in my head I can control my eating - ignoring my hunger, making good decisions, and using tablets to help control cravings if necessary. Chris said something very insightful in her Thurs comment - that my agoraphobia is probably so bad because I am trying to tackle my eating problems. I think this is true. I'm seeing how much I have been "self medicating" with food; eating to cover my depression and anxiety.

When I'm in bingeing mode, every time I feel bad, I eat to feel better. Feeling bad emotionally is the prompt that tells me it's time to eat. I treat that feeling as though it's hunger. And this pattern is so difficult to get out of. Because when I feel bad I have no response to that if I'm not using food as my way of dealing with it. Hence I have been crying and feeling down and depressed the last couple of days. Grimness.

I have on previous occasions been through this pain when "coming off food", and it involves lots and lots of crying. I suppose, as with all addictions, this is a withdrawal effect. It seems to be especially bad in the first 2 weeks, and up to 4 weeks after "giving up" food. This tells me that it doesn't go on forever. It is only a few weeks. But I don't think I can deal with it at the moment. It's too much.

I've considered if I should try taking anti-depressants (ADs) so that I am dealing with the depression that way. But this would be a difficult path for many reasons. Firstly that ADs take 2-4 weeks to get working so I would have had to start them a while ago. If I had fully cottoned on to what was going on here, I could have looked at that way of dealing with it. But I wasn't so clearly aware as I am now. The awareness has come from writing all this down. I have never written or spoken about this stuff before hardly at all. Let alone just letting it all hang out here!

I could've spoken or written about it before but I've always been scared to do that because when I've attempted it, it's only made the problem worse. Just as adverts for food, recipes or articles in magazines, seeing people eat on TV etc can set me off bingeing, then talking about it always seemed to be an immediate trigger. It brought it to the front of my mind, like full on danger, red light flashing, total terror. So I shutdown that possibility. I couldn't cope with it. It was just too dangerous to talk about.

I'm not saying I could talk about it now - I don't know at the moment. But writing about it and even more importantly, reading other people's experiences, has really started to get all this in perspective for me. Provided a safe way for me to think about it. In fact I've thought about very little else recently.

So this is the power of blogging!!!

It's not just the reading, but also the suggestions make me think about why for example I can't buy my shopping over the internet and get it delivered as Chris suggested. I have, of course, sometimes thought about this. But now I really have to think about it because I want to give a response back when someone has taken time to think about my situation and make suggestions and write a comment. Whereas when it's just in my head, I can let it go. When I am not accountable to anyone else - (and lots of people have written about setting up a weight loss blog to be accountable) - then those thoughts can just be left, can drift away. But now I have to think, "Why can't I allow myself to have some shopping delivered?" Is it because that would be making things too easy for myself? Is it just because I haven't done it before? Is it because the cost of about 5 pounds to have it delivered seems ridiculous when there are shops just round the corner? Or is it because I'm not worth the 5 pounds? I'll let you know when I work it out.

Back to the issue of ADs. I have tried them before but the side effects were always really bad. I couldn't tolerate any SSRIs - like prozac or citalopram. I was on the tricyclic AD Lofepramine for 3 1/2 yrs but gave it up end 2005 as the side effects became too overwhelming. Tricyclic ADs are very toxic. The strain on my kidneys (which took 6 months to return to normal after stopping them), the low blood pressure coupled with low blood sugar totally ground me down the whole time. My hair went prematurely grey because of those tablets (kidney function problems). So in the end I didn't have much choice. Also tricylclics cause weight gain. I was my highest ever weight on Lofepramine. So not what I want in that respect either.

I am taking 5-HTP tablets at the moment - one a day last week and now I've started taking 2 a day. It's a nutritional supplement which is converted by the body into serotonin - the neurotransmitter that ADs seek to potentialise. Works much quicker than ADs - you feel the effects from the second day. When I stop taking it I will cry for a day or two. But the withdrawal is no longer than that, so much better than ADs. And there are no physical side effects. It's gently supportive and makes you care a lot less about things. But it doesn't of course make you feel happy. I'm going to keep on with it even though it doesn't offer anything near total protection from the overwhelming crushing pain of food withdrawal. But I have only stepped up the dose on Friday evening and maybe it would be worse than it has been without it. I've known days in this situation that were much much much worse than yesterday or today. This, in comparison, is low level pain, like an ache that's always there with regular but fairly brief periods of crying and piercing pain. Not full on curled up in an armchair with my head in my hands crying and crying and crying all day every day. So maybe it is working as much as it can. Maybe I should step up to 3 tablets a day? I am worried about the withdrawal from that of taking so much, but I would have to reduce one tablet at a time. Just as if I was coming off ADs. More important to stamp on this eating thing now than worry about that.

I am also taking rhodiola, a herbal supplement. Said to help make serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters) more available in the brain so making you feel better. I thought it would go well with the 5-HTP. It is also said to help with recovery from physical exertion - I've been taking it for the last couple of weeks now and maybe this is the reason why I have suffered no physical problems when I have had a sudden, unusual level of exercise ie comparatively long period of time walking. Problems like swelling of knees, aching of muscles in legs and bottom, aching knees or joints anywhere. I found this really surprising.

The above is what I knew when I started taking it. But I've just read how this herb also has an effect on opioid peptides. I mentioned in my first ever post how eating fatty/ sugary foods creates opioids in areas of the brain linked to this behaviour (see link to research in that post). So maybe this might offer some support there too. Rhodiola is an "adaptogen" which helps both mind and body deal with stress and return to normal functioning. It has also been implicated in helping prevent weight gain due to stress - but the experiments involve rats not humans! Still, I'm hoping it will help.

Jonathan Cainer says for Monday, "Better a little bearable pain today than a lot of regret tomorrow". Sadly the pain isn't little or bearable. But in taking these tablets I suppose I'm trying to make it less painful than it otherwise might be.

I still don't know if I can put myself through all this... But I don't think there's an alternative.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Hurrah! I went out and it was OK!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on Thur post. It really helps to know there are other people out there rooting for me like that.

Today was an amazing and quite strange day. I inadvertently, and possibly only for one day, broke my reliance on carbs. This is amazing. I've tried in the past to do it and failed. But today I had no choice and actually enjoyed it! This is the weirdest thing ever. Yes. I enjoyed today. With only one bowl of Readybrek. Normally this would be unthinkable.

But really I can very little credit for this. It's down to the fact that I only had one bowl left in the packet and just enough milk for a meaningful splash of it on top. I did have sugar on it. But when that bowl was done, that was that. I couldn't have any more because there wasn't any more.

But I was OK. I had an L-glutamine tablet (1g) before breakfast because it really does stop hunger. Of course I don't take them when I'm in bingeing mode because I just want to eat and don't want to be stopped (which shows how much it is all in the head). But I thought I'd better take one today as a precaution against having no food and not being able to get any until the evening. And it worked. I also had another in the afternoon. Just to make sure.

And for lunch I ate what I had which was a little tinned salmon with a tin of green beans, some mushrooms and a few baked beans with some fat free dressing on top and a bit of pepper. And I really enjoyed that little meal for some reason. I was just so grateful I had something to eat.

The entire contents of my fridge were now: jar of mint sauce, jar of pickled green peppers, some red chillies - completely dried out, and a tube of tomato puree. So I decided to take advantage of this to defrost the fridge. It had needed doing for a long time. I just couldn't be bothered before, but today I decided "I will get that damn freezer section door to open again!" and after about 3 hours with a hairdryer and water getting all over the floor I did finally get it done.

Then I had another little meal identical to the earlier one except no green beans.

Then I read blogs for quite a while.

I had been hungry all the time I was doing the fridge, and having the freezer section operable again gave me thoughts of Carte d'Or ice cream. And I was genuinely hungry. Real hunger. Not just blood sugar all over the place type of hunger. And I started to get really really worried that when I got out in the evening I would buy all the wrong food. I started to get bingey thoughts.

I knew if I bought a load of rubbish, all the stuff I've been through over the last almost 2 weeks in weening myself off the sugary/fatty food would have been for nothing and I'd either carry on bingeing for a few more weeks or have to start the process of getting myself off it again. Either way bingeing today would have been a huge set back.

But reading all the blogs really helped. Knowing that there are so many other people out there trying so hard not to binge - that helped. And when I read Sean's Thurs post just before I went out that helped too - that what you want to achieve has to be more important than the bingeing.

And when I put my black trousers on to go out they were a little bit loose on the leg - I mean there was room to actually walk in them without feeling totally trussed up! Whereas in the last couple of weeks I have really worried that they were going to tear apart while I was outside. Of course, they're not looser because I lost some weight. It's just that the weather has turned and is much fresher and cooler the last couple of days than it has been. I retain a huge amount of water on my legs in warm weather - they really balloon up. But now it's cooler the water has come off. Wat-er relief! Even though I know it's only the hotweatherwater going it still made me feel that I can't turn my back on this. I want this feeling - of going down, of getting smaller - to carry on.

But when I was walking to the shop I was still thinking I might binge. I might buy all those foods again and end up back in it again.

When I got to the shop I made the right choices and it wasn't that difficult. The reduced section almost got me - but I managed to buy only healthy non-bingeing foods.

For my evening meal I had an all veg curry with a piece of haddock. And really enjoyed it.

So I'm ending today on a high. So happy that I enjoyed the healthy food. I wish I could eat like this every day - small meals consisting mainly of fish and veg. It would be a dream come true.

So for the moment not being able to go out has worked in my favour.

Chris suggested that perhaps I could exercise indoors but unfortunately I don't have room for an exercise machine. Not that my flat is too small per se but that I already have far too much other stuff in it. But I have started doing one or two toning exercises again. These involve press ups and an exercise I know as "the plank" which is the only way I know of tightening and toning that lower tummy area that sit ups don't seem to touch. You get into position as for a press up - arms can be straight or bent if you are able. Then lift one leg off the floor (or bed as that's where I do it) and move it out to the side as far as will go and then back 20 times keeping it at the same height all the time. Then 20 with the other leg. Sounds easy? Non my friend! It is very difficult. But a miracle worker. If you have a saggy lower tummy you will notice the difference in days just doing this once a day. If you can bear the pain, do it morning and night. Earlier this year I was also doing 80 stomach crunches - 50 straight and 30 twisting to opposite knee - twice a day (I built up slowly to that obviously) and also various leg exercises. I do all these lying on my bed. It's the comfiest way!

Thursday, 27 August 2009


Hi everyone. Well there would have been a post last night but when I had all but completed it I managed to press a button and lost the whole lot. Couldn't get it back. And I really wanted to type it all out again immediately while I still had it all in my mind, but I was just too tired at 1am to do it.

I did manage my walk on Mon night and it was wonderful! I didn't manage to get out until 5 to 10 but when I got outside the gate it was so delightful ... lovely and cool and dark and very few people around. I started walking through the streets not knowing how far I would be going. I was listening to George Michael - Patience. There's been a love affair there since I was 11 and heard Careless Whisper! I was almost happy enough to be dancing down the street, but sadly it was nearer waddling ...

I managed quite a decent walk up a hill and then back again. Totally chilled out with George crooning in my ears. Bliss! When I got back I had fish, veg and salad. I was really pleased with myself! Bed at 4am.

Tue I didn't manage to get out but had a bit of exercise doing my laundry going up and down stairs as the washer is in the basement and my flat is in the attic. I had a proper evening meal again. Bed at 3am.

Wed was more difficult. I was too scared to go out during the day but badly need to as I had nothing in for a healthy eve meal. Later on as I was just psyching myself up for the dreaded trip outdoors I heard noise downstairs - they were having a bit of a party. I just couldn't face walking past, being seen by so many people (potentially).

I was so upset. I realised I was quite agitated from not having had any exercise.

All the time I was bingeing I was very hot and very agitated. I was putting so much energy into myself and there was nowhere for it to go - except in heat and agitation of the mind. I was unable to walk any of it off due to agoraphobia, embarrassment over my size and just a complete disinclination to do anything or go anywhere.

I often slept very little - only 3 hours a night - and never wanted to get into bed. My mind never wanted to shut off. The toddler inside never wanted to go to bed - why is it that kids hate having to go to bed? I don't know. But when the toddler has the upper hand making myself get into bed is a real struggle.

My target bedtime for wed had been 2am but I only made it into bed at 3am. At least it's a lot better than 6 or 7am. I am going to try for 2am tonight. And the last couple of nights I have wanted to get into bed.

My title for yesterday was "Normalizing?" My eating is certainly a lot better. I haven't binged now for over a week. It has been in my mind at times. Many times.

Last week I was concentrating on readjusting my body to come off high fat/ high sugar foods. And to stop bingeing. And I was successful in both those aims. I ate a lot of carbs (rice cakes, corn cakes, rivita, Readybrek) sugar free jam, a little honey, ham and turkey, plenty of fruit and sugar free yoghurt. But I didn't restrict the amount I ate and it doesn't take a genius to work out that 4 meals a day each coming in at over 1000 calories (minimum) is still going to put on weight. But it was about re-educating my taste buds and stomach without feeling deprived of calories.

So this week I am concentrating on cutting down on the amount of carbs and having my eve meal of fish, veg and salad. I am on 6 bowls of Readybrek or ground rice porridge a day + some fruit + eve meal. Still too much. I hope soon to be down to three bowls a day.

Despite still eating quite large amounts the puffiness in my face has gone down a little bit which does make me feel a little more confident in facing the world. And because I am no longer eating wheat the swelling of my bowel has gone down some too. I can't tolerate wheat and it always makes my whole bowel swell up. But that doesn't stop me eating it when I binge of course.

And my skin has started to look dramatically better as well - despite only having taken one antihistamine a day the last few days. This tells me my body needs veg and salad and it needs regular exercise. Although I still have psoriasis on my hands and feet whatever I do. It's PPP psoriasis which is incredibly treatment resistant.

So all this looks like good progress .... But can I keep going?

Well today hasn't been so good so far. I am too frightened to go out yet again. I am thinking I'll have to self harm to be able to get myself out the door - and I won't even attempt it for a couple of hours yet. I get to the stage where I'm so angry at myself, so pissed off and frustrated that I just have to let all that anger out. And no, thumping a pillow doesn't do anything for me!

This morning I had 4 bowls of Readybrek made only with water as I am virtually out of milk. And then because I was frightened about not being able to get out and get anymore food - I have pretty well nothing in to eat at all - I started thinking of what I did have - a tin of salmon, a tin of baked beans and a packet of new potatoes in herb butter. And I was so frightened over the prospect of not getting out today that I ate all all the potatoes (I don't even like potatoes) and 1/2 the baked beans and 1/2 the salmon. It doesn't sound like that much looking at it now. But I was in a state and upset that I'd eaten stuff I didn't need and didn't want to eat and I'd already had too much Readybrek ... so I threw it back up ... worrying all the time that not enough was coming back up... And then of course that just made me feel like crying...

So now I have been blogging rather than crying ...

I still have to face the outdoors but it is very overcast now so I feel confident that I will make it out there - whether self harming or no. But now I am worried that I will buy binge foods and undo all the good work over the last week or so.

The bingeing has been hovering in my mind all the time of course. I have been able to resist. But right now I don't know ...

Reading this back just now it probably seems strange that someone with agoraphobia can enjoy a walk, but my problem is mainly the terror of going outside. Once I get out there sometimes I don't feel too bad. But the fear of crossing the threshold is incredible, like a stone wall in front of me stopping me getting out. And this fear of going over the threshold is not linked to my weight at all. It's like that whatever size I am. The stress I experience when I get out there though, that is more linked to how I look. If I am bigger then I am worried about people looking at me, at seeing people I know, upset that I look such a mess etc.

It's 6pm now and time to face the dreaded outdoors. Wish me luck ...

Monday, 24 August 2009

Walk with The Bear

Oh dear. I have just written a very long comment on escapefromobesity (see blog list) and it makes me feel so embarassed. I have always been great at responding to other people's stuff rather than focussing on my own sh*t. It was just the same when I went to a (quasi) therapy group. I hardly ever talked about myself. I focussed intensely on everyone else's problems. It's always much easier to think things through and come up with a reasoned response when the problem comes out of someone else's mouth (or keyboard). Because of this I always thought I'd make a great psychotherapist, but just one little spanner in the works - I'm too much of a f**kup myself to ever be taken seriously in that sphere. This is really annoying!

At least thinking about Lyn's stuff is helping me get further forward myself as we are both battling our weight, whereas the therapy group was filled with people with very diverse problems - none of which related to eating - so I didn't really get that much from it in that sense.

I did get to see The Bear yesterday but only after a long wait. He had told me to ring him between 3 and 4pm to arrange meeting up. So after getting up at 2pm (I only got into bed at 7am and slept badly) I had a reasonable breakfast and then read blogs all afternoon. I didn't want to have anymore to eat as I knew I would end up eating too much and so not be able to go outside as my stomach would be too big to get into the only summer clothes I have that fit (yes that's how bad things are). It enabled me to see that I am able to stop eating if I really want something bad enough - and I really did want to see The Bear. And also that reading blogs is a great distraction from eating! I love reading them - my new obsession?

Anyway, it turned out that The Bear had only gone to bed at 8am and so I didn't get to meet up with him until 7.30 in the evening - a long time to go without food! But I wanted to see him so bad that I wasn't going to mess it up. All I had was 2 bananas. And I felt OK.

We went for a walk together 1/2 an hour up a hill and then back. We sat on a bench together at the top looking out onto distant hills as dusk fell. He ate some chips he'd bought on the way but luckily he didn't offer me any! - which I think was because I'd said about how much weight I'd put on and how upset I was about it.

He chuntered on in his usual fashion about computing and photography and all the people he knows etc. I never get to discuss my own stuff with him - beyond a line or two I manage to lever in when he pauses for breath. But I accepted that a long time ago - he can't take on my stuff on top of his own. He just can't cope with it. Most people think this is so unsatisfactory that I shouldn't bother seeing him anymore. But I love him and without him I probably wouldn't still be alive right now. He's kept me going just by being him. He can only be himself - he can't be something he's not afterall.

I was really impressed by the fact that I was able to do this walk. There is always the danger after a sudden burst of exercise that I will binge because it's such a shock to the system after weeks of sitting indoors all day. We went to a shop on the way back and I did Good Shopping until the guy on the till was putting it thru and then I went to the freezer and got a choc covered ice cream for both of us. That one item is the only bad thing I've eaten in a week apart from a small choc bar. And the choc bar was followed by 2 orlistat so no damage. But because I didn't take any tablets with the ice cream I got the fat hit and it was amazing to me after that how I started fantasising about food etc like a mini rush in my brain. But luckily I was still walking with The Bear around town for 30 mins after I'd eaten it so I didn't get the chance to act on those feelings, and they weren't actually reinforced by eating behaviour. The unstoppable train didn't get to leave the station that day.

It is now 9pm here and I'm not sure whether I should go out on a walk or not. And whether if I do I will be able to eat safely and sanely afterwards.

I'll let you know what happens...

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ok. So I have now discovered what so many of you know already - blogging and reading blogs is addictive! I'm totally addicted. I'm even getting that "rush" that all addicts get when they are about to *indulge*.

I have read so many good things today. So many brave people out there who are willing to tell the truth about the difficult things going on in their lives. Things which I have thought about, or issues which have real meaning for me, but which I would have shied away from writing about myself. It's amazing the sense of relief that comes from realising "I'm not the only one", and from thinking "me too"... That there are so many people out there battling similar problems and not giving up. I just feel so grateful for all this.

Reading JackSh*t (see blog list) today made me think about how I got into my current bingeing hole. Through April, May and June of this year I worked so hard getting myself back onto the straight and narrow. And God it was hard. I spent most of April getting my food intake down - first to a reasonable level (I won't say normal because I don't even know what that is anymore), then by May my intake was at a level where I could actually lose some weight, and I kept going religously from May through to early July not stepping out of line on the eating front one single time. I thought I had it cracked! Ha ha.

And for three solid months I also exercised at least three times a week, often more than that, walking for at least an hour and a half each time. And this was no mean feat because I was in pain all the time. My psoriasis at that time was only on my hands and feet, but these are the most painful places to have it. One of my feet was so bad I was usually limping for the whole walk. I started to call myself "ol' hop along". Many times I was crying and telling myself to "just push through the pain". It frustrated me that I was only able to walk so slowly. The distance that would normally take 90 mins would sometimes take 2hrs in extreme pain. But I was determined!

And then one day in July a guy said to me "You've lost weight haven't you". And it all unravelled from there. As soon as he said it I knew there was a problem. But for the life in me, I don't know why. Three days later I started bingeing again.

It was on a Sunday afternoon in Cafe Nero. I ordered a large Mocha and a piece of chocolate chunk fudge cake - definitely the best chocolate cake ever! And after that I went to KFC and had a full meal with a sundae for afters. And from there it was open season. I daren't even write about all the stuff I've eaten since then because I'm desperate not to set myself off again. But let's just say *vast amounts of food*. I think that covers it. And I only vomited after eating three times in the last six weeks of hell. And each of those times was after I'd actually eaten healthy food. How screwy is that?

So now I'm back to where I was weightwise at the beginning of April.

Back then I had read an article about a family of four who weighed about 83 stone (that's 1162 lbs for US readers) between them. Sadly they lived in quite a rough place where people called them names in the street - including referring to them as "the Teletubbies". When I looked in the mirror and realised there was a teletubbie looking back at me, that was when I knew I had to change. Now the teletubbie is back again and I've got to go through the whole battle yet again.


Saturday, 22 August 2009

The 5am Post

Well here I am posting in the small hours of the morning, though as this blog is set to some US time zone it will probably look like I wrote it at a much more reasonable time. Why am I writing this in the middle of the night? Because I've been on antihistamines from the moment I got up to try and calm my skin down. They do cut the itching and my skin does look a little better, but they also put me half to sleep. It's pretty well impossible to do anything very much when I'm taking them - like trying to do something blind drunk, but with no enjoyment thrown in.

Between 2 and 4 hours after I take the first dose I am barely awake and then when that wears off and I start to feel alert - and start itching again - it means it's time to take the second dose.

So what with that and the fact that I went to bed at about 6am yesterday (also because of the antihistamines) I've only just got to the point in the day of being compos mentis.

Well at least I don't have to drink any alcohol to put myself into oblivion ...

So how have I done the last couple of days? Well I woke up on Friday crying and totally wiped out from having been out for several hours on Thursday. I felt so delicate, both psychologically and physically. I just couldn't face going out again so I didn't go to healing at the library. I hardly ever miss it - even in the last 6 weeks when things have been so bad, I only missed it one other time. And that was because it was too hot to go out in my coat.

Normally when I don't go to healing I feel really really bad, but on Friday I was too drowsy to get upset about it. I've hardly missed a Friday healing in the last 8 1/2 years. It's my fixed point of the week, and I don't feel complete if I don't go. It's not just the healing itself - 15 to 20 mins of total relaxation, total safety, grounding, and healing energy going all the way through you. It's the opportunity to socialise, to say hello to everyone, a few words here and there with people I've been chatting to for so many years ...

For someone as isolated as me, this is as important as the healing itself. In the last 6 weeks I have hardly chatted to anyone else apart from those people I see at healing.

Except The Bear of course!

It's at times like this when I feel so bad about myself that he is the only person I trust. Because he's seen me at my very worst and not rejected me. This makes it very special. He accepts me whatever I look like and whatever I feel like inside.

But sadly I don't get to chat to him that often, or spend much time with him.

As far as my eating goes, I'm sticking to low fat foods but not restricting my intake. I have eaten one small galaxy bar but downed two Orlistat with it. The next stage will be cutting down on the amount of food I'm eating and then trying to get into a regular pattern of good eating again - which includes having a proper evening meal of fish, salad and vegetables.

This, for me, is the most difficult bit when I've been on a food bender. Salad and vegetables are very challenging when you've only been eating rubbish, or even when you've only been eating mainly lowfat carbs, fruit and yoghurt as I am now. It's a big jump to make. When I'm eating that proper evening meal again it means I'm really "doing it"; really back on my diet. And that's real pressure, because it means that everything I eat then "counts". I will have fully stepped back into reality at that point.

Bingeing is like stepping out of reality for a while; like nothing you eat will actually put on any weight. That's what enables me to eat huge, ridiculous amounts of food. I am not connected to the reality of my situation or my life anymore. Only to the enjoyment of eating in that moment. And it is only momentary enjoyment. Sometimes even between items of food - say between one chocolate bar and another - I wish I could stop. I keep saying no more to myself even as I am reaching for the next thing to eat.

Getting back into exercising is even more difficult ...

So how do I get there? Sadly not because I love myself too much to hurt myself anymore. It's nothing to do with self love. I only ever manage to get back into it because I've become totally suicidal over not being able to go out, not having a life and looking so dreadful. Suicidal over having destroyed my appearance yet again ...

One motivator that has got me back on track the last few times is a man I fell in love with in 2005 (after I had split up with The Bear). I haven't seen this man in over 4 years now. I don't expect I ever shall see him again - and I really wouldn't want to looking like this!

We met on a course. There was this incredible chemistry between us, but we never spoke a word about it. We were never alone without other people there. He was married, so it was impossible. And he was far too honourable ever to do anything he shouldn't. So our feelings were silent and when the course ended we carried on our separate ways.

And I have never even fancied anyone since then, let alone fallen in love.

So the motivator is fantasising about seeing this man, reigniting the chemistry again. Fantasising about him being free to pursue a relationship.

Yet it's not really about this particular man - because I fully accept that that could never happen. It's about what he stands for; the idea of him. Because he was so perfect, and I was so amazed that someone so perfect could ever fall for someone like me; someone so imperfect.

I know some people will think it's wrong to be motivated by a man, that we should do it for our selves, because we love ourselves etc. But this is my reality, however politically incorrect it is ...

Oh God I'm itching really badly again. I'm going to have to go to bed now.

I may be going to see The Bear tomorrow so at least that is something to look forward to. But only if the weather is cold enough ...

Friday, 21 August 2009

Post Orlistat

Well I managed to break the fatty food habit for this week. I used the Orlistat method over the weekend and I've been suitably turned off fatty food. Of course it helped that the morning after the first 2 doses I woke up to an unfortunate accident with horrid orange gloop all over a sheet and the duvet I sleep on (mattress is so lumpy I sleep on top of 2 duvets). I was very glad it didn't go onto the mattress itself - at least I was able to wash away the damage - but it was a scary and disgusting way to start the day.

Luckily I only had to take it for 3 days to have the desired effect in my head. But that was traumatic enough. How people take it for months on end I have no idea. Presumably someone will (or maybe has?) invented a suitably shaped anal sanitary towel to deal with this problem. Sorry for the disgustingness of that idea!! Just being practical .... and there is a market out there for such a product ...

In my last post I talked about being unable to take the Orlistat. So what changed? Well, I reached the point where I was so distressed about the situation, about not being able to leave the house because I am so embarrassed about how much weight I have put on, about my fatness being on view to the whole world because it has been too hot here to go out without my mac on; the idea of my shame being exposed to the whole world just got too overwhelming.

And then there's my psoriasis. Every time I binge the areas of psoriasis literally burn afterwards. 6 weeks ago before I started this bingeing episode it was only on my hands and feet. Now it is all over my body and very very itchy. This is due entirely to eating rubbish. It will probably take quite a long time to calm down. And that's only if I can keep myself on the straight and narrow.

Yesterday I had an appointment and so had to go out. As I've barely been out in the last few weeks this was quite a big deal. It took me at least an hour to put together something to wear - some turned up Topshop cargo pants which I had bought the last time I was big and thought I'd never wear again (I had thought what a waste of money they were ... I wish) and a loose Monsoon silk shirt over ribbed vest top. I did the lower buttons of the shirt up to cover my large stomach but as it was thin silk I don't know how effective the disguise was!

I amazed myself by doing quite OK while I was out. I even went and did some shopping afterwards at a centre near the hospital which I usually never visit - which might sound really brave given my agoraphobia, but that was easier than using shops where I am known because at least strangers won't be looking at me and thinking how much weight I've suddenly put on.

Because I felt OK at the time I was able to do Good Shopping - rice cakes, sugar free jam, dried fruit, raspberries and strawberries, ham and turkey, fat free cottage cheese, a little salad, fat free yoghurt. And because I was calm I wasn't tempted by anything I shouldn't be buying. As I've said before, it's all in the shopping.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Bingeing hell; time to return to normal life

Just seen some research which explains why bingeing is so addictive - it creates opioids in areas of the brain linked to that behaviour (see . I have noticed that I literally get a hit from eating fatty sugary food. And that I can cut out this hit by using orlistat. It takes two to three days for this to happen but then I don't crave it anymore.

I take two or three capsules per binge or sometimes more (this is an overdose but it is only for 2 to 3 days). I break the capsules open and tap the powder out onto a spoon to take because the colouring in the capsules (bright blue) makes me feel quite ill. Also this enables the stuff to get to work straight away which means the maximum amount of fat is absorbed, which is important for this method to work.

So, knowing this, why don't I just take the orlistat? I almost did this evening after consuming a magnum double caramel, a galaxy bar, a box of Milk Tray, a box of cherry and chocolate biscuits and a packet of Party Rings. But I just couldn't do it.


I have been massively overeating, bingeing and literally eating all day long for the past 5 weeks. It's feeling really awful now. So many times I have desperate to stop. I have begged myself to stop, but just been unable.

It's like being led through life like a beast with a ring through it's nose; dragged along by my blood sugar levels, and the need for a fat hit in my brain.

But now I feel like a complete mess. I've put on loads of weight and I'm covered in horrible itchy psoriasis. So I am a wobbly blotchy itchy mess.

Everything has been subserviant to the out of control toddler (the uncontrollable Id). I've only been cleaning my teeth twice a week. I've been eating in the night, going to bed in the middle of the night, only washed my hair three times in the last five weeks. The toddler complains everytime I even have to get up out of the chair or go to the loo. Doing anything at all becomes very difficult. Apart from eating of course.

JC (Jonathan Cainer) is always right of course - my horoscope says that it's no good eating 2 meals now just because you were hungry earlier and had nothing to eat. He suggests I now move on from the recent trauma. He is so right! I need to move on from here.

I am at the stage now where it's all in the shopping. If I don't buy the food I can't eat it. Simple as that. It's just a case of being strong while I go round the supermarket and not popping out to the convenience store late a night to stock up on rubbish.

I say 'popping out' as though it's the easiest thing in the world but as a sufferer from agoraphobia it is only a very strong desire for food that would drive me out in the first place! But if I have enough good or 'safe' food in then I won't step over the threshold in any hurry.

It's definitely time to move on from here and return to normal life, rather than just sitting around eating.