So… why surgery? Part Three – The swimming pool

I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction from my mum and family. The next day she was there and I was taken to the nearest gym and put in front of a personal trainer. I won’t go into that in any huge detail but I couldn’t have asked for a better trainer than Jo and over the next year I lost 6.5 stone. My confidence started coming back and I started seeing a future even though my self esteem was still in tatters. I ended things with G, and though we were amicable and stayed living together as friends for a time things eventually took a sour turn and I asked him to move out realising that with a full time and a part time job I could make ends meet in the flat on my own. By this time, I was working a full-time shift work job and a part time job around that. I also at that point made the decision I didn’t want to stay in my full time job forever, so I decided to retrain as a therapist.

The next 2 years went by in a blur, I was losing weight, trying to study, manage a placement, a full-time job and a part time job as well as a long-distance relationship which crashed and burned again knocking my self esteem after around 2 years. This is when things changed around my eating again. before when I was upset, I would eat my feelings, now when I was upset, I couldn’t eat at all finding myself wanting to throw up as soon as I was unhappy.

In 2011 I decided to have cosmetic surgery, I had lost a lot of weight and I decided to have liposuction from my lower legs and a breast uplift and implants as they had lost a lot of shape and volume due to the weight loss, I won’t go into detail about that as that’s a post for another time perhaps…

After surgery things seemed to get better and I felt much more confident. The next few years became a bit of a blur including moving back to Hertfordshire to my family. Saving up to buy a house, moving to Portsmouth for work for 2 years and then to Bedfordshire. I’ve skimmed over it as apart from life’s normal ups and downs there was nothing really to report. Slowly, slowly every year my weight crept up though… just by ½ a stone every year. I went from diet to diet, personal trainer to personal trainer (I think I have had 5 in total now) however, I realised that I never really stopped binge eating. It became less and less frequent but enough to mean that every year I was gaining more and more. I tried diets, every diet under the sun, I tried telling myself I would like running (I still hate it), I had therapy, years of therapy to understand why but could never stop. I tried hypnosis, even pouring bleach over food and putting it in the bin to stop me going back to eat it.

Eventually I just stopped trying and I realised the problem was bigger than me. I tried being okay with my weight but even now the first thing I think of was when I walk into a room of people is ‘Am I the fattest one here’. What really impacted me was last year when myself and my partner and his family had booked to go to Center Parcs with his children. They are huge water babies and I knew they would want to spend the whole time in the pool. I’ve not worn a swimming costume since I was 16 and the very idea of that made me want to burst into tears. I think trying to explain that to my partner made him realise too how big this demon is for me.

The short story is I went (and I compromised by wearing a swim dress) there are still no photos of me from that holiday but there are from earlier in the year when we went away to Egypt together. I still haven’t shown them to anyone. I came back from that holiday determined to make a change.

I booked 60 sessions with a PT focusing on weight lifting to lose weight. Again, I faltered. I found myself avoiding sessions and making excuses, I was disappointed in myself and I was disappointed to let Steph down. Eventually I was honest with her and I just burst into tears. She was caring and supportive and to this day I count her a friend, but still the issue with my weight and binging didn’t change, until I finally thought about the option of surgery.

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