Some things are hard to talk about. Pocrescophobia

I’ve been struggling with something for a while and I’m not actually sure I feel comfortable talking about it, but there may be someone else out there struggling with the same thing who needs to know they aren’t alone.   I have an intense fear of gaining weight.

*****this post talks about eating disorders, this may be a trigger for some of you, please take care of yourself and read (or not) accordingly*********

As many of you may know, I lost 45 pounds in 2017.  This is something I have been trying to do for a long time.  I gained a lot of weight when I first got sick, on top of losing my independence, suddenly my body no longer felt like mine.  I weighed 225 pounds at my heaviest, and I didn’t recognize myself.  (I’m barely 5’5″ tall)  A few years ago I found out that I have Fructose Malabsorption and went on the appropriate diet to help with that, and at that time I lost 45 pounds, and kept it off.  However, I was not happy with my weight.  I was still overweight and it ate at my self esteem.  I tried and tried to lose weight over the last few years, but it just didn’t come off.  I had my yearly physical last year on December 30th, and at that time I weighed 182 pounds.  I was determined to lose weight, but I really wasn’t sure I could do it, and I was ashamed that I hadn’t been able to do it before.  Then I was put on a medication for my migraines that reduced my appetite.  Suddenly I was able eat much less and not feel hungry.  (Normally I feel hungry often.)  I lost weight, it came off slowly, but it steadily came off.  By the time I had my yearly physical last month I weighed 140 pounds.  (140 lbs at the doctor’s office, at home I weighed 135lbs)  The medication stopped curbing my appetite, now I’m fighting hard not to gain all that weight back.  I was able to bake for the holidays this year for the first time in many years, but I didn’t just bake, I ate, and I have been terrified that I’m going to gain….and gain…and gain, yet I can’t seem to stop eating.  I’ve gained about 5 pounds.  I know how quickly those 5 pounds could turn into 80+ pounds, and I’m desperate to not let that happen.  So many people will say that 5 pounds is nothing when you gain weight, they tell you not to worry about it, it’s really not that much, but those same people will tell you how great it is when you lose 5 pounds, how that’s a lot of weight to loose….  How can both of these be true?

When I lost the weight this year I found myself in love with my body for the first time since I can remember, if I ever felt that way at all.  I accepted that this body was not as I wished it would be.  Let’s face it, a 54 year old’s skin doesn’t really shrink back when you lose weight, but I was happy with what I saw, I loved all of me, saggy skin, cellulite, and all.  However, even though I felt that way, I was still terrified of gaining the weight back.  At one point, I went to the grocery store and started to buy some gluten free flat bread to make a pizza with, when I saw the amount of calories it had per serving I broke down in tears.  I was paralyzed with fear.  I simply stood there and cried.

Now, I see myself as fat.  I can see that I’ve lost weight, but I also see where I’ve gained some, and how much more I need to lose.  (10 pounds seems to be as hard to lose as 50)  I see photos of me and I think I look pretty good, then I look in the mirror and know that isn’t true; it takes a lot of effort to look good for the photos, on a day to day basis, I don’t look like that.  I look down at my body when I’m sitting in the living room and I’m appalled by the rolls of fat on my stomach, the bulges I feel under my arms, (back fat is not attractive), and the drooping of my breast.

I feel better since I’ve lost the weight.  I can get up from the floor easily.  I can walk further than before.  I go out with more confidence (most days).  I love wearing smaller sizes.  I think I look good…..sometimes.  Other times…well I covered that haven’t I?

I’m scared.  I’m terrified of gaining weight.  This is an intense fear, yet I can’t seem to stop eating.  I’m hungry all the time.  I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food for a very long time, my whole life really, I don’t want to go into detail about my past, but I need to let you know this isn’t the first time I’ve struggled.  Now it is even more confusing.  My weight seems to always be in a state of flux.  Since I was able to keep most of the 45 pounds I lost, I was encouraged that I would be able to this time, I’m afraid that isn’t the case.  I’m afraid I will need to track every thing I eat to make sure I don’t over eat or under eat.  I’m afraid I’ll need to exercise as much as possible in order to keep the weight off, but that is physically impossible because of my health, and I hate myself because of it.  I’m afraid I’ll fail and the weight will come back.

I’ve been trying hard to not eat as much, and to eat nutritionally dense foods; this hasn’t happened, instead I’ve been going overboard on sweets and cereal, and I beat myself up over it.  The guilt and fear is so great that I have tried many times to make myself throw up. (I can put my finger all the way down my throat and not throw up.)  If I could just get it out when I eat too much, I know I would feel better, I would be back in control.  No, it wouldn’t take away the guilt (I’m sure it would cause more guilt), but the fear is stronger than the guilt.  I’ve exercised to the point of absolute exhaustion (not regularly).  I have taken laxatives when I feel I’ve over eaten (not often, but I have).  I suffer from chronic constipation and get obsessed with how much that makes me weigh (how much extra weight is in me), laxatives help.  I try hard not to have them in the house, so I won’t abuse them.  I’ve actually been happy when I’ve had intestinal distress, because it’s a sure way to lose weight.  I’ve wanted surgery to make me look better.  These actions and thoughts scare me.

I will work on these things.  I may go back into therapy, but first I am going to try to deal with it on my own.  As many of you know I can’t drive because of the sudden attacks of vertigo I have, this makes it very difficult to get to therapy sessions.  Stuart has to juggle his work schedule to drive me places so we try to keep my appointments to one a week, two at the most; if I have therapy every week how can I go to any other appointments?  I just want to handle this by myself if possible.

I don’t think I have a full fledged eating disorder, yet.  I do not avoid meals.  I eat when I’m hungry, even if I feel I shouldn’t be hungry.  I have not been tracking every calorie I put in my mouth. However, I do plan to, to make sure I’m not over or under eating, and I will admit, to loose a few pounds.  I’m not avoiding foods, I do plan to cut sugar out of my diet for a while, but that’s not a bad thing, right?).  I normally do not eat so much that others would find it unusual. (however, I feel it is)  I do not purge, but I do admit, sometimes I would if I could.  I have a lot of fears and I can see that my actions have been changing because of these fears.

I have Pocrescophobia (the fear of gaining weight); I know this fear could lead to serious health issues, I know it is causing extreme anxiety for me, and I know it is hurting the people who care about me.  I will get a handle on it, if I can’t do it alone, I will start seeing a therapist and talk to my doctor.  (I promise)  Right now, I’m simply trying to be open and honest about this.  I’m asking you to not judge, or worry about me, I simply ask you to be witness to my fear and support me while I deal with this.

I do wonder how many people who have a chronic illness struggle with these feelings.

For further information, or help, I’ve listed a few organizations that deal with eating disorders:

 

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19 thoughts on “Some things are hard to talk about. Pocrescophobia

  1. Oh Wendy! I have the same issues! I cant seem to lose a pound! and need to drop 40. I used to work out all the time due to the job loss. I lost my gym membership. It is so hard when you have a chronic illness and I have food allergies on top of it! I am going to start again Jan1 with walking and seeing a nutritionist. I drink a lot of water, however I have to balance that due to the other issues. I live with my mother who is constantly throwing away my food because she thinks it is rotten so that is really hard to deal with her issues. I stopped eating most processed foods and used my fitness pal and that didnt really help either. I am not sure what to do myself? The Chef I work for Part time says to eat in color. I will share her book when it comes out next month. We all struggle and part of it is not being active enough and that is due to chronic illness espcially for you. Please do not be so hard on yourself!!! Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love and hugs to you. Weight and pounds have been my constant struggle since I was little, and it doesn’t help that my father used to work with models and make remarks about my appearance constantly. I understand, at least to some extent. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can overcome this fear. That is all it is, really. I have and continue to struggle with my weight to the point of having had weight loss surgery… nothing but trouble after that, additional health concerns. You are so very aware; over eating and under eating. And seeking out resources. If you need to contact a counselor, I from time to time need a mental health checkup! Go to Better Help on the web. You get linked with a real live counselor! And for $45. A month for unlimited sessions… it’s a great resource! You have a special chat room you sign in to and send messages back and forth. Check it out. No driving or waiting required! I’ll be thinking about you, sending you all my best!~Kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Kim!! I was gong to ask you where you went for online therapy. I was nervous because I can’t talk on the phone, but a private chat room would work.
      Thank you again!!
      Now I’m off to read that email yu sent. Talk soon ♡♡ wen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay Wen! Yes, it was a very good experience for me. I do not think if you are in crisis this would be the way to go. But attempting to figure out a few things, this online resource is a godsend for the chronically ill! No driving, no appointment wait times, reasonable price… all good!

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  4. Such an honest, heartfelt post, thank you for sharing. I think you have done a wonderful job with this post and it’s so important because eating disorders and the anxiety (such as with the fear of gaining weight) can be so pervasive, so overwhelming and yet incredibly hard to talk about because unless you’ve been there I don’t think you can really understand. I have had eating disorders, and still struggle with what I guess you could say are disordered thoughts more than anything, even with chronic illness and even with a stoma. It’s not something that goes away, and it can be very isolating. Figuring out what’s going on and why, accepting you have the issues you do, is huge. You’re not alone and it’s great you’ve let others know they’re not either. Just wanted to send a hug your way. I’m always here if ever you want to talk, just drop me an email.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so sweet. It took me days….weeks…to write that post.
      It is hard to talk about, and I wasn’t sure how it would be received.
      Thank you for your kind words and your support. You just might hear from me. I’m here for you too, just holler. ♡♡

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First, you are incredibly brave for putting this out there! It’s terrifying how tempting it is to hide in the shadows with our doubt and self loathing, isn’t it?
    I absolutely get this! Add a thyroid autoimmune issue and an incredibly hard pregnancy to hip dysplasia and a cruel ortho doc that snarled at me that I needed to lose “as much weight as I can” and you have somebody that drove herself crazy for years to lose 50 pounds and get down to the bare minimum for my height and build.
    We fight hard enough to just exist sometimes. How cruel is it to fight with our bodies on top of the illnesses because society pushes female bodies? gentle hugs I get it. I fight many of the same battles. I love when we can support each other!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for your support, it means so much to me.
    I too have hip dysplasia, it’s minor they say, ummm, sure it is. The other hip I had replaced in 2015 because of Avascular Necrosis. I’m trying to strengthen them…but golly it hurts.
    I have food intolerances and allergies that can cause me to blow up, that happened tonight. I look at least 7 months pregnant. That really is not helping my psyche.
    I saw my psychiatrist today, she is very glad I’m talking about it, but she would like for me to start seeing my therapist again. I can’t right now, I’m in PT for my back 2 days a week, I’m not going to have Stuart take vacation hours to take me to therapy….talk about guilt.
    She says it’s a bit OCD for me, I’m obsessing about food and stuff ….ya know.
    I’m logging the food I eat to make sure I’m not let eating too little or too much. I’m riding the exercise bike a lot, but trying to keep it to an hour a day or less. I’m cutting out almost all sugar for a while, I think that it’s causing me to have severe cravings, and I’m trying to eat more nutrient packed food. I think if I eat better I’ll be less stressed about it.
    Do you have any advice?
    Again, thank you so much for supporting me, it truly means a lot.
    I’m here for you always. ♡

    Like

  7. Dear Wendy. You are so honest in your posts, and this one is one of the most honest and open ones I’ve read. I know that you will be helping people, just by writing about true, honest feelings and struggles. You are definitely not alone in these feelings. You asked for us not to judge you or worry about you – I would never judge you, and I will try not to worry. ..
    I hope you will work out the best way for you to feel happy with yourself, and as healthy as is possible.
    Sending you my love and thoughts as always.
    On another note, I wish you all the best for a healthy and happy new year.
    Take care my friend
    Carly

    Like

    • Thank you Carly, the support I’m feeling from friends like you helps.
      I think talking about it is important. I will try to share how I’m coping with this along the way. I promise I’m not going to hide, and I will work hard to help myself. Trying to be gentle with myself. I sincerely appreciate your support and encouragement.
      I hope the new year brings you much joy, and gives you more answers and help with your journey.
      {{Hugs}}

      Like

  8. I am proud of you for talking about this. Folks tend to think of this as a younger woman’s problem. I can attest to the fact it’s not.
    I now have a name for what I go through too.
    You know of my struggles with weight and body image.
    Perhaps we can form an online mutual support group?
    Wishing you all the best with this. You are a warrior princess. You can do this. Keep talking and believing and being kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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