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My struggle and I'm losing hope (long read)

Here we go.

For a while I've considered joining a forum of some sort to perhaps find a bit of encouragement or to feel that I'm not alone.

I was a chubby child once I reached maybe 8-9. About 2 stone (15kg) overweight by the time I was 13.

I joined Weight Watchers and successfully lost 15kg (roughly 2 stone).

But there were problems with this. No one at Weight Watchers cared about teaching a young teenager about metabolism, energy, body shapes etc. I developed bulimia and wished I could be anorexic. I once made it 5 days without food but then gave in. (which of course is good) I could not see the slimmer person in the mirror, I had developed bulimia and body dysmorphia. I am "athletically" built, meaning I have a wide frame, broad shoulders, not much of a waist. To me I was just fat still.

And due to not being taught anything other than just losing weight at WW, I soon put on all the weight again. And then some.

Since being about 16 I've tried alot of diets. LCHF (Low calorie high fat), WW, Slimming World, a form of the Atkins diet, shake meal replacement etc. You know how it goes.

My main issue is binge eating. At night. And I have a high metabolism in the morning, so even if I eat a good healthy breakfast with proteins, after 1.5 hrs I'm starving.

It calms down in the afternoon and then, boom, binge in the evening.

On top of this I have a raging sugar addiction. In my early 20's (I am 30 now) I actually went 2 years sugar free. I.e no refined sugar. No sweets, no biscuits, no soft drinks etc.

I have no idea how I did it. But during that time... I had reoccurring dreams that I ate chocolate, and in my dreams I would feel awful with guilt and failure. And I would wake up and be sooo happy it was a dream. Apparently addicts have these dreams. People who have given up smoking or other drugs.

And the feeling of no longer being imprisoned by the addiction, by the incredibly strong urges was... It was fantastic. But then I started again. People said "you'll feel really ill and won't enjoy sugar if you start it again" you know what. They were wrong. I still loved it.

Every day I plan how to get my sugar fix. Am I going to go past a shops so I can buy chocolate? Do I have anything at home? (no because I've eaten it all)

So that was like 8 years ago.

So last year a friend of mine who has studied nutrition, sports etc for years, who was asked to be one of the coaches for Biggest Loser UK (he turned it down) he sat me down to help me. Cos I got back problems and all doctors are convinced it will all go away if I lose weight. (I have MRI scan to say otherwise, but it would definitely help to lose weight)

He sat me down and explained calorie counting. He broke it down so I could understand how the body truly works and why calorie counting works. And how I HAVE TO have a "cheat day" literally just to keep my sanity so I don't fail due to constantly depriving myself stuff I want. And I was not allowed to eat less than 1100 per day so as to not send my body into starvation mode etc.

I realised that reducing calories is THE way to go. It's inclusive, it's maintainable, it doesn't deprive you completely. Because let's face it, for me personally, none of the other diets have been sustainable for me.

A side note - Weight Watchers is the reason I had gallstones as a 15 year old. Due to all the low fat products I was eating. There is so much unnatural crap in them my body couldn't get rid of so I got gallstones and I had surgery to remove my gall bladder.

So I did it. After 1.5 weeks I was literally crying because I was so hungry all the time. But as we know it takes about 2-3 weeks and then your stomach is used to it and has shrunk.

But the same old problem happens.

I do something religiously for about 2 months and then I.... Fail.

And I don't get back up on the horse because it's too hard.

It's the same story every time. So here I am. 5 foot 6, weighing about 15.7 stone (about 100kg) and I am most likely getting married in the next 1-1.5 years and I'm thinking, I don't want to be a fat bride.

But even more so because I truly hate the fat people problems I have. Especially clothing.

I've considered seeing if I can undergo gastric bypass or similar but I feel like my emotional connection to food is deeper than just shrinking my stomach.

I just feel like I will always fail.

I look at before and after photos, I see people who have successfully lost weight and look really damn good despite being in their 30's, 40's and I just feel like it will never be me. And I don't understand why I am such a failure. Why I always submit to cravings.

If you've read this far, well done.

I just needed to get this all out. And maybe get some inspiration.

Does anyone read this and think "this is exactly how I feel"?

Thank you.

47 Replies

Hi, HulkDuck, Welcome.

I am sure we can help you, with support and advice.

It was a long read - but it is so much easier to give relevant advice if we have relevant information.

TeamAdmin will give you relevant advice and links "in a minute" (if they haven't gone to bed already).

I too have had my gallbladder removed, and it does make a Low-Carbohydrate High fat diet more difficult - so I think I am on Medium-Carbohydrate, Medium Fat.

I might not look good by your standards - but I am 70 next month!


Welcome along - really nice to have you here!

I've found this forum to be full of people who will totally understand how you feel, and it has certainly made me feel less alone in trying to make some changes. I've yo-yo'd and done some extreme 'boom then bust' diets too.

Something changed for me when I started looking at my 'head stuff' and what my thinking was in relation to food. I've also started thinking in terms of years not months, along with being more mindful about what I'm eating, and actually eating enough so that I'm not starving and then I give up...Like you describe, I'd go 'all in', not realise that I was sending my body into starvation mode, then give up after a month or so because it wasn't working. Probably screwing up my metabolism along the way.

You sound like you're educated about the science/mathematics of all of this - and you have all the tools to make some lasting changes. You are enough and you CAN do this. But without a bit of self-kindness it's a really tricky road.

Re. the 'head stuff' and practicing self-kindness....I came across some really game changing ideas when I stumbled upon the 'Three Principles'. It's a really wonderful way of looking at the concept of 'thought' and how it shapes our experiences. Some books I'd recommend checking out are:



A key idea is that we are ALL born with, and retain, a natural capacity for wellbeing when we stop believing that we are our thoughts. All the stories we've told ourselves over the course of our lives, about what has happened to us and how outside events have shaped us, can obscure our ability to see this natural state of wellbeing, but it's always there and can always be re-discovered. Which is why I KNOW that you can do this!

It sounds properly 'far out' but I think it's a really cool way to see ourselves and other people. And I honestly think it's why I'm doing better this time round.

I really hope it might help you too and even if the books aren't for you, there is an amazing amount of support here that you can tap into whenever you need it xx


I especially like that bit Teagirl... in that we can end up being obscured from seeing our natural state of well being.


Thank you so much for this! I haven't been into the links yet, but am very interested.

As I replied to someone else below, I absolutely believe so much comes down to my faulty thinking pattern. I have depressions and anxiety and when I started CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) I truly understood how faulty my thinking is and how I believe what I think/feel and this is a massive part of why i eat the way I do etc.

I will get back to you again after reading the stuff you linked!

Thank you again!

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Ah, no worries at all - I hope some of it helps, and I'm sure you really can do this xx


Brilliant response 👍 Going to check out these books and resources. Really interesting

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Thanks HappyBeee - I know I sound a bit like I've joined a cult, but having a chance to explore those principles changed everything for me. I'm not saying I'm all 'zen' everyday (far from it!) but it certainly helps. Hope you find it interesting! xx

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Hello and welcome to the forum you will find it very supporting and helpful and people are using different methods for loosing weight its finding the right one for you. I followed the NHS 12 week weight loss plan which is more of a way to help you change your lifestyle and attitude to loosing weight. I have always had a mental block with the word diet- always has a negative feeling about it, restriction on what you can eat when calorie counting you can still eat food you like but smaller portions. The generic allowance is 1400/day for women, but there is a BMI calculator which works out your lower and upper range for daily allowance based on your age, gender, current weight/height and level of activity. Its recommended to go mid range- nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-we... You don't want to eat too little as your friend said your body goes in starvation mode but also if you feel hungry you are more tempted to eat rubbish- me it is crisps, whilst yours is sugar! Some people keep a diary to document what they eat but also their emotions and events surrounding the meals, to try and gain an understanding what drives them to snack.

You know what you do when you plan to eat sugar- routes with shops on, why not plan routes that don't have shops on it? I did this when one day I had a craving for crisps- I knew if I went my normal route where there are 5 corner shops either en route or very close, I would give in a pop into one of the shops, so I went a longer route which meant I only passed 1 shop and stayed on the opposite side of the road. There was also the added bonus of increasing my exercise so a win:win:)

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Thank you for this ! I will definitely check out the NHS 12 week plan. Perhaps I can convince my boyfriend to do it who is casually doing the 5:2 diet! He is not really overweight, only has a little belly he'd like to get rid of, and would be good to support each other even though we don't live together.

Thank you for your advice, I will have a look at the link and will hopefully get to know people here a bit better also.


Hi and welcome, HulkDuck :)

I can empathise in a small way with you, because I felt the same hopeless failure that you did, for over 40 years. I thought I was weak-willed and wished I had the strength of character to become anorexic!! How sad that we have to feel like that for so long, before learning the truth. Here's my story, if you're interested healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

Oh, and by the way, I've had my gallbladder removed too and it has no effect on eating fat. LCHF is a misnomer, it should be called healthy eating and the current guidelines referred to as ECIF (Excessive Carbs, Insufficient Fat)

I'm going to disabuse your notions again, by saying that for you, calorie counting probably won't work and 'cheat' days will put you back on the starting blocks every week. Our bodies have no notion of calories, that's just a scientific term for how food burns in a lab. All calories are not made equal and our bodies will deal with 100 cals of broccoli far differently to 100 cals of doughnut, or 100 cals of fat. By counting calories, you are actively encouraged to eat the foods that do the most harm - carbohydrates, and turn away from the foods that do the least harm - fats, purely because of the number of calories they contain. Have a look at this

You've mentioned addiction, so I shall give you this to think about. Does anyone say to an alcoholic, or a smoker, "Oh it's OK, you can drink/smoke on a Friday", then expect them to get back on the wagon with no difficulty?

I cannot follow the 'little of what you fancy' mantra, because it turns into a lot of what I fancy and puts me at the mercy of those foods and utterly miserable and I would guess that you're the same! You need to heal your body first, then concern yourself with weight loss, although that will probably happen as a happy side-effect

Sorry, my reply is even longer than your post! :o

Follow this link to our chat thread and a list of all the activities we run. We've found active participation to be key to success, especially with our weigh-ins and Daily Diary.


To make navigating the forum easier, we've put all the information you'll need in a newbie pack and here's the link


Please take the time to read it carefully, so that you're able to enjoy everything that we have on offer.

We ask that you also read this important information about internet privacy and security.


Wishing you all the best :)


My OH had her gallbladder removed before we ever met, so that's over 20 years ago. Her diet (for want of a better word) has always tended to be cream and cheese oriented without any issues.


Cheese oriented hehe I am definitely cheese oriented too

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Hi moreless, thank you for taking the time to respond and to send me helpful videos and links.

I wanted to first clarify to you and some others that removing my gallbladder did not affect be negatively when eating high fat (LCHF) in fact, the LCHF diet within weeks got rid of a couple of health issues I had, one being my excessive production of acids, causing severe stomach cramps if I didn't eat every few hours and I could never eat anything acidic on it's own.

Anyway, on the matter of counting calories. I understand that it is quite simplistic and could be even harmful. I could eat 3-5 varied, healthy meals per day, or 1 large chocolate bar for the same amount of calories, but obviously the chocolate bar is going to do nothing good for my body, short term or long term.

And my friend who helped explain did say that at first, it's kind of getting into the grove of counting calories, but the next step is choosing the calories according to what MY body needs. As well as looking at when and how to eat.

So I'm not thinking simply counting the calories is going to work wonders without the next steps, also including exercise. I realised I lost inches quicker when I did High Intensity Interval Training in the morning before breakfast, for example.

But i am also not a physician, nutritionist, etc so I'm not saying the video is "wrong" or anything like that. I am interested in hearing what is suggested instead. Taking into account I believe we are all unique bodies and react different to different methods.

I have not yet watched the 10 min video but will do.

And like you, I absolutely can't do only a little of something. I am a very all or nothing person.

I did find it very interesting what you said about not being able to tell a smoker or drug addict that they can smoke/take drugs once a week and be expected to get back on the wagon after. That's something I need to consider.

Thank you again. And I'm looking forward to reading your story.


I was about to compose a reply HulkDuck k but moreless has said it all and more! I've definitely struggled with failures and disasters and have felt a lot of self hatred for it all.. So I can relate to your story a lot! Right down to the disordered eating in my teens! In terms of WHAT to eat and WHEN to eat I agree with moreless and the content of the videos here, based on a LOT of research into it all, and my own personal experience. That said, we all have to do things our own way and I know I lost my first 2 stones counting cals and striving for balance and good nutrition. Whatever changes you can make to include more fresh whole foods can only be positive.. And that will happen if you cinch carbs or if you focus on cals alone regardless... Just steer clear of processed diet foods if you can. I know their appeal first hand but I do hold the opinion that they hold you back in the long run!

In terms of how to get past the rollercoaster of triumph and failure, that's a topic we could all talk into oblivion because most of us will still feel highs and lows on the weightloss journey - be that junk food slips vs losses or be that feats of willpower vs days of zero motivation.. To soften the peaks and troughs, I reckon the first order of action is simply dropping the idea of being on a diet. Decide now that this is a process that will take years and be OK with that. Decide now that the changes you're bringing in are forever not just for short term results. If you are clear on that and just making the changes you are happy to keep forever, you will keep going forward because you will keep readopting the positive habit.. Small changes for the better, added slowly and comfortably will stick much stronger.

So, if you overeat some weekend or miss your walk to work all week, you won't need to feel like a failure, because you'll just add the positive things back in gently, - I think this part is key to permanent change: make this a longterm lifestyle and not a diet you can fail at.

Stick with us, get the support and guidance of your forum friends and we will all get there together.

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Hi again moreless,

I wanted to mention actually that I have just watched the 10minute video about weightloss failures.. And to be honest I was a bit disappointed. It was a video with basically a guy saying he has made mistakes and not done his homework for the first book he wrote, to then proceed to give "advice" with no data to back it up. And I lost all faith in him when he said he went into a "deep depression" when one client didn't lose weight instantly after following his advice.

Some of the stuff he said I agreed with, because I know the theory is supported, but a couple of things felt taken from thin air. I know he said to begin with that we need to imagine the person having a slow metabolism. But he still managed to categorise every single person and saying this advice suits them.

This is exactly one of the reason so many people end up in yo-yo diets and mess up their metabolism completely. Constant changing opinions of what is good/bad for you. And some make it so convincing, you think it all makes sense, but then the next theory comes along, and that all makes sense and sounds like sound advice.

I believe you have to do your own research and really look at your own situation and body, Yes, many times it will be trial and error. But you only have one body to try to take care of, yours.


Morning HulkDuck and welcome.

You've already made a fantastic step by coming here and explaining everything you've been through. Additionally S11m, Teagirl and RG have also given you a lot of useful advice.

You mention that for the first couple of months you have the strength to follow a plan with a kind of religious fervour. May I suggest that 'this time around', you take that focus and do two things...

- concentrate on the NHS 12 week plan. It's not a diet but a way of eating sensibly (normally) and without starving yourself. Eating in a way that makes us feel sated is the order of the day and starving ourselves is not on the menu (so to speak :) ).

- use this forum daily (or more) and make it a part of your life. Eating and healthy living is a big part of our lives and this forum is all about eating and being healthy, providing 24*7 support. This forum isn't a faceless entity but full of caring, friendly and knowledgeable people who only care that you do well :)

There's a good chance of information overload but when an administrator responds (EDIT: I see moreless has already responded :) ), do take the time to read all they post and follow the links that they supply.

Wishing you all the best and hope to see you here regularly.

Good luck! :)


Hi Tiggerr,

Thank you for taking the time to read my long post and responding.

I was quite overwhelmed (in a good way) to all the response I had and I have already felt a bit more ready to take this on. I still have several links to read and videos to watch. I look forward to getting to know people better.

Thank you


Good luck with it all HulkDuck and if it gets at all confusing or you have any questions then do ask. You'll always find helpful, caring people ready to help you out.

I'm just off to Wednesday's Daily Diary to work out and write down what I'm going to eat today.

Like I said in my own rather long reply :) stay tuned regularly, see if you can join in any of the challenges (there's one that starts this Friday), read the posts and replies and you will definitely get to know the people here better.

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Maybe you could use a therapist to help you emotionally with your struggle as you try to reach your goal. Accountability for you & to keep you on track as you emotionally cope. It’s not crazy anything you’re saying or doing it’s human. I have my own struggles I smoke despite I have acid refkux so bad it’s stress.

It’s true giving up sugar is huge. It’s a tough one. You pretty much have to teach yourself to like not so great sweets that you make in your own. Bake and freeze. I made stuff with rice flower and agave cookies and mini chic brownies not so great but I taught myself to like them. I have discipline issues right now all through my life right now. So it’s hard. Wish was like old me again. If you cook for yourself plan out meals for the week not just a day or two. Eat again in 1.5 hrs after breakfast cheese & crackers. At snack time have apple and granola for crunch. Lunch chicken salad with cranberries lettuce and nuts and make your own dressing keeps a week to make balsamic dressing. Supper brown rice roasted not creamed meat and any veg. For snack make some nachos without cheese or small bag of plain chips or cantaloupe. Keep yourself busy and exercise in a way you like. Walk each day half hour at least go to gym lift some weights get mad there weights rock they are great fir getting frustration out.


I would suggest that if you eat three full meals, with the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate, you wouldn't be needing any of these "snacks". We do ourselves no favours by constantly topping up with food. Let's get back to our parents' and grandparents' practice of eating three meals, at the table, with nothing in between.

You might find this interesting




Thanks for your response.

I would like to say tho that I think it's very individual what works best for a person. Some people have a metabolism which works like a fire - it needs to be kept burning by adding "logs" to the fire on a regular basis, and if there's too much time in between meals.

Whilst others have a much more slow burning metabolism that works well with only 3 meals per day.

And through alot of yo-yo dieting I have realised I need frequent small meals. This is also due to my issue with binge eating. If I get too hungry, I will throw all limits out the window and pig out. But this is how it works for me personally.


Hi HulkDuck welcome to the forum & tons of good advice here 😊💜😊 but I just wanted to say, in response to where you have mentioned anxiety & depression, I believe that poisitivity breeds positivity, so once you get your head into a positive state it will get easier to keep it there 😊 Good luck 💜


I am a bit confused here as I always thought that it is either 3 meals a day of 5 meals a day. I would have 3 meals but do tend to eat fruits as snacks. I am a very small eater. I use a small plate as my size portion.


I know you replied to BridgeGirl, but if I may put a little note here.

I think it's important to listen to your body, your needs. As in, if you are a small eater, then why force yourself to 3 larger meals?

If 5 smaller ones work for you, then absolutely stay with it.

May i ask if you are trying to lose weight?


Thanks so much for replying! Yes I have read your above post and I am so glad that I am not the only one who has to eat small meals.

I am desperate to loose weight. I need to loose 3 stones. I am going to start very seriously after our holidays. I will be using points and writing it down.


Sure you can do that. But if you like to eat .. eat less but more often. Easier for body to digest. And if you have anxiety food is good for that in small ongoing portions. Which she has.


Hi, thank you so much for your reply and advice! And you are spot on! I suffer severe depression and anxiety so alot of my issues is my own faulty way of thinking.

I am currently in the process of trying to get therapy via the NHS again, as I have only had 6 sessions of CBT which sadly isn't enough for me.

Good advice on the food also, when I did LCHF I used Stevia and learnt to like low sugar bakes etc, I really appreciate the time you took to read my story and reply to it with so much advice!


I get it. You get run down. Start each day with guided meditation online for self worth or panic. Start in the beginning


HulkDuck I am a very firm believer of therapists in order to help with emotional eating as that is exactly my issues plus using this forum is a huge source of support.Yes a therapist is excellent. Well mine is anyway, she has helped me tons with weight loss unfortunately I had other issues and that is why I gained it all back and now I am on the correct path to loosing weight again.


Good to hear the positive stuff about therapists! I have had a couple of not so great experiences with therapists regarding weightloss, but it doesn't deter me as there are many variations of therapy and therapists and I seem to respond well to CBT.

Well done for keeping up the fight to lose the weight again.

I am sadly stuck in (which I have been for years) thinking that I will always fail, I will never lose weight and keep it off. It certainly doesnt help to think that way and it's easier said than done to remove those thoughts.


I am seeing a therapist for infertility and she helped me out with weightless as I gained tons of weight when I was on infertility treatment. Than I realised that I will never have another one, so therefore I gained. I am very grateful for the one that I do have. To be very honest with you I agree with you some of these therapists are just not good as I myself have gone to others but was very unsuccessful except for this one. I have known her for 14 years and I literally feel that she is my life saviour. I only want to live because of her.

What does CBT stand for?

Like you say everyone is different.


Oh wow, Heavy stuff you've been through!

So glad to hear you found someone who helped.

CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy,

it works on fixing the faulty thought you have. You learn to develop tools to challenge wrong thinking. For example, a friend of mine got engaged last year and altho I was so happy for her I couldn't help but to think that I will never find a man who will want to be with me, marry me. My last relationship ended and I don't deserve, nor am I good enough to ever find lasting love. and I was literally thinking this whilst I have a wonderful boyfriend who is committed to our relationships.

What CBT does here (and please note this is a veeery simplistic form of it) it teaches me to challenge this thought. So how can I predict the future that I will never find anyone? And how am I possibly such an awful unlovable person that no one will love me? Is it not more reasonable to think that yes, my last serious relationship ended, but it was good because he was not always good to me. Do I not have friends who love me and have been my friends for years, doesn't that say something about me being worthy and lovable? So it's challenging the negative thoughts, reasoning with skills and tools you learn (I have alot to learn still) and as you continue to learn and develop these tools, you will eventually, through hard work, fix these thought and think much more rationally. I hope this makes a little bit of sense. Check out Dr David Burns. He wrote a book in the 80's which has spearheaded this type of therapy and he has a podcast on Spotify. The book is called "Feeling Good, The new mood therapy" and it's STILL used by therapist all over the world.


CBT that is exactly what my therapist goes on about! :) I just never knew CBT she calls it Cognitive behaviour Therapy. At the moment we are dealing with. :)


Ahaa! So all my drivel was unnecessary :P I hope it works for you!


I am so sorry in case I have hurt you as I had no intentions.

Anyways I personally believe that this is the only way that works. It is such a slow process. Some of this stuff that you said like 'I am no good at' is exactly how I talk.


Oh no no! I haven't reacted negatively to anything that has been said! Really grateful for all the replies


Do you know, you are not the first person who tells me that I am not negative. I have to learn that people are supper nice. I have this chip on my shoulder that I am horrid. My therapists goes mad but one day we will be able to sort it out. Hopefully very soon! :)


Hi, I can relate to what you said as although I hadn't as much weight to lose my main problem was binge eating usually after a bad day or something or someone had upset me. I've maintained my weight loss for two years now but feel the binge problem is not completely over and is sometimes just lurking in the background . Now if I feel tempted I put on my walking shoes and get out and about and this helps me to focus . I wish you well on your journey and this forum will give you the help, support and any advice you may need


Thank you Blimp, this is definitely advice I need to heed.

I unfortunately had to sell my professional spinning bike which was a great source of exercise.

Instead I need to learn to enjoy walking for the sake of walking :)


You might end up loving to walk as i hated exercise and now I love running, walking. :) Go out there in the sun for a nice long walk along the river. This is what I like. I especially love hills. :) Sometimes I specially go to a further shop just so that I shall get the walk.


That's such good advice, I love walking the canal near home it's so peaceful. You do sound to have a similar thought pattern to me as I also go to shops further away and get off the train a station before mine just to fit some steps in 😃 where theres a will theres a way as the saying goes. Keep up the good work .

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I grew up on a farm in Sweden, forests in all 4 directions. I now live in London. Concrete in all 4 directions. I really struggle to enjoy walking if I don't have nice surroundings (bohoo me, right? hahaha) and neither do I have a car, so it takes alot of willpower for me to get out walking with no parks in walking distance.

I work at a Deli, so I am on my feet all day long. Hard to get motivated when I come home. I really want to do pilates again as I really like it.


Go for Pilates as you like it! :)



I found your post fascinating as this is me!

I too had to have my gallbladder removed and didn’t understand why. I am 43 now and had bowel cancer at 32, I had a third of my bowel removed and it scares me to imagine going through that again. You would think that would be enough to motivate me to loose weight and cut down on the chocolate, but it hasn’t, I too am an addict and I feel like a failure.

Thank you for sharing

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Hi and welcome, Pamanths :)

I hope you'll follow all the links and watch the videos I've given HulkDuck and will become an active member of our community :)

Wishing you all the best :)


Hi! Thank you for sharing! I am so sorry to hear what you have gone through, and I totally get it! My mother had adult onset diabetes, and one of my aunties has possible type 1, so it runs in my family, and yet it's not enough to halt my sugar addiction, which is so sad!

I get tested at least once a year to see if I have diabetes, so far I haven't but that certainly doesn't mean I'm out of the woods.


First of all - keep hoping. And what a lovely honest open post - thank you for trusting the forum with your story. IMHO you’ve been through a sh1tload of mental pain because of a skewed image of perfection, instilled at a sensitive time in your brain development and psyche. I suffered similar, as a result of Slimming World as a teenager in the 70’s. Maurine would read out your name and weight loss to the class and if you’d gained there was a pig squeeked at you in front of everyone 🙄

There is a whole load of things to unpick over your lifetime so far. I have some experience with BED myself - although not bulimia, specifically, I’ve had bulimic thoughts. I am also friends with an anorexic lady who specialises in trauma and I have studied neuroscience and behaviour.

It strikes me that food is now a massive source of anxiety for you. You were probably onto something with your feelings diary. But what is holding you back, perhaps, is the all-or-nothing thinking. This idea of ‘failure’.... that you, personally, have failed because you ate something. That is not true. You are actually massively strong of spirit, not a failure, because you have been knocked on your backside and you’ve gotten back up; time and time and time again - with the gloves raised ready to fight on. Society put you in the boxing ring and WW put your gloves on and taught you to jab and uppercut....

But maybe the way to avoid being knocked down is to stop the mental battle with your body and with food, and what it has come to symbolise to you - your health your happiness, your feeling of self-worth, and even your wedding. You give it too much power. Too much of a hold over you. It’s just food. Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, a few mineral elements... just wizzed up into different forms.

I don’t mean you stop trying to be healthy. What I mean is, it is time to see this ‘monster’ for what it is, a bundle of chemical compounds and a whole load of beliefs you have, and change the game.

CBT helped me (through my GP) but my depression and anxiety were not too severe, so I could go along with the therapists behaviour steps without triggering fear. My trauma-suffering friend thinks CBT is the wrong tool for trauma - and she advocates a trauma-informed approach where CBT feels impossible to the individual.

I am not an expert like my friend but, from what I understand, the idea is you don’t specifically face the ‘thing’ head on. You work on developing feelings of safety and positive calm through other behaviour / hobbies and routine. This, in turn, boosts your confidence and self-esteem and gives you coping mechanisms when anxiety strikes. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you may be triggered occasionally, but over time the binges should reduce in severity and cause less anxiety.

I have also found practicing a daily attitude of gratitude and ‘Happiness’ helps me see life beyond food (see HealthyTanja posts on this forum each day) I started that after CBT and I have used it as a maintenance behaviour rather than a recovery tool, personally. Perhaps others have used it with, or before CBT - I can’t offer further insight.

The other thing that helped me, as a direct result of my therapy, was running (and I was NOT a runner before Couch to 5k!!). But even if running isn’t for you, anything outdoors and active, in the fresh air, boosts serotonin levels in the front part of your brain. That equips you with mental brake pads on the emotional centres and habit centres, that create that out of control feeling. It isn’t your fault if you flick into autopilot and can not control your response. It’s a perfectly natural survival mechanism.

Maybe speak with the GP about trauma therapy rather than gastric bypass?

For now though, you should tell yourself that you ARE enough. Your body is your friend, not something to ‘fix’. It’s helped you to have some amazing experiences for 30 years. It will serve you just as long again if you start to love it, nourish it, and thank it for getting you this far in life.

Best of luck - I hope you find your peace. 🤗


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