Now let me preface this post by saying I have no idea why Mr. George Clooney made a cameo in my nightmare last night and I don’t believe he holds the views he expressed in my nightmare. I’ve not been an excessive fan of his and actually not given this actor much thought other than enjoyed movies of his in the past, so his appearance was 100% happenstance in my opinion.
Now on to the meat of the nightmare and then my tale about my years of food addiction.
I went over 5 years without dreaming until the past few months, in which now when I dream, they are ones in which I consider them nightmares because I’ll wake up crying or upset with my heart racing. Many I feel are PTSD related but that’s another story.
The dream started off rather mundane. I was in perhaps a resort town area, though maybe it was local because my former employee and now friend was there. It was very dream like because she was there but not, if you know what I mean?
I had been doing some random things in this town and came to this open air buffet style restaurant. I went to get my tray and cutlery, which for some reason included a small salt and pepper shaker and…hot sauce? Don’t ask me why, because I’m allergic to hot sauce.
As I was getting my items, I knocked my salt shaker to the ground and broke it. A girl that was with me ran off to get me a broom and dust pan.
I looked over and saw than my mess had fallen at the feet of none other than George Clooney. I apologized to him and he was pretty cool about my blunder. When my friend arrived with the things to clean up my mess, George Clooney helped me clean it up, which was rather kind of him. We chatted a bit through the buffet line.
I ended up walking with him a bit and receiving a phone call, but also seeing in person at the same time (very dream like) my former employee and friend, let’s call her Leah, to protect her identity.
She was fresh out of her gastric bypass surgery, which in real life she’s awaiting to receive before the holidays. I was talking to her on the phone and George was listening in to our conversation.
She was asking me when she would start noticing weight loss and her clothes feeling different. I’m not sure why she was asking me and not her doctor, truth be told.
I told her to give it about 6 months and she would need to buy new clothing and she would see a noticeable amount of weight have come off.
I got off the phone and I took a seat with George Clooney at a table with him and some of his friends.
This is where it gets ugly.
He started saying he could never trust someone who had gastric bypass because what if in the past they where a horrible fat geek.
I was appalled at what he said and immediately got up and ran away. I ran through another outdoor restaurant to look for escape, in tears.
He had gotten up to follow me, but I circled around and hid from him. I ended up finding a massive concrete bridge that had an unusual amount of homeless men laying down on their backs. I found I place to sit down on the edge to be upset.
This is where I woke up.
Doesn’t sound like much of a nightmare, does it?
It was because not many people in my life know that back in 2005, I myself had a gastric bypass surgery. What George Clooney said cut straight to my core and made me angry, hurt, and upset, and I just wanted to escape his cruel words.
My struggle with food
My struggle with food started when I was a young child after my parents got divorced. I went from a skinny, underweight girl to a chubby pre-teen. I ate my emotions.
What should have happened was my mother should have taught me healthy eating habits when she saw what was happening.
What did happen?
In 4th grade (1990) my mother put me on the slim fast diet and I began taking those stupid shakes to school every day for lunch. I started having body image issues from then on.
By 6th grade I hit a growth spurt and my chubbiness evened out and I looked healthy. However, my mom kept putting the entire family through fad diets, in effort to maintain everyone’s weights.
In high school I very much struggled. In my sophomore and Junior year I did calorie restriction because my mother was never home to handle meals anymore. I consumed roughly 500 calories a day, then walked 3 miles every day after school and ran on the weekends. I also used an exercise machine we had in our home.
At the time I did not realize I had OCD and I was obsessed with my weight and such things and had to obsessively exercise.
In my Senior year I still did those things but I still felt fat even though I wasn’t – body dysmorphia. I was determined to become bulimic. The problem being, I couldn’t force myself to throw up by “traditional” means such as sticking my finger down my throat.
What did I do? I looked to alternate ways to force yourself to vomit. The curse of the internet!
I found out about Ipecac. I read about this liquid you could buy from the pharmacy that induced vomiting.
Oh my word, it was horrible! It certainly induced vomiting alright. But boy it made you feel very, very sick!
I however did utilize that darn stuff many times, and ended up missing school because of it.
Finally I gave up on it, tired of how very sick it made me feel.
My obsessive dieting and exercise ended in college. I ended up eating very unhealthy because I never learned what healthy eating was. I got married at 19 and as a young married couple, the inexpensive foods were rather unhealthy options. Hamburger helper, boxed meals, ramen noodle packets, shake’n bake, and fast food.
After a few years I became quite huge. We’re talking huge. I tried diet after diet. I saw my doctor and tried medications. Those didn’t go well because I still didn’t understand healthy eating.
Finally in my mid-20’s my doctor recommended gastric bypass because I was so large, I had sleep apnea, gerd, and was at high risk for diabetes.
Luckily, insurance covered alot of the costs of the surgery because of my health issues and risks, and because by then I was disabled unfortunately.
The surgery was very successful for me but it was very much a struggle. It’s not the “easy way out” for weight loss. It’s a complete lifestyle change and back then required a psychological approval, which I failed the first go around because of a kinda jerky doctor.
The thing is, it didn’t cure my emotional eating. And I ended up stretching my stomach a bit out during my pregnancy in my late-20’s and gained 90 pounds!
That was a lot of weight to lose again and I was crushed.
How did I do it that time?
I finally learned healthy eating habits by joining weight watchers. Both my husband and I needed to lose weight and he joined with me. We both were extremely successful.
To this day, when I “pork up”, I fall back to a weight watchers mentality in how I eat.
In 2019 and 2020 I lost a lot of weight and became underweight. This ended up being due to my Hashimotos and my thyroid levels being unbalanced. I was not able to consume enough calories to keep enough weight on and it was honestly nearly as frustrating as losing weight, because I didn’t want to eat! If I forgot to eat lunch one day, I would wake up the next day 5 pounds lighter and have to figure out how to eat even more that day and be in tears.
Now my weight is nearly balanced out. I tend to gain a bit if I’m not careful, so I follow the ideas behind weight watchers and I also do intermittent fasting. I fast most days, from 10pm until about 1 or 2 pm the next day.
I’m still an emotional eater if I’m slightly upset. I want a donut or cupcake or some other such treat to soothe my soul. My only saving grace is that I did have the gastric bypass. If I have too much of a sweet, I get horribly sick to my stomach and feel like I’m dying. Like hot flashes, sweats, the most extreme nausea you could imagine, cramps, and it’s a feeling I avoid at all costs. I do not indulge my sweet tooth very often and when I do, I’m able to control the amount very well.
Food is my enemy still sometimes. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love it but I hate what it does to me.
The answer to the growing food obsession and obesity epidemic?
I think healthy eating habits need to be more of a focus in health classes, due to many obese children learning unhealthy habits from their parents. Starting at young ages and being repeated every single year until it sinks in.
The food pyramid just doesn’t cut it though because that doesn’t explain diddly. I remember learning the stupid food pyramid and I grew up not knowing how to eat healthy. Maybe schools are different now? I still see a plethora of obese children and many people still seem to become adults who don’t know how to eat healthy. Somewhere we’re failing as a society.
I know some of the issue (excuse?) is that healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are more costly than their counterparts, and they spoil quickly, which makes it difficult for busy people who can’t shop frequently.
However, it is less expensive to bring food from home, like leftovers or a sandwich/wrap/salad, some fruit, and a bottle of water, then to run to a fast food restaurant and buy lunch. Yes, it takes prep time, and yes, I get that fast food is more appealing. I would much rather grab a slice of pizza than have that leftover frittata in my fridge, but I know one will make my thighs bigger and one won’t.
What I did learn with weight watchers and the idea of dieting in general though, is not to deprive yourself. If you think you’ll never have pizza again, after a month you’ll quit your healthy eating and end up binging and eating a whole pizza…not that I have any experience with that at all lol. If you crave pizza? Reward yourself for 5 pounds lost with one slice at the end of that month. 1 slice though, not a whole darn pizza. Moderation is the key. Which I know is the challenge.
One thing I learned all on my own that I do want to impart. You don’t have to eat something you don’t like just to be polite or not to waste, it’s not worth those calories, put it down! No matter where you are, if you find yourself eating something you’re just not fond of, stop eating it. Don’t eat something for whatever reason that people eat something that tastes bad. Those are empty calories and you’ll regret having consumed them afterwards.
One other huge lesson is don’t beat yourself up for slip ups. Did you have a bad day and end up binging on cake and ice cream? Yeah, maybe that wasn’t the best decision but dust yourself off and don’t call the whole thing quits. Tomorrow is a new day, determine to start it fresh and don’t let your lapse in judgment, which is 100% human, get you down. Weight loss is very much a roller coaster more than a straight downward ride.
I know this post was a bit of a roller coaster itself but I found I had a lot to say about food and weight loss. It’s been a life long struggle for me and will continue to be one. We need to be there for each other to fight our demons and I want nothing more than to help others who are going through the same struggles as I am.
Best of luck if you have food struggles too. May you win your battles!