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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/12/2010 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Guess I should probably re-introduce myself, as so many of you started posting here while I wasn't posting much.

A few years ago (in my late 20's) I was a fat but otherwise healthy person. Had depression, but I relocated and got an awesome job and that really helped me psychologically. And the town I moved to (Austin, TX) was a great town for being active and walking so that was good too. But about four or five months after getting there, I got really sick. I couldn't eat anything substantial without throwing up. Subsisted on eating tiny amounts of very bland foods for several months while they failed to diagnose me. Dropped forty pounds in two months, and continued to lose weight a bit more slowly during subsequent months. I had one doctor tell me I likely had duodenal cancer, which is something that's very, very bad to have. I don't know why he told me that because he hadn't even looked for it yet and once he did he found nothing. That scared the hell out of me, though. Eventually, after almost six months of being so sick I could not eat I was diagnosed with a gall bladder problem. It was yanked out within a week and I did see an immediate difference.

Not all was well, though. I had "phantom" symptoms. I could eat and eat whatever I wanted after the surgery, but I'd still feel like I was going to throw up. Everything was the same just not quite as bad. Things got a little better over time but even six months post-op I'd still occasionally have a string of two or three bad days or maybe even a week.

Fed up, I checked myself into the center for diagnostic medicine at a university hospital. Teams of doctors looked after me but could find nothing at all wrong. Eventually it was a gastroenterologist that diagnosed me with panic disorder. The rest of the doctors agreed. I believe this went on in October and Novermber of 2006, more than a year after my surgery.

At first I rejected the diagnosis. To me it just didn't fit and seemed preposterous. But in the following week or two I really looked at my behavior and determined they may be right. They only prescribed one drug and I didn't tolerate it. I attempted to control it myself with some success until the next February. At that point I had another bad spell and went to see a local doctor. There I was prescribed a small dose of Clonazepam which I was very skittish about taking, but eventually did and it worked very well.

Wow this is getting long. Need to shorten things up. Ended up leaving that job in Austin to work for myself in Dallas. It was sort of a partnership between me and my father, who was estranged for most of my life.

Moving back to Dallas was great for me. I found my creativity again. I had friends here. I even hooked up with an old girlfriend who I'd dated from age 17 to 25 (off and on). Loved her. We made plans to get married.

But then we broke up and that kind of hit me hard. Additionally, just a few months after the breakup the banks started failing. This was late 2008. My business began to suffer mightily. During all this I dropped all my good habits. Ate horribly. The weight I'd lost and kept off for three years came back in a matter of months.

And I've been fat ever since. Late last summer I dropped my health insurance due to the cost, and only recently picked up some more.

In the last few weeks a few significant things have occurred. My father died of a sudden and massive heart attack. This was a personal blow, but it was also a huge blow to my business. Our relationship was complicated at best and I'm still not sure how to deal with that, but I've had to keep working. Then, the very next week, I was nearly decapitated by an 18 wheeler. Was lucky...it was a low speed collision. I still ended up having to deal with insurance companies, lawyers, and I'm in physical therapy. My job was hard enough without all of that. Then, this week, my new health insurance finally kicked in and I went to a local doctor selected at random. He tells me I'm fat and it also turns out that my blood pressure is high. I've never had high blood pressure, even when I was fat before. The doc may have been a condescending jerk, but he was direct and honest so there's that, at least.

So with my dad dying of a heart attack and then having this bad doctor's visit, I was shocked into action. I immediately developed a weight-loss plan. It's aggressive and I know it will work. It's what they call a Very Low Calorie Diet. The problem with it is that it reminds me of how I used to feel before when I was sick and could not eat. This time I can eat, but do not. The results are the same. I feel hungry and weak. This familiar feeling is enough to cause me to get anxious at times, but I'm trying my best not to let that overcome me. This morning I'm losing the battle which is why I'm writing this.

Like I said, the diet is ambitious to say the least. In fact the first phase of it isn't even healthy. It's an anorexic's diet, basically. The only difference is that I'm trying to get all my nutrients, though that's very hard to do when you're allowed so few calories per day. In two and a half or three months I should have dropped a lot of weight and can then enter phase two, which is much more healthy. I will eat again, and introduce far more vigorous exercise than what I'm doing now.

I hope to achieve some results in a month, because this new doctor wanted me to come in for a complete physical in a month. I want to lose some weight by then, see a drop in my BP, and hopefully after what I'm doing I won't show high cholesterol or anything else. I'm afraid if I do he will put me on pills and I hate pills.

But anyway, this is very hard for me...feeling like I did when I was sick. That was a difficult time in my life to say the least and the flashbacks are absolutely horrible. In addition I'm dealing with the death of my father, business being so slow that I don't even have anything to do today, and this wreck I had which is absolutely maddening. Surprisingly except for yesterday morning, my anxiety has been in check for the most part. Today I'm a bit rattled. Yesterday I was sort of a wreck in the morning, at least.

But I just don't feel well. I'm consuming barely any food and my body is feeding off itself to keep things going. I'm going to have to do this for a while. At some point I expect my body to adjust to it, but for now there are some unpleasant side effects. On a positive note, this is my fifth day and if I'm not mistaken I've already seen results. My pants are already looser. And after eating like crap for a year or two, having the willpower to deprive myself of soda and chips and stuff like that gives me a sense of accomplishment. But I still don't feel well. It's like I'm in a fog. I'm told this will go away at some point but it still sucks.

Anyway I'm sorry for the length of my post. I just had to get all that out and there was no way to do so without getting into the background a bit. I left out as much as I could.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/12/2010 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey there My friend, can I be your Doctor.............humph ! Telling you your fat and have high blood pressure was rather a hard pill to swallow from someone you expect to be your trustworthy physician IMHO.

Yes you may have gained your weight back but trust me on this one as I have lost the same pounds over and over.................the one program that worked for me was weight watchers and walking. I know there are a ton of fad diets out there and also some very expensive programs but Weight Watchers has one of the best sensible eating plans available to take weight off and to keep it off. The meetings are made up of people from all walks of life and yet we all have the same problems, we overeat for whatever reason.

Do you think you have the right to be feeling some panic right now..........look back and read what your wrote ?

You just lost your Father and you may think you have dealt with it and it is over but please know that grieving is a process and you need to give yourself time. Don't try to be the one who can conquer everything in a few days.

You have been in a car crash..............that alone is reason to be upset and to feel panicky...............and there you go with the stomach problems......anxiety.

I do understand where you are coming from and what your going through. I lost at least 35% of my retirement in 2008 and I am already retired.

My oldest sister died on Thanksgiving Day of 2008 of complications from a massive heart attack and open heart surgery after a 2 week battle on life support. My other sister was dx with ovarian cancer in August of 2008 and died in April of 2009. I spent 10 months between home and the U of MN hospital with my sister. My brother was found dead in March of 2009 so in 17 months I lost all my siblings and now have no parents or siblings.

My hubby had prostate cancer in August of 2008. Now he just came home from the hospital after a 16 day stay from surgery for his Crohn's Disease and complications. I spent 12- 14 hour days with him and yes I fell off the wagon and my exercise program and good eating habits went down the drain. Why do people bring us chocolate when we are stressed? LOL

I understand how tough it is to stay on track and not let the anxiety and life situations to take over and yes I will eat junk food as it is comfort food for me. No one ever promised me a rose garden but there are days when a pizza makes me feel good while I am eating it..........only to feel guilty afterwards.

Try not to beat yourself up and just move forward with your new plan but remember you are a human and we do make errors and mistakes along the way. Our minds like to play games with us and we often flounder so try to stay grounded and come here and just vent away...............someone is always here to read.

Take care and I am here for you,



Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/12/2010 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Kitt.

The doctor was a jerk. I can handle them being as blunt as a 2x4 across the face and I can handle them being know-it-alls, but I have a problem with anyone being condescending toward me. He will find out during my physical that I can match wits with the best of them, and I doubt he's condescending after that. Anyway, it was what it was. Blood pressure is way too high, especially considering I'm not yet 34 years old. 130/100? Nah that's not good. Never in my life has the bottom number been anywhere near that high.

Looking back I don't know why I allowed myself to gain all of it back, but I do know how it happened. Business was going south. I lost the love of my life. And now I live in a city in which walking isn't really an option for getting around. Dallas is a car town, period. Still I should have woke up at some point and said "enough is enough". I guess at first while most of the weight piled on I was too depressed to care. And then I was too busy to do anything about it, or so I thought.

Either way, I'll get rid of it.

Do I have the right to feel some panic? That's a strange way of thinking about it but, yeah, I guess I do. Things are pretty screwy right now for sure. Still it hasn't been that much of a problem. I just need to try to create and also vent like this now and then. I guess I'll be fine. As crappy as I've felt recently I'm surprised I haven't been in panic mode. But it's not nausea that's bothering me...it's just the total lack of energy from eating so little. The strange thing is what I do eat is much better than what I had been eating and in some ways I actually feel better already. But the most pervasive thing is the constant hunger and lack of strength and energy.

My dad...I'm trying to grieve him. That man put me through a lot, but there were many good things about him too. I don't really know how to grieve for him, but it's not like I'm shutting it out. I mean I cannot do my job without thinking of him. So many of my clients are his old clients and they were with him for 15 years in some cases. He comes up in conversation all the time; I don't shy away from it. I've also gotten a lot closer to my stepmother throughout all this. I feel like I have to be the "stong, stable one" when I'm speaking with her.

I'm really sorry for all of your losses. I still have my grandmother and my mother. My dad is dead. My step dad is dead. My grandfather who was like my father died while I was in college. My grandmother has Alzheimer's. My mother's not in good health. My brother died years ago and I have no step-brothers or sisters. So I'm not alone, but it won't be too many years before I will be. In that sense I really feel your pain.

Anyway, as far as the diet goes, there's nothing to beat myself up about. It's only day five but I have stuck to it like glue. And since I've had these five days of misery I may as well make it count for something, you know? I'm sure I will slip up from time to time. Perhaps this weekend I should cheat a little so I don't cave in later. I don't know. It may be a little early for that. Soon, though, my stomach will have shrunk and I won't be able to eat much. Right now I'm so hungry I cannot imagine eating a pizza or cheeseburger or anything like that. I think the grease would make me sick even though it hasn't been a week yet.

I have been beating myself up a bit because I don't know why I put myself in this position to begin with. Just two years ago I was in good shape. I may have got there through illness but I stayed there by eating better and getting more exercise. Otherwise I would have gained it all back.

I'm not a fan of fad diets or even crash diets, even though it would seem that I'm doing the latter right now. But after I've dropped the bulk of the weight I'm going to switch gears. Exercise a lot more, eat a lot more but better foods than before, etc. What I'm putting myself through right now is a jumpstart. And it's also about psychology...I have to prove to myself that I don't need to eat like crap. I can eat less, and I can eat better. All of this is basically the same thing I went through when I was sick but without the illness. It's voluntary this time. And when I get to "phase two" I think I want to build more muscle so my body is more efficient at burning the calories I do take in. It will be a long process. Hopefully by mid-to-late summer I will have reached my goal.

Hopefully I'll adjust to this sometime soon, though. Actually today has been much better than the last two days in particular have been. Yesterday or the day before I couldn't have written either of these posts. My head was too foggy to put the words together.

Thanks for your support, Kitt. You're one in a million.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/12/2010 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   

For being in a fog, you sure put your words together very well! Hang in there! You can do it! You've been through a lot and it's understandable what you are feeling.


I'm also very sorry for your losses, as well.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/13/2010 12:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks. The fog wasn't really all that bad when I wrote that. And it was much better today. This rather extreme diet is very difficult, that's for sure. I say the anxiety isn't all that bad, and it really hasn't been except for that one morning, but it still reminds me of back when I was sick and literally thought I was going to die. Very dark times.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/13/2010 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Debaser i agree that you have the right to be stressed out with all you have gone thru..i have known you for a few yrs on here and i have total faith my friend you will get thru this too.you are articulate and intelligent and hv been a goal setter from long ago n you reach them ...keep up the great work i have seen so much positive changes in you over the years you have worked hard..keep us posted and all the best..huggles..lyn
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/14/2010 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Lyn. I'm handling everything pretty well, I guess. Been at this diet now for a few hours shy of seven days, and I have not relented. It was very difficult at first but has generally been getting better. Actually, in many ways I'm now feeling better than I have in some time. Guessing that's due to cutting all of the really bad foods out of my diet. My anxiety's been better, my acid reflux is pretty much non-existent. But the lack of calories do take their toll when it comes to energy and muscle soreness.

I'm wondering, though, if anyone else has put themselves on a strict diet and had their anxiety get better? A couple of times at the beginning I felt bad and anytime I feel bad I tend to go into anxiety mode, but it just never really came to fruition. I'd never given it much thought but perhaps diet plays a bigger role than I ever would have thought. Then again, my anxiety tends to center around my stomach, and if there's nothing in it...well you know.

Thanks again.
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