I had a fast metabolism at the age of sixteen. When I started binge eating around this time, my body wasn’t fazed by it externally. I didn’t understand that I was binge eating, or even fully why I was doing it. I was going through a rough time in my life, and because of it I was struggling with depression. I was addicted to self-harming almost on a daily basis, unsure of where else to turn for comfort. When I promised close friends to try to break my habit, I began running out of options that helped. I spent my nights eating food until I felt more than full. Having acid reflux, this created a lot of stomach pain the next morning. Through the pain of my binge eating habit, I found comfort in food and thus began my vicious cycle of fighting it.
I started off weighing one hundred pounds. I was occasionally eating to the point of making myself feel nauseous the next day. To accommodate the excessive eating, I ate small school lunches or would only eat one meal a day. By the time I got to my senior year, my excessive eating habit became a daily problem. I was in a very abusive relationship at the time, and I had a hard time coming up with ways to comfort myself through it. My acid reflux worsened from the stress and excessive eating, so my stomach pains turned into chest pains. The chest pain was so intense, it often left me curled up on the floor feeling like I was unable to breathe from the heart burn.
Shortly after the relationship ended, I began having back pains, but the doctors didn’t diagnosed a urinary tract infection or kidney issues. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college where the attacks got severe and I was diagnosed with a malfunctioning gallbladder, an organ that’s in charge of the proper release of fats found in foods into your system to be disposed. By the time I was diagnosed, my gall bladder was only functioning at fourteen percent, and I was extremely sick. Since I was a nursing student at the time, I humored my surgeon by asking if I could keep it. Unfortunately that doesn’t follow sanitary laws placed by hospitals, however, he made an agreement to take pictures of the procedure for me. On surgery day, I was informed that my gallbladder had embedded itself into my liver, which created a few complications, but the procedure was successful and my gallbladder was removed.
During the year my relationship ended and lead up to my surgery, I gained twenty five pounds. My friends and family told me I looked healthier with the weight on my body. After my surgery, I had to slowly reteach my body to eat regular foods, and to this day still have some issues with digestion and fat release in my body if I don’t pay attention to my diet. I can tell if I’m getting into a habit of eating unhealthy and in bigger proportions due to my acid reflux.
Getting my gallbladder taken out at the age of eighteen was a huge wake up call to watch my eating habits. It’s been two years since my surgery, and to this day I have to fight off the occasional binge eating episode. I’m not the healthiest eater in the world, but I try to be more mentally aware if I’m eating more than usual – especially when my depression peaks. While I struggle with self-image because of my weight, I’m learning to embrace my body and love who I am inside and out.
Watch Kelsey share her story on Flurt’s YouTube channel: