Author Topic: Emotions Food Fat and Hip Pain  (Read 7988 times)

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Emotions Food Fat and Hip Pain
« on: August 16, 2009, 02:58:40 AM »
I am female, 44 years old and three days away (and counting) from my left hip resurfacing.  It has been long and painful 9 months leading up to this (including a broken and pinned collarbone from a bike accident 3 months ago) and before that- many years of sporadic hip pain that indicated to me this day would one day come.

I was a very serious student of ballet for two decades and I attribute that abuse to my body with much of my hip problems- OA, torn labrum, floating chondral and non chondral bodies lodged between the bones, etc.  Up until 9 months ago I practiced 1 to 2 hours of yoga daily and loved to hike, figure skate and snow shoe.  I was in decent shape but never thin enough for my liking which brings me to my post:

I also bring eating disorders to the table (hah) in this equation.  In the last 10 years I have stopped starving myself to be thin and have become a 'normal' curvy woman who still over eats when feeling emotional--- and who still struggles to love her body even tho it does not look the way she wants it to look.  I was doing ok when my hip pain became so unbearable that I knew i needed the surgery- in fact, I had recently lost weight from healthy exercise and diet.  I had to wait 5 months for a surgery date- and so was riding my bike, the only exercise I could do anymore- fell- broke my left clavicle- had to have it pinned- and so me and movement/exercise pretty much parted ways with three and half months til surgery still to go.

I filled my emotional gap about not being able to exercise and the pain and tho whole "why me I'm only 44" and all the rest--- a pretty big bundle of emotions-- with ice cream sandwiches and other assorted foods and now find myself with some newly gained weight.  Not a ton- maybe 10 pounds more than I started with, but none of my pants fit.   I do think I have come to a better place with my body thru this hip experience- more acceptance- losing my burning need to look 25 at age 45 no matter what it takes, and my hope is to just get back to good strong and healthy shape and let my dreams of a size 4 fully die.  Having my hip fully crap out on me made me not feel a victim of my body- or defeated or let down by my body as gaining weight has always led me to feel.  Rather, for the first time I felt I was a team with my body, that it was up to "us" to see this thing thru and get healthy again.

So, I sit here right now, again, three days before surgery, very eager for my recovery.  I have great plans for getting the weight off and my muscles back while being smart about it and following doctor's orders to the nth degree-- but I do feel an imbalance in it- the eating disorder mindset creeping in- I will have this "emergency" situation- and am hoping I can ride it to lose weight...I mean, why didn't I just start two weeks, two months, a year ago rather than continue to feed my fear about the surgery, etc?  Obviously becuase I fill my inner emotional voids with food- but what if I have even more voids after surgery?  And ok, I totally admit- I harbour a hope that the meds post surgery make me sick and I don't want to eat and I lose weight.  So there- I admit it- unhealthy body image mind set still at large.

I know how epidemic eating disorders are, and so I am hopeful that perhaps there are some others here who are stuggling with body image, weight gain, and a vision of hip resurfacing rehab that they are trying to formulate- to bring together-  in a healthy manner.  What if I don't lose the weight after surgery- what if I gain more?  How do I get my focus off my darn weight and onto the really important thing here- my hip and healthy healing?

I am extremely open about my eating disorders and unhealthy body image mindset- I don't hide it, I am determined to kick this thing in this life time- to just learn to be healthy- no more yo yo weight gain/loss (I have never been heavier than a size 14- probably where I am right now- but for me this is the end of the line- I just won't go any bigger).  

So- anyone else out there going thru all this hip stuff with this extra luggage tagging along?  Anyone gone thru it and have something to share?  

Thanks and blessed be.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 03:01:37 AM by ladler »


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Re: Emotions Food Fat and Hip Pain
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 03:27:20 AM »
Hi Lyn,

Thank you for your honesty.  I'm sure it must have been hard to write all of this but I hope is was freeing.  You are not alone and I hope that gives you a bit of comfort.

I am 9 weeks post-op from right hip resurfacing with Dr Mont and am doing great.  I still have a slight limp, largely as a result of a very weak gluteus minimus, but am basically pain free for the first time in 6 years.

For many years, I was relatively inactive and out of shape - smoked, drank, sat and watched a lot of TV.  However, in 2001 and 2002, I participated in the Avon 3-day walks and in 2003, I started training for a half-marathon.  I fell in love with exercise - the way it made me feel and the way it made me look!  I was down to a size 8-10 for the first time in years and was thrilled.  Somewhere along the way, I tore my labrum and while running, it brought me to me knees.  It took over a year to get an accurate diagnosis.  I kept doing physical therapy and trying to work out but the pain became too much so I finally gave up.  Due to a variety of issues, I've now had 4 surgeries since 2005 and until now, I was unable to resume any semblance of an active life.  My body image has grown exceedingly worse and at times, I have wondered how I'll ever get a date again.  Like you, I'm 44 and as I'm sure you have noticed, it's a lot harder taking the weight off now than it was at 24 or even 34.

I knew my appetite would be less immediately after surgery and I had this great vision that I would just make sure it stayed small.  Unfortunately, it returned almost overnight.  I started walking in a pool at about 3 weeks and initially lost a couple of pounds but I hate to report that they've somehow returned, along with a few of their friends!

I have tried getting rid of my scale but that's actually been worse for me - I gained more weight when I wasn't able to track it and keep myself somewhat honest about my intake vs. expenditure of calories.

I now walk and/or swim every day.  It's not always a lot but I think my weight has stabilized and I'm about ready to shift to something more active like the elliptical.

There was a lot of hoopla over last week's "Time" magazine - that exercise just doesn't take off the weight.  I could've told them that without any research on their part.  A few years ago, my doctor told me that for women over the age of 35-40, exercise will help maintain weight but to actually lose it, you have to simply eat less and eat healthier.  I don't think this is a big surprise for most of us but I hate hearing it.  I simply WANT to be able to eat ice cream every night!  Would I want to if everything else in my life was "perfect?"  I don't know - it never will be perfect so I know I must find a way to make my life acceptable to me and to quit striving for perfect and setting myself up for defeat.

Regardless of how much anticipation you feel towards surgery, it is a traumatic experience.  People couldn't believe that I was actually gleeful before my surgery - I absolutely knew it was the right answer.  However, it's a major operation with 1 - 6 weeks of relatively difficult recovery.  It's not to be taken lightly and I know that was in the back of my mind up until they wheeled me into the operating room.

Stress and trauma bring out all of those feelings that are most likely to trigger other issues such as eating disorders.  My recommendation is to be as gentle and kind to yourself, and forgiving, as you can for the first month or two.  The meds and overall surgery effects will probably help you lose a few pounds initially but then, if you're like me, you'll not be able to do all that much for a week or two.  My eating returned to normal but my activity level did not and we all know what that equation looks like!

However, once you're able to be a bit more active, you can then focus on healthy movements - rehabbing the hip, learning to walk with a normal gait, etc.  Within just a month or two, you can then focus on cardio activities that can help with the weight. 

And of course, healthy eating goes without saying but I know it doesn't always happen.  Moderation is my goal and most days, I do OK.  However, I've had 2 ugly, long weeks at work and broke down and bought some ice cream.  It's odd that I know what I'm doing and I know the result but I simply don't care when I'm in the midst of it.

Good luck and again, be kind and gentle with yourself.  It's a very short recovery, relatively speaking, and THEN you can worry about your weight.


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Re: Emotions Food Fat and Hip Pain
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 03:50:24 PM »
Hi Lyn

Welcome to Hip Talk.

I am glad you will be able to have your hip resurfaced soon.  Get out of pain and then try to get on with a normal life.

I am sorry to hear about your weight gain. I simply would not worry about food at all right now.  You need to keep a very positive attitude about your surgery.  Know that you are doing the right thing and that you will be out of pain soon.  You will be able to be active again and forget about hips after you heal.  Having rid yourself of the hip problem, hopefully will also help with other emotional issues.

Work on one problem and a time and one day at a time.

If you are getting sick to your stomach in the hospital, be sure to tell them. They have meds to keep you feeling well and out of pain. Don't be afraid to speak up.  It is major surgery, but we have all been there and done that.  You have a great group of supportive folks to talk with here.

Not everyone has a diffiuclt recovery.  Some have very easy recoveries, a few difficult with most in the middle.  Your pain should be handled by meds if you have it.  Swelling, if you have it, will be handled by ice.  Keep your leg elevated if you have swelling.  You will not be an invalid.  You are taught to do stairs before leaving the hospital.

I had my hip resurfacing in Belgium in 2006.  I was lucky and back to sight seeing on one crutch by 5 days post op.  I had no problem getting around - it was slow and I was tired, but never the less, doable. 

Keep a positive outlook and all will be well.  You should not be looking at 6 long weeks of recovery for most normal patients.  You will be crutching around your house and going out soon after your surgery. 

Be kind to yourself now.  If you need something to eat - eat.  It will all be over soon and you will feel much better both physically and emotionally. 

Good Luck with your upcoming surgery.

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Emotions Food Fat and Hip Pain
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2009, 09:47:42 PM »
I too had gained weight over the last few years after weighing about the same amount from age 17-35.  I blame it on a variety of things, most recently my hip.  However, I decided that I was not going to gain even more while I sat around recovering from surgery (6/5/09).  Therefore, I stocked my fridge and cupboards with a lot of healthy snacks, frozen meals that did not have much fat in them, and other easy things to cook that would not get me in trouble.  When I cruised by the fridge looking for a quick fix, all that was there and easy was OK.  I had a lot of fruit I cut and washed and put in bowls and easy protein snacks.  That is what I ended up grabbing a lot of the time.  I have actually lost about six pounds in the two months since my surgery.  I build in one day every week or two to cheat because I know it will happen anyway.  Now that my hip is so much better, I have gradually increased my exercise and look forward to getting back to my "natural weight" or at least one I am more comfortable with.  For me, I have to lose another ten or fifteen pounds.  At the gentle rate I am going I think I can do it and hope you will soon be more comfortable too.  Good luck with your surgery!!!!


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Re: Emotions Food Fat and Hip Pain
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2009, 03:28:46 AM »
Wow but I am thrilled with the responses I have gotten!  Aren't women who are real and who "get it" just the best!   Well, I leave the house in 5 hours to go to the hospital- and so we shall see what happens afterwards.  I will keep coming back to this site tho- and the amazing people who are here.  The support is so important to me.  Thank you to all who responded to me with your thoughtful and honest words!  It really does help, and I pray that we all find a way to just love ourselves as is.  xo


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