I have been struggling with my weight all my life. When I was a teenager I did my first diet – The Military Diet. You basically just eat a small piece of cheese, drink black coffee and eat a cracker, from what I remember. The second extreme diet I tried was drinking Almased for 2 weeks straight, right before prom. I had a crush on this guy and I wanted to look good for him. I managed to lose a good amount of weight by starving, but he ended up dancing with some other girl.
I really started to diet – I don’t even want to call it “dieting” though as I was literally starving myself and low key bulimic – after my first love broke up with me. I went to the gym 7 days a week, worked out for 2 hours (1h of stair climbing, 1h of weight training) and only ate around 1000kcal max. I was in the best shape of my life, yet I was constantly hungry and ended up having several binge attacks. And this is how my Eating Disorder started.
This, what felt like an endless cycle, went on for a decade. I started therapy after having a mental breakdown during covid, when gyms where closing down and it got better. I gained back weight, but the binging didn’t really go away.
One thing I also noticed was that I was never able to achieve toned legs. How was that possible? I was working out like a maniac, hitting legs 4x a week, increasing my weight and yet there was barely any progress to be seen? Meanwhile my upper body was toned as hell.
At the beginning of 2023 I started to look more into Lipoedema. After seeing countless pictures and videos of how this illness progresses, I was certain that I was also suffering from it. I ended up going to a specialist and she confirmed my speculations.
After knowing for certain that I was struggling with Lipoedema I fell into a depressive episode. What was I working out for? Why did I bother dieting so much? I felt sad and compassionate with myself because I realized that all this time I had been blaming my lack of discipline for not being able to get lean, but all this time I was struggling from an illness that literally made it impossible to lose the weight.
Pretty quickly I decided to set a date for the surgery. I have to pay for it myself, our health care system doesn’t cover it but it was worth it to me. Like I mentioned before, my weight has been the root of so many issues and struggles, for me it was pretty clear that I had to get surgery. Conventional therapy was out of the question.
I was so scared I was literally constantly tearing up at the hospital while waiting for my doctor to get me. Besides getting my wisdom teeth pulled, I have never had surgery before. However, it all went by very quickly. I woke up and was wearing bandages around my legs. I couldn’t feel that much pain, honestly, but in the course of the night blood kept coming out of the cuts and it was really disgusting to see.
Side note: You were able to order a Jäger Schnitzel with fries at the hospital. Who in their right mind would order a fucking Jäger Schnitzel with fries after getting lipo?? I ended up getting some chicken soup and a yogurt with some fruit because I still felt so nauseous.
What saved my life was this peeing device for women: Urinella. I was able to pee standing up (train how to do it before!! It’s not as easy as I thought…) and the nurses took good care of me. They gave me fresh bedding whenever I asked and I got some pretty strong pain killers. Once most of the blood was out, they put me in my compression pants. Not gonna lie, that hurt like a motherfucker and I already had severe bruises from the surgery. Seeing all that blood and the bruises made me faint several times.
Lipoedema surgery recovery
My mom then got me and we drove home. She brought me groceries for a week and I basically just slept a lot and drank a ton of water and tea. However this also caused me to go to the bathroom hundreds of times and I hated getting up as my circulation was still pretty weak. Therefore I took my first shower after 4 days post surgery and I kept my compression pants on.
I powered through it and in the second week of recovery things were starting to look up. One thing that really helped the speed up the healing process was Heparin 60000 for my bruises. It worked wonders.
Being tied to your bed for two weeks straight wasn’t fun and I was bored out of my mind. After getting my stitches removed, walking was severely less painful and I was able to go on walks. Now, four weeks post surgery, I still go on my daily walks and try to get in 10k steps a day as I cannot go to the gym yet. My legs have slimmed down, they are still a bit swollen but I already see a major difference. My compression pants are too lose and I can finally start wearing compression tights according to the doctor. I’m looking forward to the next 2 weeks to be over so that I can finally stop wearing them for good.
Lipoedema lifestyle & Binge Eating post surgery
As my type of Lipoedema was at the very beginning stage, so far only one surgery was necessary to get rid of the pain. I hope it stays that way and I will do everything in my power to prevent it from getting worse again.
I adjusted my diet to an anti-inflammatory one 80% of the time – 100% is just not realistic when you want to have a social life and “be normal”. I cook more and use fresh ingredients, my cravings to binge disappeared. Sure, before getting my period I ate a little more banana bread and some chocolate, but I wouldn’t consider that a binge. I don’t crave going to the grocery store and getting a shit ton of sweets to stuff my face and at work events I was able to say no to junk food easily.
I feel like knowing that Lipoedema caused my Binge Eating Disorder because I wasn’t able to lose enough weight so I had to resort to more extreme measurements, kind of also cured it. My main focus will be to not gain weight to prevent Lipoedema from coming back/getting worse again.