Suck It Up Princess

If I didn’t realize how blessed I was before, I do now! The support I continue to receive on my journey as I search for my after has been overwhelming. I’ve been on this road before, but going public has brought out cheerleaders in the unlikeliest places.

Last week, Carole, one of the managers called me into a last minute meeting. “Last minute meeting” is code for one of three things where I work… (1) a surprise celebration in your honour, (2) you’re getting a pink-slip, or (3) an actual meeting. I stopped what I was doing, grabbed my pen and notebook, and followed Carole into the boardroom where a dozen of my coworkers had gathered. I was baffled the moment I walked into the room… there were folks from different divisions, and there was a giant box in the middle of the table with my name on it.  I froze… I realized the next few moments would be either really good, or really bad… regardless, I was going to end up in tears.

Carole confessed that there was no “last minute meeting” – no duh, Carole… it was a one in three chance it would be! Carole went on to explain that the team wanted to support me on my journey. They’ve admired my determination along the way and that I’ve become an inspiration for them.  Me?! An inspiration?!  This group has seen me attempt (and fail) countless diets in my 15 years at the company, so why the recognition now?

Because this time is different. This time, it’s the real deal. This time, they know, and I know that I will not only get into my right-sized body, I’ll keep it off.  Something has shifted mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The change is tangible.

Since committing to the Twelve-Step program in February, my coworkers have seen me forego catered lunches and snacks in favour of my weighed and measured abstinent meals. They’ve not only marvelled at the quality of the meals, but the quantity as well, often joking that I should start a side business catering their lunches since they’re better than what they get at the cafeteria!

They’ve all wondered how I manage to create such abundant meals when I work full-time, and part-time. I explained that I must maximize every spare moment by cooking in bulk.  I weigh and measure my portions, and then freeze them with the FoodSaver vacuum sealer my remarkable friend, Joanna lent me. This system has helped me stay on track even when my schedule has me stretched thin.

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This is when my OCD comes in handy!!!

As one of the kindest acts of support, my generous coworkers (aka, my daytime family) chipped in and purchased me my very own FoodSaver! I was humbled and speechless. I wish I could have vacuumed sealed that moment forever!

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The Results Are In

To find out how much I lost last month, click here.

For my food journals, click here.

 

Accepting The Things I Cannot Change

I’ve been on a Twelve-Step program for food addiction for over a month now, and while it’s strict and demands more of my time, I’m happy to report I’m back on track! Being at my pre-binge weight is wonderful, and so is the support I’ve been receiving from fellow members.  However, it pales in comparison to how the plan is calming my mind, which is command central for my addictive behaviours.

I never wanted to do a regimented plan where you must to weigh and measure everything, but I have proven I can’t be trusted around products that contain flour, wheat, or sugar, so I must accept I can never take eat them again. But that’s okay… the Twelve-Step food plan may be regulated down to the ounce, but there truly is a peace that comes with surrendering to the plan, and my higher power. I hand over my addiction and in return, I get peace of mind, and nothing I’ve ever binged on tastes as good as that!

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There’s a freedom within these boundaries – there’s no guesswork when it comes to the food, so I’m at liberty to savour life’s other joys.

For my food journals, click here.

 

Wrestling With Addiction

Hello strangers, it’s been a while. I apologize for that, but I’ve been knee-deep in the murky waters of the Binge Bayou, wrestling the cunning and ferocious predator that is my food addiction. In truth, I instigated the event by assuming I was immune to attacks given I managed to ward them off for an entire year while conducting my experiment.

Shortly after 12 in 12 ended, I trod perilously close to temptation’s edge, provoking the creature within.  I was cocky all of December and January, gobbling a bite of this, and a taste of that.  Despite gaining 7 lbs. in 2 months, I paraded around convinced I could remedy that whenever I wanted. As I marched about, my addiction snaked closer waiting for the perfect moment to attack. Foolishly, I forgot I wasn’t the only one with a bite.

Immediately after my weigh-in on February 1st, I found myself face-to-face with my foe.  I was convinced my addiction wouldn’t dare cross the line, but looking back, how could it not when I taunted it with the most intoxicating bait of all – a savoury blend of my insecurities, guilt, shame, and loneliness. We’ve been in a battle ever since.

I hit my rock bottom Super Bowl weekend.  I went on a food bender like never before.  Addicts isolate in order to drown in their substance of choice, however this time, my solitude sent me straight into a vat of food… Oreos, chips, Nutella, I even had a beer and soju, and I don’t even enjoy alcohol! As I devoured everything in sight, my addiction was devouring me.

It was a bloodbath. By the end of it, I gained an additional 12 lbs. – that’s a total weight gain of 17 lbs. in three months. Impressive in the worst possible way, wouldn’t you say? Sadly, that’s not unusual for me given my history with my weight fluctuations – hence, never being able to achieve an after shot.

Processed with MOLDIV

It’s all a haze now, but I do recall it scared the bejeebers out of me.  It wasn’t the volume of food that I consumed that frightened me. Nor was it that I wasn’t able to stop. What terrified me most, is that I didn’t want to stop.

That last binge started the morning of Saturday, February 6th, and ended on Monday, February 8th at 6:45 PM.  Why 6:45 PM? The Twelve-Step meeting for food addiction started at 7:00 PM, otherwise I would have kept on going.  The only way to stop myself and get the creature off me was to call in the big guns.

When I tested the plan last September, the group would not disclose their official food plan unless I committed to the program beyond the 30 day experiment.  However, they gave me the basics: abstain from flour, wheat, and sugar, and attend regular meetings.  By doing just that, I managed to lose 5.9 lbs that month. Now, committed to the plan, I have a sponsor who acts like a parole officer, ensuring that I don’t get close to the edge again.

Ironically, their plan is similar to The Best Of The Best, the program I designed for myself following my yearlong experiment.  However, this program requires daily check-ins.  I feel stupid doing so… I mean it’s food for heaven’s sake, not crack. I don’t know what I hate more, being an food addict, or admitting to myself that I am one.

This is not how I wanted to live my life. I hoped against all hope that 12 in 12 would cure me of my compulsion to binge, and that one day I’d be able eat these foods in moderation, but I’ve proven I’m not capable of that. For me, one bite leads to 37.

Along with reporting and committing my food to my sponsor, I must do a morning reading and meditation. One of the most sobering quotes I read recently stated, it’s not the second drink (in my case cookie), or the tenth that does the damage. It’s the first.

I have to surrender the idea I can ever eat addictive foods ever again – especially sugar. I felt fantastic when I was off it for 2 months during the experiment, but it didn’t take long to overtake me when I started again.

There’s a type of insanity that comes with any addiction. When I’m in this state, I find I have what I dub ‘split brain’ – half of my brain keeps me in the present so I can function, and the other half is wondering when, and how, I’m going to get my next fix. These last few weeks have been so debilitating that I could not string a sentence together for the blog to save my life. Every time I tried to put pen to paper, I felt like a hypocrite and the words crumbled along with my spirit. I can’t live like this. I have to ask myself, do I want the junk food, or do I want to be sane.

Surrendering to this program, and committing my food to a sponsor on a daily basis, minimizes the crazy making and allows me the space to identify my triggers and learn how to manage them.

This latest experience has taught me that falling is easy, getting up is hard. Thankfully, if you muster the courage to ask for help, there are support groups to help you get up.

For my weekly food journal, click here.