Thursday, March 21, 2013
Building Hope and Strengthening Faith
Addiction...there are lots of definitions of addiction. Just Google it and see...but I found one that I like..it is simple, to the point and for me, says it as clearly as possible.
The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
I don't know about you...but I, over my lifetime, have associated addiction with substance abuse, particularly drugs and/or alcohol. It has been compartmentalized in my brain as an issue that applies to those who misuse substances...of course...I never really thought about food addiction.
In college, I was a Resident Assistant (RA) in the dorm I lived in and we were required to take a class that addressed different forms of addiction...drugs, alcohol AND Anorexia and Bulimia...I suppose that though I knew about both illnesses...I did not really associate them to food but more with body image issues.
I think that if someone had said to me at that time that plain ole overeating was a form of addiction, I would have said they were off base. As part of our training as RA's, we were required to look for signs of these addictive issues...behavior, substances, unexplained illness...
But nobody ever said watch for the girl who eats cheese bread sticks every night...drinks a 6 pack of Cokes daily...and thinks that Ding Dongs are a food group! That was perfectly acceptable behavior..well maybe not..but it was certainly not anything anyone was immediately concerned about and it certainly was not covered in any class I took. It was instead just considered bad eating habits...and certainly compared to the other covered addictive behaviors..the short term effects were not nearly as potentially life threatening.
However, overeating is an addiction...bad eating habits are a form of addiction...I don't speak to this as an expert or trained professional...I speak to this from a place of experience as an over eater.
Here is my reality...I have struggled with the thought that overeating is an addictive behavior for most of my life. It was just not something I wanted to accept. For me, it represented weakness, a weakness in character, a flaw and that was not something I really wanted to embrace.
Now I am not going to launch into a further discussion about addiction here...I am neither inclined to do so or qualified to do so...but here is what I know about myself....I use food as a crutch, an emotional enabler...a filler for things that are missing from my life...a stress reliever, a reward! Food is celebratory, soothing, comforting...etc...in my world.
The reason I mention this now...I find that as I struggle with a few things...Food continues to be one of my go to's for relief. I still struggle with late night eating (when my brain likes to ponder all possible life scenarios)...I still think of food as a means of relief from any discomfort, pain (physical or emotional) that I may have...
I do continue to work on it and I am continuing my efforts to seek help with my Journey.
I saw a nutritionist yesterday and was able to be really honest with her about this process...the issues that I have with food and I told her I needed a food plan. I need someone to help me with my food choices. Not really easy for me to admit...but truly it something that I need at this point.
I did so well while on "the cleanse" and I got it that I had a very strict plan to follow and I knew with that plan in place and the measures I have taken to have accountability checks in place...I succeeded. I need help to suceed...
Addiction is an ugly word...It is not pleasant and nobody likes to admit the addiction...whether it be drugs, alcohol, food, work, exercise...facebook :)
Nobody likes the way it feels to admit that we are not strong enough to overcome our weaknesses alone.
This is when I know that I have to keep my Faith in Focus...I have to trust that God is giving me the tools to overcome..no matter how long it takes or how many times I fall.
Again, I have had the opportunity to invite all of you into the Journey...I have been given the strength to allow you to see the all of the parts of this Journey...warts and all. I am finding support in places I would have never expected it...in places that I knew would provide that support...I have been up and down...I have been victorious, thrilled, disappointed, lost and yet...all of it seems to make sense.
Not only do I have the opportunity to share my weight loss Journey with all of you...but I have the opportunity to share my faith...as it grows...and I am blessed to have others around me who are experiencing their own growth...I cherish the trust that comes from sharing our experiences. It Builds my Hope and Strengthens my Faith.
Thank you for your patience as I plod along....I did find this funny cartoon...thought I would share...Gotta Keep Smilin'!