Recently, I’ve become reacquainted with myself, and I like me very much. It’s been a long time since I saw myself, and I think that I am becoming better and happier day by precious day. Why? Because I’ve realized over this past month just how addictive my behaviors have been, especially where food was concerned.
I absolutely and readily admit that I am powerless over food. It’s been my drug of choice for decades. As long as I can remember, I’ve held an unhealthy relationship with food which began by not knowing where our next meal was coming from. That made me hoard it out of fear of abandonment – that one day it would leave me and I’d never be able to have it again.
As a self-admitted food addict, I used food to distract myself from the pain of life. I used it to numb the pain, shame and embarrassment of how and where I grew up, to hide from the fact we were poor and used it to give myself relief from bad situations in my life and it was that “self-medication” that took me down the dark paths of weight gain until I was 400 pounds at only 34.
My life had become unmanageable because of food. I couldn’t do certain things because I was too heavy (I used food to numb that pain, too), I had a poor quality of life which was steadily getting worse. Most of all, I didn’t know how to stop the patterns of addiction. It just kept going until I hit rock bottom.
In 2005, I saw a photo of myself and saw the guy inside me, who I once liked, was covered in a huge suit of sorrow. I didn’t like myself anymore. I realized I never really liked myself at all, and over the years and decades that made me spiral further and further down until I had become half-the-man I wanted to be at twice-the-heft.
In that instant, I got sober. I saw that photo and made the conscious effort to stop acting out and change my bottom-line behaviors I was using to harm myself. I started exercising more. I stopped eating fast food every single day. I started loving me again and I did that by showing myself the bad things I was doing (and eating) and showing myself the right things to do. I didn’t set out to lose 175 pounds, but as my own self-love grew, my weight kept decreasing.
Weight loss is one of the hardest things in this world to accomplish, and there are times I am still extremely weak and give in to cravings, situations and inner demons. But what’s different is that I see my behaviors now and recognize how I eat. Moreover, I know that I have the power to control it, which gives me back power to control how I live my life.
Addictions are never easy to reckon with, but I am trying. We all are trying and I am truly convinced we will win because here in these words, and the words of the other Wellness Warriors, is your fellowship. You are not alone, and it’s in our numbers we can find the strength to fight the good fight. So be strong, my friends, and if you are struggling with how to even begin trying to lose weight keep 1 thing in mind; you are worth so much more than any perceived good any food can bring you because, while food is temporary, self-love lasts forever.