Confessions of a food addict

I have to say up front that I have an eating dysfunction.  This is different than an eating disorder.  A disorder is a disease that you can't stop yourself.  You need intervention and outside help.  I may see the line, but I never cross it.  I just like to get real close, let it control me for awhile, then step in and reclaim my life.  But I have been on this crazy roller coaster, my whole life and I need to call it like I see it and own it.

I use food as my reward, my consolation prize, to fill time, because I had a bad day, because I can, because I did stuff for everyone else today and eating this cake is for me, because I am sad, I am lonely, I am anxious, I am happy, I am angry, I am depressed.  It has become my habit to eat when the kids are sleeping in the afternoon and at bed time.  I eat when I am alone, and when I am at a party because I will start my diet tomorrow and I never get to eat this kind of fun food.  I eat because I am in front of the TV and because I worked out, now I can have a treat.  I eat to reward myself and to punish myself.  I keep eating once I have fallen of the band wagon, because well, I am already off the band wagon.  Sometimes I eat till I hurt because then maybe I'll stop, because I can't stop on my own.  I will eat the whole box of cookies because you can't leave any in there, because then I'll just eat them tomorrow and I am starting a new diet tomorrow, so I'll eat them all today.  I'll eat after dieting for 4 day's because I DIETED FOR FOUR DAYS!

Food has become my response to everything.  It is my idol.  It is what I think about all the time.  Trying to avoid it or overcome it or resist it.

When I say this, I can already hear the comments, "It's that way for everyone.  You aren't the only one.  So many people struggle with the same thing.  It's normal."  Even if all those things are true, I don't want that to be my normal!  First of all, having idols is against God's design for our lives.  It's actually the first of the big 10, "Have no other God's before me."

I say this to you because over the last year and half, as my family has radically changed their diet, I told you that I was committed to our healthy eating lifestyle.  I made the change because I believe in supporting our children.  I have also come to realize much about the food we consume, and have come to understand that this is truly the way we were intended to fuel our bodies.  We really shouldn't be eating any other way.  I didn't want my children to feel alone, and so I made the change.  Things went really well for the first few months, and then I started to struggle.

Because I am a normal human being with struggles and emotional baggage and I'm not perfect.  I can't  tell you how many diets, or new eating plans I have lived through.  The hard thing with this was it was supposed to be a forever change.  Then life happened and my coping mechanism is to eat donuts from the store when I  go grocery shopping.  My poor eating habits have years and years of deep rooted patterns.  I can't just erase them because I want to.

One thing I have realized is that once you cheat, the promise is broken and it becomes insanely easy to cheat again.  Then add to that, friends and family, all meaning well, saying "well, you can have the Lasagna  it's just your kids that can't really eat it.  Well, you can eat this cake, this cheese, this, fill in the blank,"  It's all the encouragement a food addict needs to fall or stay off the band wagon.

And so it has been a long year and half.  It has been far from perfect and has had many ups and downs.  It has had its success' and it's tragic failures.  I will go a month or two at a time and then hit my emotional wall and fall.  My biggest struggle has been feeling like a fake, a liar and a cheater.  I have felt this way with my children and also with you, our support system, because I haven't been totally, truly honest.  I am sorry for that.  I am sorry for deceiving you and keeping my struggle from you.

You may think this post is unnecessary, but I have voluntarily invited you into our lives and I have intentionally led you to believe one thing, while living a different way.  I am telling you now because I want to be done with the lie, the lie of omission.  I want to invite you into my struggle to pray for me and encourage me.

I am also inviting you into this because now that I have exposed myself, I am asking for help.  I don't want to cheat anymore.  I want you to offer me things I shouldn't eat, but I need you not to.  I desire with my whole heart to eat this way for good, from this point on.  I wish I could explain to you the difference I see in myself when I eat a vegetarian, all natural diet.  My ability to love my family, my patience level, my understanding increases and my anger, depression and frustration and lethargic behavior greatly decreases.  It feels like by just changing my diet, I possess the potential to be the person I dream I can be.  I want the best version of myself for me, my husband and my family.  I deeply, desperately want this to be a lifestyle change and never go back.

Another little tid bit for you is that Paul has committed to eating according to the diet till April 15.  This is a whole family affair now and we need you.  We are five days in and having wonderful success.  Yeah, yeah, I know, it's only five days, but everyone has to start somewhere.

Thank you for listening.  Thank you for walking with us.  Thank you for believing in us.  Thank you for praying for us.  We need you.

Update:  I thought I should let you all know that my issue with food can't just be solved by changing my diet with will power.  I believe in the Spirit of God being able to transform my heart and my habits.  A friend of mine and I are starting a wonderful God centered food redemption program called, "Thin Within".  This is a program that focuses on God being the center of your life and when tempted with food you turn to God for help and strength and wisdom.  This is truly the only way to find freedom.