Where I Am From

December 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm 2 comments

Addiction is a crazy thing. To have something, something so arbitrary, that dictates what your life should be like, that tells you what your entire life should center around is just crazy. And then, for that addiction to be food… I would by no means want to demean something that someone else is struggling with. Addiction is addiction as far as I’m concerned. But people understand addiction to alcohol or drugs or sex. They don’t understand how a cinnamon roll can have that same draw.

I didn’t realize that what I had was an addiction until much later in my life, but looking back I can see it’s presence even in my childhood. My mind was always occupied with what I was going to eat next. I always wanted it to be something wonderful….that perfect meal. I would think about what exactly would be my perfect meal just like a girl might sit and wonder about her Prince Charming. I was always snacking. I could not just “sit around;” there had to be something going into my mouth. Food, though not my only fantasy, was at least up on the list. Even as a teenager when my friends and I would get together for a night out, it didn’t matter what else was on the agenda, for me, food was the highlight of the night.

In junior high I was a size 10. I hated that I was the biggest out of all my friends, but I felt powerless to stop it. As I got out of high school, then out of college, I kept getting bigger and bigger. I hated seeing the number go up, but I felt like there was nothing I could do about it. After I got married to my wonderful husband, I tried dieting…twice. Both times I lost weight and both times I gained it all back plus some more. It wasn’t like I didn’t try everything I knew to change. I even talked with older women I knew that I felt had a grasp on things. They both told me the same thing: diet and exercise. I knew that already, of course. I KNEW how weight loss was supposed to happen. What I needed to know was how to make myself do it. One of the women gave me a book with quizzes in the back on possible things that might be hindering weight loss. One quiz dealt with food addiction. It was like someone had crawled inside of my brain and then come out with questions that described exactly how I was feeling. At the bottom of the quiz, it gave an addiction hotline number to call if the quiz described you. I did not call the number. It felt so preposterous to think that I was in a place that was bad enough to need to call a hotline. So I let it be.

Even armed with the knowledge of what my problem was, I still didn’t understand how to change. I knew the information. I knew the healthy things to do, what to eat, how to exercise, but I just couldn’t make my body do it. Then one day, on our way back from a visit with my in-laws, my husband talked to me. He explained that he was as attracted to me as ever, but if I kept gaining weight and one day was 100 lbs heavier, he didn’t know if he would be. Wow. It was hard to hear, but I couldn’t blame him. Once more, for the millionth time, I begged God, Please let me be free! I had no idea what being free could look like; how can you imagine the ocean if you’ve never felt water? But I knew that it must be possible. Just a few days later, it happened. I was at church, worshipping  as we sang and I heard it, the still, small voice uttering the words that have changed my life: You’re free; don’t look back.

God had answered my prayer. And I haven’t been the same since then. I have been completely changed. It wasn’t that I dropped 50 lbs right there. It wasn’t that the struggle with food had been completely removed. It was just that for the very first time in my life, I understood what it looked like to be free.

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Entry filed under: Addiction and Help. Tags: , , , , .

First…why am I writing? Hope, Not Hate

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joanna  |  January 3, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. Awesome to hear your story of how God has set you free! 🙂 Joanna (Allen’s cousin 🙂

    Reply
  • […] finally stuck. (You can read more about the why’s and wherefore’s of my resolution here.) I started off my new-found freedom from the power of food by eating less. That’s it. No […]

    Reply

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