DAY 27: Hope for the future: wanting something more than we want our fix
Hope for the future: wanting something more than we want our fix
Early on in the program I said that food addiction is my personal Waterloo. (In case you’re wondering, I’m Napoleon in this scenario.)
I went up and down the dieting roller coaster for decades, feeling miserable and out-of-control all the while. It wasn’t until I recognized that I had an addiction that I finally found a path to recovery.
And it turned out, the only way I could avoid being taken down by my addiction was to surrender.
I don’t mean surrender as in give up; I mean surrender as in acknowledge that I am unable to control the power of my addiction. I cannot bend it to my will. I cannot simply buckle down and try harder. Every single time I tried those tactics, I failed. The only thing that worked was to raise the white flag to all of my trigger foods and choose to eat and live differently.
I like to say that I don’t try to squeeze healthy habits into my busy life; I have healthy habits that I’ve built a life around.
What I realize now, many years into my recovery, is that the ultimate goal isn’t to “cure” food addiction. It’s to have a life that’s more meaningful that the pull of the addiction. To want something more than I want my fix.
As we wind down the program I’m going to make one last pitch for you to consider making this method of eating – emphasizing lean protein, healthy fats, and high fiber vegetables and completely abstaining from trigger foods – your lifelong eating plan.
I could not be more sympathetic to your grumbling that my recovery eating plan is not very sexy, but think about it for a moment: you’ve already tried to eat the way everybody else eats, and to quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for ya?”
Yeah, it didn’t work for me either.
We all want so much to believe that we can moderate our favorite foods, but as I said many times throughout the program, the odds are against us and we know from experience that we cannot moderate our trigger foods consistently. And if we’re not consistently eating for recovery, then we’re right back in the hot seat of addiction.
That’s not someplace I want to be anymore.
More than anything else, as we move beyond the 28 Days program, I want to convey my gratitude and respect for each one of you who has committed to overcoming food addiction. It’s hard enough to acknowledge the addiction, but deciding to live in active recovery is maybe the bravest thing you could ever do.
As for me, I think I will always feel a little like an outsider. Like, the world doesn’t really get the struggle that I deal with every day. But I just have to be okay with that. Maybe it’s not their job to understand.
I make a conscious decision every day to live in active recovery because I recognize that food addiction drives a wedge between me and who I want to be. It keeps me separated from my physical, spiritual, social and emotional best self and I’ve had my fill of living that way.
One final post tomorrow. Until then, stay strong.