Thursday, October 4, 2012

Overcoming food addiction is my ongoing battle

Last week, I gave a motivation talk at the Desert Sunrise Speakers Toastmasters Club in Palm Desert, CA. In the speech, I come clean about experiencing hopelessness over a terrible addiction to sugary and fatty foods. I have learned to control this addiction through positive psychology, but every now and then, I must admit, the addiction rears its ugly head. I have decided today that I want to share a bit more of my story of addiction and ongoing recovery here on my blog, because I know that if I keep this very intimate struggle a secret and continue to play the role of the infinitely strong, optimistic and powerful one who rides life's ups while being unphased by life's downs, I am doing a disservice not only to myself but ultimately to my readers.

This summer, the addiction hit me full force as I was contemplating my recent career move to Southern California, which I realized then would ultimately have me leaving my partner behind for a time in Albuquerque as he completes his nutrition degree there. I've been doing great since the move, having lost 17 pounds in just one month through mindful eating and engaging in regular aerobic exercise and strength training. But tonight, it happened again, and I just ate more than 700 calories after dinner as my emotions caught up with me.

I have been feeling emotionally week for the past couple of days, as I am coping with news that my mother has just begun battling lung cancer all while I'm experiencing the ongoing difficulty of maintaining a long-distance relationship and seeking more fulfilling and financially stable employment. So tonight, even after eating a home-cooked dinner of hardy and delicious squash and eggplant stew over quinoa, I felt my emotional hunger kick in. I scavenged the house for sweets and took two heaping scoops of leftover cake frosting my housemate had left in the fridge. Then I set out for some frozen yogurt. And after that I ate two Reese's cups and some Starburst candies.

It is absolutely horrifying for me to be telling you this. But I am coming clean. This is something I do. I do it when I am feeling weak. And I do it out of view of anyone who knows me. In fact, I do it in stages so even strangers only see me enjoying a small sweet treat. No one sees the binge that takes place over the course of an hour or so and at several different stops along the way.

Okay, so there it is. I'm absolutely sweating as I sit here in my room, alone, in front of my computer about to hit the "publish" button on this post. But here goes nothing! And just so you know...I'm okay. This actually feels good to be putting it out there. I will follow up tomorrow with another post on my progress, and I will talk more about dealing with my addiction to sugary and fatty foods over the course of the coming months as I continue to battle obesity.

Well, I'm heading out to swim some laps right now. It's been about an hour since eating and I think my stomach is settled enough for me to get some exercise in the pool. I know it won't take away what I just did, but it will certainly make me sleep better. And it will re-set my mind so I can wake up tomorrow morning refreshed, not feeling guilty about the binge but ready to start anew as I continue on with my fit life journey.

As always, thanks for reading! If you don't already, follow me on Twitter @myfitlife2day. Also, check out my YouTube videos, starting with this one of my recent speech to local Toastmasters called "Hike Your Way to Health!"

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