Thursday, April 11, 2019

Full Circle

     This is a story of my life as an addict, a food addict to be specific and name my substance of choice. I came by the addiction "honestly," as I was raised in an addictive household by a mother who was, herself, a food addict. I spent all of my elementary and secondary school days in a very obese state, and was the brunt of much cruelty as a result.
     Assorted diets offered me varying success over the years, depending on my motivation. I have lost literally hundreds of pounds in my life. I have weighed as much as 100 pounds more than I do now. No method of self-abuse with food surprises me. I've probably done 'em all.
     One thing about food addicts--we have an extreme love-hate relationship with food. Food was my best friend from an early age. It calmed me down, enabled me to stuff down feelings, and thereby get through each day of craziness. Truly it was my survival mechanism growing up. It's not a good idea to try and come between a food addict and her food. Just so you know, commenting about what a food addict is eating puts one in a very precarious position. Even a questioning look at an addict's full plate can set her off. It's a very volatile situation, dealing with an addict. Such was my early married life, and my poor husband never knew what he was faced with as I tried without success to control my eating behaviors. 
     The catalyst for change was the birth of our first child. I gained 50 pounds during the pregnancy with unbridled eating, and much to my surprise, I did not have a 50-pound baby. I was rapidly becoming aware that food and excess weight were symptoms of the problem, not the core issue. Then a friend of mine talked with me about his addictive behavior with food. I was stunned to learn that there was someone else on the planet that was as nuts about and with food as I was. He also offered a solution, which I latched onto like a drowning person grabbing a life preserver. I was committed not to pass addiction on to yet another generation.
     Fast-forward through three decades plus of recovery from compulsive eating. The efforts involved in recovery are totally worth it, as they have enabled me to create a great life and have great relationships with people, rather than with food. My most important relationship, with my husband, is what brings me to the "full circle" focus of this post.
     My husband was telling me recently about a friend who is a great cook, but his wife doesn't much care for food in general, or for his fine cooking. My husband said, "I'm so glad you love food and continue to enjoy my cooking." It would be way less fun for him to make his many wonderful dishes if I didn't much care about them. Instead, I love them, and I truly appreciate his efforts. 
     Lastly, to follow up on the previous post, I was successful, in huge part due to my husband's supportive cooking efforts, to not only keep my weight steady during tax season, but to actually lose a few pounds. Unlike the previous three tax seasons, I feel great physically, and I'm so glad I don't need to lose the "tax season 10."
     Food addiction--blessing or curse? It's been both for me, but the full circle is one that is mostly filled with blessings.
     Grateful for the journey,
          Leta