I felt so horrible in the beginning. I was depressed, anxious, and phobic, as well as miserable about my uncontrollable bingeing.
In a way, I was lucky to be in such a bad way. My life had pretty much imploded. I had dropped out of school, dropped my volunteer job at church. I wasn’t working, I wasn’t cooking or taking care of the house. I decided to put my whole focus on getting better.
So I consciously decided to channel that into the steps. I joined each step list in turn. Couldn’t post — I was so socially phobic that pushing the send button was a nightmare. I bought the CDs and listened to them over and over in my car and kept moving through the steps.
Then I signed up for Ranch. I was still pretty messed up. Most newbies on any step have a great time at Ranch. When I came back the next year, it was like being a different person. I was learning to connect. I posted on the Ranch list (after Ranch) more than anywhere else. I held on for dear life till healing caught up to me. I started to serve in small ways, answering posts from newbies.
Kathleen talks about putting every skill we gain as an addict into the service of our recovery. That is what I was doing.
I found RR a year ago this week. At the same time, two of my closest friends were doing Weight Watchers, both had lost about 65 pounds – yet I knew WW did not work for me. I felt shame about my body size, I hated being really really fat, but the minute I connected with this community I knew I was in the right place. Over the last few months I have come out of addiction amnesia, which I had previously called body denial. I have learned to love myself in a whole new way. I am now on Step 6 and my body is waking up to wanting to eat only program-friendly foods.
Now a year later… I just saw these same two WW friends, and both of them have put almost all of their weight back on, one of them is now talking about weight loss surgery, the other is even more miserable in her shame. Both are sugar sensitive, but neither are at a place they can hear about the program, so I just continue to love them from where they are, and hope to model a different way of living.
This program is saving my life, one step at a time. Sometimes it feels really slow, but I trust in the stories of those that have traveled the path ahead of me and know that my body is healing from the inside out.
As someone told me recently…if you decide you need to try a detour (Weight Watchers — or anything else) — we will be here waiting for you with open arms when you decide you are ready to return.
I realized when I heard those words, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, I am in the right place. There are no failures here, just lots and lots of learning experiments.
This program has changed me completely. I am a better teacher and person because of it. I am able to be focused and caring way more than I ever could have been before when I was eating sugar. Since starting this program in February of 2000, I have had several classes and my attitude toward how I handle the children and their eating has progressed and been honed since the first class when I started. I was still allowing sugary things. Hey, this was MY thing, not theirs, but over the years, I have seen how sugar not only affects me but the children that I teach and many other people too. I don’t force my beliefs on people but I do enforce the no sugar thing in my classroom. It works. The children are calmer and they are teaching their parents about healthy snacks.
I had a conference with some parents yesterday. We started talking about this. They don’t let their children eat sweets. They, too, have seen what it does to their daughter (who is in my class). This child is always alert and ready to learn.
This all brings my main WOW to light. I wonder how many families I have touched and changed since I started this program. It is growing by leaps and bounds. It isn’t just one child, it’s 20, then 80, then who knows.
Today I wanted to clean out the fridge a bit and asked one of my teenage son’s friends if he would like the final piece of leftover pie. He eagerly accepted and said yes to ice cream also. I dished out the pie and ice cream and then tidied up the kitchen. I had just finished a very tasty RR lunch of my favorite chicken dish, wild rice/brown rice medley, and apple slices with peanut butter.
A couple of hours later I realized with a shock that I DIDN’T EVEN THINK about how I was missing dessert. I didn’t take a sliver for myself or lick the spoon or anything. No cravings, no struggles, it just never crossed my mind. I was just happy he was enjoying it so much and now I could put the dish into the dishwasher and have more room in the fridge.
WOW! I can’t tell you how stunned I am!
1. No fights with husband.
2. Able to drive long distances alone.
3. More social, seeking others out.
4. Noticed the beautiful clouds and sky today.
5. Weight loss.
6. No headaches.
7. BP in doctor’s office 110/74 (that’s never happened before; usually it’s very high)
8. Not so rigid and perfectionistic.
9. Decreased inordinate spending.
10. Creative ideas/solutions.
11. Got gas for car without worrying about an open spot.
12. No bad breath.
13. Urine no longer cloudy.
14. Great desire to de-clutter and simplify.
15. Went for a walk in the neighborhood for the first time in three years.
This week marks my fourth anniversary on this wonderful journey. All week I have been thinking about the many changes in my life since I began to “do the food.”
I no longer get up in the middle of the night and go out to the kitchen to eat. Usually if I wake up I don’t even go out for a drink of water. I have begun to keep a bottle of water beside my bed.
I never eat between meals except on a rare occasion. That will happen if for some reason I do not eat enough food at my meal. Then I will have a program friendly snack because I don’t like feeling hungry.
I have worked on the same job for over thirty years. For the last few years before starting the steps I hated my job. Now I wake up every morning excited to go to work. I love my job again and that makes me very happy.
From the time I was twenty I took medicine for high blood pressure. For the last two plus years I have had normal blood pressure and I no longer take medication to control the pressure.
I suffered for years with migraine headaches. Now I never even get a regular headache.
I used to have swollen feet and ankles that just about brought me to tears. Sometimes my feet swell up a little. Usually they are fine now. I even have space between my toes.
No longer do I suffer from backaches or IBS. Both of which I suffered with for many years.
I am not cranky and my moods are very steady. All along I thought I was cranky because I was getting older.
My choices in clothing colors has changed quite a bit over the last two years. Before starting on this journey I wore black all the time. I would have a black blouse with some color in it, but for the most part black was my color choice. Now I choose bright colors and pastels.
I had some highlights put in my hair and doing that made me feel like a million dollars. For the most part I take care to dress and look my best. Of course I still have some days where I don’t care so much how I look (smile). That is an indicator that I need more rest or more protein.
I have energy and enjoy life. I love to get up in the morning and watch the sunrise. I find joy in the smallest of things. I socialize more than I did in many years. Life is good and as I work the steps, it keeps getting better. I laugh frequently and rarely cry. The total opposite of how I was before I began this journey.
I can pass up dessert and not feel deprived. I can walk past a bakery and never even glance in the window. That is what I call freedom!
When I was told all of these things were possible I didn’t really believe it. I didn’t really believe eating breakfast would make such a huge difference in my life. Every night I say a prayer of thanks that Kathleen has done this work and given us all a chance at radiance.
This is how it worked where the Appleton video took place. I am going to send a copy of Little Sugar Addicts and the video to my school board. My teaching partner is very supportive of this and does the same thing I do.
This year, I am going to go one step further…not just promoting ONLY healthy snacks, I am going to try to insist that EVERYONE bring a snack every day with protein in it.
The kids are one of the best methods of getting to them…and I tell them how I feel about the stuff and what they are and aren’t allowed to eat in my classroom. Since kindergartners still like/love their teacher, it seems to be helpful!!!
So…I guess where I’m going with this….you can do whatever you can, one teacher at a time…one parent at a time, one child at a time. You have already planted seeds.