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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Living In The Problem

I am a food addict.

I don't have a "little control problem" when it comes to eating.  I don't eat super healthy naturally for weeks followed by a few bad days.  I don't eat normal portion sizes ordinarily, with occasional days where I overeat.  Nope.  I, for my entire lifetime, have struggled with food addiction, binging, periods of bulimic binging/purging, and I cannot control it on my own, in silence or secrecy.  I know I can't because after 30+ years of trying, it hasn't panned out so well.

On QUITNET, a gentleman named "wiskbroom" posted this:  "When I stopped living in the problem and started living in the answer, the problem went away."  I saved it over a year ago since it really resonated with me while I was quitting smoking.  When I accepted that I was a nicotine addict and stopped focusing on how I couldn't quit, and instead accepted that I needed help, and reached out for it, the answers came.

This morning I googled the quote to see where it came from.  Go figure, it's from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous!  I think there's a ton of wisdom in there that can apply to all of us.  (Alcohol is one thing I'm not addicted to.  But I suppose in this whack-a-mole game of life I better keep that in check because it appears I can become quite addicted to lots of things when the goal is trying to escape myself.)  Anyway.....
Here's the quote in context:

"At last, acceptance proved to be the key to my drinking problem. After I had been around A.A. for seven months, tapering off alcohol and pills, not finding the program working very well, I was finally able to say, "Okay, God. It is true that I--of all people, strange as it may seem, and even though I didn't give my per mission--really, really am an alcoholic of sorts. and it's all right with me. Now, what am I going to do about it?" When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation--some fact of my life --unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, 1 could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

I spend a helluva lot of time living in the problem.  I live in a state 600 miles away from my relatives.  I am a single working mom with a god-awful commute and no time to do all that needs to be done.  I bought and live in an old house that all at once has decided to start falling apart including appliances, leaking roof, plumbing issues, etc.  I could go on and on and on and on.  And I could add my own shortcomings onto the list.  I spend too much time online.  I don't spend enough time doing things with my son like playing games, going for walks, etc.  I [insert x, y and z here.]  

In fact, I think I list these things out in my head so often they become almost paralyzing.  There's so much piled on me sometimes I don't feel I can move, and instead, I'll sit here online living in the problem.  Hmmmmmm.

So here's the path that seems to work for me when tackling my "issues" (weight, parenting, work, the house, etc.) For each one, I need to:

  1. Acknowledge "what is." (Acknowledge)
  2. Accept that it is what it is, and That's OKAY. (Accept)
  3. Figure out small steps to move forward. (Plan)
  4. Get off my ass and do them. (Do)

I have been doing so, incrementally, for the past few years.  I am so far ahead of where I started it's amazing when I look back.  But it's still so easy to fall back into the trappings of my old ways.  Today I'm not going to focus on the house falling apart, the mounting bills, the parenting, the job, etc.  I will focus on the food/weight for today and for this post.  So applying my steps above:

  1. (Acknowledge) I am a food addict and if I start slipping, it can set off a chain reaction into the great abyss.
  2. (Accept) I have overeaten this weekend, including red velvet cake and chinese food because I am a food addict (not because I am inherently bad or lacking in character.)
  3. (Plan) I can't go back, so I can choose wisely today and do my abs, legs and arms exercises and treadmill.
  4. (Do) Gotta sign off.  I have some things I gotta do....  ;-)



  1. It's been 5 days since your last blog entry. How's it been going this week?

  2. all i can say is YES, i do understand and NO i'm not a food addict! addiction is addiction. and it sucks the life out of us.


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