Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Journey Into Abstinence: My Food History

My earliest memories of overeating was as a kid, 6 or 7. Both my mom and her mother, my MomMom were wonderful cooks. I was introduced to all kinds of foods. Thanks to them, I developed a broad palate. Always told to finish what was on my plate. So to make them happy I did. 

As a pre-teen, we took walks down to the Grove. I would spend allowance money on candy. I loved chocolate and thought it was a great thing to buy it myself. At some point, I felt a guilt over buying it and would hide it. I know sneaking food started then. 

In senior high, I was given money for lunch each week. I could buy whatever I wanted. Then there were the fundraisers. Booster club sold the paddle pops, soft pretzels. The school store had cookies and candy. I ate them on the walk home. Sweets and chocolate were huge triggers. When MomMom died when I was 15 I spent that summer of '75 gorging on anything and everything. Everyone was so upset around me. I kept to myself sneaking food up to my room. 

Probably my worst initial binges, always hidden from view, were in college. I was unhappy about my extra weight even though I was told how pretty I was. I think I was jealous of my younger brother who was so skinny my parents prayed he would eat. 

I digress. I would buy whole pizzas and eat them in my room or my car. Then quickly break down the box and toss it. I'd buy hoagies, corned beef specials, Chinese food. Never eaten in the kitchen but upstairs in secret. After college I stopped eating those things because I was working in my parents' store and with them almost 24/7. But I managed to bring in chocolate. I put the empty wrappers in my dresser drawer or between the mattress and box spring. My mom discovered them and we had a tearful and heated discussion/argument. 

In 1977, mom discovered liquid protein diet. She lost 95 pounds in 9 months. She eventually put it all back on, predominantly after my dad was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 3 in '85. Shortly after that I was invited to an OA meeting by our Cantor's wife. She was my sponsor but I only did the easy things like a meal plan. Never did the 12 steps. 

Fast forward to '89 and my dad passed away. I always had a problem with IBS but it got worse at that time. I wasn't eating much either. No candy, no bad foods. Everything I ate went right through. I lost 50 pounds in 3 months. My mom insisted I go to the doctor. I did, they diagnosed my with Crohn's disease. I was on a strict diet with the threat of hospitalization if I didn't stick to it. I was so very ill. I avoided a perforated colon by a whisker. I was scared!

In that time frame, I met my first husband. I was still following the doctor's food plan with small additions. In 6 months we were engaged and then married. I kept most of the weight off I think because I was afraid to gain any, that he would leave me. We bought a house, had a baby and divorced in 6 years. I moved back home with my mom with Eric. 

I was unhappy with my life. I was unsettled. I went back to sneak eating. I was, after all, in my old bedroom! I fell back to bad habits. I tried WW, Jenny Craig and shakes from Arbonne. I took off weight and put most back on. Nothing I would call significant. 

Right now, even though we are struggling financially, I'm in love with Larry. Nothing like my ex. 

This time around with OA I feel so different. I can stay away from chocolate even with it being in the house. Right now there is no candy here either. If Eric brings it in, it stays in his room. My blood sugars are so improved! In a few weeks I'll get new blood tests done. 

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