Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is it amazing? And info on addiction (155.8)

Vickie asked "Is it absolutely amazing to you how easily your weight is coming off? Does it feel easy/quick to you?"

YES and YES.

It is also very humbling. I am working hard to view the quick loss as a GIFT and not something that *I* am doing. Part of the "I am powerless over food" idea. I am following a program, and the program is taking care of the weight.

I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be in OA or not, but it's helping to take my EGO out of the process.

Does that mean I have no responsibility? Absolutely not.

I am responsible for calling my sponsor if I'm struggling, and calling her on a regular basis just to check in. 

I am responsible for going to meetings. 

I am responsible for reading literature. 

I am responsible for writing and answering the 30 Questions (part of the OA process). 

I am responsible for physical activity.

I am responsible for not eating the foods on my binge list. 

I am responsible for eating 3 healthy meals a day.

Everything else is left up to God.

Long time OA members talk about relooking at their food when their weight starts to get wonky. I think that has to do with getting older and metabolism changing, or letting foods creep in that aren't triggers but might be a weight-gain issue. It's never, ever about being on a diet.

The first 15 minutes of a meeting is the same thing every time...several readings including the steps and traditions. One part says "many of us find that the obsession with food is lifted as a result of working the program." That is what has happened for me. I have had a brief longing for a treat when my family has had ice cream, but it has been fleeting and not a pull on me.

I know in my bones that it is also a result of not eating sugar/fat/flour foods, which for me are a drug. A sugar addicted brain has no shot at overcoming food obsession if it's being fed a continuous diet of sugar/flour/fat foods.

At my last appointment with my therapist, she talked to me about how addiction works.  How a person can be reasonable, in control, driven, motivated, conscientious, intelligent, thoughtful, and whatever other descriptors fit an emotionally healthy human being.

But when their addictive brain takes over, those things go out the window.

She said doctors have studied addicts' brains, and when the addiction area of the brain lights up--and it lights up like wild fire when the addictive substance is consumed--the other, rational, "emotionally healthy" part of the brain DOES NOT FUNCTION as it should. 

It doesn't stand a chance of contradicting the raging demon of the addiction.

I haven't read the studies, and I don't know the science.  But I know from my own experience that THIS explains why, when I'm in the sugar, I can't stop myself from eating more sugar.  The experience of walking into the kitchen and eating sugary foods and the whole time I'm thinking "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! WHY CAN'T YOU STOP?!" 

Like I'm watching myself from outside my body, not in control and not able to regain control.

Utterly powerless.

That description of how the brain works also helps me accept that my sugar addiction is a disease that I am powerless over. And if I want to get better, make the disease not make me sicker, I have to stop feeding the disease.

It also explains why this feels so easy. 

I am not fighting the raging demon any longer. 

The addiction is always there.  That part of my brain didn't get cut out.  I can't feed it what it wants if I want the healthy part of my brain to stay in control.

I am still and will always be addicted to sugar, and I am still and will always be powerless over food. 

But I am not powerless.


Vickie said...

Such a good post!

Very proud of you.

I am not sure how often you eat other people's cooking or eat at restaurants. I wrote about this sometime over the summer.

I was questioning (grilling) waitress at restaurant about whether or not ANYTHING was added to steamed veggies.

She said no, but checked with kitchen because I had stressed to her that I have a health problem with salt, sugar, additives.

She came back and told me that they steam their veggies in SUGAR WATER to make them taste better.

She was shocked.

Nothing surprises me any more. I have very serious conversations with waitresses. If I tell them serious health issue, which it is, they seem to be good about checking with kitchen staff.

Jill said...

So great. All of it, just so great. I am so happy for you and proud of you - I know how much you have struggled in the last couple of years and to see how far you've come is such a blessing!! xoxo

Vickie said...

I had pangs when youngest went to school yesterday. How did you feel with little ones?

Our schools keep class room doors shut and locked during class time (have for years). The front doors have been locked and on buzzer/camera system for years. But like Conn. if someone really wanted, could come thru glass as these are not bank vault doors.

Oldest is on a plane this morning. And that makes me nervous too.

Middle had a hard time all weekend as I know she was picturing herself as teacher in those classrooms.

If you remember, 911, youngest (age 3-4) asked for months and months, every where we went, if the ceilings were coming down (I think so she was ready to run). She had a hard time on Friday, but seems okay now.

Laura N said...

I had a really weird reaction to the school shootings. I was more angry than anything. For most of Friday I just railed at the idea that these attacks keep happening.

There was a quote from a Dept of Educ official in an online article (I think it was the NY Times) that made me furious. He said that a child has a one in 2 million chance of being in a school shooting. That statistically schools are the safest place for kids. And that school shootings usually happen in middle & high schools and colleges and rarely in elementary schools.

All I could think was, that's supposed to bring us comfort after 20 children were murdered in a school? I thought about the movie Fight Club--how the insurance companies balanced the number of people dying in car crashes and how much law suits cost, vs. how much it would cost to fix a deadly problem with their cars. Felt like that's what the Dept of Educ was saying...It would cost a fortune to really protect our kids. And there just aren't enough of them dying to pay for it.

I have gotten teary eyed--I have said prayers, but I'm trying not to feel this too deeply. When I heard the President's speech Monday night, esp when he read the kids' names, I almost lost it. I had to turn the channel. And I'm just trying not to think about it very much. When I picked up the kids at shool Friday and yesterday (they ride the bus in the morning), I kept thinking I wish they had better security measures. But, short of solid locked doors and no glass on the ground floor and armed security guards and/or principals and teachers, we'll never fully protect them.

It's a fallen, scary, awful world we live in. But's it's full of love, too. A Facebook friend posted this on her wall. It helped me a lot.

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Vickie said...

High school changed one major thing today. They have always told teachers that windows had to be able to be seen thru (so fire and police could see in rooms from the outside). Today all windows are covered so no one can shoot in from outside. They also had a total lockdown, intruder alert practice today. Doors of rooms locked, inside door windows covered, kids hidden in rooms, total silence.