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Well, that’s my result anyway. It’s actually week 12 now and the last few weeks have been really hard. I feel like I’ve lost all control – or rather felt like I lost all control of my eating. I’ve had issues of over-eating in the past, but never binges like I’ve experienced the last few weeks.

So, what happened? This is what I think:

A combination of

  • too restrictive of diet
  • stress at work
  • stress of changing jobs
  • stress of starting school
  • home/family stress
  • not enough fat and other nutrients in the diet
  • adrenal/lack of energy issues
  • plus any hormonal fluctuations that we women all get to experience
  • sleep disturbances
  • Also, I have to mention motive: My motive for this diet wasn’t purely better health, but rather my competitiveness chimed in – a weight loss challenge. Pride and ego involved now – No bueno.

It all adds up after a while and has to get out somehow – for me it came in the form of binges – sunbutter and chocolate is my food of choice. And ice cream. And pop corn. And anything else I could find. Eating until I hurt. Then eating more. Nothing satisfied my brain. Nothing.

You know what I really wanted? Bok choy, kale, and avocado. All very healthy foods and all forbidden. Why?

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Dieting is bad and unhealthy. I won’t recommend anything like this to friends or future clients.
  • Losing pounds on the scale is not worth losing my mind, sanity and self control. I don’t like feeling like this. I’m ok with it taking me another 5 years to lose this last bit of fat if that’s what it takes. I’m getting off this roller coaster. It’s not fun.
  • I need to listen to my intuition. I CAN do this with balanced diet, fun exercise, and taking proper care of stress. My “gut” (intuition) has been telling me for a while that this wasn’t right for me. Next time I will listen.
  • Accountability is key. It is so good to have friends who love me enough to lovingly show me that what I was doing was not healthy. No judgement. Always supporting. Always making me think. Talking me off the cliffs. Available. You know who you are – thanks.
  • It doesn’t take a life time of childhood issues to develop an eating disorder.
  • I know that God will help me through this and we will be able to help others over come down the road as well … but until then, I have some recovery to do.

For the practical – physcial part of recovery, I’ve decided to add food slowly back into my diet. Slowly is key and that is hard because I want to eat everything now. So I’m planning things out as much as I can and preparing food so that I have what I need. And giving myself permission to eat has been a huge relief. Bok choy, kale, and avocado are back on the menu! (can I get an amen?!)

For the emotional and spiritual part, I’m using what I already have in my tool bag … CR!
Here’s the Celebrate Recovery model for dealing with these things – I’ve personalized it for the binge issue that I’ve been experiencing …

Step 1. Admit that I am powerless over my addictions and compulsive behaviors and that my life has become unmanageable. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I can not carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)
Summary: I’m out of control and I can’t stop bingeing on my own

Step 2. I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Phil 2:13)
Summary: God is in control and I believe that God can restore me

Step 3. I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God. “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
Summary: I’m going to let God do it – He can restore my sanity! What do You need me to do?

Step 4. I made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)
Summary:  2 things to inventory. 1 > going on this diet 2> bingeing

Step 5. I admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being, the exact nature of my wrongs. “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16)
Summary: I confessed to God, myself, and a few of my close friends that I was struggling with this issue. They have encouraged me and continue to support and encourage me through this time. They are also praying for me. Confessing this issue to them and actually admitting that I was having this binge problem was a huge moment of coming out of denial (step 1) for me. I didn’t want to admit that it had come to that. But it did. Now it’s out in the open and can be dealt with.

Step 6. I am entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
Summary: I admit that I have a problem with bingeing.  I want help. I want to be restored to sanity.

Step 7. I humbly ask Him to remove all my shortcomings. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Summary: Please help me to accept myself as I am. I know that no food or anything else will satisfy – Please satisfy me with YOUR love!

Step 8. I made a list of all persons I harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
Summary: 2 issues I’m struggling with – 1 is doing the diet, 2 is bingeing. For this issue, I’ve really only hurt myself. I am willing to forgive myself, quit beating myself up over these failures – no matter how much weight I gain back. I will let it go and make healthier choices in the future. If I slip again, I will forgive myself, make necessary adjustments/re-evaluate and move on.

Step 9. I made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the alter and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar; first go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Summary: I accept God’s forgiveness and I forgive myself. I am, after all, only human and not perfect. I made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. I am grateful for forgiveness from God and grateful for friends who encourage and support me.

Step 10. I continued to take personal inventory and when I was wrong, promptly admitted it. “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Summary: I know I will not be perfect and will slip. It’s ok – this is a part of life, a part of growth and a part of the process. God never wastes a hurt – I give it to Him. I will continue to forgive myself as often as I need to. He will see me through this.

Step 11. I sought through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out. “Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly.” (Colossians 3:16)
Summary: I am sure that God’s will is not for me to lose my sanity over a few pounds. He wants me to be healthy in body, spirit and mind. I need to focus on His view of me as His daughter who He loves dearly just as I am. God doesn’t make junk – none of us are junk. I am worthy of love just as I am.

Step 12. Having had a spiritual experience as a result of these steps, I try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all my affairs. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
Summary: Friends, this is my story. I know God will restore me. I believe and trust that He will. It’s easy to lose perspective but I’m thankful for those who help me to regain it.

Just writing this all out was very therapeutic for me. So, here’s to recovery!

~Digging Deep and Riding Strong – back to health! Body, Mind, and Spirit!