Saturday, February 6, 2010

Denial, It's Not Just a River in Egypt

Everyone has heard the term "hitting rock bottom."  We associate it with alcoholics and drug addicts.  And we know that different people hit their rock bottom  and become sober for good at different levels of addiction.  Some people are able to quit at a very early stage of addiction; some quit when they lose their job or their family or both; and some lose everything and die but never quit.

Think I'm not talking about you?  Is abuse of food different than alcoholism?  Do you eat when you are angry, lonely, tired, sad, frustrated or bored?  Even happy? Are you afraid of feeling your emotions? Maybe you use food/alcohol/drugs to numb yourself.  What would happen if you just allowed yourself to feel?

Victoria Boutenko, in her book 12 Steps to Raw Foods , points out a fascinating observation.  " . . . hitting the 'rock bottom' is not connected to disease or dispair but to something else.  What is the magic wand that returns people to the fullness of life?  The miraculous transformation happens when a person perceives the problem so clearly that he/she is not afraid to admit it to others . . . Some people are afraid of admitting the truth; others don't understand why it is so important . . . Such non-willingness to acknowledge the truth is called denial."

Writing this blog is a huge step for me.  In fact, it is really uncomfortable.  Shouting out to the world that "I have a problem and it's name is F-O-O-D is downright mortifying.  (Did I really think you didn't know just by looking at me?) But I'm here because I don't want to gain this weight back.

And I see so many people struggling with addiction all around me who want to stop but are so desperately afraid of having anyone else aware of their problem.  So they suffer because they know that some people will pass judgement.  But many others won't, because secretly, they are addicts of some sort too.  So don't be afraid.  Talk to other people.  Shout it out! What is the worst thing that could happen?  I think you'll be surprised at how entirely liberating it is.

11 comments:

Sindy said...

Such a wonderful and raw (pun intended) post! Love your honesty and willingness to put yourself in the spotlight. It suits you. I struggle with food too. In my 20s I had a pretty severe binge eating disorder. It's hard to have a 100% totally healthy relationship with food after something like that. It's a work in progress, like all things worth having in life.

Wendy and Sophia said...

Yes, a total work in progress. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Thanks for standing up and being part of this conversation!

Ruchi said...

Wendy - I am proud to be your friend. I think what you are doing is so important and inspiring. I would call it a spiritual oddysey of self discovery. No less. You go girl!

Wendy and Sophia said...

Thanks Ruchi! Unfortunately, I've been stuck on this oddysey for a really long time. But it's "my cross to bear." LOL Is there another way to phrase that?

Geri said...

Really important point. (My husband has a Food Problem(tm) so we talk about this a *lot* in our house!) We have talked about this with friends who are recovering alcoholics/drug addicts and their take is that having a food addiction is so much harder. You can exist just fine without whiskey or vicodin. You can't live without food. So you have to learn moderation with your substance in order to get through it. That's hard. This realization helped my husband a lot with his attitude toward his addiction.

I love your blog. I was a HUGE natural foodie for years and I have fallen off the wagon the last few years. You're kicking my butt back toward it.

Wendy and Sophia said...

Geri-I couldn't agree more. Food is an incredibly difficult addiction to recover from because you never know where the line is crossed between feeding your body and feeding your addiction. You are always questioning yourself. I think that is why food addicts are drawn to food plans with severe restrictions, like no sugar or no white flour, because it makes recovery cut and dry. Lately I've been exploring the world of raw food and it seems like just another system of rules created by food addicts to keep them on the wagon. It's an extremely confusing food world out there!

I'm so glad you are enjoying this blog and contributing your own thoughts and recipes. Please stay involved. I'm curious, what drew you into natural food and why have you moved away from it?

Geri said...

Um...what drew me to it was first that I was a vegetarian for a long time (like, 15 years? I went back to meat when my thyroid died and I started craving meat. I figure if I crave it, I need it, so now we eat a little bit of meat.) Mostly I like vegetables a *lot* and I was into nutrition as a hobby. When I was single and had tons of time it was an easy hobby to have.

I moved away from it a bit because of life! Having a kid, working, yada yada. We also moved from NYC to Connecticut and there wasn't a whole lot of accessibility here -- no produce market, closest Whole Foods is 40 minutes away...it just wasn't that easy anymore. Luckily things are changing here -- we have a great butcher, an organic market, a cheese shop, and an artisan organic bread baker in town now. The local farm started a CSA (summer only, but...) It's *way* easier now.

Laurie said...

Wendy - you rock! And in everything you do. I am perpetually impressed. I love your blog, it makes me feel like eating/living health is totally doable. While I don't fall into the food addiction category, I TOTALLY fall into the LAZY category! And at times I feel overwhelmed with all the info that is out there about diets & recipes. Where to begin, who to trust, how to DO IT, stay organized and on track. You have done the leg work, and your blog provides the filter - and I completely thank you for that. What you are showing (yet again) how great of a friend you are to everyone! Ok I am off to buy a new cuisinart... and beans....

Wendy said...

Laurie-
Thanks for your comment! I am also overwhelmed by all of the (mostly) conflicting nutritional information out there. It's a tough subject to navigate, but I hoping to do it over time and with everyone's continued input.

Chantal said...

Hi - just discovered your blog... wow! really amazing - so much good info. i too have a similar story. lost over 100 lbs. am committed to eating right and exercising and have been working as a weight loss coach. like your blog working as a coach is mopre for me than for my clients! good luck!

one question - is there an easy way to print a recipe? was looking for a print button! the email link didn't really email the recipe???

Wendy said...

Chantal--Wow! That is amazing! I'm sure you have developed great strategies to lose weight. I know the other readers of the blog would love to hear about them, so please become an active voice here on healthygirl's kitchen!

I need to work on printable views for the recipes. It's actually been on my "to do" list for a while now and I'm glad that you reminded me of it.

For now, the best thing to do is copy the recipe text and paste it into a new Word document (or other program) and then print it from there. Hopefully I will have printable views soon!

 
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