“You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside.” – Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul
In January 2020, I left the 12-step program of which I’d first joined at the age of 18 years old. That made for almost 30 years of following a weighed-and-measured food plan, reporting the day’s food plan to a sponsor every morning, attending meetings three times a week, and all the other tools associated with it.
I followed my food plan while on vacation, my honeymoon, in foreign countries, during business trips. I was known as the person with “special food needs” and people admired me for my discipline.
The program worked.
It was through this structure that I lost 100 pounds, kept it off for 15 years and built a life, a marriage, a career, a spiritual connection, many friendships and learned discipline, giving, self-reflection, and maturity. I dedicated my life to it and performed service up to the highest levels.
The program had saved me from a life of violent binge-eating and it was my pleasure.
Until it stopped working.
I took my first compulsive bite in March 2017, falling off into the abyss of sugar, flour, frosting, sprinkles, frozen delights and everything else that had been forbidden for years.
Looking back it doesn’t surprise me that I turned to food: I was going through a very upsetting divorce at the time, had jumped into a full-flown love affair, and was experiencing tremendous amounts of work stress.
That one binge led to infrequent binges … maybe once or twice a month. Over the next two years the binges became weekly, sometimes daily. Thankfully my love of exercise and naturally fast metabolism prevented me from gaining back 100 pounds but the eating took a horrific toll: missed work, outgrown clothes, severe digestive issues, and the lies, lies, lies I told everyone about why I just couldn’t show up one more time.
Make no mistake, during this time, I was working very hard to get back on that weighed-and-measured food plan. I woke up very morning, called my sponsor, committed my food, went to a meeting, make my three required outreach calls, read my 12-step literature.
And then I’d binge.
Finally, after a particularly nasty binge shortly after the New Year, I gave up. I felt like I could not beat my head against this wall one more day. I didn’t know what to do but I couldn’t keep doing this. My mom had success with Keto so I figured I’d try it. I literally had nothing to lose.
So where am I going with all this?
My point in this retelling is to share that now is the first time in my adult life that I have not had somebody or something telling me what to eat.
And it’s weird. And it’s cool. And it’s weird.
Since the time I was 18, I have been told – and believed – I’m powerless over food. But am I? Or am I just powerless over certain foods? Or am I not powerless over food?
I honest to God don’t know.
But what I do know is that I’m willing to let this path unfold and resist the urge to go running back to a 12-step program because it’s all I know. I’m willing to do something different.
I also understand I could be in a time of my life critical to my development, one that got woefully sidetracked when I was put on my first diet at age four: the ability to learn to feed myself by listening to my own body.
That’s why I started this “Keto” series. I’m in an unchartered, untethered place but for all I know … this could all turn out to be amazing.
As we like to say in 12-step groups: More will be revealed.
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