I’m reading this book called Shades of Hope by Tennie McCarty. Tennie runs the Shades of Hope Recovery Center in Buffalo Gap, TX. They focus on recovery from unhealthy relationships with food but also address many other things as well (drugs and alcohol, sex, shopping, etc.) because sometimes we just replace one addiction for another. She was also a weight loss coach for Ruby when it was on TV (I loved that show). I watched her on Ruby and just really liked her style – she doesn’t take any bullshit off anyone…mostly because she’s shoveled most of it herself over the years. I’ve only just started it but already I can see myself and I know that it’s going to help me.
I’ve started to worry that this struggle I have with my weight is turning back into the obsession it used to be. There was a time I could tell you exactly how many calories something had and how many minutes of exercise you’d have to do to burn it off. It was like being in prison. I never had a quiet, present moment while eating because I was always worried about what it would do to my ass.
After the kids were born and we cut fat out of our diet I was able to maintain with good, clean food and exercise. I loved that time. I was never in better shape and I never felt better about my body (I still hated it mind you…just not as much). But, and this is a big BUT, I was still smoking. Drinking not so much but definitely smoking. I at least had one addiction.
Then I quit smoking – cold turkey – it sucked but now it doesn’t. But, and this is a big BUT, I replaced the cigarette addiction with an increase in alcohol consumption and by putting some of the crap back into my diet by saying, “I deserve this. I quit smoking.” Now I’m not drinking so the only thing I have left to turn to is food. Yucky, bad for me, not even really that delicious food. WTF?
So all this is going around and around in my head and I’m going round and round with the Boxing Bitch as she talks to me the way I wouldn’t talk to my worst enemy. I’m counting the hell out of calories and eating popcorn everynight for a snack – which isn’t that bad…except. Except for the fact that the other night I popped the last bag in the house and told the kids, “This is my popcorn.” What the hell? I will give my children the last bite of food in the house and go hungry. They can have everything I am and everything I own so those words scared the hell out of me! I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough.
Holy shit – I’ve replaced the feelings I used to have about wine and cigarettes with food. I was always calculating, “Is there enough wine for everyone? Will I get enough?” “Do I have enough cigarettes to last the weekend? What if there’s a snow storm?” “Will there be wine at this function and if so, how much can I have? Will it be enough?”
So as I’m having this epiphany, I begin to read this book that I purchased last week on my iPad, (Did I mention my bestie bought it for me? Yeah…well I’m mentioning it again.) and I’m thinking, holy crap, this is exactly what I’m feeling! So of course I keep reading…
Tennie says that people like me are always trying to fill the hole in their soul. Whoa! That’s exactly how I described what I feel to my husband – like there’s a hole in my soul; like I’m not finished; like I’m broken. She says it comes from not being nurtured as a child (among other things) and having no clue how to nurture ourselves. She’s also says a 12 step program is the only way to get through it.
So I’m going to keep reading and I’m going to keep this in mind as I move through the 12 Steps of AA. I’m meeting my sponsor tonight to hopefully move to Step 3 and 4 (three I’ve got…four?…that one makes me nervous) and I want to keep in mind that this recovery process is about so much more than just not drinking. It’s about getting to a part of me that’s broken and beginning the process of mending it.
“We can diagnose people but it doesn’t matter what we say to them…it’s what they internalize and diagnose themselves.” – Tennie McCarty