Life at the Resort (the Last Resort!)

Hello, my name is Alison and I am a grateful, recovering food addict.   I am glad that I can always tell more of my story later, so I don't have to write this post perfectly.  What it was like - I have been addicted to sugar and flour for as long as I can remember.  I trust that I am also addicted to wheat and have no interest in testing that.  I weighed 175 lbs at age 11 when I first attended Weight Watchers.  I tried WW, Diet Center, the Atkins Diet, the Scarsdale Diet, the Woman's Advantage Diet and exchange food plans from nutritionists.  I was never able to lose weight and maintain the weight loss.  I cried myself to sleep at night promising the next day would be different and by 10 am the next morning I was already off the food plan of the week.  I got straight A's and excelled in every other area of life, but could not resist the cravings I had.  I did not understand that I was addicted to substances that created the cravings.  I thought everyone around me had the same cravings, but just had the will power to resist them.  I developed bulimia and used laxatives and compulsive exercising to maintain a weight of 150 lbs or so in high school.   (I am 5' 4")  I had a close relationship with God and prayed for help throughout my childhood.  I finally concluded that He just didn't care about my eating issues.  I was wrong!  He just had a solution for me that was different from diets - a solution that would help me be a channel through which He could free countless others from bondage to food.   

I first learned that I am different from normal people when I attended an Overeaters Anonymous meeting at age 17.  That was the first time I heard others talk about food as I understood food.  Like me, these people thought about food pretty much non-stop - feeling bad about eating too much, thinking about the cookies/cake/chips etc. that are nearby and trying not to eat them, then eating them, then feeling bad about eating them, then thinking about dieting to avoid the consequences, then eating food that is not on the diet, then feeling bad  etc. etc. etc. so that there is NON-STOP food "noise" in the head at all times.    

I have been in recovery since that first meeting at age 17.  I have found that the Kay Sheppard food plan in From the First Bite has eliminated all physical cravings for food.  That means I have NO "food noise" in my head any more.  I think about food when preparing it and eating it and I never have an intense desire to eat foods that are not on the plan.  Although I may have nostalgia, I do not have the uncontrollable urge.  I have maintained a healthy weight of 128 lbs. for many years, and have 3 and 1/2 years of back to back abstinence from sugar, flour and wheat.  (I had previously had four years of back to back abstinence + two abstinent pregnancies!)  I am present for my family and I sponsor others in the program.  I witness every day how others are now free from  slavery to addictive foods and food thoughts.  I enjoy delicious, nutritious meals every day at regular times.   

How did this happen?  First, I stopped debating the food plan.  I follow the Kay Sheppard food plan as written, no more no less, without self-pity or argument.   I was only willing to do this after many years of trying to tailor it.  Second, I worked and continue to work the 12 steps.  Even though the food plan relieves my physical cravings, I will always pick up the addictive foods if I do not work the 12 steps to maintain fit spiritual condition.  I put my recovery first, and then let the rest of life fit in after that.  I attend a face-to-face meeting every week if I am in town - it is a "non-negotiable" calendar commitment.  I also commit my food to my sponsor and work with sponsees.  My disease includes amnesia - every morning, I wake up thinking I am a normal person and can just  "wing it."  That is why I have to read literature and commit my food daily to remember that I have a deadly disease with a marvelous and delicious treatment.   After years of attending meetings and working the steps while insisting that I can still be spontaneous or sloppy with foods, and landing in terrifying relapses, I finally came to RFA as the LAST RESORT. 

How wonderful to learn that the LAST RESORT has led to daily benefits of "resort living" - tranquility, satisfying meals, adequate rest, daily spiritual renewal, fun with friends and family.  I am free from the bondage of addiction one day at a time.  What a joy it is to see others gaining freedom all around me in meetings and social gatherings!  My husband and children know that I must practice "radical self care" every day when it comes to food and meetings.  They don't try to dissuade me.  I am truly present for my children.  I am so grateful that they can grow safely in our home, free from the untold harms of living with a practicing addict.  I am so grateful for the joy I experience every day.  For anyone who has tried everything but still can't stop thinking about food and eating against your will - consider joining us at the LAST RESORT!  See what a difference 30 days of abstinence on the food plan can make.  Much love, Alison