Two weeks ago, my husband Kurt, me, and all of our grown children and their spouses and a girlfriend gathered along the Central Coast of California. With our kids scattered all over the country, it was a glorious getaway with everyone!
I had every intention of sticking to my plan that guarantees freedom from food addiction; but how does a landlocked, Midwest girl pass up clam chowder samples, or a family birthday celebration with traditional cake, or plenty of recreational eating?
It was vacation!
I did my best when I first arrived, but then I threw caution to the wind.
The danger, like most any rip current, to the untrained eye, the water typically looks calm. Little does the novice know how powerful the current is underneath the surface.
My clothes were a bit snug when I returned to Indiana.
Today, a week later, those little bites of "this and that" are out of my system and clothes fit fine once again--but not without almost an entire week of continual cravings for more last week. My motor for addictive food was revved up to high gear!
It's not a weight gain that's the big deal to me. My weight gain is merely the reflection that I got caught in the powerful rip current.
Those little bites of "this and that" opened cravings for more.
It was the continual urges for more. . .for several days afterwards. . .that was the dangerous part. (And those days could’ve easily turned into weeks, months, and even years if unaware of the danger.)
It's in the days after the compromise(s)/lapses in judgement that have the greatest potential of becoming damaging to health.
If I would’ve continued to indulge; if I would’ve continued to give into the cravings; if I would’ve continued to activate the dopamine reward system--that's when the addiction would be nearly impossible to stop!
In fact, after riding this wave for eleven years now, I'd say that it's not the initial "losing lots of weight" that's been the difficult part. It's been learning the realization over and over and over again that one bite activates my addicted brain. It's my addicted brain that is dangerous. . .not my taste buds—and not even my triggers per se!
Sure, I may have a "sweet tooth," or something may trigger me. . .but it's the dopamine reward system in my brain that gets activated to demand more and more and more. And, I've learned many times that without divine intervention in those precarious moments, it's nearly impossible to get out of that rip current. However, when I call out to God for help, he always comes to my rescue. He always gives me the strength and power to get back to the calm waters again. That's been the key to my ongoing freedom.
Do I strive for excellence in choices? Of course I do! The cleaner my food, the easier and calmer life is, because I don't activate the addiction that way.
But reality happens. Life happens. Slip ups happen. Celebrations happen. I mess up--even the year I lost those 100 pounds--I messed up many times that year!
I’ve learned the quicker I call out to God for help, stop indulging, and move on, the less damage--and the less unraveling happens.
Ongoing freedom from addiction is a reality--something totally attainable—not an impossibility!
Here’s to continual freedom to all!