Free Fitness: The Faulty Switch

Free Fitness: The Faulty Switch

 

Untitled (12)Good morning!

Here we are again on another Thursday. Time for the next installment in my Free Fitness series!

I love listening to the Bert Show on Q100 in the mornings when I take Ryan to school. I have listened to it since I was seventeen, so now at thirty-five, I feel like I know these people. Yesterday, Cassie was venting about how frustrated she was when it came to working out and eating healthy. She was exhausted, angry, and depressed because she couldn’t understand why working out and eating the right amount didn’t come naturally to her like it did to everyone around her. The co-hosts on the show told her that working out doesn’t come easy to anyone and that everyone has a hard time with it. This is true. But they did not understand her peril of overeating. Cassie compared her issue to breathing saying it comes easily and without effort to everyone else but she had to work really hard at it and constantly think about it because it didn’t come naturally to her. The co-hosts didn’t understand this analogy but I do.

First, Cassie isn’t the only one. There are MANY who have this same issue. It’s the same issue as the person who can have one drink and put the bottle away and the person who is an alcoholic. It’s a genetic predisposition. Like the alcoholic has a faulty switch when it comes to alcohol, the overeater has a faulty switch when it comes to food. But where the alcoholic can refrain from purchasing alcohol and going to bars, the overeater has to eat to live!

So what is the overeater to do? Get help.

Just like the alcoholic cannot get sober on there own, the overeater can’t do it alone either. Sadly, many don’t because we as a society do not look at overeating as being as bad as the alcoholism. We even laugh at gluttony when we would never laugh at alcoholism!

So just as an alcoholic needs to take steps to sobriety, the overeater with the faulty switch needs to take steps to change their approach to food.

Step #1: Accept Reality

I don’t know why people say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. The actual definition is “the state being seriously mentally ill: madness.” Just a fun fact for the day. Anyway, you’re not insane. You are aware that there is an issue. If you were insane, you wouldn’t even know or care. But just like the first of the alcoholic’s twelve steps is accepting the things they cannot change, you have to accept the things that you cannot change as well to finally stop the never-ending cycle of binging.

Step #2: Get Help

This seems like an easy step right? It’s not! Most people don’t do it! Why? Because it’s just food. Eating is a natural thing. I can get this under control. I just have to find the right diet or program. I just have to suck it up and do it.

Not when you have a faulty switch. Not when you have a genetic predisposition.

I could list the reasons why you need to get help but you know them already. I know them because I lived them for seventeen years thinking the thoughts that I just told you above. You are gorging yourself until it hurts. You are eating alone so that no one sees how you eat. If you are purging, you are destroying your esophagus and the acid reflux is almost unbearable. If you are purging with exercise, you are spending hours “fixing your mistakes”, hours that could be spent with your loved ones or doing something constructive. If you aren’t purging, you are living in depression and shame like Cassie and all of us who have been through this or are going through the same thing. You are not alone.

Thankfully, help can be found in many places here. I sought counseling which my insurance covered. I had to see a few before I found the right one so keep that in mind when taking this route. There is online therapy where that you don’t even have to leave your house! I really liked the one on one meetings in person though. There is also a group called Overeaters Anonymous. I haven’t been to these but I know it’s totally free and they have meetings all over the place. You can check out their website at oa.org. 

Thank God for Google! There is lots of help to be found. Find it and get it.

Step #3: Commit to the Work

If you are struggling with this, you no doubt follow a bunch of fitness gurus, groups, and pages online. We see all the time that we need to commit! To work for what we want! But take it from someone who has been there and knows this road all too well. It’s not about the food. It’s not about the workouts. And if you are like me, you will probably find it beneficial to do away with those things while you are in the healing phase.

You must get your mind right or the cycle will not end.

I hope you are well but if you aren’t, you aren’t alone. Please feel free to let me know if you need someone to pray for your journey. I promise I will!

Blessings,
Angela

Other posts in the Free Fitness Series:

Fitness Hacks: Free Fitness

Free Fitness: Why You Must Rest 

Free Fitness: Cookies For Lunch 

Structured Eating: The Fail-Safe 

 

 

4 Things For Right Now

4 Things For Right Now

 

4 steps

“I keep making the same mistake. I’m not sure I will ever be able to change.”
-My sweet client

When I heard this, I knew the feeling she was experiencing. I remember being her exact age waking up from sleeping an entire 24 hours straight. I was too ashamed and overwhelmed by my predicament to face life back then. People seem understand chemical dependency in the form of alcoholism and drug abuse, but they do not understand that anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are chemical dependencies too. In fact, not only are they a self medicating that need to be addressed, dealt with, and recovered from, but unlike drug abuse and alcoholism those of us with eating disorders cannot just hang up our drug and never surround ourselves with it again (hear me, I am by no means minimizing drug and alcohol abuse). We have to eat to live! And to make matters worse, not only do we have to use our drug of choice for survival, people make light of our plight by shoving it in our face as well. Since they have not experienced the complete overpowering urge to binge sometimes immediately followed by purging, or the sheer and utter terror of taking one bite of an “off limits food”, they think nothing of the the phrase “Oh just a little won’t hurt.” or “Oh just this once.” Or even the damage that is caused in pushing someone to eat the food they have made because they find it rude when someone doesn’t eat what they have put forth the effort to make. They do not understand that what they are doing by pushing food on someone with an eating disorder is like offering heroin to an addict or a beer to an alcoholic. I’m sure some of you will read that and think that it can’t possibly be like that. That’s ok. I hope you never have to know what it’s like.

When I heard her statement, I felt the sorrow that she felt. But I felt great joy at the same time! While I know that feeling of inflicting your own utter chaos on yourself. The shame and humiliation of not only having the eating disorder, but the shame and humiliation that is often times feeding the eating disorder. The absolute belief that you will never be able to get a handle on it and live life like a normal person. That you may just be destined to die from it. Unless you have been through it, you have no idea the feeling of the binge urge. It is far beyond will power or “busying yourself” so that you don’t give in. No, the urge will win every time. The key is to get rid of the urge which is coming from a place of great inner pain.

So while I know her great pain, I have great joy in the fact that although she believes in her mind is defeated, she is not! There is in fact another side to the fence!

If you are struggling, it is very important for you to know that there is another side to the fence. There is. Even if you are so far from even seeing the fence! Obviously, it’s a long long road to recovery. But if you are in need of something to help you right now, here are these four steps to get you started while you are finding someone to help you on your road to recovery.

  1. Ask, Seek, Knock (Matthew 7:7) Pray for God to get you through this.
  2. Find out how to eat healthy and keep a healthy diet. A poor diet makes the binge urges stronger and keeps them coming more frequently.
  3. Exercise. Exercise not only works as an antidepressant but it also helps to regulate hunger making it easier to keep a healthy diet.
  4. Wait. Be patient because it’s a long road. Make the effort everyday and do not give up. Keep fighting.

And remember that one day, when you are past it, you will be able to walk with someone through their journey to recovery.

Then what a blessing you will be.