Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I had some down time today to watch some TV, which is a rarity for me. I tried watching Heavy on NetFlicks instant. Watching them binge eat to sooth feelings and be lost in the moment triggered me. I'm having the desire to eat and eat until I pop. Time for some prayers & writings!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9 months abstinant

Today I hit 9 months without binge eating.

Since September I've been meeting with my sponsor once a week & had started working the 12 steps again starting with step 1. I'm currently on step 4. The 1st time I worked step 4 my list of people I am upset with or have animosity towards was huge. Now that I'm closer to Christ and am living a more harmonious 12 step life my 4th step list was so small it surprised me! I'm currently praying twice a day for the people who I have any animosity or negative feelings towards. After only 4 days most of those negative feelings I had has dissipated and feelings of acceptance and compassion are building in it's wake. Living a life for Christ and continuously working the 12 step is making me a much better person. I believe I'm much easier to get along with & be around. I'm more forgiving with myself which in turn has made me more accepting and loving to everyone around me.

I'll be going to an OA meeting to get my 9 month chip Tuesday morning!!!!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

goal weight

Many ages ago my 1st sponsor told me I needed to decide what my ultimate goal weight is. After 2 years I have finally decided what my goal weight will be: 177 pounds! I'll start trying to drop more weight after I complete Ironman Arizona in November. Right now I weigh aproximately 182.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The big book

Last night I was reading the big book (alcoholics anonymous). It's an amazing book. It sure seemed to me that God had His hand in writing it. Last night I read something from page 33 that was written for me in particular:

Most of us have believed if we remained abstinent for a long stretch, we could there after eat normally....once a compulsive over eater always a compulsive over eater. If we are planning to stop destructive eating, there must be no lurking notion that someday we will be immune to food.

I've learned on multiple occasions that when I stop thinking I have a problem my compulsive binge eating comes back with a vengeance. I have to realize I'll never be a normal eater. I have to continue working the program & keeping in mind that I am & always will have an addiction. I need t take steps daily such as following a food plan, avoiding trigger foods, never eating at buffets, and praying so that I can stay abstinent or I will relapse!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a new sponsor!

I have been looking for a sponsor, but I was only willing to take on a sponsor who was a follower of Christ. I feel I need the spiritual guidance only another christian could help with. Last week I went to my 1st meeting in a couple months. I was nervous, there was no reason to be but I was. I had a great meeting, got tremendous support, as usual. While at that meeting I saw someone who I believed was a christian. After the meeting I asked what his spiritual beliefs were & he admitted to being a Southern baptist. I knew immediately God put him there that day for my next step of my recovery. I asked if he was open to being my sponsor & he agreed! I'm so excited for this opportunity to grow as a recovering food addict & christian!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just for today

I will be agreeable, will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticise not one bit, not find fault with anything and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.

I will have a program - I may not be able to follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

focus on the positive

As I've been reflecting on the last few months I realized one of the reasons I hadn't gone to any OA meetings was I'd feel obligated to admit I hadn't found a new sponsor, I hadn't been working the 12 steps, & I hadn't been to any meetings. Although those things are true, it would be better for me to focus on the positive things in my life.
- I'm 110 pounds lighter than when I 1st realized I was a compulsive over eater
- I've maintained my weight for the 1st time in my life. So far I've been maintaining for over a month.
- I did the Sandia crest climb on my bicycle! I've tried that before but had never been successful.
- I've been abstinent for over 8 months. Before this stretch I've never made it before 2 3/4 months!
- I've continued to have a strong relationship with God.
- I'm training for an Ironman for the 4th time & am making gains like I've never seen before!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm only in charge of me

Last week I had posted on this blog that a few people in my OA group have been Jesus bashing. Their comments bothered me & they were a large reason I was no longer attending OA meetings. I believe God has spoken to me about that issue. I believe He told me that He doesn't need me to be His defender. If He wanted those people to change their view or change what they were saying He is completely capable of handling that Himself. My only job is to keep a strong relationship with Him, follow His word, & do my best to be the best example I can be because I may be the only bible someone ever reads. I cant control what people say, more importantly I shouldn't try. I need to focus on myself & my relationship with God. If someone else hates Jesus that's between them & God. It doesn't have anything to do with me & God wants me to stay out of it. The only thing I have the right to do is love others not because of who they are, but IN SPITE of who they are.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

relapse imminent

After almost 3 months of not going to any OA meetings I've come very close to falling off the wagon & ruining my 8 months of abstinence. The last 3 days I've ate a little more calories than I had planned on my food log each day. A few meals I've changed at the last minute & ate something completely different than I'd planned. I'm perilously close to falling off the wagon. Yesterday I didn't eat the lunch I'd planned, instead I ate some take out my wife had been saving. Her feelings were hurt that I ate something she had been saving & asked me not to eat. Unfortunately she's seen me like this many times before. It's not pretty. I don't make moral or honest decisions when I relapse.

I seem to fall off the wagon around 3 months before any of my big priority triathlons, & I have Ironman Arizona in 13 weeks. I cant count the times I've fallen off the wagon & gained 50-70 pounds before a big race. Happens every time!

I haven't worked out 2 days in a row, I've not followed my food plan 3 days in a row. My working out & eating are conected somehow. When I fall off the wagon with my food I stop working out. If I take too many days off from triathlon training I fall off the wagon with my eating.

I went to an OA meeting yesterday & found a long time OA member who is a christian & I asked him to be my sponsor. He gave me my 1st assignment. I got up to step 7 with my last sponsor a little less than a year ago so my new sponsor's having me read from the big book up to step 4. We're fast forwarding to step 4 because he knows I have a strong relationship with Jesus.

Monday, August 15, 2011

on my way

Yesterday we celebrated my middle child's birthday. My mother and father who have been divorced since I was 2 years old were both at the party. This was the 1st time they were together at a function for my children. I was stressed. Before my kids were born if something bad happened between them I could handle it because I'd dealt with them squabbling my whole life, I was used to it. But it was different yesterday. I want more than that for my babies. Some how, some way everything turned out ok & my sons birthday party was a success. The 1 big mistake of the day was I worried about it rather than praying & asking God for help. I should have put it on His shoulders, He's strong enough to handle those kinds of things, I'm not.

All the worry & stress I was going through triggered me & I overate on pizza. I went about 1000 calories over what I had on my food plan. I believe God had me come so close to falling off the wagon last night to motivate me to go back to OA meetings. After I write this I'll be on my way to my 1st OA meeting in 8 months. I'll be picking up my 8 month chip. That will be exciting!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

is it them or my addiction that's the problem?

To give those who follow my blog an update, I still haven't found a sponsor, & to top it off I've stopped going to meetings. The last few times I've gone to the meetings there has been comments from people that was down right Jesus bashing. I understand not everyone believes as I do. I try to be sensitive to others & their beliefs, but there seems to be a real anti-Jesus sentiment here in Santa Fe. The 1st couple times I heard those comments in OA meetings I tried to just ignore them & stay strong in my faith & abstinence. The last comment I heard that was the proverbial straw was, "I'm tired of getting a face full of Jesus."

It was more than I could take, so I left the meeting and haven't been back. I've stayed strong in my recovery without the meetings & a sponsor, I'll hit 8 months abstinence this week & I've maintained my weight for the 1st time in my adult life! I went through a 3 month stretch where my staying strong with my recovery was easy. It was like breathing, I could do it without thinking. But I'm struggling more & more. I'm finding myself obsessing about food again. I'll eat a little more at meals than my food plan allowed, I'd then try to make up for it by eating less the next day to make up for the extra calories I'd ate the day before. I seem to be going up & down in my eating & my food obsessions. I'm afraid I'm perilously close to going back to my days of food insanity. Binge, diet, binge diet. Sometimes the pattern would flop back to the high or low in 3 month intervals, sometimes withing hours.... Gaining 50 pounds in 2 months, taking 6 months to lose it.... I don't want that life again, but I'll always be an addict. I'll always struggle, I'm afraid I'll always be in pain. It's painful to see others eat my trigger foods in moderation & see them enjoy it & not use it to destroy themselves like I end up doing. I wish I could eat, enjoy it and move on... I can't. If I eat it I become an addict in the worst possible way. I binge eat to the point where I over load my kidneys. I'm getting closer to that person lost in my addiction since I am not aggressively pursuing my recovery. I now to do some real self inventory very soon or I'll end up relapsing: Am I staying away from meetings because they are insulting my God or is it my addiction being cunning & forcing me back into isolation? Is it them or my addiction that's the problem?

Thanks for listening. I wont take as long to post again. scouts honor...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

stopping my weight loss, maintenance time

I've decided to maintain my current weight for at least a few weeks even though I'm only 2.5 pounds away from my goal weight of 190. I'm seeing signs that my body is no longer content being on a calorie restricted diet. I feel weak & am not training well. At last weekends race I felt slow & unable to push myself as hard I'm usually able to. The biggest sign I'm seeing is MY HUNGER!

I've been losing an average of 1.5 to 1.75 pounds a week since January. I wasn't restricting my calories enough to feel that hungry, but gradually the hunger has been building, & yesterday I was hungry enough that I was very unpleasant to be around. I've had this happen before: I'd get close to a goal weight and I'd ignore my bodies warning signs. Then I'd end up falling off the wagon & gaining most or all of my weight back. So this time I'm not going to ignore my body. Even though I'm only 2.5 to 3 pounds away from my goal weight, I'm going to do what my body's telling me it needs. This time I'm not so focused on the short term that I end up destroying my long term goal. I'm going to let my body recover & start to feel good again. Perhaps I'll try to drop the extra 3 pounds in late May or early June. If I decide to, it will be because my body feels great & I know it's ready & able to. If I feel that my body isn't ready, I won't. This more moderate approach to dieting is something I've never done before, which probably explains why I've always shown up to my Ironman triathlons over weight. The only thing that has held me back from finishing an Iron distance triathlon in under 13 hours has been my weight. Hopefully this November I'll show up to Ironman Arizona between 180-200 pounds & break that elusive 13 hour mark!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

back into my skinny clothes

Last winter I gained back all the weight I had struggled for so long to get & keep off. I was forced to take all the clothes I could no longer fit into out to the shed & bring in all my fat clothes. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I was once again the fat man.

In January I got back on the wagon. I've lost a large portion of the weight I'd gained. Today, I'm proud to say, I was able to bring my skinny clothes back inside & throw all my fat clothes outside once again! It felt so good!!!!!

3 cheers for skinny clothes!!!

PS. This weekend I was able to avoid binge eating for the 1st Easter ever!

Monday, April 25, 2011

day 1 training for Ironman Arizona!

I went to my 1st OA meeting in a couple weeks. I got my 4 month chip. It felt great. I'm promising myself that I'll hit at least 1 meeting a week from here on out. Not only do I feel better after the meeting, but I'm going to need the extra help for the next 7 months.

Today was my 1st day of a 7 month training program for Ironman Arizona. I'm so excited, but I'm also frightened. Training for Ironman distance triathlon causes massive problems with my eating.

1)I know light is fast, so I try & get to as low of a body weight I can handle. When I get to low it makes me hungrier, which all to often throws me into a binge.

2) the massive training load for an Iron distance triathlon stresses the body out physically, emotionally, & even spiritually. In times of stress I tend to binge.

3) The training makes me tired, which makes me want to binge for comfort.

4) The massive amounts of training needed for an Ironman makes me HUNGRY! The amazing hunger that can accompany Ironman training can make me rationalize eating in ways that are destructive to my abstinence.

5) The 2 months before my Ironman I start to get worried, excited, nervous, etc, which makes me binge.

The last time I trained exclusively for an Ironman my body weight shot from 204 in September to 237 on race day in November. The Year before that I shot up from 187 in July to 250 in November.

I'm very excited to be training for an Ironman. My dream is to go sub 12 hours someday, which I believe I could do IF I'm able to show up on race day weighing under 190 pounds. But since I'm a compulsive binge eater that's a mighty big IF!!! & by the way, if you know of any endurance athletes who have an eating disorder & are available to become a sponsor, please send them my way!

Thanks for tuning in, you are helping in my recovery.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

weight, triathlon, sponsor, sci-fi, and other things on my mind

I'm a couple weeks away from hitting the 5 month mark of abstinence from compulsive binge eating. I'm following a strict food plan, following my definition of abstinence, & staying strong with my Lord God. Those are the only things keeping me on the wagon because I'm not working the steps, nor do I have a sponsor. I haven't even started looking for another sponsor. If I see another compulsive over eater who is or was an endurance athlete and is looking for a sponoree I'd jump at the opportunity, but the likely hood of that happening are as good as me qualiying for Kona. As promised I'm going to start looking for a sponsor once I've read the Star Wars books that's been released & I haven't read. Since my sponsor & I parted ways I've read The Old republic & the 1st & 2nd of the Darth Bane series. I need to finish the 3rd of the Darth Bane series, & the Fate of the Jedi series. Anyways, enough of my nerdiness & my excuses of not actively looking for another sponsor.

My weight is now 197 pounds. I'm 7 pounds away from my goal weight of 190. 190 isn't my "dream" weight, but it's the weight I'm shooting to get to for now. I'm planning on maintaining 190 until September, then I'm hoping to drop down to my dream weight of 180 by Ironman Arizona in November. I'm very excited about reaching my goal weight (190). I've been dieting since January. For the last three & a half months I've been cutting 1000 calories a day from my diet and have lost 38 pounds! I'm now 4 weeks from my goal. Once I reach my goal I'll be able to start eating my metabolic rate, which right now is 3,200 calories a day- I love triathlon training! It makes my metabolism run hot like a fine oiled machine!

I raced this weekend. I pushed myself hard the entire race. One of the best efforts I've ever had, but my time wasn't anywhere near the time I finished with last year at the same race. Last year I didn't have the focus or drive that I did this year. The difference between last years time & this years slower time is my weight. I'm 10 pounds heavier. I'm still searching to find a balance between getting to as low of a weight as I can without binging. The lighter I get, the hungrier I am all the time, if I get too hungry I end up binge eating. It's a balancing act I've yet to learn to balance. Last year I got down to 184 pounds before I fell off the wagon, I then shot up tp 235 pounds in a couple months. So I'm hoping if I stop trying to lose weight once I get to 190 pounds, I can maintain that weight until September. Then in September drop to 180 & maintain 180 forever. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Thanks for tuning in, you are instrumental in my recovery!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recovery means healing & learning

Yesterday I talked to my Mom for the 1st time in a couple months. As usual, it didn't go well. First I was angry, then I felt like crying, & then for half an hour my eyes kept welling up with tears, & I thought to myself that eating would deaden those feelings, but I wasn't having a desire to binge. But that was just a thought, not a deep desire or need for food. I'd never had that happen before. I always either ignored the problem or I ate my feelings. This was progress. For the 1st time I felt feelings like a normal human being. For the first time I felt without needing to dump food into the emotion. This is progress. Sunday night I took my 3 babies to Hoots for a birthday party. I spent three entire hours chasing, jumping, & running with my babies. I had more fun than I can ever remember having. I couldn't have done that when I was 300 pounds. Recovery has not only helped me get in touch with my feelings, it's also helped me become a better father. Sunday night my 19 month old was teething. He was SO tired from a busy day of 2 church services, a lunch with another couple from church, & then the birthday party. But he was up until late last night teething & crying. I finally laid down on the couch with him on my chest & cuddled up under a blanket. He slept soundly the rest of the night. He was still in pain, but me holding & loving on him made him comforted enough to sleep through the pain. I enjoyed the bonding moment with him, & I realized that as much as I love my son & will always do everything I can to help relieve him of the pain he's going through, God loves me that much & more. And He's even more willing to help me through times that are painful or too much for me to bare on my own. All I have to do is ask God for help & He will. Just as I enjoyed helping my son in his time of need, God would find great fulfillment from helping me & having fellowship with me. Recovery isn't easy, but it heals physically, emotional, & spiritually. It can help better our relationships with our family, friends, co-workers, God, & even ourselves. I'm so happy. Thank you Jesus.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

another race, another few mile stones.

Amazingly I'm still abstinent! 111 days! 9 days until I hit 4 months! I competed in a triathlon this weekend, ran 7:36 minute miles for 3.2 miles, averaged 19 mph on a 15.5 mile bike, and a 10:30 500 meter swim. 5th place AG, 33rd overall out of 250. I'm weighing 201 pounds, down 34 since Jan 1st!!! I fit into a large work pants for the 1st time since last Aug! Happy happy joy joy!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

easy big guy!

This weekend I competed in a triathlon. I had a blast! Racing always motivates me to stay on course with my workouts & diet. With my OCD I have to be careful though. I have a tendency to go over board and start pushing myself way to hard on both accounts. Most triathletes who aren't naturally thin time their weight loss to be at the lowest they can get for a particular race, then gain a little weight during their off season. Last year I got a little overzealous, I trained & dieted to hard for way way to long! I got down to 184 pounds at %8.5 body fat. I felt ok at 184 pounds for awhile, but once my body had enough I lost control in a huge way! In a little over 2 months I lost my abstinence & gained 51 pounds. Ouch. I'm trying to stay focused this year on 2 main goals: big numero uno is my abstinence! This is what I care most about. My 2nd goal is to try and get triathlon thin for my Ironman this year. I believe these 2 goals are not exclusive of each other. I'm thinking if I can get down to 190 pounds by May (I feel great at that weight & can stay at 190 forever without problems), then maintain that weight until September 1st, then try & get down to my dream race weight of 180-185 pounds by race day. I think (hope) that 10 weeks will give me enough time to lose the weight slowly and comfortably so I don't get overly hungry, which can make a person overeat. Overeating for a normal person may not be a big deal. In a meal or two they are back to "normal" and able to asses what may have happened & what to do about it. A food addict like me may not be able to get back on the wagon for months or years. I know, I've been there many times! I desperately want to avoid becoming out of control with my eating, but I also desperately want to be a fast Iron distance triathlete, and in triathlon light is fast. If I'm over weight at a race I'm slow, but if I go to over board with my dieting then I fall off the wagon and gain 100 pounds- I've done it. I need to do some praying on this & be honest with myself when I'm in the process of dropping that last 10 pounds or I'll regret it in huge way! Anyone know any endurance athletes who are looking to be an OA sponsor? If so point them my way. I'd really like to find a sponsor who understands the endurance athletes life style while also understanding the compulsive over eaters life style. With how prevalent food disorders are in endurance sports there has to be someone out there who could help me balance both simultaneously.

Monday, March 28, 2011

God's will

The last couple months my sponsor & I had been having a hard time connecting. I was trying to reach her, & I believe she was trying also, things just weren't panning out like we both needed. We decided to part ways. I'm now sponsor-less. I'm ok with the ways things worked out- I'd even be willing to say I'm optimistic. I believe since we were both wanting to do our part but things outside of our control were preventing us, then it must have been God's intervention. I believe He chose for this to happen for the overall good of one or both of us. I've decided to take 3 weeks to catch up on my reading before I attempt to get another sponsor. I'm an avid reader and haven't been able to read much since starting to work the 12 steps. I may be making a mistake by not going out and actively looking for a new sponsor immediately. Perhaps it's my addiction "convincing" me to be selfish for a few weeks. I dunno, but I'm about to find out. I'll keep up my relationship with God, praying, building my food plan daily, working out 6 times a week, and attending at least 1 OA meeting a week. I'm hoping that will be enough to keep me abstinent until I've finished the Star Wars books that's been published since I got into program. Only God knows for sure........

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3 months at last!

I made 3 months of abstinence from compulsive overeating! The night before I hit 3 months was brutal! I was obsessing over food, & had a desperate need to binge eat. I made a couple outreach phone calls, read a few blogs on compulsive overeating, & prayed, & that got me through the night. I'd like to give a big thanks to Charlie who I only knew from his blog, I called him & that made a huge difference in my desire to binge.

The next day, thanks to the good Lord I felt better. I got my 3 month chip at my OA meeting. That felt so wonderful.

Anyways, I need to head out on my bike ride before the kids wake up so I'm singing off for now. Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011

2 months 3 weeks & 6 days abstinent & I'm in trouble

I've made it farther into abstinence than I ever have. Tomorrow I earn my 3 month chip. At least I should...... I'm not sure I'll make it. I've been obsessing about food most of the last 2 weeks. My definition of abstinence is to avoid a pattern of compulsive eating. Today during lunch was the first time I didn't follow my food plan. I didn't go crazy, I ate 1 P & B sandwich, 2 gum balls, & 4 3/8 oz goldfish more than I should have. Usually a small amount during 1 meal over what I should have ate is the breaking point. Once I do that I'm usually completely unable to eat in moderation. By unable to eat in moderation I mean binge eating so severe that I'll completely wreck my families finances from the amount of food I'll buy & eat in a week or less. Ten thousand calories a day would be a moderate day of binging. Sometimes these binges last weeks, but sometimes they last much longer. My binges have lasted a year and a half before. I'm afraid. If I can pull myself together by dinner I may have a chance, but I've never made it past 2 meals of eating unplanned food before. God help me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

3 weeks ago I started reading a book called "understanding the borderline mother." It explains my mother perfectly, I've realized she has borderline personality disorder. On one hand the book was very healing because I was able to realize that my mother's actions & treatment of me wasn't my fault. I also realized her actions aren't because she's mean or evil, it's because she's sick. It was good for me to learn about her problem & to learn some of how to deal with her, but on the other hand it stated clearly in the book that there's no cure for her borderline personality. She will be that way forever.

Recently my wife & I had started going to counseling to try & fix some of the problems between my Mother & us. No matter what my wife or I said my mother twisted what we said or lied about what was said. Unfortunately I learned counseling was futile. There's no fixing her & there's no changing her. I have a choice to make, I can either except her for who she is & what she does or I can cut her out of my life. I'd prefer a life without her, but my wife & church councilor is saying I should keep a relationship with her & just try my best to avoid giving her ammunition to use against me when she gets angry & tries to slander my wife & I, which is what she always does anytime anyone disagrees with her no matter how small the issue it is. In her mind a person is either all for her or against her & she plays dirty when she goes to war against someone.

The good news is now I know & understand her, the bad news is that since I started reading this book I stopped pretty much all my eating recovery. I hadn't gone to an OA meeting in 3 weeks. I haven't worked on any of the 12 steps or done any writings in 3 weeks. & I haven't been able to get a hold of my sponsor, but only half of those missed phone calls were my fault.

Somehow I have been able to stay abstinent & not fall back into a pattern of destructive eating. I believe most of that was because I kept a decent relationship with Christ. Also because I have a very strong food plan that I got into the habit of doing without fail.

This last weekend my wife & I went to Pagosa Springs Colorado for the weekend. That was the 1st time we were able to get away without our kids in over 4 years. Usually being away from home, work, etc will throw me into binge eating. Celebration is also a huge trigger for me, this weekend was both. But I was able to continue my abstinence. I'm now 2 weeks away from hitting 3 months abstinence. I've never hit 3 months before.

I will start working the 12 steps & writings again tonight. Thank God that God is with me, other wise this would have been a horrible 3 weeks of binging & weight gain.

Monday, February 14, 2011

a chip & a smaller pants!

Tomorrow I go to my overeaters anonymous meeting to get my 60 day abstinence chip!!! Hurray!!!

Today I fit back into my size 36 pants for the 1st time since last August!!! Hurray!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

my sponsor and my mother

Training update: I've lost 22 pounds since Jan. I'm now 28 pounds from my dream race weight. Next weekend I'll be competing in my 1st multisport race since last July.

I hit 60 days of abstinence in 3 days!!! I've only hit 2 months twice before. I've never got to the 3 month mark.

Recently I got my feelings hurt by a comment my sponsor had made to me. A couple days later I talked to her & she had explained that when she said my writing lacked depth, she had meant my last writing only, not all of the writings and steps I've worked. That made me feel so much better about myself & the work I've done on the 12 steps. In regards to my last writing, she was absolutely correct, it was lacking depth. I thought about it & realized I had developed a feeling of self righteousness about the last 6 or 7 character flaws that I was unwilling to ask God to remove from me (step 7). I guess I had felt that since I had started out with 2 pages of character flaws I felt I should be allowed to embrace the few I was unable or unwilling to ask God to remove. That simply won't do. They are flaws & I should continue to try & better myself for God, all those around me, & even myself. I was wrong, my sponsor was absolutely correct.

It has always been frustrating for me to explain my mother because when I tell people about her I end up sounding like I'm crazy. Her actions sound so extreme, her plots so intricate, & the lies so prolific that I feel people think I'm lying. I decided to write about my major complaints about my mother. It was very healing.

These were the things I wrote about pertaining to my mother:

- Her entire life revolves around whatever man she is in a relationship with. Her whole personality changes & she becomes like him. If he's a cowboy she starts dressing like a cowgirl, buys a house in the country, buys horses, etc.

- She continuously puts the man she's in a relationship with and his needs above what's best for me or what I need. She will freak out & defend her man & get pissed at me if there's a problem between him & I, even if he's the one who is causing the problem & I'm completely innocent.

- in relationships, especially in the early stages of the relationships she ignored me & becames angry when I needed anything because it took her focus, time, & attention from her man. Now I could care less, but when I was a kid it was devastating to me.

- She was horribly controlling. I wasn't allowed to visit friends. I wasn't allowed any privacy. I wasn't allowed to talk about it if I was upset. I wasn't allowed to have an opinion unless it was the same opinion my mother had. I had to act as if I liked something if she liked it or I would be shunned & ignored. I had to pretend I disliked the things she disliked or I was shunned.

- she would use her love & attention to control me. Anytime she was disappointed, upset, or angry she would act as if I didn't exist. Since I wasn't allowed to have any friends & was only allowed minimal contact with anyone other than her, when she cut off ties with me I felt as if my whole world had ended. I'd become depressed & suicidal until she acted like she loved me again.

- she doesn't remember entire conversations or problems especially when she was the cause of the problems. She will deny the truth no matter what facts or proof is given.

- she claims people say things during conversations that they never said.

- she makes the same mistakes over & over regardless of the consequences. She never learns from those mistakes & she becomes irate & denies it if anyone suggests she has made that mistake before. She'll claim that person is lying or she'll come up with an amazing conspiracy story to show they are wrong & just trying to hurt her.

- she lies constantly!!!! She lies frequently!!!!

- she makes up stories about people who she's having problems with. These stories seem to become her reality. Eventually she seems to believe her lies & manipulations. It's as if she's living in her own reality.

- she's impulsive. When she gets something in her head she does it even if it's hurtful, dishonest, & irresponsible.

- she either worships or loathes a person. There's no in between. The smallest slight, even an imagined one can cause her to turn on someone. When she turns on that person she doesn't try to talk or work the problem out. She goes to WAR on them. She tries to turn people against them & manipulates other people to turn on them by lying, plotting, & using crazy conspiracy theories.

- she confuses the boundaries of son & romantic relationship. There were times as a teenager or pre-teen that her hugs & kisses were inappropriate.

- she was consistently barging in on me & trying to catch me when I was showering, especially after puberty. The older I got the worse that problem became. In high school I knew without fail she'd run into the bathroom when I was bathing at least once, usually much more. I wasn't allowed to lock any doors, if I ever tried to lock the door for privacy she became furious. The older I got the more she did that. That behavior finally stopped my junior year of high school when she moved us into another mans house & she became focused/obsessed with him for awhile.

- she sets me up to look bad & to make her look like a victim. Especially to the man she's in a relationship with, and especially when they have been together less than a couple years. I.E. One time she asked me if there was anything about her ex-husband (who was physically abusive to her) that I missed (they hadn't been split up for very long). I said no. She kept pushing & asking all sorts of questions & was becoming upset when I wasn't making it sound like I missed him at all. She finally asked if there was anything he used to do with me that I missed. That seemed like an innocent question so I told her sometimes I missed hunting, but I didn't miss him. She immediately went to her new husband and told him I had said I missed her ex-husband & wanted us to go back. I never said that. She lied to make herself seem like a victim who needed to be saved from the evil son.

- she will cut off contact with entire groups of friends & family unexpectedly. She seems unable to keep long term friendships.

- She allowed the men she had relationships with to abuse me. She didn't defend me, stand up for me, or protect me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

turns for the worse

Things were on an all time high for awhile. When things are great they are fantastic, but when it's not everything sure turns bad quickly.

On Tuesday I got a text message from my mother saying she doubted she could work through the problems she has with my wife since there is more than one issue. She said if there was only one problem she could see hope, but since there's more than one she doubts they can. This was the 6th time she said this to me in a couple weeks. She then asked if she could call & talk to me. I responded saying she could as long as it was about her & I. I said that because she gossips & slanders A LOT! Many times word has come to me about some horrible lies she has said about my wife & myself. A week earlier I had asked her to promise me that she wouldn't talk negatively about my wife & I to mutual friends and our family anymore. She promised me she wouldn't. By telling her I was only willing to talk about her & I, all I was doing was reminding her of that promise. She responded with the following text. I copy & pasted it so it is exactly what she wrote.

"Dont misinterpret what i said. i said this whole situation has me feeling steamrolled aka overwhelmed. i thought Dr reinhart encourages everyone to express how they feel. didn't realize that is 4 everyone but me. u just minimized my feelings and made me feel really unimportant".

All I did was remind her not to gossip & slander & I got that kind of a nasty message? She is selfish & hurtful.

I could go on & on about why that exchange elicited a defensive response in me. But what it boils down to is since I was a kid she has made me feel like I'm not allowed to have any opinions or feelings of my own. On the rare times I have expressed my opinion she has attacked me & has gone out of her way to make me feel like I'm some kind of abuser & she is a victim. The other reason I felt hurt by her response is that growing up I was not allowed to make or set boundaries to keep myself safe. Anytime I have ever tried to make a boundary, such as not slandering me to someone, she has challenged me & become verbally & physically aggressive so that she could make me feel like I did something wrong. If that didn't make me be submissive to her then she'd make it seem like I'm an evil person & that she's a victim who is being abused by me. A prime example of this was when I was growing up she'd tell me all sorts of horrible things about my natural father in hopes of making me turn against him. When I was in 2nd grade she told me my Dad cheated on her & that he said he never wanted to be a father. She also said that she left my father because he wore women's under wear & she feared what a man who did that would do to her son. What kind of a person says things that that to a 2nd grader?

When I was in middle school she told me he used to be a part of circle jerks. I didn't know what that meant so she told me it's where a bunch of men make a circle and masturbate together. Highly inappropriate to tell anyone about their father, but I feel it was especially abusive to tell a boy that young.

Last month I asked her not to tell me bad things about my Dad anymore, & if there was ever something she felt she had to tell me about him that she should ask me if she could first. She completely ignored my request & told me that I'm a child from rape. She then told me her Mom & Dad didn't care & forced her to marry him. Who the heck would ever say stuff like that? What about my feelings?

Then on Friday I talked to my sponsor. She told me she felt I was rushing through the steps & that my writing were shallow & lacked depth. Ouch. That hurt. In my mind I wasn't trying to rush through them, I was motivated to work the steps as best as I could. If my writings seemed shallow then I'm not sure what I can do differently because what I wrote was the best I had. If my writings are the best I can do but aren't good enough then in my mind there's no point in continuing.

I'm feeling overwhelmed, hurt deeply, & lost. I know have no idea what to do. It's Gods grace alone that is keeping me abstinent because if I had the smallest craving in my current state of weakness I'd fall apart. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for stepping in on my behalf & shouldering my desire to binge.

There is good news. I've also lost all my feelings of burnout with triathlon training! I've gone over 3 weeks without missing a single workout & I've figured out what my race schedule will be for the entire year. I'll be competing in 9 sprint distance triathlons, one half Ironman triathlon, & one full distance triathlon. & Since December I've lost 20 pounds. I'm now 30 pounds from my ultimate dream weight. Again, I've been successful because of Gods grave & love because I've tried my entire adult life to overcome my binge eating unsuccessfully. It wasn't until I turned it over to Jesus that I've been able to feel like I have some ability to have a normal life.

If any of you are willing to pray for me right now I'd sure be grateful.

Thank you. By reading this I feel like I'm able share about this dark & lonely disease I have of compulsive overeating, & because of that I feel less alone & misunderstood. You are helping in my recovery, & for that I can never tell you how grateful I am.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

And the dream begins...again

The last month has been fantastic. My original goal from mid December to now was to try & stop binge eating & get back to consistent triathlon training. In the last month I've lost 12 pounds & haven't missed a workout! Even better than I had hoped!

I'm now at 222 pounds, & determined to get back to the fitness levels I was this past summer & get back to my dream weight of 185.... again. I was 184 in July 2010, & then my mother got back in contact with me after 14 months of peace, to trauma, no stress, & no communication at all. Having contact with her caused a colossal back slide of missed workouts & mind blowing emotional binge eating. I gained 50 pounds in 2 months. But I'm back on course & I'm on a roll! I've set a goal of hitting my dream weight of 185 by June 3rd, which will be a weight loss of 37 pounds in 4.5 months. That's an average of 1.85 pounds of weight loss a week. Not crazy. Doable.

I've got on a roll like this a few times before. After months & months (seemed like forever!) of eating healthy, following a food plan, logging my calories, working out hard, & being just a little bit hungry everyday I'd finally got to my goal weight. The problem with me is maintaining my weight. I've never once in my life been able to maintain. I'm either gaining weight fast or losing it slowly, never staying the same! I'm hoping with my revitalized relationship with Jesus, & my work in the OA 12 & 12 I'll get to my dream weight & maintain it for the first time. If I could get to & maintain my dream weight of 185 until November when I compete in Ironman Arizona I'd be 52 pounds lighter than when I set my Ironman personal best time of 14 hours 37 minutes. At 52 pounds lighter I'd CRUSH my old PR! So now I start my quest & dream of being triathlete thin & shoot for Iron glory once again. I'll keep you updated on how I do. Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

it works if you work it

Last Saturday I'd mentioned I was struggling writing out my character defects & flaws (step 6). I didn't know exactly what it was that I was afraid of, I knew whatever it was I was trying to avoid was a big part of who I am & it frightened the heck out of me!
I finally got over the writers block I had by getting onto a role playing game web page that had an endless amount of character flaws & defects listed. There were a ton of personal flaws that screamed my name all over it. I then had a personal break through. As I was copying down the character flaws that matched who I was I started to see a pattern. aha moment #1. The majority of my character flaws were the same as my Moms & ex-step Dads (for ease of writing the remainder of this post I'll refer to them both as my parents even though my ex-step Dad isn't in my life any longer). My greatest fear is that I'd end up being just like them, & I am, in enough ways that I started freaking out. So this is what I was afraid of the other night when I had writers block!

Aha moment #2. Once I realized that I was so much like my parents, I was thankful that I have what I call "good child syndrome". Since I had a Mom who was a narcissist, I learned the only way I could get her to focus on anything other than herself was to be the best son imaginable. By doing things that were above & beyond what most children were willing to do to make others happy I was able to force her to focus on me, at least temporarily.

Shortly after I realized I am just like my parents I had aha moment #3! I feel like as long as I am able to continue to be the "good child" in all relationships & aspects of my life then I'm able to feel like I'm not at all like my parents. & that's when a big truth hit me, aha moment #4! Anytime I start to feel any of my personal defects that's similar to my parents start to bubble up, I become uncomfortable, so I self medicate with food. Once I get a good food buzz going the traits that were similar to my parents go away & I'm left feeling good about myself again while simultaneously hating myself because I am binge eating & am unable to control myself.

So, every time the person I am deep inside pops up, I eat to send him away. The only way I can control myself is by losing control of myself. The only way I can like myself is to hate myself. The only way I can be myself is by not being myself. Dang, no wonder I'm an addict.

Aha moment #5. If I eat to send who I am away, then I am a fraud. Not only do I not know who I am beneath this shallow exterior, but neither does my friends, my wife, or even my own precious children.

Aha moment #6. As I continue my abstinence I'll be allowing this person who I've been hiding to come out. I'm hoping & praying that person & the good child I've always forced myself to be will combine into someone who is honest with myself & others, who isn't an addict, and who others & I like. Gulp.

I'm getting close to hitting a month of abstinence for only the 3rd time in my life!

I now understand why the 12 steps is so effective at helping people to find abstinence. The emotional & spiritual growth & healing I've gone through recently is truly amazing; a gift straight from God. The progress I've made hasn't been easy, at times it's even been painful. But it's worth it. I'm worth it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

resistance to step 6

My sponsor told me steps 4 & 5 are the hardest steps for people to get through & that's when most people fall out of program. I knocked steps 4 & 5 out of the park in 2 days & for me it was relatively easy. She then gave me a hug & told me I did a great job. Felt good to finish the steps so quickly & honestly, then get a well deserved hug & praise. Even now at 35 years old I thrive on praise like a child.

So if steps 4 & 5 are supposed to be the hardest steps why the heck have I been sitting here trying to convince myself to start writing down my character defects & flaws for the last 8 hours? Normally when I'm having a hard time writing my assignments given to me by my sponsor I can hop onto a few fellow compulsive eaters blogs & find focus & inspiration. I've read every recent blog post of everyone on my blog roll this morning, & here I still sit with a blank page in front of me. Perhaps there's something about myself I'm desperately afraid of uncovering? I'm not usually one to stress out about things. I'm great about rolling with punches both real & imaginary, so I'm very surprised at my reactions from this. My jaws ache from subconsciously clinching my teeth. I can only remember a few times in my life I've had this kind of a physical response to stress or emotions. What's going on deep down inside of me? I'm fascinated, yet frightened all at once.

My sponsor just went on a vacation & won't be available until next Friday, so that option of encouragement is out. If by later this evening I can't find the motivation to do this I'm going to call Charlie, author of the blog "Diary of a mad overeater 2.0". He has a phone number link on his blog, & I feel a connection to him. He has the same type of eating disorder as I do, & we're both followers of Christ.

I'm scared of doing this & have no idea why. Dear Jesus help me, I'm not able to do this on my own.

Friday, January 7, 2011

a "step" in the right direction

"A person doesn't achieve abstinence, they receive it." Thanks for those great words Jusme.

I finished my writing of step 4 last night. I met with my sponsor & read about my resentments, angers, & ways I've hurt others (step 5).

Step 4 wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. I'm glad I did it. I learned a lot about myself. There's still a lot to be done, a lot more to learn. This is going to be a process. It isn't going to be as easy of a process as I'd like. But then again, if it was easy there would be no addicts left in this world.

My sponsor is now having me write on what I think my character flaws are, then I need to decide which ones I'm willing to let go of (step 6). I'll be using my writing on my resentments, fears, etc for step 4 as a guide. My sponsor told me not to worry about how I'm going to go let go of those character flaws, I should leave the "how" to God. I just need to decide which ones I need to let go of.

I realized the person I harbor the most resentment & anger towards is myself. This was surprising & humbling for me. I've felt I have always (well since my mid 20's) lived a safe & drama free life whenever it was possible. I've learned I've hurt much more than I thought I had.

A group of people I knew I'd hurt was my ex-girlfriends. I've been dreading this self inventory knowing I'd have to face how I'd treated them. With only a couple exceptions I have been blessed with great women in my life, & I've cheated on all but but a few of them In the romantic (I.E. physical) relationships of my earlier years I was usually unfaithful & I always left the relationships in a hurtful way. I've always been afraid to think about how badly I may have hurt them. Did the ripple effect of my actions cause problems in their future relationships? Fear, resentment, intimacy, trust, self esteem problems? Did I cause them to run from promising relationships like I had done to them? I'd do anything to be able go back & reverse the pain I've caused. Especially to Koleena, Audry, & Bianca. They are great people. They are the kind of women a man should have been willing to fight for. Instead I got scared of the feelings I felt & I tried to push them away. When they showed me what great women they were by staying with me regardless how hard I tried to push them away, I ran. I ended up just leaving. Never breaking up with them, never a goodbye, just disappearing. Without an explanation. If they came to my apartment, I wouldn't answer the door, I'd ignore phone calls..... I left them in the worst possible way. I left being a coward. I pushed my natural father away in the same way, & ended our relationship in the same dramatic fashion, with no contact at all for 23 years. They all deserved more. Heck, so did I.

I have not cheated on anyone since 1999 when I accepted Jesus as my savior, and I never cheated on my ex-wife.

The next step for me will be to ask God to remove my many character defects & shortcomings. To forgive myself will not be easy for me, but it'll be ok with Gods intervention. I don't use the word intervention lightly. That's exactly what it'll have to be. & I'm going to make amends whenever possible (step 9). Gulp.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

cycling towards recovery

Today our church had communion. As we were leaving I saw there was a lot of flat bread left that hadn't been given out to the church body. I was obsessing about the bread. I kept thinking of how it was probably going to be thrown away, wasted. I was dreaming about all the options there were if I was able to have the flat bread (eat it eat it eat it!). I could put in in queso, if it was stale I could dip it in salsa like chips, I could pop em while driving like little fun bite sized pieces of stress relief, ..... There's no doubt in my mind I'm a food addict. Who else would obsess about old used bread that's been broken to pieces.

I'm usually so busy on Sunday mornings getting our kids ready for church that I can't attend OA meetings. Today I went to my 1st Sunday morning meeting. I was amazed & awed by the meeting this morning. I read out of an OA book, page 128. It said something about a person driving & eating & they crashed their car. I used to struggle with my eating when driving to & from work. I couldn't refrain from stopping for food even though I left the house having just ate & I always brought enough food for work. So 5 years ago I started riding my bicycle to & from work. No matter what the weather is I ride my bike. Last week I rode to work in the middle of a snow storm that had dropped a foot of snow. 2 days ago the wind chill was negative 6 degrees. Any uncomfort or problems from the weather is nothing compared to the pain of being in the midst of a binge. I realized driving to & from work was a problem so I found an alternative. Up until now I never told anyone why I comute on a bike. I felt if I told anyone I commute on my bike to avoid binge eating regardless of how extreme or crazy the weather is it would make me sound like some kind of crazy nut job. Now that I'm going to OA meetings I realize I'm not crazy, it was one of the 1st times in my life I was admitting I was powerless over food & commuting to work is a tool I'm using to bring myself & my eating back to a state of sanity.

Thanks for tuning in & thank you for helping my in my recovery from a life of binge eating....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas & kidney failure

Against all odds I was able to stay abstinent during the Holidays. It wasn't a perfect abstinence, but I followed my definition of abstinence. I thought that was a huge victory for me, but I've realized I have a problem. I realized my definition of abstinence is way to lenient. My definition of abstinence currently is: Abstaining from a pattern of binge eating & completely abstaining from my trigger foods which are cake, chocolate, pies, pastries, & most especially ICE CREAM!!!!

Following my definition of abstinence I still overate on just about every meal during the entire Christmas week. I never binged, but I overate none the less. I also grazed on foods when I wasn't hungry. I realized this is inappropriate & I need a more stringent definition of my food abstinence.

One of the things that can trigger a binge for me is eating to much at one meal. I don't know why, but eating more than I need at even a single meal sends me running to bingeland fast! I overate on every single meal all weekend long! I wanted to binge yet I didn't have nearly the desire to do so that overeating normally triggers in me. I believe it was my prayers & God who was taking away my unavoidable need to binge. There's no other way to explain me walking such a slippery slope & still able to be successful! God was there for me. He was there to make me successful when I was too weak to do so on my own.

This morning I realized another reason for my need of a more stringent food plan & definition of abstinence. When I got off work and before I went to sleep I ate 3 pieces of pizza. I wasn't hungry, but I ate them anyway! This was a HUGE no-no because I was using food to relax, to wind down from work, & for stress relief. I use food to avoid dealing with my problems, stress, & emotions, that's my M.O. Essentially I am using a substance to avoid dealing with my life. Call me crazy, but isn't that what addicts do? Um, ya, I'm an addict! I know for a fact it's a good thing my drug of choice is food because if it was drugs or alcohol I'd be dead of an over dose long ago!

Avoiding the feelings that come with life is not ok with me. I need to learn to deal with my feelings. Avoiding life is not living. Not to mention when I binge I do it to such an extreme I've started to have signs that I'm overloading my kidneys. If I continue my binge eating I'll have kidney failure before I'm 40. No, I'm not exaggerating. I've been having problems with my kidneys when I binge eat. Most compulsive overeaters my age (mid 30's) know long term health problems will pop up if they continue their food habits. Things such as clogged arteries, heart attacks, & diabetes. My eating disorder is threatening to kill me in the short term, & kidney failure is a painful way to die. I have 3 children under the age of 6. I have to learn to deal with life & my eating disorder or my children will grow up without a Dad. My wife would have to start working full time at least, & probably 2 jobs to support them, so they'd essentially lose both parents. One to death, the other would become an absentee parent from working so much & it would all be my fault. This is not ok. I have to beat this, & I need to do it soon. I'll be praying for God to help, but this is, in my mind an emergency situation here, so if any of you out there in blog land are willing to pray for me, I'd be forever grateful.