Hi, Im a compulsive binge eater. What does that mean? I use food to numb my feelings, to comfort, to celebrate, etc, etc…… I've never found a feeling that can't be made better by the use of my drug of choice, food. Most people use food to self sooth, but few do it to such an extreme degree. Binge eating in its self is a painful issue to deal with, but when my love for endurance athletics is added into the equation, then it's a particularly heart breaking issue to deal with. In triathlon, just like all endurance athletics, weight is important. The lighter a person is the faster and farther they can swim, bike, and run.
I’m going to be completely honest and straight forward with you about
the addiction that I have. It's not pretty. Many will be repulsed. Many will
look at my addiction and think I'm weak. That's ok, every person is welcome to
What brought about the courage to write about my deepest
darkest demon on my blog for the entire world to see? I’ve come to the
realization that God loves me so much He put this addiction into my life. He
makes no mistakes, and if He put this into my life I shouldn’t hide from it,
and who knows, I may be able to use my story to help others with their
So here’s my story:
In July 2007 I weighed 182
pounds. I was kicking butt at the triathlons I was competing in. In November of
the same year I showed up and competed in the Silverman full distance triathlon
weighing in at 256 ponds. I’d gained 74 pounds in 4 months while swimming,
biking, and running 19+ hours a week. IDNF'd, and after the
race another triathlete started teasing me about my weight gain. He pissed me
off and motivated me. I started dieting.....again. I got down to 200 pounds, and
then POW, just like that I found myself in the middle of yet another binge! I’ve
repeated that same scenario more times than I care to remember.
my destructive overeating lasts a few days, they have lasted as long as half a
year. One year in particular I dropped from 292 pounds to 204 pounds, back up to
269, then back down to 227. It's an emotional roller coaster for me and everyone
in my life.
When I binge I often eat so much I overload and damage my
kidneys. For me to regain control takes prayer and Gods Grace, and a strong
support group. My eating addiction is much too big for me to handle, but it's
insignificant for God.
God put this eating disorder into my life to force
me to develop a stronger relationship with Him. When I drift from Him I fall off
the wagon. When I want to recover, I have to turn to Him or I’m unable to stop
my destructive over eating. God loves me so much He put this addiction into my
life to keep us in constant fellowship and comunication.
The only way
I'll be able to stay abstinent from destructive overeating is by prayer and
grace! I've tried everything I could on my own to prevent myself from binge
eating, and nothing has worked. I'm not strong enough to handle my addiction by
myself, but God is willing to help me. God loves me where I'm at, but "He" loves
me too much to leave me there. There's no problem that cannot become a crisis
and no crisis that cannot become a disaster -- if I eat to try to escape. Only
God can turn a mess into a message, so I’ve learned I need to keep my focus on
In 2007 I realized I was an addict. Addicts are unable to deal with
the everyday stress of life without numbing themselves and their feelings with
their drug of choice. I became fearful when I realized that if I stopped binge
eating I'd be forced to face life, and feel my emotions and my pain.
I stopped binge eating how would I learn to deal with my emotions? How long
would it take to learn healthy ways to deal with my life? The answers to those
questions petrified me. But eventually God gave me the answer I needed: take it
one day at a time. Lay my addiction on Gods shoulders & concentrate on
staying abstinant from destructive overeating this moment, today. Thinking how
I'd be abstinant for the rest of my life, or even a few days in a row was to
overwhelming. I don't worry about tomorrow, I just worry about staying abstinant
When a person experiences pain it causes a person to change, and
the best way to change is by turning to God and the bible. I didn’t turn to God
when I self medicated with food. I numbed my feelings, I covered them up, and
when I covered them up I stunted my emotional and spiritual growth.
desire to binge eat can be greatly minimized by avoiding sugar (and NEVER EVER
going to an all you can eat buffet!!!). Sugar is my one of my biggest triggers.
I still have yearnings to binge eat when I see or smell certain foods, but a
large part of my cravings go away once I stop eating sugar. So if I’m eating
with you or if you cook me a meal, please don’t be insulted if something special
you’ve prepared contains sugar and I refuse to try it. Just a small taste may
throw me into a tail spin of weight gain, depression, self hate, and possible
kidney damage. Never eating sugar may seem extreme, but this disease I'm
fighting is extreme.
The most difficult lesson for me to learn about my
destructive eating is to be gentle with myself. During every binge I'd beat
myself up, I'd punish myself, hate myself. The loathing and stress I had about
my binges caused me to binge even more. Even when I was doing well with my
eating I'd be obsessing about my past or future binges. Regretting the past
causes me to repeat it. Ignoring the past will also cause me to repeat it. The
only way I can recover is by learning from my failures. Each time I fall off the
wagon I try and learn what the causes were and not regret my action.
regards to my overeating I sometimes ask myself if I would have done anything
differently if I had the chance. "Darn right I would!" But I will not regret the
past nor do I wish to shut the door on it. The gift of the past is the
realization that it has been the totality of my life experience that has brought
me to this stage of my spiritual journey. And I have come to love the man I have
become & am still becoming, having learned to love the lessons that come
with my struggles to live in the fullness of who God made me to be. It would be
hard to imagine an addict coming into recovery who does not regret the harm they
have caused themselves & others. If I have committed myself to practicing
spiritual discipline on an ongoing basis, in the context of a relationship with
my Lord Jesus Christ, I can't see that regret is of much use. At some point I, a
recovering food addict has to let go of beating myself up & focus on
gratitude for the opportunity to really transform my life for the
I realize I am powerless over food & that my life has become
unmanageable. I realize only God can restore me to sanity & I have made my
mind up to turn my will & my entire life over to God.
progressive. Addictions are more powerful than your will power and more cunning
than your intellect. If you’re an addict, you’ll never be able to recover on
your own. You’ll continue to get worse until you seek the help of someone who
has recovered from what you are now struggling with. There is help available,
there are thousands of people who would love the opportunity to help. Turn to
one of these resources:
meeting locations for OA, NA, GA, OR AA,
or go to a bible based
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