079. Ticking Time-Bomb
As a kid, I would eat everything that was put in front of me and then go back for seconds. But I was thin, so my weight wasn’t an issue. As I grew up, I ate to escape: from work stress, from family relationships, and from fear in general. I was wracked with so much worry and resentment that, night after night, I had difficulty sleeping. I turned to food in the shape of huge meals, constant snacking, and eating again before bed. I was buying two to three bottles of antacids at a time to deal with my reflux. My doctor, whom I’d known and trusted for years, told me point-blank: “Your weight is unacceptable.” Dangerously high blood pressure and a myriad of other issues were threatening my health. I had to find a way to not only lose weight, but to keep it off. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) has transformed my life. Slowly but surely, I practiced replacing fear with faith. Now that I’ve been in FA for over sixteen years, why do I keep coming? The longer I work the FA program and the Twelve Steps, the better my life gets. It’s been a wonderful journey.
078. The Secret is to Stay
From my earliest memories, I was never satisfied. No matter how much I got, I wanted more. I felt like everyone else had life’s instruction manual, but I felt alone and awkward. In school I found my solace in food and Teen Beat magazine. After college, I decided a geographical cure would solve my problems, hoping that as soon as I crossed the border into Minnesota, I would be able to stop eating. Next, I tried Florida and Colorado, each time doing a round of souvenir eating before leaving. By then I was out of a job, had a multitude of health problems, and my relationships were a mess. I tried everything: acupuncture, therapy, coaching, wilderness retreats. I was completely stuck. Then my cousin introduced me to Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA), and from my first meeting, I saw hope. I always thought that if I loved myself, I would change how I ate. In FA, the reverse happened. I stopped eating addictively, and I started to love myself. In this program I became debt-free, I found the courage to date and marry my wonderful partner, and I learned to enjoy meaningful relationships.
077. An Abundance of Miracles
I grew up an only child with two loving parents, but my expectations were so high I never believed anyone loved me enough. I was left with a deep emptiness that I tried to fill with food, constantly fantasizing about what I’d eat next, and figuring out how to sneak food without anyone seeing. When my parents would go out at night, I could eat whatever I wanted, oscillating in my own Bermuda Triangle: the kitchen, the couch, and the TV. My parents had been sick for my entire life, and I did not know how to process my feelings. Food was the only thing I could rely on, so I just kept eating. I walked into my first Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) meeting at 17 years old, weighing 241 pounds, and I can tell you, FA works. This program is for everyone. Not only have I gone from a size 24 to a size 4, I have also been given language to talk about my feelings and healthy tools to deal with whatever life throws my way.
076. I Can’t Go. I Have To Mow My Lawn.
At 58 years of age, I argued that I didn’t really eat much, but you don’t get to be 300 pounds without eating. In reality, I was a fast food guy in denial. I never ate breakfast, but I would stop at the drive-thru, eat in my car, and binge all day at the office. I had high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. When my doctor gave me the foodaddicts.org website and asked me to attend at least one FA meeting, my main excuse was that I had acres of lawn to mow that would take several hours each Saturday. Coming from a small, rural community, I lived a small, isolated life. On finding FA and recovery from food addiction, my world opened up. Through the program, I gradually found my Higher Power and the time for my recovery. I have met wonderful people from around the world who are my support network. I am so grateful for my health: my cholesterol is now perfect, and I have no more blood sugar issues. Also, I upgraded my lawnmower. No more excuses!
075. Overcoming Survivor’s Guilt
At 18 years old and 295 pounds, I was trapped in the downward spiral of food addiction. When I heard about Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA), I thought, “No way will I ever set foot in one of those meetings." I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant and I lost a sibling at a young age. Experiencing grief and survivor’s guilt, I thought, “How could there be a Higher Power when so many terrible things happen?” Even when I did open the FA door and heard people telling stories that matched my own, I did not think the program was for me. My plan was to just lose weight and leave FA as soon as possible. What happened instead was that my life completely changed. Yes, I lost weight, but more importantly, in FA, I learned how to be me and how to live authentically. Getting out of my active food addiction allowed me to be present for the cancer treatment and eventual passing of my mother, meet my incredible wife, become a father, and pursue a true passion in life. At 31, I feel so grateful that I no longer have to eat addictively. I no longer have to live in fear. I can show up for my life today, one day at a time.
074. I Found Hope
Nineteen years old, 245 lbs., and completely out of control with food, I could not get it together to apply to colleges, get my driver’s license, or even get out of bed. Lonely and depressed, “eh, whatever” became my mantra. Even after losing 100 pounds in Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA), I still treated my program as a diet. When I started to put weight back on, I got honest and became serious about recovery. Since then, I have grown up in FA. My professional and personal lives have flourished. I’ve handled jobs with increasing responsibility, met my husband, moved to a new state, and bought a house. Today, I live in gratitude – sharing this program with others as it was so generously shared with me.
Love this podcast
Thank you to all who shared their stories. This podcast has been helpful for me and I’m grateful it’s here!
This is such a God sent to have FA podcasts to turn to when I am struggling, bored, or just need to hear recovery!
I am so grateful to find FA with only 24 days into program these recordings have been invaluable. I will continue to listen to them. The freedom from this addiction is the most precious life giving gift outside of my child. Thank you for these recordings especially in the midst of this pandemic. Please continue to add more.