Using food as my only source of power and comfort, it is my almighty drug. But this drug has left me feeling beyond empty, and with the reality of being 100 pounds overweight, I am uncomfortable. I feel undesirable.
My entire body aches from the extra weight, I can’t move freely. I isolate from friends, activities, and family. I feel like an outcast, as though I have no right to be a part of this world that values beauty so highly. My worth is measured by my size' the bigger the size that less I am worth. I project these feelings onto others, fulfilling my fears, confirming my distortions. Food runs my life. It is unmanageable. I am unmanageable.
When I binge, I forget about everything. And for those few precious moments of eating, the voices in my head are silent. But once I finish whatever I've just gobbled down, I feel all the pain and suffering all over.... but even worse. I hate myself. I hate everyone around me. I hate the voices in my head who hate me even worse. My fat is costing me my marriage, jobs, friendships, and opportunities. My weight has become my excuse NOT to live the life I want.
The truth is my weight is merely a manifestation of the life I'm living . . . a life completely out of control. I am clinically depressed and in a bad marriage; it's chipping away at my spirit.
I'm on an extended sick leave from work taking care of my sick mom who is living with bipolar disorder and obesity.
>>>> I was ready to check out at 29 years of age. My life could be summed up in three words. Desperate. Hopeless. Decimated. I felt like I had no choice but to either end things or change them. I chose to change them.
From this shallow point, I rebuilt my life.
Somehow through the fog, I realize no diet, no diet center, no dietitian, and no doctor can help me. I just know I have no tomorrows left, no Monday mornings, no more “just one bite.” No number on the scale can give me peace, acceptance, or love. The diets have all failed me. They've robbed me of money, dignity, and self-respect. They've given me false hope and brought me further into my addiction.
Yes, I have an addiction. I have a "Food Addiction". I knew it! And so, I decided to treat myself as though I had an addiction just like any other addiction.
I started by eliminating “trigger foods” from my diet. Trigger foods are different for everyone; for me, that meant refined sugar and refined flour. I went through the same symptoms as any addict would go through during "detox": intense physical cravings. I wanted sugar, flour, and fatty foods.
But I logically knew that the only way to eliminate cravings is to remove the drug from your system. When the drug is no longer in our system, the physical cravings should go away, I figured.
And I was right! >>> We crave whatever we ingest. Eat sugar, crave sugar. Stop eating sugar, stop craving sugar.
It seems too easy. Too simple. Too good to be true. But it's the truth!
The real trouble is that after the physical cravings leave you, it's the psychological triggers that we need help with.
I had to retrain my brain!
I had to see my beauty and to learn how to love and accept myself exactly as I was --- all 262 pounds of me. I had to change the mental tapes that had been on replay for so much of my life, that I was undisciplined, lazy and ugly.
This could no longer be my truth. I had to chose to love myself. Unconditionally.
What I learned very quickly was that love is energizing, and I needed all the energy I could muster to recover. I also discovered that no different than if I spent time with a negative hateful person, my own self-hating thoughts drained and exhausted me.
I could no longer speak to myself about myself that way. I made a pact with myself to not say anything unkind about myself. Ever.
I had to literally LEARN HOW to trust in something other than food for comfort. I had to have faith that I could access an inner power that was more comforting than cake, ice cream, or pasta!
I learned to meditate regularly, which simply means to become quiet and still. Learning to quiet those angry, self-sabotaging voices was crucial if I was going to find food recovery. I began to tap into my intuition and soon discovered that the quieter I am, the louder my inner voice becomes, and the more I follow my intuition the stronger it becomes.
Intuition is the great equalizer; no matter if you are rich, poor, educated, uneducated, young, old, we are all born with an inner wisdom that is far wiser than our intellect could ever be.
This inner wisdom is now my best friend and guide when:
- selecting food
- recognizing when I am full
- seeing my worth and beauty
This inner wisdom allows me to be at peace with food, to be at peace with myself and to be at peace those around me.
>>>> I’ve lost over 100 pounds, keeping it off for 14 years, and even with two horrific relapses along the way, I've learned how to make peace with food, and I've created a program to give you this, too.
I’ve searched high and low, I’ve done it all, so you don’t have to.
• Together, let’s stand up against the diet industry, no more weigh-ins, no more shaming, no more fear.
• I want you to know the “perfect diet” doesn’t exist. In fact, we have research to prove all diets work and we have even more overwhelming research that diets do NOT work. Since 1959, research has shown that 95 to 98% of attempts to lose weight fail and that two-thirds of dieters gain back more than they lost.
• The idea that you can eat perfectly is out of reach for almost everyone. As a human, I cannot act perfectly, speak perfectly and I definitely cannot eat perfectly, how can I be OK with that?
• 12-step programs for Food Addiction don’t work for everyone, and at times it can feel like the blind leading the blind. During my time in 12-step rooms, I was made to believe I was spiritually bankrupt and spiritually sick. I’ve come to realize my spirit, is the only perfect place I have. My spirit is whole, magnificent and powerful, it’s the ONLY part of me that is well. I had just lost my connection, I forgot who I was.
• Knowledge hasn't been the problem. I’m going to venture to guess that you know more than your healthcare providers about nutrition, counting calories, counting carbs, etc. etc.!
So, if knowledge isn’t the problem? What is? I’m here to tell you one of your greatest obstacles to weight loss is your thinking!
It’s not about the food, it’s never been about the food. In fact, all you need to do is eat real food and let go of chemically engineered “food-like” substances.
This is an inside job, connecting to that perfect place inside you, that place that longs for nothing, compulsive doesn’t exist. A place inside of you where it is possible, where you are powerful, it is your own magnificence. I will lead you to live your life from that place, select food from that place, nourish and feed your body from your greatness. Inside you, you know this to be true. Stop looking for the magic cure, it doesn’t exist. To quote Glinda from the Wizard of Oz,
“You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power...” I can show you the way because walked the path, will you join me?
The End of Addictive Eating is a Movement, and I’m inviting you to join us! Take the next step.....
From the desk of Sandra Elia:
I’ve lived two lives. One life suffering from morbid obesity, eating out of control, experiencing paralyzing depression, my entire life was spiralling out of control. The other life as a happy, healthy, vibrant woman, mother, and Food Addiction Counselor!
Travel back with me to 2001 where I begin my journey from the darkest point in my life. A point I never thought I would reach >>>
>>> I'm 29 and I’m out of control, detached from my body, my feelings, and my passions; merely going through the motions of the day, only seeing what’s exactly in front of me and nothing more. I have blinders on. I have no interest to plan, dream, or focus on anything but surviving.