From Rage to Redemption

Risefromtheashes

 

I recently spent two months in jail on three counts of aggravated assault. I will spare you all the details (even though it makes for an interesting story). I was off my medication, very stressed out and not coping well with life. I can remember sitting in the back of the police car feeling relieved. I was relieved to just get a break from myself and life. I also feared that if I were to stay on the streets I would seriously hurt someone so I felt this was the best way to protect myself and the public. My story is not over. It is just beginning.  I want to share with the world my struggles with my mental health.

But first, let me introduce myself. My name is April and I am a rageaholic. I also suffer from major depression, anxiety, PTSD and the one that gets me in the most trouble, intermittent explosive disorder. Besides all the issues that plague me, I am a sister, a daughter, a friend, a colleague, a writer, a health coach and a mental health advocate. I also plan on adding public speaking to my resume. It’s important for you to know that I am not my mental health issues, I am so much more than that. I have so much hope for my life. This is just the beginning-My rise from the ashes.

I have attempted to start blogging in the past. In fact, I still have some old blogs posted below. I wanted to be able to tell my truth and give out helpful, valuable information concerning holistic health…but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to be open and honest about my life. And I know being transparent and vulnerable not only helps to heal me but it also helps others who struggle with the same issues. By encouraging them to not give up…there is light at the end of the tunnel and by supporting them while they grow to understand that they are not alone.  My goal is to help as many people as I can with mental health, body image, and self esteem issues. All of our problems are connected to negative thought patterns and behaviors and if we want to change it’s possible but it’s an inside, out job.

I am writing my own story and in the end I will have hoped to have emerged renewed. I have so much hope for my life. My story is not over. It is just beginning. My rise from the ashes.

Loving You: A True Love Story

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I was having a conversation the other day with my support group about the terms self-love and self-care. I was wondering how others defined these words and how they put them into practice. I got answers like I treat myself to a pedicure, get a massage or take myself to lunch. Those were answers that I expected, and I agree that these are ways to care for your physical self BUT then I got to thinking about my clients and how they practice ALL of these, so called, self-love actions but still are unhappy and unfulfilled and it made me really think about what we are all truly missing in terms of self- care and self-love.  Why do we have so many unhappy people that are gainfully employed, have enough food to eat, have a roof over their head, physically able bodied and basically have all their needs met? Are their needs really being met? I look back on my own life.

18 years ago, I was in one of the deepest, darkest funks I had ever experienced. I hated myself and tried to commit suicide after a break up. I had given this person all my energy to make them happy and completely neglected my own needs. I didn’t know it then, but it was an addictive and co-dependent relationship. After I left the relationship I started a career in truck driving and completely threw myself into my career so that I wouldn’t have to focus on the painful areas of my life (another co-dependent relationship but this time with work). I would buy myself anything I wanted, eat whatever I wanted and vacation wherever I wanted. Self-care, right? Not so much. I was morbidly obese and in the worst state of health EVER! And did I mention how angry and self-loathing I was? I did not love myself.

So, when I ask the question about practicing self-care and self-love it becomes clear, as I look back over my life, that they are not the same thing.  I will go a step further to say that sometimes what you think is self-care is destructive behavior. If you are spending excess amounts of money to make yourself feel better or it gives you a “high” every time you spend and then you feel some level of guilt afterwards then you may have an addiction and not just practicing self-care. Addictive behavior is not exclusive to drugs and alcohol! Addictive behavior shows up in many ways: eating, shopping, sex, gambling and stealing just to name a few. So, what exactly is self-love and why is it so important?

Self-love is not anything you can buy. I found a definition that I quite like that fully encompasses the true meaning: “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts” (Khoshaba, 2012). See we often take care of all those day to day functions to get through life but are you nurturing yourself? Do you appreciate yourself? Have you taken the time to cultivate who you truly are and are you doing what it is that YOU want to do with your life? Self- love is about taking the actions, every day, to cultivate and grow the person you truly are meant to be. Are you taking those actions?

I am finally able to say that I am. It has not been easy, but the work has been well worth it. I grow more into my “true” self every day. It has been painful addressing my issues, but I take it one day at a time and I have slowly but surely learned that I am okay just how I am. It is my hope for you that if you are not practicing self-love that you will begin to do so. I will give you a few ways to get started:

  • Forgive yourself- This one was a big for me. Let go of the idea of perfection. None of us are perfect and even if we could be perfect what would we be comparing ourselves? Know that you are unique and so are your experiences in your life. There is no blue print that you were given to get through life so know that you are doing your best and forgive yourself for whatever you hold guilt.
  • Live life on your own terms- We have all been sold the same dream. Do well in school, grow up, meet the person of your dreams, marry them, have 2.2 kids and buy the house with the white picket fence. This “cookie cutter” life has killed SO MANY creative souls. Have the courage to be who you feel you should be. Live an authentic life doing what you love, whenever you love! Stop comparing yourself to others. Be bold, be brave, be you!
  • Be present- This one is grand! Much of our pain comes from living in the past or worrying about the future. Learn to live in the now and when you wake each morning forget about yesterday and live for the new day only! Resolve to be your best self TODAY! We cannot change the past and the future hasn’t happened so why worry with it?

I know all these things sound familiar to you because you have read it somewhere before. The problem is most of us don’t live it. You must do better than just knowing it. Take the steps you need to make effective change and if you don’t know how to do so then reach out to someone. Another little nugget that I have found is life is so much easier when you are not trying to do it all alone. I challenge you to implement change in your life so that you can begin to live a life that you truly love.

 

I am a health coach and I help those who struggle with food/sugar addiction and weight loss issues. If you or anyone you know needs help with sugar/food addiction and or weight loss, please schedule an appointment with me at this link  Click Here! Or give me a call at 706-394-0916

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Food Addiction: It’s Not Your Fault

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I can remember being a young child in Germany. My mom was stationed there, and I went over to join her once she settled in. It was strange being a 9-year-old in a foreign country with absolutely no family or friends. My mother worked all the time and I stayed at home and ate snacks out of boredom. I had not one single friend. As I think back, I rarely spoke. There was no one to communicate with and I never left the house. The one or two times I did decide to venture out I encountered the harsh reality of the world. On two separate occasions I had grown men touch me inappropriately, so I stayed in my room, read my books, daydreamed and learned to cope in one of the unhealthiest ways…eating. I even avoided going to school. I missed so much school that I almost flunked out that year. My teachers never called and told my mother anything. I told you…I was alone and quite frankly, no one cared.

This was one of many childhood memories that I recalled as I worked through my addictive behaviors. It was during my earliest years that I developed my love for sugar. Little did I know that my only friend, sugar, was really the enemy and would stay by my side for far too long. As I continued to cope with the pain of loneliness the best way I knew how I grew to realize the destructive nature of my choices to soothe my loneliness and emptiness with sugar and refined carbohydrates. These are the years where I also missed out on learning to develop relationships. I am just learning in recent years just how intertwined my demons really are with one another. As I continue to “unlearn” my not-so-good behaviors, replacing them with healthier ones, I remain humble because I know just how easily I can go back down that dark road. I am forever humbled to addiction.

I often say it is not important to identify the “why” in a situation but to focus on seeking out healthier alternatives to your current behaviors. Because the “why” you may never know however as I continue my own personal development I can see how going back and dealing with unresolved emotions can help you heal. Also, in dealing with my sugar addiction, I learned how using food to cope became an addiction. Part of my cycle would be guilt after eating certain foods but learning about addiction helped me release the guilt and shame of my behaviors. I wanted to share with you a few discoveries I have made on how sugar affects your brain when you consume it.

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients your body needs to obtain energy (calories). The body needs carbohydrates, protein and fats to function properly, but carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. I won’t get too deeply into nutrition class, but I think it is important to know the basics. There are two classes of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Basically, the difference is in the chemical make-up. With simple carbs, they are absorbed by the body quickly as opposed to complex carbs which take longer to be broken down by the body because it has a more complex chemical structure. What I want to talk to you about today are simple carbs or carbohydrates, which occur naturally in milk, some fruits and vegetables. The problem doesn’t so much happen with naturally occurring sugar but the simple, processed and refined sugars that consume our American diet. Simple sugars found in refined carbohydrates such as soda, cookies and pastries, cereal, juice and other prepackaged foods. There is sugar in almost everything we consume. There have been tons of research done on how sugar affects the mind and body but when you asked the average person, they really don’t understand just how deadly the overconsumption is to your health.  It is estimated that the average American consumes about 66 lbs. of sugar a year.

Sugar addiction

The overconsumption of sugar has been increasingly related to depression, learning disorders, memory problems and overeating. Laboratory tests done in humans suggest the consumption of sugars and sweets can trigger reward and craving states in your brain like addictive drugs. Dr. Mercola, author of Effortless Healing, states that “not only can sugar and sweets substitute for drugs like cocaine, in terms of how your brain reacts to them, they can be even more rewarding.” And you wonder why you can’t seem to stop eating sweets or refined carbohydrates? When you eat sugar, a chemical called dopamine is released that brings you pleasure and your brain remembers HEY tastes good! And when I eat it, with the release of dopamine, you “feel” good. A regular consumption of sugar triggers dopamine which causes a greater excitation of your brain’s reward center and over a period, your brain becomes tolerant to sugar and the need for sugar increases as one continues to consume it causing addictive behavior.

Sugar addiction is real, and it is sad to say it’s not even our fault. The “food like” items that are sold on our shelves for convenience and what we purchase when we go through fast food establishments are full of sugar and we all start consuming this type of diet at an early age. Our young minds and bodies have no warning or say so about the life-long battle that will ensue with one’s health and wellness brought upon us by the sad, sugar filled diet. My addictive behavior started early so if you have children change their diets NOW to one filled with healthy whole foods and the occasional treat. It’s not too late for anyone to change their diet to one filled with whole, healthy foods.

If you are anyone that you may know are struggling with weight loss and/or food addiction, please feel free to contact me. I am a health coach and I specialize in helping those who have these issues. Schedule a complimentary session with me today at https://my.timetrade.com/book/N954H  or leave your contact information on the contact form.

Sources

CNN Health

University of California San Francisco

Dr. Mercola

No Resolutions…Just Day by Day…

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Here we are in 2018! I can hardly believe it is a new year. Where did the whole of last year go? I haven’t written in awhile so I will start with something short and sweet for the new year. I think of all the goals that were set and not completed but I also had just as many achievements and better than that, breakthroughs! I also had just as many ups as there were downs in my personal and professional life…but that’s the way it goes, huh. I don’t have any new year’s resolutions because every day I wake up I look at it as an opportunity to start new but as I continued to trudge forward into better health, my biggest defining moment ended the year with somewhat placing a resolution in my lap for 2018.

I have been working on bettering my health for the last 7 1/2 years but 2017 showed me, more than one time, that I needed to focus on some issues that I have failed to address in the past. I ended the year with a loss that rocked me back on my heels and cut me to my core. I lost one of my best friends and also the woman who my heart loved to no fault of her own. I didn’t want to live anymore. It was what I needed but why did this lesson have to come through her. Luckily, I had already began seeing a therapist and was able to get a handle on myself. I cried for days but these were defining, bittersweet moments. That was December 19th and before New Years  I already began working on my inability to have deep, meaningful and long-lasting relationships. I know that may sound crazy to some but trust me….it’s a thing. This is something that I also know that ties directly into my issues with food. I have hidden so much for so long it feels good to finally let it go…letting go of the guilt of my past! It is freeing…you should try it. I know there are MANY who struggle in so many areas but go through life TRYING to be normal as possible but we all trying to cope, ya know? Many are parents and will unknowingly cause their children to grow up with an inability to cope because of their own inability to cope. I will write later about why so many become addicted. The addiction to drugs, alcohol, shopping, sex, gambling, food, relationships etc. are directly related to our upbringing or lack thereof, in most cases.

I continue individual therapy and just started group therapy in hopes of working through my issues and developing better coping skills. It gives me so much hope when I say it aloud. To have better friendships and some day a long lasting romantic relationship is on the horizon. Also addressing my own issues helps me in my health coach practice as I can better identify with what my clients are going through and be able to say “been there, done that”.

I don’t know what the new year will yield for me but I do know I won’t stop looking at each day as a new beginning. New opportunities to better myself physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. As I continue my own personal journey to better health I will be helping others who struggle with weight loss and food addiction as well. Here’s to each new day!

 

If you or someone you may know is struggling with weight loss and/or food addiction please don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation with me at this link: https://my.timetrade.com/book/N954H

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90 Days to Sobriety-Part 2

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I just completed week 1 of my journey to forever conquering food addiction. This is not a new process for me-the decision to rid myself of toxic food and thought-it is one that has been repeated over and over with many failed attempts. Although I no longer call them failed attempts but just a part of the process. It is not one that happens overnight but a journey that is lifelong. Overall, surprisingly, it was a good week. Of course, there were many ups and downs to include many “light bulb turned on” and “a-ha” type moments. I wanted to share a handful of my discoveries and hopefully a few of them will resonate within your spirit.  Here’s what I learned this week about myself, my relationship with food and the rest of the world.

You may never find a root cause so let it go and focus on the bright spots. You ever been going through something for a long time and ask yourself why me? Why I am having such a challenging time changing? The truth of the matter is you may never know. More importantly, even if you knew that information it won’t help you change! The thought of knowing a root cause to solve the problem has been the typical focus for most of us in the world but oftentimes that truth will never come to fruition. The key to solving an issue is looking for ways to make it better. My focal point had been on the why but one of my “a-ha” moments this week came while meditating. I was trying to clear my mind of negative thoughts and now I could hear a voice inside of me saying “why me?” and immediately I thought “it doesn’t matter”. I knew then that a habit that I needed to rid myself from was hyper focusing on dwelling in my emotional pain of not understanding the why. When I asked myself that question it immediately led into negative emotions that never led anywhere but right into a self-pity party. Now I turn my thoughts to what will work for me and no longer the why.

My happiness is directly linked to my thoughts aligning with my actions. Whoooo! This was a big one! I have said before that I have never really been blissfully happy and that is something I want to experience before I die! Don’t we all? I will pause and tell you that when you take out those negative ways of coping, you have nothing else to fall back on except the reality of it all. This is what you’re faced with when you give up drugs, alcohol, sex, food, gambling, etc. Nothing left just to face yourself and your truth. This is where I have been all week! Ha! I was sitting on the floor in my living room packing one morning and I felt an urge to get donuts. I wanted them so badly, but I talked myself through it and am learning to replace my cravings with healthier options but part of the process to rid myself of this behavior to over indulge is tap into my feelings at that very moment. To really ask myself what is it that I really want. In that moment my mind said, “you know sugar is not good for you and you have healthy options so choose the healthy option!” This is where I realized the source of my unhappiness. I thought about my entire life and every decision that I had made. Many of them did not align with who I am. That causes unhappiness. To live a life following the path to reach other folks goals and “boxed” into belief systems and cultural norms that you know are not you is happiness suicide!  Live a life that you love!

Quiet the chatter. This one is directly in line with aligning thoughts with actions. I decided a few months ago that I would leave my job and start living my life on my own terms. Living a life that would be filled with what I want. Here is where the chatter comes in. When you leave a job, there will be many folks that won’t understand. Some will say it behind your back while others will come to you, out of concern(sarcasm), asking or telling you that maybe you are not making a wise decision. Demanding answers to why? And what are you going to do and how will you live? When I think about it right now it irks me. You see even though people don’t realize it, their concern is not concern its doubt in that person based on what they consider not normal. Not lack of confidence in me but lack of confidence in that person based on what they consider to be normal. Folks will always want you to make the same decision they would make and their inability to think past that part of them that would be too scared to do anything out of what would be their norm, is what truly drives what I call chatter. I am learning quickly that I will never be able to completely get people to stop offering me unsolicited advice but to take it like a grain of salt and consider the source. End the end I am going to be okay with making ALL decisions for my own life and on my own terms.

Release. This was the biggest lesson for me this past week. Everyone calls me mean…I am. I get it. It is always said with a small amount of humor. It is hurtful, but I get it. I won’t make excuses for my rough way with words or my overly aggressive language. I know. Here is what I discovered about “me” this week. I carry a TON of resentment for people, in general. I have spent ninety percent of my life as a fat girl. I was picked on and laughed at A LOT! For being fat AND dark. I felt the discrimination early on in life and while some may recoil inside themselves when faced with bullying it made me mean and extremely defensive. Many don’t know this about me, but I fought my way through elementary, middle and high school. When they would attack I made them realize that once they did they would suffer the repercussions. It was hurt but channeled through aggressive behavior. I realized this week that much of my being happy will lie in my ability to let go of the past. There will be wrongs that will never be right and apologies that I will never receive. I must give forgiveness and move forward. I must let go of the bitterness, anger, distrust and most of all the hurt and resentment.

This has been a LONG week but a good one. No sugar and no soda were my focus this week but next week I will continue with a cleanse to help with my food allergies. I am in the process of relocating so I will continue with what I am doing and once I get settled I will start my cleanse. It is my hope that my transparency will help another human being who is struggling in living their best life. I get up every day and the first thing I ask myself is “what will you do today to add to your happiness and accomplish your goals?” Are you doing the same?

If you or anyone you know may be struggling with food addiction and/or weight loss, please schedule a free consultation with me today. Nothing like a little girl talk with someone who truly understands. Schedule your appointment here: https://my.timetrade.com/book/N954H

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90 Days To Sobriety-Part 1 


Sober…sobriety is described as a.) sparing in the use of food and drink, b.) not to be addicted (Merriam-Webster). THIS is what I want…to be sober. And I am not. Many people don’t feel food is addictive and/or that having a sugar/food addiction can be harmful to your quality of life but trust me! I live it every day. 

You know, as I look back over my life, I really can’t give a continuous block of time where I was a truly happy person. From childhood I have been fixated on my size, my outward appearance, which has been the source of my melancholy nature often times played out as aggression, anger, defensiveness and just being a  plain ole mean, hurt spirit. I would wonder in those years if my addiction to food was related to my poor body image . The desire to heal myself and be free from this war with food and my body had me thinking back on the whys. How in the hell did I get here? How can I fix this painful existence?

Today(I wrote this yesterday) I am tired and rock bottom. I am so ready to put this shit down. The sadness linked to my addiction, the feelings of failure DAILY and just waking up every morning with a sense of doom are burdens that I am ready to put down. I am tired but I will never give up and that is what brings me here today.

I haven’t been in completely honest with myself which means I couldn’t be honest with anyone else. Over the last 7 years I have managed tobe successful at keeping off 145 lbs. of weight lossed. Well, it hasn’t been easy and I have yet to completely deal with my food addiction in its entirety. That part. I have been honest with my struggles but what I haven’t been honest about is just how bad it’s been and still having those same behaviors that got me to 325 lbs. Yeah, they are still there. I just control them in a different way. I still binge, I still lie about what I have eaten, I still go out and buy food sometimes up to 10 times a day to fulfill my cravings, I still hide and eat alone, I still spend obscene amounts of money on my food habit. I am still very much in the deep throws of my addiction. BUT I am really tired now. Fucking exhausted! I sat and cried yesterday because I thought “why live when you’re this unhappy?” For what? Rock.Bottom. I’ve thrown myself into multiple projects trying to get a real sense of accomplishment out of my life while attempting to take my mind off the one real issue, never completely addressing it. Not realizing if I step back and figure out this one huge issue maybe everything else will fall in place. Writing in full honesty and sharing my addictive behavior with the world is quite humbling. I truly feel I am “rock bottom”. I am sad but not defeated. I am a fighter and I will conquer my proverbial demons. Being completely honest is the first step, right?

At this time I am putting everything aside to concentrate on my journey to sobriety. The next 90 days seems fitting in the scheme of things. 90 days of raw, honest, painful emotions to sift through and one hellacious detox. But I am here for it. I close my eyes and see all the wonderful things life has to offer me and I smile. My beautiful friends, wonderful family, future loving spouse(someday), great passion and purpose for my life, all give me reasons to keep pushing. Don’t feel sad for me I am not defeated. I am a fighter, a champion and I also am worthy of this victory! 

For the next few weeks as I detox I won’t be on social media but I will continue to blog. Detoxing  from sugar and processed foods is a real son of a bitch so I will be focused on making it through, one day at a time and then getting up, stronger, so I can help others. To follow my journey please continue to read my blog at myhappycrookedkrown.com/blog/ .

My Mother Died and So I Ate…


My mother is dead. The words are stale in my mouth, still hard to digest after sixteen months of her being gone. I have done a great job at avoiding the pain by staying away from the little town that I know as “home”. Or had I? I now, deeply, revisit all of these feelings as I have come back home to deal with her home and belongings. My mother’s illness and death were both unexpected, swift and I can tell you I have never felt grief like this before and wish it upon not even my worst enemy.  When I knew something was wrong, I didn’t even pack a bag. I just went home and within 30 days she’s was dead. This part…is what brings me so much pain. I ate.  In that 30 days there were so many “blows” given to my psyche. I knew something was terribly wrong before I got home. When I arrived I found my mother on the sofa, she could barely move, weak from not eating or drinking and was in so much pain from the tumors. I ate. Within 24 hours of being home we found out her tumors were cancerous. I ate. 4 days later, she had a stroke. I ate. She was hospitalized and during that time she had a heart attack and continued to develop blood clots. I ate. The cancer doctor came to see her while she was being treated for her stroke and heart attack…she said “The cancer is growing quickly and has spread to her liver so you must understand this is terminal, not curable. I ate. Blow after blow after blow…with many more to come. By the time I buried my mom I had gained roughly 30 lbs. Food has always been my drug of choice. Giving me that false sense of security and comfort. It pained me so much that my mother couldn’t eat, she couldn’t take care of herself and even though the stroke had altered her mind, she knew what was going on and that hurt me the most because my mom was a very independent, private type. She was extremely modest and traditional so watching her as people invaded her privacy, on all levels, was agonizing and bitter sweet. Bitter sweet because  I was able to protect her, the best I could and stay by her side during her last days. I am her only child and I am so glad she knew how much I loved her through my devotion. I coped by eating and closing myself off from the world the best I could but now I am home. Dealing. Coping. Gaining control. Day by day. It hasn’t been a smooth three weeks but I am so glad I am finally dealing. I came to some realizations since I have been home: a.) I have been deeply avoiding this b.) I am depressed and still mourning her loss(mourning is ok!) c.) I needed this to move forward in my own healing  d.) there is no right way or wrong way to come to these realizations just do so! e.) my mother’s belongings are not her  f.) EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT! 

I have been home as of today for 23 days and I can say I have come a LONG WAY. That desire to want to binge will more than likely always be there but the key to controlling it is not controlling it but gaining an understanding of self, being mindful and conscious of the feelings that rise up when the desire to binge shows up and replacing that binge with something more conducive with my current lifestyle, which is one of healthy living, loving myself enough to make choices that reflect self love and great self care. Practice, practice, practice until it becomes habit. 

I have lost all the weight that I gained during that time and with continued perseverance, determination and maximal effort with a focus on self care/self love it will get easier with time. Universe, willing. 

And Here I am Again…Hating the Thickness in the Middle 


I can tell you without hesitation that my body is strong and it has come along way but in the same breath also say I’m not where I want to be. I sit down, stand up, bend over hating my mid section. It’s very close to an obsession. There is almost no time in my waking moments that I am not thinking about how to get rid of “the tire”. In recent days, I have recommitted to getting in the best shape of my life and my goal is to be strong af! I’m hoping to sculpt this body into what I feel is perfection for me. Sounds great huh? Here’s the thing: I go through this over and over and over again. The cycle starts with “ugh! I hate my stomach and back fat!”, then that moves me into taking action to get in better shape but within weeks the “other me” creeps in like a voice in my head telling me “oh, you can cheat this one time” and “you need to learn to love yourself just as you are” and my favorite ” just give up, you will never get the body you want” and from there, I give in eating whatever I want, often times bingeing, enjoying it for the moment and then quickly regretting it. Then the cycle starts over with the shame and guilt..back on track smh. The problem with negative body image is it also, often times, causes depression, binge eating and anorexia and also low self esteem leading to a low quality of life. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and wanting to look better for yourself but when it becomes an obsession bringing you constant negative thoughts about your body AND food, it’s not healthy. So, I will continue to work towards my goal of being strong and fit BUT it will be from the inside, out this time! Conquering the internal battle ultimately will show up in not only my mental health but also my physical health. It all works together! Practicing daily appreciation of what my body does for me along with being mindful of the negative self talk that is going on in my head and immediately replacing it positive and healthy thoughts , will be the beginning of building better habits! With time and consistency a change will come and for sure it’s all worthwhile! Note to self: NOW YOU KNOW YOU MUST DO BETTER! Watch me work! 💕💕

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Dating When You Have a Food Addiction

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I spend much of my time alone. I am in a city with no friends or family which on some days has been beneficial but others, quite lonely. I am also in a very rural area with no culture like my own which has made it nearly impossible to make friends or date. I have been here 3. LONG. YEARS. I welcomed the change in the beginning as it has allowed for me to focus on accomplishing goals without the interruptions of love and such. My mind on love is something like a hungry dog that has happened upon an open restaurant dumpster forgetting about everything else completely focused on the food. I have managed to stay out of any “real” committed, long term relationships but now as I venture back out into the world of dating I am forced to address my issues with people I barely know. It is hard enough dealing with your own stuff but now having to figure out when do I tell them and how much should I tell them brings on a bit of anxiety. When do you say “oh, by the way, I have some real food issues that cause me to binge eat a dump truck full of food on some days. Really? When is the best time to tell someone new this information?

So, I have actually done some research on this very issue and I can tell you the suggestions from the “experts” are from one end of the spectrum(tell them when you’re comfortable) to the other end (very complex reasoning around time, length of illness and the symptoms this person is exhibiting). I think before I tell you my own thoughts on when one should disclose, I feel there is a real need to explain what food addiction is for those who don’t know or don’t understand. Food addiction is when the body and brain become dependent on food and this is characterized by:

  • obsessive food cravings, combined with a preoccupation of obtaining and consuming food
  • repeated attempts to stop overeating, followed by relapse into addictive behavior
  • the continued misuse of food (through binge eating or compulsive eating) in spite of serious health concerns
  • loss of control over how much, how often, and where overeating occurs
  • the need to consume more food in order to get the same sense of emotional release or comfort
  • a pattern of eating alone in order to avoid negative attention of others
  • negative impact on work, family life, financial status, or social activities as a result of over eating (American Addictions Center, 2017)

I felt the need to fully describe food addiction because I have, in the past, encountered those who don’t believe that this is a real issue or that one can truly be addicted to food. I say live a day of my life! My opinion? Those are people you should not be dating if you KNOW this is your issue! Now that I have gotten that out of the way. Another real truth I believe is before you starting dating you should be working on yourself and dealing with your issues. Self love before delving into relationships with others. Eating disorders frequently become so central and preoccupying they are often described as taking the place of interpersonal relationships ( Psychology Today, 2016) so as long as the issues are not being addressed it could definitely cause some real problems as to developing a deep and meaningful relationship.

Now, after I have read all the differing opinions about when one should disclose information concerning addictive behaviors I felt more confused than ever. I felt anxiety about dating someone that I really liked and wanted to make sure that I was moving forward with them being as truthful and forthright as possible. I didn’t want to withhold information as this comes across as deceptive, sometimes. It almost made me want to just not even try as the anxiety would rise up in my chest every time I thought about it. Then one night it just hit me: there is no right time or right moment. When you constantly present yourself to the world as who you truly are then those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind, in the famous words of Dr. Seuss. Sounds simplistic but human beings MAKE things much harder than they should be. I met someone who is wonderful at receiving the information that I give and WELCOMES it! Now, does this mean that this will happen every time I encounter a new person in my life? No, but what it does mean is no matter who I encounter I will know that those who are truly accepting of me were presented with the “real” me from the beginning and not just the bits and pieces that I thought they were willing and/or able to accept. So, I move forward into the dating world, with my big heart, bald head, thick legs and nagging food addiction in tow!

the-tree-of-love-559

Stepping Out On Cloud Nine

Over the last two months I have been stressed beyond belief. My focus has been only on my job and making sure I get everything done. The problem is there wasn’t enough time to do what was asked of me and most tasks were impossible to accomplish(I am sure this is the story of many peoples’ lives). While climbing up the proverbial corporate ladder, I found I had some how ended up in a hole…a big…black…hole. I already didn’t sleep well but during the last two months I began to have nightmares about my tasks at work and suffering anxiety every day before I would go to work. On top of this, I have an asshole for a boss. Whoever said who you work for makes all the difference in the world hit the nail right on the head. I went into work last weekend and had my last “blow out” with this ridiculous, callous, conniving, individual and I said that’s it. I left his office and went into the bathroom and cried and cried. It was there I had an epiphany. I sat in the bathroom stall and thought ” I have been working my ass off, pouring every bit of my heart and soul into someone else’s business. SOMEONE ELSE’S BUSINESS! No thank you for your efforts, no pat on the back, no you’re doing a great job just here is something else for you to do when you get done with the other 9,000 impossible tasks that we have asked you to do. At that moment and in that moment it just seemed ridiculous. I know the majority of the world works for someone else but I think I have had JUST about enough. Enter my goals and dreams.

I have always wanted to own my own business but if I am being honest, I never thought I was smart enough or capable enough to pull it off. I have for about the last 5 years been saying I am going to be a personal trainer but because I lack the confidence to follow through I never put a real effort in getting it done. Over these last few years, I slowly have worked on my certifications in becoming a personal trainer and also health coaching because helping others with their weight, food addiction and self-esteem would be a dream come true. I just needed to work on myself (that’s what I was telling myself) before I would completely step out there so when I had that epiphany in the bathroom stall last weekend I decided then and there to make an exit plan so I can put all my heart and soul into what I believe I should be doing with my life. I can’t tell you how scary it is when you think about leaving a job with benefits to go into the unknown but when weighing the option of staying in a job and being miserable and taking a chance to not just work a job for money but to live a life that allows you to do what you love and help others while doing it, it becomes a no brainer.

As I typed that last sentence I thought about how people would think I am crazy for leaving my job because it’s safe and I know that is why so many people stay on their jobs. To me it’s like staying in a bad relationship. Sure, the norm has been to stay on a job your whole life and retire from that job but most people are too scared to move and try anything different. Too complacent and too “comfortable”. I, at one time, felt there was honor in staying with a company and being loyal to that company but now I feel quite the opposite. I refuse to live a safe, unhappy life. I refuse to live a cookie cutter life. I refuse to live someone else’s dreams. I refuse to be placed into society’s box of norms. I will be who I am, unapologetically and live the rest of my life doing what I love when I love even if from a financial standpoint I don’t turn out to be a wealthy. From THAT day forward living the life I love, loving the life I live!

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