January 2nd is the anniversary of the day I gave up sugar. And this particular January 2nd, today, marks 10 years.That’s a decade. A lot happens in a decade.
Ten years ago on January 1st, I was a 28-years-old bulimic and exercise bulimic who couldn’t stop eating and was back on her way up to 300 pounds. And probably more. I was miserable. I felt crazy. And I was terrified. Mostly of getting fat again. But also of the unknowable future. It was not just food and my weight that was out of control. My entire life was out of control.
The thing about food, specifically sugar, is we are just now starting to recognize it as an addictive substance. But we don’t think about it like heroin or cocaine. We don’t think about it as being destructive the way alcohol is. We don’t talk about food like an addiction that ruins lives and families. We don’t act like it kills.
But food was absolutely killing me. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I was terrified for myself and my future. I could not manage my life. I was drowning. And I could not even imagine a way out.
Now I know some food addicts are high-functioning. There are high-functioning addicts of every variety. Just so we’re clear, I am not one of those. I’m easily paralyzed.
And then 10 years ago, I was desperate enough to give up sugar. And when I say desperate, I mean that I was willing to give up what I believed was my only source of joy. I didn’t know if I was ever going to be happy again. I didn’t know if I would ever have fun again. But I was so out of control that I was willing to give up joy in order to lose my misery and terror.
Of course, what I got was a life filled with more joy than I thought was possible, and a sense of peace that I could never have fathomed. What I got was a life beyond my wildest dreams.
I’ll tell you the process was slow. And it still is. It’s one day at a time, one meal at a time, one feeling at a time, one moment at a time. And the first year and a half of keeping boundaries around my eating is still a blur. But from that very first day, January 2, 2006, my life got better. I liked myself better. I felt like I had a shot at life.
So I want to show some love for that 28-year-old, crazy, weepy, miserable, desperate girl who was willing to give up what she thought was everything, to see if there was something better for her. I wasn’t fearless, but I was sure brave. And this day, 10 years later, I am more grateful than that girl could ever have guessed we would be.
Happy New Year to you! Wishing you love and peace. May 2016 be a year filled with little and big steps on your journey to a life beyond your wildest dreams!