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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cycle Three: Achieve! Day 15 - Food is a Drug...

...and I am my own pimp.

I had a surprise visitor in my bedroom this morning. Someone was waking me up and requested my presence at an impromptu luncheon conference. Great. I love surprises. Not.

As it turns out I had a meeting at The White Spot with Irene and addressed some major topics that were causing her some clearly visible stress. She was able to vent and use me as a sounding board to bounce thoughts and ideas off of. I was not able to mirror her anxiety which is a positive thing. This I say because if also became worried over the matters at hand, then it would have been detrimental for the both of us and we would have literally fed into each other's weaknesses of food addiction. 

Yes, when I poured over the menu, I felt tempted with food. I was able to resist the burgers and pasta. But when I saw the
appetizers, I found it hard to turn away from the things deep fried and from carbs. Thankfully, after many cups of coffee we were able to overcome the challenge together and stick to our diet.  Breaking for lunch Irene chose to order a Caesar salad. I opted for the signature "Santorini" chicken salad. I have always wanted to go to Santorini. Alas, with Irene's and my choice, I suppose we must have to settle for a North American raw veggie interpretation of the Greece rather than travelling to the Mediterranean. 

Irene was still a bit edgy by the time we rounded the home stretch at the restaurant so we went to Orchard Park to do a little shopping. It was a good excuse for me to make a necessary purchase, a belt. I think that she felt better by the time we finished our coffee in the food court 90 min later. All was quiet on the front and I scored a belt on our way out. Koolio. 

I think that a true testament of ones strength in overcoming addiction is when an individual is put under stress relative to their situation. What may be a cake walk for one, is certain death for another when the latter has to cope with the weakness of turning to their crutch to support them in their time of need. For many it has been prescription drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and street drugs. These all produce feelings of relaxation, euphoria and lead to a more depressive feeling after the high is over. I know. I am a former smoker and drank very heavily during a few critical moments in my life. Food however, produces the same effect to a person addicted to this substance.

For many, food is a source of energy needed for survival. To an addict, food is a comforting friend and drug pushing enemy. Yeah, I am my own worst pimp. I could more easily deal myself a deadly hand of carbohydrates and fat, than shuffle a deck of lean protein and veggies. I recognize this and I fight. I totally know why thin people are obsessed with their weight. Staying thin is really hard work. But getting thin is even harder when you have to lose half your body weight to achieve what is the medical standard for normal. This is the challenge before us now and we readily accept that challenge. When it comes time for maintenance you better believe that I will become the most selfish person I know. 

Selfishness has no correlation to greed, narcissism, or meanness. Selfish for me is this: If I do not make a deposit into my own personal bank of well being, than I have nothing to draw on in order to help others. I must take care of myself first, or I am nothing to the people that I want to t help. To illustrate, think of when you board a plane for a trip. The staff never fails at doing their pre flight safety speech to make sure every one knows what to do an in emergency. If oxygen is needed, you must secure the mask upon your own self first, then you may be in a better position to attend to others who are in need of assistance. This blog is my pre flight speech. I am telling everybody about the journey ahead. Some of it may not be smooth. In case of emergency, analyse the situation first to see what my immediate needs are. I must be aware of in flight turbulence if I cannot attend to myself and need help. Before a crash landing is imminent, I have to seek out help, encouragement or a boot in the butt. To do this I can call upon someone that I trust as my life sustaining help. Sometimes all you need is a few seconds to change a drastic outcome into a smooth landing.

We are not alone. I am grateful for a massive community of family, friends, peers, professionals and a host of other people who are have various resources to tap into. Many have the capacity and eagerness to assist one another. This is good news for me, Irene and any other fellow Feed Baggers! 

Just ask. We answer.

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