Friday, July 18, 2014

Smuggler's Blues

     This one is a tad hard for me because its a little embarrassing. A year ago this month, Marty and I were at a minister's retreat home. Beautiful grounds up in Taylorsville, CA surrounded by mountains. Picturesque little home in the style of a bed and breakfast. Several pastors and spouses occupying the residence for some time of refreshing and decompressing. We had called ahead and asked if they could accommodate some specific needs for we were both on a no sugar/no flour diet since joining Overeaters Anonymous. At every meal, the cook would present us with our special dishes that were tweaked a little, so I took it upon myself to explain to our new friends why we were dining differently. Marty had already been in the program a year before I started, so she was pretty established. Up to that point, it had been six months of falling off the wagon and getting back on, and falling off again. I was struggling to break up with candy, soda, and fast food, my abusive lovers.
     Though the cook was kind to oblige our special requests, she was also my tormentor because each night she would put out fresh baked goods to be enjoyed whenever we wanted to help ourselves. So, in the light of day, I was eating my abstinent meals, but under the blanket of night, I heard them calling... calling... Marty had fallen asleep, it was late, most should be in bed. So I ventured out to the dining room where the little lovelies were serenading me from. I looked outside to see if the coast was clear. I listened for anyone coming down the stairs, I checked the sun porch that was adjacent to the dining room, and then I made my move. I piled six or seven brownies onto a napkin and fled for the common bathroom in the hallway. I locked the door and uttered these words: "This is crazy." Then I ate as many as I could, feeling so out of control, feeling the insanity of smuggling brownies into a bathroom to eat in secret. This is what my life had come to? Sad. Yes, it was very crazy.
     When we got home, I told my sponsor what happened. After I confessed, he, pardon the pun, ate my lunch. He said I could live that way if I wanted, sneaking brownies and binging in a bathroom, but he reminded me that I had told him that my feet hurt, my knees hurt, I had high blood pressure, off the chart triglyceride levels, I wanted to be around for my kids, I wanted to be healthy, and many other reasons for there not to be another brownie incident.
     Today is my anniversary. One year ago, I had my last taste of sugar and flour which, to me, are two very addictive ingredients in food that cause me to want as much as I can get. I need to avoid them at any cost.  I know not everyone battles like I do with eating, but for those who do, you don't have to. I'm going to be very transparent (as if I haven't exposed myself enough already): I feel for those who fight with food and it shows. I am not writing this because I have seen anything recently so I have no one in particular in mind, but I am sad when I see someone who is struggling with their weight post a picture of themselves on facebook having a rich dessert or a fatty meal. I can say that, because I have struggled, too. I didn't need to post pictures of my problem because everyone could see it on me when I was 50 pounds heavier. I am not trying to shame anyone. I am simply sharing out of my brokenness, hoping it connects with someone else's and offers them hope.
     So this is how I want to celebrate my anniversary. If anything in this blog post resonates with you, email me or private message me on facebook. I would be happy to share with you more about my journey and how much better life is now compared to when I was a brownie smuggler. Take good care of yourself. You're worth it.


susanna said...

I love this post, Shane! I love that you are so honest! I love that you ate brownies in the bathroom...not because you fell of the wagon but because you are real and authentic and not perfect and willing to share that so that others can be free. And I love seeing how you and Marty live. You are both inspirational and live out the truth on a daily basis. Thanks for being who you are!

Shane said...

Thank you, friend.

Mike Prince said...

Very good read, Shane. As someone who comes from a family full of people addicted to food it's good to hear someone frame it in this way. My wife has helped me as we've worked toward being healthier and I'm grateful for that. Again, thanks for the well put encouragement for all of us.

Anonymous said...

I come from the "if it is open, I will eat it club." Life is so much easier now that I have shared this with my husband. He is very supportive and now that he knows. He is great about not bringing things home that are triggers for me. Thank you so much sharing your struggles. It is so helpful when you know you are not alone.