Thursday, September 10, 2009

Do You Love God

When I'm asked the question, "Do you love God?" My immediate response is always, "Of course I do." Alot of times a follow-up question is, "Do you love yourself?" Now, that's a probem question. If you say "Yes" are you then considered conceited? Likewise if you say, "No" are you considered a poor soul in need of therapy?

The last few days I've been pondering that very question. I don't like at all the answers that I got.

Yes, I do love God, and yes I do love myself. My problem is that I've actually loved myself more than God; and that my friend, is not a good thing. If I truly loved God with my WHOLE heart, I would never have abused my body the way that I have.

I have loved McDonald's more than I have loved God; that is a sin. Not figuratively, but literally. I justify going there just in case my niece is working. I love seeing her, but do I have to buy something to eat just to say hi?

For me it is food. For someone else it could be work, TV, computer, friends, etc. Anything that keeps us from truly putting God first, it is a sin.

I've put my addiction before God. It's a sad truth, and I have to face up to my sin, and start to live right. Putting God first, me second and everything else that follows in it's proper order. I'm praying that the Holy Spirit will give me the power that I need to overcome this. For me it is food. For someone else it could be work, TV, computer, friends, etc. Anything that keeps us from truly putting God first, it is a sin.

I desperately want to answer the question, "Do you love God?" by saying, "Yes, I love God with my WHOLE heart, and I love myself as well.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Why's and the Therefore's

For every cause, there is a reaction. Such as, "I think, therefore I am." For me it could be, "I'm happy, therefore I eat." or "I'm sad, therefore, I eat." I am, therefore I eat. It's a vicious circle that I live in. Kind of like a hamster running as fast as it can on the little wheel and ending up exhausted having gone absolutely nowhere. That's how I feel, and I hate it.

I guess I've become so programmed to link every emotion with the action of eating that it's almost like I can't feel unless I've eaten. Or perhaps I can't be soothed unless I've eaten. Either way, the result is the same. I eat.

I'm disabled and I am on social security. I don't make enough money to be able to live by myself, so I live with my mother. I'm grateful for her generosity in letting me stay with her. ( I do pay rent, I'm not just leaching off her! ) We both have very different ways of living and dealing with things. So, since my husband left (which wasn't altogether a bad thing) I have had to live with my mother. It's going on 7 years now, and that's a long time.

When I was married, it was hard to talk to my husband because I never knew what I would say that would set him off. So, instead of talking I ate. Now, with my mom, I never know what I'm going to say that will hurt her feelings, so I eat. I love my mom, don't get me wrong. It's just very hard to express to her sometimes how I feel about something because she will get defensive and say that she's just a horrible mother and she always has been. No, my mom has not been a horrible mother at all. Was she perfect; no. Whose mother is? Horrible? Not likely.

So, I eat to keep my mouth occupied rather than say something to upset her. Heaven knows, I already say enough to upset her without meaning to!

Likewise, when I lived in NY I ate because I was lonely. When I lived in Tulsa, I ate because I was stressed. When I lived in FL, I ate because I was thrown in 12 directions and when I lived in WA I ate because I was depressed. When I was in high school, I ate because I didn't have a boyfriend and when I was in my early 20's I ate because I had extra cash.

Sherry said something to me once that I've never forgotten, I've just never been able to apply. We met when I lived in NY. I worked as the new church secretary at her place of Worship. She was an aerobics instructor, a natural bodybuilder, and became my best friend and big sister. She said that as Christians we place all of our church social events around food. We have pot luck dinners, we have donuts and coffee before Sunday School or Bible class, we provide food to the different groups that meet, and go out for lunch after Sunday church service and go out for pie after evening church service. We can't have a social event without having food.

She's right. Think about it. I have. A lot over the years. I've just not been able to manage a right relationship with food. Probably because, as right as I've thought my relationship with God has been at times, it wasn't right enough to overcome the problem.

I have to be able to give everything; good feelings and bad, trials and tribulations, over to God and lay them at the foot of the Cross. That is my prayer for the start of every day, and throughout each moment of every day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Best Prize I Ever Got

I haven't won many prizes in my life. I remember once at the Maryland State Fair I won a stuffed alligator. I think I won it playing a roulette wheel with my birthdate. I'm not sure. I asked my Mom and she didn't remember, she said she barely remembered the alligator!

I kept that gator until it's fuzzy eyeballs were all worn off and the fur had been pulled out by the cat. That, though, was not the best prize I ever got. The best prize was received when I was in fourth grade at Towson Elementary School. At Christmastime the school was having a contest to see how many Christmas cards each student could bring in. I had everyone in my family participating; mom, dad, and both sets of grandparents. Even a few neighbors who didn't have kids in the school helped out. I was playing for the best, most awesome prize I could have received. Curious? Well, hang on and I'll tell you. My friend Holly and I were running neck and neck in this contest. Everyday we were within about 5 cards of each other. The next to the last day, we were virtually tied. What a nailbiter! So, I called the one person who I knew could put me over the edge. Grandad. He came up with 50 more cards. I knew that would give me the victory. Did it ever! By 42 cards! It was a landslide! Now, for the prize. I won an 8 ounce, milk chocolate, Hershey Bar! Even as a fourth grader, my addiction to food was out of control.

So, proudly I showed my giant Hershey Bar to my Mom. She rationed me out two squares a day. This rationing process lasted approximately ..... one day. If memory serves me correctly, I believe the chocolate bar was gone by the third or fourth day.

As I grew up, and as the Bible says, began "to put away childish things." (1 Cor 13:11), I realized that my salvation, though not a prize, was the greatest gift I had ever been given. Philippians 3:14 says to press toward the mark of the prize, which is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I have begun to really reflect on this. That is my heart's desire. But, am I putting as much effort into God's call on my life and doing His work as I did in getting enough Christmas cards to win the chocolate bar.

I want to be...scratch that.....I am GOING to be victorious over this addiction. In my current state, I cannot do the things that I know God wants me to do. He's vividly shown me different things that He wants of me, and until I have completely given this sin over to God, proven that I am in recovery, and my health begins to turn around, I will not be able to do what He wants of me.

When I get to Heaven my desire is to hear Him say, "Well done my good and faithful servant." I don't want to hear Him say, "Well, you're here by the skin of your teeth, and you have no crowns to present to Jesus." That would be devastating.

So, I am changing my course.

There are a lot of reasons, I am discovering, that have led me to this addiction. I'll be sharing some of that with you, despite how humiliating or foolish others may see it as. I'll also be addressing why food and why not alcohol or other substances.

I covet your prayers and I thank you for sharing in this process with me.

Monday, August 31, 2009


OMG! Yesterday I saw myself. I avoid mirrors at all costs, except of course to apply a very sparse layer of make-up. We do have a full length mirror on the back of the bathroom door; however a robe is hung strategically over it whereby keeping perspective viewing at a minimum!

I was walking out the mall doors to the parking lot, and noticed a store to my left. I turned my head to see what the store was, and, OMG, what I saw made me sick. It was me. Bigger, wider and rounder than I've ever been in my life.

To say that "I hate food" is a misnomer. I love food, and, there my friend, lies the monumentous problem. I recently read an article about a lady who was a food addict. She learned that flour and sugar were here triggers, and that for the last 15 years she has consumed none of either product. So, I started to think about what my triggers were. Was it sweets? Was it breads or donuts? It turns out it's EVERYTHING. I took a long time to think about this, and it just didn't matter what it was. It could be bacon, turkey, eggs, candy bread or fruit. It just didn't matter. It is whatever is most easily accessible.

Now to me, that reminds me of an alcoholic or a drug addict. Doesn't it to you too? So, then, what's worse? Someone who consumes a six-pack of beer or fifth of vodka; a couple of joints or lines of coke or a handful of pills; or consumes enough food in one day to equal the fat and calorie content for 2 days in one.

I don't think that God would really say there was much difference. It's all sin. I'm a Christian and to look at myself and see such blatant sin in my life not only is breaking my heart, but I know it breaks the heart of the One who created me.

The problem is, that while society looks negatively at the problem of obesity in our world, which they should, it seems to also be much more "acceptable" than addictions of substance.

My ex-husband was an alcoholic. He hid it from me for a long time, so it took me a while before I recognized it. This is how I found out: I had been in the hospital for an extensive time. When I came home I opened the refrigerator to see what kind of a grocery list to make. I was abhored to find a completely stocked refridgerator of beer. All kinds of beer. Bud light and not light; Corona and a bag of limes; Coors light and not light. So, I immediately got busy emptying all the beer down the kitchen drain and thinking to myself how awful this was. Later when putting away laundry I found my ex's old buddies Jim and Jack hiding in his closet underneath of his work shirts and pants. Wow, now he's hiding the liquor too. This is awful.

Cut to me....all of the hidden food behind other foods in the refridgerator; my own "secret stash" of chips or fritos or tastykakes or cookies hidden in, under and around things all over the house.

I now am experiencing the same disgusting feeling I felt when I saw or the beer in the fridge and the liquor in the closet. Only now it's me and it's food.

This has got to stop. I'm working so hard to understand the "why's" of all of this.

I took a big step Sunday. I put a prayer request in the offering plate saying, "Please pray for me. I have a food addiction and it's killing me." I even put my name and phone number on it. Then, later that day, I came clean with my best friend Sherry. She's been there with me through so many of my trials and tribulations, so I guess you could say she's my "sponsor." I've talked with my sister about this as well. She knows what addiction is like; she quit smoking all by herself. If she can do that, I can do this.

Sherry says sin is sin and we all have our own to deal with. She's right. This is a spiritual problem, but it's also a problem very deeply rooted in my 47 years of living. Now it's time to get the root out. I wish it were as easy as getting a bottle of Weed B Gone and just spraying it on myself. I think this is going to require a little more work than that!

So, more of my secrets are coming out everyday. Please continue to pray for me, and let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The First Step is the Hardest

My name is Donna, and I'm a food addict. There. I said it.

A few weeks ago in church, after the message, the Pastor said he felt like there were people in the congregation who were struggling with addiction. It may be alcohol, it may be drugs, or it may be food. I couldn't tell you what the message was about, I only remember those last parting words. "God wants to help you with it."

Addiction to food? Me? It couldn't be.....could it? Yes, it could and it is.

I think that I was born a food addict. My Mom talks about when I was a baby I used to be done with my night time bottle by the time she got to the bottom of the steps. I'd throw the bottle out of my crib, down the steps, and yell, "more."

When I got older, I can remember scouring the cupboards, the cookie jars the refrigerator for anything I could find. I didn't care what it was, I just needed to eat.

We used to have a pantry that my Dad built under the basement steps to make use of otherwise wasted space. I can remember sitting in that pantry, door shut, eating a bag of dry seasoned croutons that my Mom used to make Thanksgiving stuffing. What 7 year old would do that? Me. It's not that I particularly liked them, but they were there.

When my grandmother came to live with us, so did her big freezer. I would eat the frozen Ellio's Pizzas right out of the freezer. Looking back I find it appalling, but at the time, as I recall, it was a real high.

As a teenager, on the weekends I would babysit. The first thing I would try to think of when pondering how to spend my meager earnings, was did I want to buy something to eat at the mall, or did I want to get something to eat from the sub shop.

It seems like my whole life has been based around what to eat. Even now, before we're finished eating dinner, I'm wondering what we'll have for dinner the next night. It's never ending.

Well, now that I do recognize that this isn't just an I can't stick to a diet problem, but a far greater disease, I know I need to begin to dig deep inside myself and try to figure out where this comes from and what steps I need to take to remedy it. And, most importantly, to let God help me with it.

Since I'm a Diabetic, I battle a double-edged disease. Both of them are, literally, killing me.

Whew. Admission is the most humiliating part. Now that I've confessed my secret to you, I invite you to follow along on my path to recovery. If you have suggestions on how to help me, I welcome them; if you are an addict yourself, well, let's do this journey together; and, if you want to pray for me, I covet them.

God bless you, and thanks for taking the time to read my story.....the first little bit of it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Comming Soon...

My Secrets are coming soon....