By Guest Blogger Gay Norton Edelman, author of The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive bitly.com/1gg7mId
Yes, I loss 100 pounds. Yes, I have kept it off for 20 years.
People ask all the time how I got the courage to do this.
The courage came from desperation. I had been trying all my adult life to get the binge eating and the weight under control. Diets, support groups, therapy, the works.
After years and years of trying and failing, grace finally arrived. That day, my doctor prescribed blood pressure pills. I cried all the way home. I had three little kids whom I loved more than life itself. I did not want to leave them to go to rehab. What else was there?
My friend Betty had told me about a spiritually based peer support group. I called her and she took me to my first meeting. There I learned that I am a food addict, meaning once I start eating food with sugar, wheat and flour in it, I can’t stop. I was given a food plan and I made a commitment to weigh and measure all my meals with a cup and scale.
It was very hard work. That first year, learning how to eat, read labels, exercise felt like a full time job. But I did it. And along the way I learned the most important lesson of all: to pay attention not just to food and exercise but also to my hungry, hungry soul.
I had made food a god. I had made food the solution to stress, loneliness, frustration, anger, despair, disappointment and all the other feelings I wanted to avoid. Instead, I needed to depend on a power greater than myself that was based not in things of the world but things of the spirit.
All of this was—and is—a lot of work. How do I find the time? How do I not find the time?
I have to come first. The things I do to stay in recovery from food addiction, compulsive overeating and obesity are as vital to my health as regular dialysis is to the kidney patient or chemo is to the cancer patient. This is life and death.
I work as hard at it now as I ever did. What comes in the way of my health has to be deleted or delegated. My kids didn’t need to be in a bunch of after-school activities and lessons. They needed their mother. My husband didn’t need fancy meals or his laundry done for him. He needed a wife who was alive, well and happy. I didn’t need to be in the stratosphere of my profession. I needed to have me.
I don’t mess around, ever. I can’t be perfect. But I never take for granted any of the things I have to do to sustain life.
There’s tons of good information about eating right, moving your body, filling your soul needs. And I’ve just published my own self-help book, The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive, to explain in detail what I do, and how you can, too.
If you decide you really, really want to live, you’ll keep trying and failing, like I did, until you find the way to eat right, move your body, and nourish your spirit.
If there is any secret or magic to what I do, it’s this: You only have to do what’s right for your body, mind and soul one day at a time. Too much to think about? Do it just one moment at a time. Trust me, there are still plenty of days when I live by the saying, “Right foot, left foot, breathe.”
Simple, yes. Easy? No. But remember, you are one smart woman. You are not alone. And you are so worth it!
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