Friday, January 2, 2009

The Year of the Big Change: Part 2

By April 21 I had, as they say, hit bottom. While I was probably 10 lbs down from my all time high of 347 lbs., I was done, I was beat. Food had kicked my ass and kicked it good. I was desperate.

Not desperate enough to have surgery. I had decided several years ago, in the wake of learning of two ministers in my extended circle who had died of complications following the surgery, that I would not do that. Ever. It was not an option to sacrifice myself on that particular altar. If pharmaceuticals could help me do it safely, I would. But since they didn't... my only option was to figure out a way to change, to interrupt the addiction, to stop killing myself with food.

I walked into that meeting and met a woman I'd known slightly from work circles. I'd known her about 100 lbs heavier than she was when I saw her that day. She became my sponsor. Beginning that day, I started doing a number of things:

Down on my knees first thing in the morning to ask for help from God, to commend this impossible situation into her hands.

Calling my food for the day in to my sponsor. Then, eating what I had committed. No flour, no sugar, three meals, all weighed and/ or measured. Lots of green vegetables and fruit. Good amounts of protein. No starches to begin; a couple (potatoes and rice) were added after about four months.

Taking a daily time of quiet and prayer.

Making phone calls to other folks in the program... three per day.

Attending meetings... three per week.

At the end of the day... down on my knees again, to thank God for an abstinent day... or even for a non-abstinent one in which I gained some insight on my addiction.

The program is simple. Not necessarily easy, but I found it to be much more so once I "detoxed." About 2 weeks after my last flour and sugar I felt the obsession and addictive feelings lift. They have returned occasionally. Sometimes I have managed to get through, with the help of others in the program. Other times I have succumbed (I have had exactly one flour/sugar item in the last 8 months. My reaction to it: it wasn't really worth it. It tasted ok, but I am not longing for any more).

I ended 2008 more than a hundred pounds lighter than I began it. And I ended it far healthier by every measurement. Elevated blood pressure? Gone. Choleseterol level? Better than ever. Knees (which were, to be honest, starting to be creaky, especially in the mornings)? Perfect. I can run up the stairs. I can walk long distances (and I do). Though I fit no one's definition of "thin," I love getting dressed to go anywhere... I don't dread shopping for clothes, and I enjoy adorning myself in ways that are attractive.

Do I think I'll never eat flour or sugar again? I have no idea. Today, I don't really care. That in itself is an amazing, almost unbelievable sentiment to have flow out my fingers and onto this screen. Today I am looking forward with enthusiasm to the meals I have committed to my sponsor. I know that if I continue to put one foot in front of the other, continue to do these simple things, my body will ultimately settle into the weight God intended for me to carry. (I have a way to go).

Beloved is so proud of me. So are my children. And so are the members of my congregation, who have been watching me "melt away," as someone has said. I have so much to do... so much I want to give and share. I feel that God has called me... into ministry, into family, into my relationship with Beloved. And now... I may just be around for long enough to enjoy all of it to the fullest. Maybe.


Processing Counselor said...

Congratulations! I think if everyone had a 12 step program of one type or other we would be a happier world! One day at a time...

Sarah S-D said...

Thanks be to God. You are so inspiring.

LittleMary said...

thank you for these posts. so proud of you too. so grateful for you. so happy you are in love. how you have grown these years, it is a blessing to be a part of.

PamBG said...

What a fantastic journey and achievement; 100 pounds lost is phenomenal. :-) Well done!

Thank you for sharing this story of which we'd had a glimpse of various aspects throughout the year.

FranIAm said...

This is so wonderful to read about. God bless you on this journey.

I love how you are holistically/wholistcally entering into your life, knowing that one thing has so much to do with the other.

And I totally hear you on the safety net of weight- I have lived there for a long time. I got rid of the first 50 a few years back and have just been stalled. I see you as a beacon, so who knows where this will lead me now. Thank you.

I also am very aware of the tone of this blog. I recall when I first read it - a year or more ago.

It was written from some place with less light, less air, less freedom. It has been remarkable to watch you unfold - from a tight bud to a blooming flower.

And more to come, more to come - thanks be to God!

Catt. said...

I so look forward to lurking on your blog! I feel your joy..pain..sorrow... I think of you and pray for you often! Just keep breathing and know that we are all in your corner!

Jane R said...

Cecilia, this is inspiring.

And it has all the holy truths in it: incarnation, resurrection, and whatever you want to call the repentance or "need" piece. And hope, and community, and grace.

Here are three collects by Janet Morley (for Christmas Eve and Day, the First Sunday of Christmas, and the Second Sunday of Christmas,) which I used last Sunday, on the First Sunday of Christmas (long story why I used all three, not important here). I think they may speak to you.

God our beloved,
born of a woman's body,
you came so that we might look upon you,
and handle you with our own hands.
May we so cherish one another in our bodies
that we may also be touched by you;
through the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Loving Word of God,
you have shown us the fullness of your glory
in taking human flesh.
Fill us, in our bodily life,
with your grace and truth;
that our pleasure may be boundless,
and our integrity complete,
in your name, Amen.

God of community,
whose call is more insistent
than ties of family or blood:
may we so respect and love
those whose lives are linked with ours
that we fail not in loyalty to you,
but make choices according to your will,
through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Songbird said...

What a wonderful testimony you give!
I've just read your last three posts, and I wish you a most blessed New Year.

Identity Mixed said...

That is absolutely amazing!

Olivia said...

Congratulations, and thank you for posting this and sharing your story.



KJ said...

Congratulations, indeed!

Changing the way we eat is challenging. In May I learned I had inherited a damnable trait of turning everything I eat into bad cholesterol, and if I didn't change, what actually wasn't too bad of a diet, into a great, life-long food "lifestyle", I'd have a heart attack or stroke in about 7 years (I come from a long line of too young of "Check, please!" types, if you take my meaning.). Oy! So though weight was not my problem, staying healthy was.

All year long I behaved, telling myself that when the Festival of Christmas arrived, then I'll party. And I did! But strangely, I'm glad to get back on the wagon.

Here's to health!

Happy New Year!

Jan said...

You have done so well. You are my role model.