Thanks for the re-enforcement. People shove plates of sweets in front of me all the time and I have found that only one statement makes them understand:
"Would you offer an alcoholic a drink? I have the same obsession with sugar; I must stay "sugar" free to protect my health."
Only a person who has spent enough time to look inside themselves can recognize these obsessive and destructive behaviours.
Great posting and awsome thread. I use the techniques I learned in meditation to calm my mind and realize that as long as I eat a variety and keep it low in carbs, the easier it is to "fight/brush off" cravings.
Great thread... thanks so much for sharing Paleo. Your experience will help someone here, undoubtably.
I agree that the addiction affects others, no question. I'm sure there are plenty of alcoholics who think they are only hurting themselves too, but the reality is that when you hurt yourself you invariably hurt those who love you too.
I consider myself to be a carb addict, and I too feel that people think I'm going a bit overboard with that description so I generally keep it to myself. But, you can't tell me that first week wasn't withdrawl...
Thanks so much for this...
More About Compulsive Overeating
I don't know how I never saw this post before!
It was awesome!
All of it is wonderful. What I have found myself dealing with for the last 10 years before I actually got abstinent was that I admitted I was addicted to carbs yet for whatever reason, I did what they talk about in Chapter 3.
I'm in a hurry to get to a yoga class this morning but I'd really like to try my best to type out my version of it.
Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real carb addicts/Compulsive Overeaters. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from their fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our eating careers have been characterizied by countless vain attempts to prove we could eat like other people. The idea that somehow, someday they will control and enjoy their eating is the GREAT OBSESSION of every abnormal eater. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity, death or obesity.
(I see it done here often, usually when I hear someone who is struggling with the food talk about someday having control)
We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were Carb Addicts/Compulsive overeaters. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we we are like other people , or presently may be, has to be smashed.
We carb addicts/COE are men and women who have lost the ability to control our eating. We know that no real Carb Addict/COE EVER recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals - usually brief - were inevitably followedby still less control, which led in time to PITIFUL AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE demoralization. We are convinced to a man that Carb Addicts/COE of our type are in the grips of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, NEVER better. :eek:
We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make Carb Addicts/COE of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with Carb Addicts/COE agree there is no such thing a making a normal eater out of a Compulsive Overeater. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn't done so yet.
(Here's what was the hardest part for me!!!)
Despite all we can say, many who are really Carb Addicted/COE are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore non eating disordered. If anyone who is showing inability to control his eating can do the right-about-face and eat like a gentleman or lady, our hats are off to them. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to eat like other people!
That is excellent and a great reminder for me. I have been struggling myself with the self delusion that I can be a normal eater (normal meaning all the bad carbs, which is not normal at all, is it?) even with my thyroid issues.
...and you're still an evil genius. ;)
Thanks for bumping this up, MsTwacky, and what you've added makes a lot of sense, too.
Eating "normally" is what got me to 300 lbs. I'm going to tattoo that on my fork-holding hand.
Wow! This is post is 2 1/2 years old. It still hits home. This is why experts cannot come to the conclusion that the brain cannot function on fewer than 130 grams of carbs/day. They too, are addicts and can't conceive of consuming so few carbs.
Paleoanth, I liked that you shared the importance of relying on a higher being, especially coming from an agnostic. How many of us believe in a higher being but have never considered including HIM/HER in our dietary dilemmas? As a believer, you have really taught me something about my relationship to God.
How many people actually pray and ask God (Higher Power) for the strength needed to stay away from carbs. I know I do. Every day is a new day that I have to ask. The food that kept me full yesterday doesn't feed me for today, and all I have is a daily reprive. Each day I start over with a fresh clean slate. Granted that if I was abstinent yesterday, my chaces are better today (physical cravings).
However, there is more to it than this...this is only the first half of the 1st step. There's more. What people (myself included) dont' realize is that eating fills a void. I found out that unless I fill that void, I am restless irritable and discontent unless I could once again get the ease and comfort that carbs bring to me at once.
In other words, when it comes to sugar and crabs, I can't live with them because they are ruining the quality of my life and causing me pain, yet I can't live without them because they do something for me that they don't do for normal eaters. How many times has food been the object of pleasure, happiness, celebration, comfort and escape for me? The feeling it gave me was so subtle and sublime that I pursued it even though it caused me some of the worst pain. I believe that is a major reason why people fail on diets and even while low carbing.
There are many who find low carb and that's it....they change their lives forever. I believe that phenomena is because as described on page 20 of the Big Book....there is a certain type of (hard) heavy eater.
I'll quote it.
"He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason - ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor - becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention."
This is dangerous for me, because I wanted to think I was in this category for a long time. 10 years. However nothing but our own experience under an HONEST appraisal of our actions could convince us.
I see it here often, but I have to refrain from pen and tongue often, because people don't want to hear it. I can't preach to anyone, it keeps me from being help later.
sooooooooorry so long.
I'm so glad this thread was brought forward. This is just what I needed. I am addicted to alcohol and carbs. I've been on low carbs this time since Sept. 1st, and abstinent from alcohol this time for only 5 days. I'm in a very precarious position right now. I'm spending a lot of time on the forums to help keep myself accountable. All of the posters that I gain strength from are my "sponsors."
This is very, very difficult. It's so stark and harsh, like facing into the bright headlights of an oncoming car at night. I have always used alcohol to tone things down, numb me out a little bit, and take the edge off. As I am losing weight, I'm uncovering and releasing emotional baggage that seems to be buried in the layers of fat that have cushioned my body for so many years and have protected me from feeling the pain. This is hard to describe, but there is a lot of pain embedded within my body and my psyche that now seems to be unraveling. It's as if I am disintegrating, and I have no idea who I am going to be when the unraveling is complete.
Without alcohol, I feel so totally raw and vulnerable....
Paleo, can you tell me how long it took for you in sobriety before you knew you had "made it"? Or how you knew that this time, I'm not going back? I have quit alcohol for a whole year before and still went back. I know it's not possible to ever feel "safe" from it's allure, but what indicators did you have that took you out once and for all?
As a sober alki let me suggest that you get to as many 12 step meetings as you can find, get a real live sponser who can walk you through the steps, and pray (to who/what) you believe in, like your life depends on it, cause if you drink like I did, It does.
Surrender to win.
I can't agree with this more! It's extremely difficult to get sober alone. Reading peoples posts is not sponsorship. I have an AA sponsor who I see at mtgs 3-4 times a week and I call her everyday!! Now, I'm also in 12 step food program and I call and commit my food to my sponsor every day as well. (Yes, I am that sick)
There are steps we work in the program to keep us from going stark raving sober from untreated alcoholism, because yes, even if you stop drinking, the disease centers in your mind.
I come from a group that believes in regular mtgs on regular mtg nights. So that people in your area can get to know you and I suggest getting a sponsor from one of those meetings. It's known as a homegroup.
I know you asked Paleo for her experience, strength and hope but I wanted to respond to you as well since I have a lil bit of time in the program myself and had 4 years before and I relapsed.
I don't think anyone really knows that they "made it" all we have is a daily reprive contingent upon our spiritual condition. I have seen people with 20 years sober drink again because for whatever reason they thought they made it.
Just wanted to agree with the rest...old thread or not...it's wonderful and thought provoking.
I liked Ms Twacky's answer. I don't ever feel like I have made it. I make it one day at a time like everyone else. There are a couple of things that help me make that decision not to drink each day.
1. The program makes sense to me. I "got" it. I understand that I cannot drink-but as it says in the big book (and I am paraphrasing) understanding don't mean a whole bunch when it comes down to crunch time. That is when the HP thing steps in. I have to remember that my alcoholism is like a bad voice in my head that wants to lead me to self destruction. I cannot listen to it. I am not cured.
2. When I am having a bad day or am really stressed out, my first thought is not a drink anymore. That is a huge relief. I got to that point by having other tools to use when I am stressed out or having a bad time in my life. I don't have just bad days, really-I have bad periods. It was a long term process. I had to rewire my brain by constant repetition and usage of other things besides drinking. I am working on that with food! Now, I want doughnuts! I should talk to someone or write what is bothering me down. I need to work on that by applying all my step stuff to doughnuts. Stupid carby, sweet things.
3. Having to tell my parents I had a drink. Believe it or not, this one has helped me not drink more than once. Especially early on. I DON'T WANT to tell my parents I drank. I have not "offically" made amends to them. My mom and I talked about it and my continuing sobriety is my amends. I really, seriously don't want to have to go to them and tell them I blew it.
4. I really like being sober. A lot. More than I want a drink. I like remembering what I did last night. I like getting my Ph.D. I like teaching anatomy. I like being close to my family. I like who I am now. I like being alive. All of those things are only possible as long as I am sober and/or not obese. In short, I make a list of things I am grateful for.
Good luck to you in your journey. It is hard and sometimes painful, but it is well worth it.
Paleo....what an inspiring post. It is not coicidence to me that
alcoholism and carb addiction often run together.
I am truly a carb addict. I get people who simply roll their eyes at me when I say that, but that truth is painful to admit. Yes it has affected the others in my life...I am painfully aware of that as well. Once I start I go on a binge that truly creams me physically, emotionally and spiritually.
And yes I go one day, one hr at a time....
Thank you for resurrecting this thread! A good discussion.
Regarding #4, "Think through the Drink". I find this concept to be the hardest for me, with carb addiction, because there is such a fine line between productive thinking and obsessive counter-productive thinking. I can just as easily talk myself into eating carbs, rather than talk myself out of eating carbs. I try to limit my thinking/rationalizing either way... just the facts, short and brief. Too much internal dialogue is bad for me! LOL!
wow, what an incredible thread! i'm so glad that i found this. i'm in my fifth month of recovery from alcohol, and i definitely take it one day at a time.
i'm making good progress on being all-around healthier:
- going to the gym a few times per week for the past 2 months
- gradually cut down on smoking (1-5 cigs/day)
- back to atkins/lc WOE.
so far i'm doing very well with these changes. i can't say what tomorrow will bring, but i know that as of today the obsession to drink has been lifted.
it's amazing, i never thought that would be possible.
anyway thanks for all your writings. i look forward to talking with you all on the forums. you're amazing people!
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