I am a bit of a control freak. I like things done a certain way, and I have become very accustomed to controlling almost every aspect of my life the best that I can. I come from a family that is littered with people with addictive personalities, and I have a bit of that living inside me, but vowed early on that I would never allow it to control me. I do not drink in excess (or ever really), have never done drugs, am very careful when prescribed medication to only take the suggested dose, and I rarely ever gamble. I know that these things can go from fun activities to addictions I cannot control in a matter of seconds if I am not careful. I have seen it happen to numerous people that I love. With all of that being said, there is one vice that I have never been able to control…my eating.

I love food. It is my friend when I am sad, my companion when I want to celebrate, and my best buddy when I am just kicking around and having a lazy day. Food is always there for me, and has become something that I rely on to be happy.

A month ago I made a conscience decision to change my life. If I did not let other people or substances have any control on my life then why in the world was I allowing food to be in charge? Why was I always thinking about my next meal when I hadn’t finished the current one? Why did I get legitimately upset when the gas station (yes, gas station) did not have the onion rings that I was craving? My need to eat was spiraling out of control, and I knew I had to do something about it.

I started a program that regulated what I was allowed to put into my body. I can only consume food that is associated with the program except for one meal a day when I can have meats and veggies. The foods being provided are low in carbs, sugars, and sodium which is helping me to retrain my brain to not need those additives as much.

The first three days were literally miserable. I thought I was going to die. I had a headache, felt extremely dizzy, and was fairly certain I was starving. After about a week my body began to adjust to its new normal.  After a month the headaches are gone and I actually feel great. I have more energy, do not rely on food to be happy, and can easily pass the gas station without contemplating whether or not I should stop for onion rings.

With this new way of eating has come a new body as well. I have dropped 20 pounds this month. People have asked me if I feel better now that I have lost the weight, and I honestly do not. Other than my new found energy my body does not feel all that different. It looks different, and my clothes fit differently, but I never felt all that bad to begin with. I felt extremely comfortable with my body before and I feel just as comfortable now. This journey has not necessarily been about weight loss for me, but more of a journey to prove to myself that I can succeed with controlling my food consumption.

Eventually I will need to go back to eating “normal” foods and I am worried. I have lost significant amounts of weight in the past and have gained it all back in the blink of an eye. I eat one sweet thing and that triggers something in my brain which is not satisfied until I eat more, and more, until I am out of control again. I will not let it happen this time. I will not let food take back its control over me. I will allow myself to enjoy treats now and then, I will eat onion rings VERY occasionally, and I will have cake at parties. I will also realize that I am capable of finding happiness in things other than food. I will seek out alternative means of stress relief when I am feeling overwhelmed, and won’t eat all day because I am bored. This ends now, junk food. We are officially broken up. It’s not you, it’s me. We have had 30 fun years together, and now I am moving on.

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