Moe wrote a book called The Gift of Stuttering and he came to my Sunday School class (yes, the parents go to Sunday School!) to share his personal journey and lessons that he’s learned from the challenges that he’s been dealt.
There were some nuggets that Moe shared with us about what’s he’s learned from his struggle with stuttering that I just had to share with you.
Moe said that he really resents it when folks refer to him as a stutterer, but he doesn’t mind at all when people say that he’s “a person with a stutter.”
That really hit home for me. I’m so much more than a food addict. I’m a person, and I just happened to have this challenge in my life that I don’t ever get to get rid of. I’m a person with a food addiction.
It’s hard for so many of us to accept that our struggle with our weight means that we are “a Food Addict.” So what if we just try something else on for size? Can I say that I am a person with a food addiction? That I’m a person with a binge eating disorder? That I’m a person who eats outside of the demands of true hunger?
That’s really scary for so many of us.
Do we think that other people don’t know? That they can’t see it on us? That they will judge us harshly if they knew?
Do we think that we are going to find a magic program or a magic pill and that we are going to get rid of our challenge? And that therefore we don’t need to come clean to the people who are close to us in our lives, because we’re so hoping to find a way to get rid of it?
A few days ago I listened to a webinar that Susan Peirce Thompson put on about what happens to our brains on Bright Line Eating. She explained that the habit patterns in our brain will always be there. We can make new habits and they may be awesome, but the old grooves never ever go away. They are like rivers-they may dry up and become dry river beds, but as soon as it rains again (think eating bingey foods or eating off of our plan), that dry river bed can become a flowing river again in minutes.
At least that’s how it’s been for me. That’s why abstinence is so crucial. It’s the opposite rain on my dry river bed. It’s that first bite of binge food that is the issue. One bite and it’s over for me.
So I’ve given up on the idea that I will never have the urge to overeat again. Personally, I’m relieved to understand the science now. It’s helped me to surrender to a program that others may think is insane. A program of no sugar, no flour, 3 meals and bound quantities.
It’s made my life easier. Happier. Freer.
But I still want more food than I can eat.
That doesn’t go away for me. I’m still the same person. I still have the same habitual thoughts. I’m feeling tired and fatigued . . .what is there to eat? It’s two hours before the next meal and not time to eat . . . I’m most likely thinking about food.
Imagine I had a stutter. I might learn to live with it, but I would always be a person with a stutter. I may even learn a whole lotta techniques for how to make it so that most people could barely tell that I had a stutter. But Moe taught us that a stutter never goes away.
And I thought about my compulsive thoughts about food. No matter what I eat or don’t eat, they don’t go away. I can learn a whole bunch of amazing tips and tricks to make it so that I don’t act on my compulsions with food (thanks BLE), but the habit pattern will always exist in my brain. I just have to live with it.
I’m never not going to be a person with a food addiction. That’s totally clear to me after hearing Moe speak and after learning the brain science of all of this. I may never lose my urge to eat between meals, to eat sugary foods, or to eat way too much.
But I’ve made space for all of my humanness. I’m okay with who I am. Today, I can proudly fly my freak flag.
Blogging about my struggle with food and weight has been the antidote to the pain that this struggle has caused in my life. It’s become the biggest blessing in my life, my reason for being on this earth. My husband said the other day that “things fester in the dark.” I completely agree with him.
If I can share my story with someone, and they can get a moment of relief from their pain and struggle with food and weight, than my struggle will all have been worth it.
Here’s what I have to say about anyone who would judge one of us for being “a person with a food addiction”:
EFF EM. I have no room for you in my life.
“Life is awesome not despite of what we go through but because of what we go through.” -Moe Mernick
If you are struggling, I encourage you to shine the light on your challenges. Peace comes when we embrace our all of the parts of ourselves, even the difficult stuff.
Thanks Moe. It was a pleasure meeting you. Your story has touched me in a way that I will never, ever forget.