Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I have seen the enemy...

"It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways." - Buddha

That quote is pure truth. I have long thought of FOOD as my enemy. Every calorie, every fat gram, every microbe of sugar - out to get me. So tempting, so tasty, so indulgent... It's colors, smells, the way it enlightens my senses, makes me 'feel better' when I am down - all the while making me unhealthy and fat.

It must fall under 'keep your friends close, but your enemies closer' right? That would certainly explain my thighs!

No, the food is not my enemy. I have seen the enemy and it is me.

Food doesn't jump in my mouth. It doesn't cook itself. It doesn't actually say alluring things, no matter what I think I hear from that chocolate chip cookie. Nope, there's only one person who bombards me with bad food choices and that's me.

Two years in I still struggle daily with that, with making food my friend.

It's one of the hardest lessons to learn for a food addict, especially a sugar addict. Food is supposed to be - a sustainer of life; that which helps me grow muscle and strong bones; the giver of vitamins and minerals to maintain the basics and be ready for the emergencies. Food is the key to life.

For that life to be successful, you have to learn to choose the right food - vegetables, fruit, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy. My favorites - cookies, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts, add nausea (and more sugar) are supposed to be exclamation points on life. We use them rarely and only when we really want to make a point. If we all walked around every day talking "LIKE THIS!!!" people would get awfully pissy. Guess what? Same thing happens with your body.

But with your body, at first, it shows its annoyance regarding copious amounts of sugar and fat, quietly, like a good friend who is trying not to point out that you are making an ass of yourself. (You lose energy quickly, your stomach hurts after a binge.) Over time, if you don't catch the subtlety, your body gets more pointed in its nudging. (Your pants don't fit, you get winded going up stairs.) And finally at the point where a friend might yell back, just to get your attention, your body shouts from the rafters. (Diabetes! Obesity! Heart problems!)

It took 20 years of ignoring my best friend - my body - for it to get my attention. When it did, through obesity, exhaustion, fear of something worse, I did what I needed to do. I researched, I learned, I questioned and I found out the truth I still struggle with - it's me, it's not the food.

That's hard to type even now. But having done it, having to look at it, I think I need to type it more often. I need to remind myself that the handful of M&M's isn't sacrificing itself in an assault on my body like some mercenary in a war. When I pop those little red, yellow and blue suckers in my mouth, I am both the attacker and the attackee.

And that scares me more than anything. I have seen the enemy and it is me.

Yours in health, Kate


  1. Hi K,
    POWERFUL posting! As a fellow sugar addict, I can **so** much relate to everything you wrote. Thank you for what you said, from your heart. You expressed it so well, time to be gentle to ourselves. Best of luck on your journey.

  2. Jae - Thank you for the kind words. Some days I really struggle with getting beyond my own b.s. and telling the truth. This was one of the days I just let go. We all need to be that way more often I think.