From the UK - Help Getting Started Please
Firstly I'd like to say hello, I'm new to the idea of FAA, but I've often thought of my relationship with food as an addiction and I'm glad to have found a group of people who understand that losing weight isn't as simple as "just eating less".
Anyway, I was hoping some people here might be able to give me some tips on how to get started. I'm quite a private person, so I'm not sure I'm ready to try and find a sponsor just yet, but if anybody online could help me out first I would really appreciate it.
Some background - I've always been overweight. Childhood pictures show me fat even by baby standards, and despite being active (I did, at various points in my childhood, take dance lessons twice a week, swim three times a week, kickboxing, tennis, after-school gym clubs etc) I was always taller and heavier than most people even a couple of years older than me. One of my enduring memories as a 9 year old is two girls from the year above stealing my gym skirt and showing off to the class how they could both fit inside it. As a teenager I slimmed down a bit, but in my eyes I was always huge, which unfortunately lead me to a very unhealthy relationship with food. I find this particularly sad, as when I see pictures of myself as a 14/15 year old I wasn't much larger than normal, but because the scales said I weighed a lot and I was bigger than my friends I was convinced I was a whale.
I started sneaking food and eating it in secret. Rather than making healthier choices with my lunch money I would buy as much food as I could with it, sweets, chocolate, multipacks of bread rolls, and I would often eat these away from the sight of others. This problem got worse when I went away to university. I would cook meals for myself that were designed to feed 4 people, and I would take these up to my bedroom and eat them alone. Eventually I started waiting until my flatmates were asleep and getting takeaways delivered to the flat, again enough to feed a family, and I would take these up to my room to eat. I'd also have tons of crisps and chocolate hidden away in there, which I would eat whilst lying on my front watching TV/Movies or playing games. I went from 16 stone to 21 stone in 2 years.
I moved back to my parents house, and initially things improved as I would eat meals with my family and I had a support network there of people who cared about me. However at the time of writing I'm back to my old ways and worse. I will regularly stop off at the local supermarket to buy myself burgers, bagels, multipacks of chocolate bars and biscuits and all sorts of foods that I shouldn't be eating, which I will then take up to my room and eat in secret. To give you some idea today I have eaten two burgers (which I hid in the fridge from my family then ate before they could discover them), 9 chocolate bars and a salmon and cream cheese bagel on top of my normal meals. I don't even do this because I'm hungry. Right now my stomach feels uncomfortable yet I'm still having to fight the urge to start on the pack of chocolate bars that are just a few inches away from me. I don't understand why I do this, I seem to have some sort of compulsion, and, despite the fact that I am disgusted by it and know that I am only damaging myself, when the compulsion takes me I don't seem to be able to stop myself. I also get a similar "mental block" when it comes to exercise. Everytime I intend to go it's like the stubborn two year old inside me puts her foot down, and more often than not I just don't seen to have the mental fortitude to overcome this urge. I'm sorry, I know this sounds pathetic and like an excuse (I've been told so enough times), but I really hope somebody here understands.
Just FYI - I have dieted before. On four occasions I even lost over 2 stone of weight, however I have always been unable to maintain the diet for more than a few months and rapidly put the lost weight and more back on. The most recent and prolonged time being from March - September last year - I would "cheat" on this diet fairly regularly, but I found that if I kept my calorie intake below 2000 calories most days the weight would keep coming off. However it took me 8 weeks before the diet to summon up the willpower to begin. That particular time I lost 3 stone, but since September last year I have put 2 stone of that back on. I'm getting desperate. I know that what I am doing is hideous and destroying my health - my body is covered in stretchmarks from the weight gain and I often feel breathless and aware of my heart beating too fast/irregularly without even moving - I've been to see my GP who tells me I have nothing cardiac-related wrong with me but I'm still terrified I will die from heart disease as I have a bad family history of this. I'm 23 and everyday I'm convinced I can feel my heart wearing out.
So if anybody has any advice on how I can beat this compulsion, how I can stop myself from going to the shops and buying these foods in the first place, I would really appreciate it. I seem to have exhausted my own mental resources, and unfortunately my friends and family don't understand. It's embarrassing, and I'm so angry at myself for what I do but I don't seem to be able to stop myself.
You have come to the right place for sure.
So much of what you said could have been me talking. I'm in the Uk too and have only been here with FAA since the beginning of March and abstinent for 9 days.
This is the place you need to be and the people you need to be with. I have had such support already and haven't even managed work out how to get onto the chat meetings yet! (not very computer literate!)
Read the welcome thread and as many others as you can. You will see you are among friends who understand and who want to help you.
You've taken the first step, well done!
HI Sundog...as Victoria says, you're in the right place. You asked about getting started. The website has a lot of information for you. The first thing is to find the guide to abstinence and food plan. Here is the link:
This plan of sound nutrition is really great. It gives us plenty of good healthy food to eat, suggests timing between meals so we don't get hungry, and provides back up information in the guide to help us make it a reality in our lives.
One thing to know is that withdrawal occurs within a few days of eliminating sugar, flour and wheat. The symptoms can be fatigue, headache, aches, nausea. These will go away in a few days. The great thing, is that once you eliminate the addictive foods, the cravings for them will disappear. This sounds too good to be true...but it is true!!
The website also offers a variety of meeting. The phone meetings and the Loop are two ways to connect to the fellowship worldwide. Here is the link to the meetings.
The website has a lot of great information. Take the time to get to know what's there....you're worth it.