Hopelessness and Food Addiction
My husband, Dan, fought Compulsive Overeating for decades. Some call it BED or Binge Eating Disorder, and others call it Disordered Eating or Food Addiction. (White flour and sugar have addictive properties in sufferers’ brains). I was petrified about his future health. Could I count on him being here, at all, in the next few years? Dan was almost 300 pounds on a 5’9″ frame, having already undergone a cardiac ablation, high triglycerides in the 1600 range (normal is 160), and pre-diabetes.
So I gently asked him if his life insurance was up to date. After all, we had 3 young daughters depending on us.
After a medical discharge from the Navy Nurse Corps because of Degenerative Joint Disease of the hips, Dan felt bereft. After 2 total hip replacements, the intense, daily pain was gone, but he was still depressed at the loss of his military career. Sometimes I’d find him lying in bed in a darkened room in the middle of the day.
God Steps In
One New Years Eve, totally demoralized, my husband got down on his knees, with tears threatening, and asked God to help him get control of his weight. On New Years Day, I happened to be at a bookstore, and I swear that Overeaters Anonymous book jumped off the shelf and right into my arms! God choreographed this; I am certain of it. I glanced through those pages, scanning the stories of people who battled this disease just like him. When I presented this treasure to him later, he devoured it. “These stories are me. This is totally me. Wow. Thank you.” He felt a breakthrough beginning…
Daniel S., before finding God’s help, to release pounds.
Those golden pages and the 12-Step Program of Overeaters Anonymous seeped into his mind and heart one day at a time. He learned that what he’d previously been missing, with all his ol’ college-try diets, was the uber-important God piece. Compulsive Overeating is physical, emotional and spiritual. God is never too busy to help us in the day-to-day minutiae of our lives, ie. managing a healthy food plan and healthy exercise.
Why not tap into the Power of the Universe?
Soon Dan made a gigantic pivot. With the help of regular OA meetings, a sponsor and tons of support from his fellow members, out went the pizza, cake, extra helpings and hours of nighttime noshing. In came daily physical activity and a whole new outlook. Salads, apples, oatmeal and lean proteins were the key players in Dan’s lifestyle, and those foods worked for him.
If he ever had a slip-up binge, he had good tools to get back on track.
The Pounds Got Released
We had to buy this happy man a brand new wardrobe. We joyfully brought a cart full of his new clothes to the checkout counter and could not have cared less about the cost. Slowly he worked up to biking to his place of employment. His new energy level astounded everyone.
Run 26.2 Miles, Really?
A month later a colleague convinced Dan to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon. He told us the news, laughing, “This should be interesting. I just hope I can somehow trudge to the finish line.” The 7-month training regimen began with walks. Then my fearless husband sped it up to walk/jogs, aka “wogs”.
Then, by God, he was running.
We got on the subway to D.C., and my fit runner was all ready in his marathon finery –a cool belt with attached little bottles of water and gatorade, with a zip pouch for sugar-free bars along the way. His Navy T-shirt and bright blue windbreaker completed the look.
My husband lost over 100 pounds, ran on 2 titanium hips, and completed the Marine Corps Marathon in the top 3rd of racers. God, the angels and our family/ friends hooted and hollered as he crossed the finish line.
This is why I have “Expect Miracles” on my bumper. God loves to work in seemingly impossible situations. God wants to heal us as we do the footwork.
For anyone out there struggling, there is hope.
“I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13