It was hard to keep my weight constant. I hadn’t learned how to et to take care of my body. I’d only learned how to starve myself and then binge when I couldn’t stand it anymore. So, eventually my weight went back up. This yo-yo dieting cycle followed me for years. I had thin periods, fat periods, and in-between periods.Every diet out there was that hope that I could once again be accepted by others, that I could feel good about how I looked, that I could escape the hell I was living in.
For the next fifteen years, I tried every diet imaginable: liquid diets, Jenny Craig meals, Atkins, Body for Life, diet pills, exercise plans, gym memberships, low carb, The Zone, Special K, the grapefruit diet, the hot dog and beet diet, the low-fat diet, the sugar-free diet, the Scarsdale diet, Slim-Fast, the soup diet, the diets that came out in magazines…and on and on.
The only thing that was consistent was that I continually made one more attempt and had one more failure. I could lose the weight but keeping it off was impossible. At some point I always lost control and started overeating again. My closet held sizes 6 to 16, none of which I was willing to part with. At my heaviest, and only 5’5″ I weighed in at over 180 pounds. I stopped getting on the scale after that.
I did, however, have some major accomplishements. In 1999, I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University. Two years later, I earned my Master of Education from the same school.Intelligent, capapble, and motivated, so many areas of my life worked well.
I was a good dieter. I lost some weight and kept it off, but I still yo-yoed up and down. I thought about food all of the time. My life started to revolve around food. I was ashamed of how I ate. My life just didn’t work when it came to food.
One fateful day, in Sam’s Club I was browsing the new diet books. I came across a book called The Formulaby Gene and Joyce Daoust. I thought to myself, as usual, “I am going to try this one more time,” and bought the book. In the first phase of their diet they have what they call “Fat Flush” recipes, which they suggest following for 3 weeks. I could do that, I thought.
After being on their plan for two weeks, I was lying in bed one night and realized that I hadn’t thought about chocolate or ice cream for days. In fact, I didn’t even want any. I had real hope that this might actually work.
It did, for a while. Once I hit the three week mark, I started eating the other meals and I was back where I started, eating too much, eating at the wrong times, having huge, uncontrollable food cravings. I gave in. I always did. I didn’t have the awareness then, but all of the “Fat Flush” recipes were free of sugar, flour, and gluten.
I got a call from my very best girlfriend around this time. She said she needed to share something with me about herself. I could tell she was nervous, which scared me. “I have a problem with food,” she said. Ok. I knew this. Heck, we both did.
She went on to explain that she’d discovered that when she ate flour or sugar, she developed huge food cravings which always resulted in a eating too much. “I think I have the same problem,” I said. It made so much sense. She told me it was a form of a food allergy, an abnormal reaction that most people don’t have.She had made the decision to eliminate those foods from her diet which caused her problems.
Relieved and a little concerned all at once, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. No bread. No ice cream. No chocolate. No brownies. No pretzels. I couldn’t get my head around such a drastic change. I knew I had a problem but, at the time, no flour and sugar was a bigger problem. I decided to keep doing what I had been doing. It worked. Sort of.
Months passed. The day came when I realized that I could no longer manage my food problems. I remember being completely stuffed, my stomach in pain, and I kept eating. I’d lost all control. In tears, I called my girlfriend and asked for help.