So you quit drinking. HUGE props! Since you have stopped throwing back all those empty liquid calories, you SHOULD be shedding that beer belly and wine weight you packed on during the end of your drinking career, right?
After all, you are supposed to look and feel much better after you stop dumping toxins into your body on a regular basis. Right?!?!
Well, I ASSumed so, but sadly, that was not the case. Not for me anyway. What did happen for me was a raging case of acne, debilitating periods, massive mood swings, a foggy brain, and a very rapidly expanding waistline. It was as if I was going through puberty all over again…only 10 times worse and 25 years late. My newfound addiction had become milk and cookies, and when I was really agitated, edgy and slightly homicidal, I would resort to spoonsful of cake icing to pull me through.
That last gem was a suggestion from an AA sponsor. While it did the trick for a fleeting moment, as my waistband began to morph into a tourniquet, I was left with a new resentment and new level of shame, remorse, and discontentment—as if a newly sober addict doesn’t have enough of that to work through.
There are a myriad of reasons for my experience in early sobriety, of which I had no understanding of at the time. Having been in recovery for a few 24 hours now, and having had the honor of helping others find their way in recovery; I discovered, my experience was not unique. In fact, the majority of the women I have known in recovery have struggled a great deal with food; in the past and often, even more in recovery.
It’s no surprise, as many women in recovery have struggled with a number varying eating disorders. An addiction is an addiction; regardless of what form it comes in. The obsessive and compulsive cycle of food addiction and an eating disorder is quite similar to alcoholism. Additionally, the way the body metabolizes alcohol fuels our brains with a massive dose of dopamine and a nice spike in blood sugar with every drink—very much like my milk and cookies, and cake icing benders did for me in early sobriety.
It is worth noting; this phenomenon is not exclusive to women. Men are just as capable of falling madly in love with Ben and Jerry or head over heels for Little Debbie.
The remarkable thing about recovery is this; the same tools you use to get sober can also be applied to overcoming your issues with food and body image as well as many other areas of your life.
That being said, our relationship with food is complicated, personal, and often ingrained in us from childhood. While the solution to getting off the rollercoaster of food cravings and fluctuating weight isn’t rocket science, there is some science behind doing it correctly. To be successful, it typically requires a great deal of support, accountability, and guidance. This is where coaching comes in to play. Most of us have exhausted all efforts before we reach out for help, but if you came here before reaching a point of desperation, commend yourself for the courage and humility that takes—It requires far more courage to ask for help than it does to plow through one failed attempt after another.
Fat, happy and sober is certainly better than addicted, crotchety and cantankerous, but there is another way. A better way! Recovery is about wellness, wellbeing, and liberation.
This time, try different—not harder! —> CLICK HERE to get started!