July 19, 2011
It astounds me the rate of obesity in the town I live in but also my country, my continent and my world. As a nation it costs us millions. Yet it is encouraged by the media. Everywhere you look there are posters, people in fast food restaurants encourage you to “go large.” What is the cost of going large: super size meals, cheap and convenient junk food, massive chocolate bars, offers in supermarkets where you can buy eight doughnuts cheaper than four apples?
In a bakery near me, they sell sausage rolls so cheap, but if you buy four it is cheaper. Jumbo sausage rolls are far cheaper than a moderate sandwich. It is the world gone crazy and I really think the world ignores the biggest addiction to sweep the nation.
So you are staring at the chocolate bars in the supermarket and you glance to the other side, here lie the magazines claiming amazing diet plans, rapid weight loss. Detox diets, look great in a swimsuit. It is all one big contradiction. The skinnier you are the more valuable you are.
On the one hand you have all these amazing sweet treats but the media is telling you to lose weight if you want to succeed or be attractive. Then we wonder why our daughter/sister/mother (or, to avoid being sexist, son/brother/father ) develop starving habits: weighing themselves daily, taking laxatives or slimming pills, or purging.
I was a prisoner in my own body. One day at a time I am recovering but I am one bite away from relapse and I have to remember who I am. At my biggest I was morbidly obese, I could still walk but life was a drag, everything was so much effort. I was a miserable wreck. I was at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes – the list could go on. I couldn’t get certain jobs because of my weight; I couldn’t buy clothes in a normal shop. I wasn’t living; I was existing.
I wasn’t even half way through what my illness could have done to me. I have personally seen the top and bottom end of physical signs. I have seen anorexic girls at there worst and overweight woman at their worst too. My higher power showing me both ends of the scale.
What could a 50 stone woman have in common with a 5 stone woman? The answer is everything. Sure, they also have differences but ultimately they share the same disease. They are so obsessed with food that it has physically left them at death’s door.
People (myself included) have to be reminded how awful this disease is, how it can kill. If you have cancer you have chemotherapy to save your life. I have to go to meetings and practice the 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous, that is my chemotherapy.
I am one of the lucky ones and I am very grateful. I have had points in my life that I have said well I was not that bad. I would say as long as I don’t weigh 15 stone I will be okay, then when I reached 15 stone I would change it to 20 and so on. Where would it have stopped if I had not found OA?
I did find OA and one day at a time I am blossoming into a beautiful woman. I can say that because I am. I can’t describe to anyone reading this how much of a miracle it is for me to type that. All I can say is that part in the big book, where it tells you that it doesn’t work for everyone. Well I thought I would be one of those people. I thought nothing could work for me and that I was hopeless.
Today I have confidence, I look and feel great. I am happy to be alive and people are lucky to have me in their lives. I am not skinny I am just me and all I want to be is healthy. Getting down to the “perfect’” size is not important to me now. I want to have a healthy, happy life and if I happen to be a bit bigger than others then that is fine. I will be the weight my higher power thinks I should be.
I owe so much to my higher power, Bill W, Rosemary (founder of OA), Steve (shared at my 6th OA meeting), my sponsor, my OA friends and of course the 12 steps.
I am a miracle.