A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hello...My name is Tammy and I'm a Foodaholic.

"Hello. My name is Tammy and I'm a foodaholic." Isn't that the first step on the road to recovery for addicts....admitting you have a problem? Well I've got a 272 lb problem that has been developing for about 25 years now. I started becoming overweight around the age of 12. I am now 36 years old and have been tagged morbidly obese. I'm past the vanity years of the teens and twenties where you want to lose the weight for looks. Now I'm in my late thirties where it has evolved into a health issue...and a serious one.

Around the age of 30 I found out I have a hypoactive thyroid and also diabetes, which just happens to be the 3rd leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. Knowing this for nearly 7 years now, I have still continued to eat the wrong things. I've got such crappy eating habits that you would think I was literally trying to kill myself. This is where the addict part comes in. You can know all the health risks, you can know just how serious it is, you can read horror stories online and even see personal accounts in your own life of loved ones or friends who have the same health issues and die or are dying from it....and you still eat that large roastbeef sandwich with a large curly fries and a large Coke to happily wash it down. Sick, right? I know all about it. Addiction to anything is an ugly thing, be it illicit drugs, Rx drugs, alcohol, sex, and even food. Especially food, because it's the only addiction society won't accept. Fat = gross.

I decided to start this blog because I thought it might be therapeutic for me to get it all out. Kind of like people do with journaling about this or that...their lives, their problems, their ups and downs. The reason I decided to do it in this format instead of privately on paper is for a couple of different reasons. I kind of like the thoughts of being accountable to someone else for what I put in my mouth. Sounds twisted, but I think it will work for me. If I falter and eat a whole pound bag of M&M's, I want to confess to someone. I don't want it to be a dark, dirty secret. I think I've progressed enough in some newly-formed healthy eating habits that I won't do that...well not a whole pound anyway....but never say never. The other reason is, I want my fellow foodaholics to know they are not alone. I'm a real woman with a real addiction to unhealthy foods and eating habits with a real hope and determination to deliver myself from that addiction. On that note, let me say that I can't do anything without God. He is my Creator, He is my Salvation, He is my Strength. If you don't have a faith and belief in God, get one. You're gonna' need it.

I should probably mention that I was 340 lbs. at my highest point and I'm 5'10. I lost 83 lbs. several years ago through lowering my volume, only eating 2 meals a day and one snack, and walking 2 miles/5 days/wk at our local park. I got down to 257 and over the next 5 years slowly creeped back up to 290. Over the last year I dropped 20 lbs again VERY slowly and have been bouncing between 266 & 272 for the last few months. I'm ready to get the rest of it off for good.

I will also say that I'm not your typical dieter. I can't say I've tried every diet and none of them worked for me, because I haven't. In actuality, the only program I've really tried is Weight Watchers. I will tell you that the reason it didn't work has nothing to do with WW. They are awesome people with an awesome program. (This is where I'm probably fixing to lose most of you if you're reading this....) I don't think diets fail. I think people do. I don't like the idea of diets, not because they wouldn't help you drop weight, but because they are often too limiting in one area or another. I really do believe moderation is the key. I also really believe that changing habits is the key to losing the weight and never, ever, ever putting it back on again. That's what we all want right? I'm learning to practice what I believe to be true. If you can't lose weight, you've either not made up your mind, you haven't changed enough bad eating habits to good ones (and this takes time), or you're not willing to take personal responsiblity for your fat. It's not the diet's fault that you failed for the 50th time....it's yours. Own it. Feel the sting from it. And change it.

As I write posts for my blog, I will try to pass along little tidbits of knowledge that have stuck with me through the years...things I've heard from different people at different times. Things that have left a lasting impression on my memory, sometimes because they were painful to hear, sometimes because they were so inspiring. Here's my first tidbit. My best friend in the world, whom I met in high school drama class 20 years ago, is named Pam and you are going to hear about her A LOT. She is my biggest inspiration for not giving up. She has 2 blogs, this is her recipe blog: http://lobsterandfishsticks.com/ and this is her weight loss blog: http://www.thinnerin08.blogspot.com/. You must check these out....she is awesome....she started out a good ways over 300 lbs and she is the picture of perseverance.

Anyhoo, many years ago she sent me Dr. Phil's book. Out of the whole entire book (which I read, but did not follow the plan) there was one thing that has stuck with me all through these years. He was talking about how such a high percentage of women blame their fat on being an emotional overeater. They tied it in to having no willpower. Dr. Phil said guess what? Willpower is not an emotion. So you are no longer allowed to use that as an excuse because it just isn't a valid one. He pulled the rug right out from underneath me. So for all of you who have been using that as an excuse, game over. I'm the biggest, most emotional basket case you've ever seen in your life. Yes, I cry at 10 second sappy commercials. But I don't get to use that as an excuse for overeating and becoming obese. I'm obese because I ate the wrong things, WAY too much of the wrong things, way too many full meals during a 24 hour period, way too much fast food, way too much fried stuff, WAY, WAY too many bad carbs, and way too many bad beverages. I've drank enough Coke in my lifetime to float Noah's ark. Time to fight the addiction....and win.

So this is me, this is who I am, this is what I believe, where I've been, where I'm at now, and where I'm headed. I don't like to think of my weight loss goal as far as how many pounds I need to lose because the number is staggering. But since I'm hoping this blog will help someone else I'll give you a number. I was 272 this past Friday when I got on the scale and my final goal is to get to 180. I don't want to be stick thin. I want to be healthy. As I mentioned before, I'm 5'10, so I think I'll feel really good at that weight. Beats the heck out of 340.

On my next post, I'll list some of the small changes I've made on my road to recovery. It's nothing you haven't read before on other food blogs but it helps to keep reading it until you make up your mind to make your own changes. I'm excited to see how the small changes are going to culminate into bigger changes and eventually bigger losses. My motto is one day at a time. That is truly all I can handle. I look forward to sharing my days with you as I get healthy and happy. :)


  1. I just found you today from a post on Escape From Obesity and decided to go back to your beginning and read through your blog to present. It'll take me a couple of days, at least, since I can't read blogs 24/7 (though I think that would kind of rock). I like this first post, that you're from Georgia (me too though now in PA), that you're a Christian, and that you just want to get over this damn food addiction.

    I see you're making great patient progress since I read today's (8/28) post and the sidebar. Good luck, and I'll Enjoy reading you each day. I hope you get notification of comments to your earlier posts so that you'll see this!


  2. Hi Tammy...I just started reading your blog today from Day 1. I chose your blog after completing Sean Anderson's blog and finding you on his list. You and I have some things in common other than I'm somewhat older than you but I am a christian and have weight to lose. I'm 5'9" or was....recently been told I'm 5'8". Must be the excess weight weighing me down! I started at my heaviest being 265 lbs but lost 60 lbs doing Atkins. Certainly cant do that anymore. Went back up to 235. Since July when I started following Sean's blog and learning from him I'm now at 204 lbs and very happy with my way of eating. Anyway I will continue to read your blog from the beginning to give me added inspiration along with continuing with Sean's weekly posts. I attempted a blog at one time but quickly realized my writing abilities are severely lacking and gave up on that. I don't know if you get this being that I'm commenting on your post from June of 2009.