Real Talk

My name is Tasha and I am a food addict.  

I have been for quite some time.  It’s the reason why I have a “before” picture to share with my clients.  It’s the reason why I understand when I get texts and e-mails saying “I’ve fallen off the wagon” or people begging me to help them because they do not know how to get off the hamster wheel.  It’s the reason why I’ve been crying the past couple of days.

I’m Tasha Fierce and I lead by example.  I should not be going through this again.

But that is so far from the truth.

The difference between me and most people I come in contact with is NOT the fact that I am vegan.  (Side note: being vegan (not eating meat, dairy or eggs has NOTHING to do with being a food addict. It’s the behavior that’s the issue.  If someone tries to justify such behavior for this reason please give them my phone number immediately).  The difference is when my behaviors arise and I feel an “episode” coming or I find myself in the midst of one, I can identify them pretty quickly, identify the root cause and work through my own personal steps to break free. 

This episode almost broke me because it came in a different form.  My triggers are usually sadness but this one had three bullets and they were going for my head, heart and more specifically, my ego.
My weakness is sugar.  I LOVE anything that’s sweet.  I will say being vegan makes it more difficult to eat commercial brand cookies, cakes and pies.  However, like an addict, I ALWAYS know where to get my “fix”.  I had one “bad day” and the sugar downward spiral started from there (Of course, it is no secret that sugar is EXTREMELY addictive and, if you are like me, you already know that once you get on a roll, it’s hard to stop.  I then noticed that my sugar binge turned into my old binge eating disorder behavior where I started eating but trying to hide that I was eating it (I mean, really, who wants to pull up to their trainer and she is stuffing a cupcake down her throat?).  I knew I was in trouble.  I began to feel even more sad.  My body was reacting terribly (I already have stomach problems AND cluster headaches.  Stress AND sugar make them worse….can you imagine?), I was feeling condemned and I had to maintain this persona like all I did was eat broccoli and drink water all day.

After talking with a friend, I realized that my binging (or what I called binging….it’s the behavior in our own life and everyone has their own definition) had to do with me withholding the truth.  Food is something I could control and no one could make me “not” eat the cookies.  I ate it when I felt like it.  I could have eaten more than one a day if I had felt like it.  I was in the driver’s seat.  When I was sharing my emotions with people (while going through some personal and professional things), I was afraid to share how I really felt because it made me feel “out” of control.  Eating in the car and not speaking up are both “hiding”; a behavior that I’ve had my entire life.  When people see me yelling and screaming, teaching 80 students in a Zumba class or easily mingling wherever I go, most do not know that  is a “learned behavior” and I have had to force myself to do so.  I am a “background” kind of girl.  And not speaking up in my own life, not showing up and being present and saying “I’m worth it” has caused quite a few self-defeating behaviors over my 35 years of living. 

And yet I’ve conquered so many. 

I’ll always be a food addict in recovery.  🙂  I joke all the time and say I am one cupcake away from being 200 lbs. again but it’s true.  Think about it.  If I could not get hold of these episodes and I allowed myself to sink deeper into the emotions of the moment than the real reality of my life, figured that if I could have a cupcake then I might as well eat whatever I wanted EVERY TIME I got stressed or upset….and so the story goes.

Because isn’t that how it happened the first time?

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