I Was a Food Addict

Could I find support someplace other than my kitchen?
I Was a Food Addict
Image: ALENA HAURYLIK / SHUTTERSTOCK

The warm chocolate chip cookie melted in my mouth. Was that my sixth or my seventh one? Holding my stomach, queasy from too many sweets, I sat down at my kitchen table that cold January evening in 1990 and thought, I've got to stop eating so much.

Shame over my lack of control filled me, adding to my growing sense of failure. A client couple I'd counseled for months was getting a divorce, and as a beginning psychotherapist, I felt I'd failed them.

The truth is, I felt out of my league. I came from a working-class family, not a professional one. While I believed I was living God's dream for me, shaming statements I heard as a child came back to me: Aren't you getting too big for your britches? I felt inadequate whenever I read articles about counseling; was I doing therapy right?

Chocolate chip cookies took the edge off my feelings of inadequacy and fear. Sugar and fat: my friends. I often sought reassurance from my husband and my colleagues. But nothing calmed my anxiety like chocolate. And it was always available.

Sugar and Shame

But the self-punishing voices were always there too: When you're seeing your clients, you act like you have everything under control, but your eating is out of control. You're going to be a fat slob. You know better.

Just that morning I'd asked God for self-control—like every other morning for the past two years. But I still ate too much. Up to size 16—172 pounds on my 5'4" frame—I hadn't weighed this much since I was nine months pregnant with our daughter 15 years ago. I felt tired and embarrassed.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up for our free CT Women newsletter: CT's weekly newsletter highlighting the voices of women writers. We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more!

Read These Next

Comments

Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
RSS