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Former Food Addict Lisa K. Opens Up About Her Inspiring Journey

Episode 15: A Doctor Told Me I Was Committing Suicide with Food on the Food Addiction: The Problem and The Solution podcast

Host, Susan Branscome:

Today, our guest is Lisa K. She is a recovered food addict. Let’s start with your history, your childhood. I’ve seen the photos before you got into recovery. People probably say to you what they say to me – that can’t possibly be you. It doesn’t look like the same person, right? January 1 2021 was a pivotal date, New Year’s Day, you weighed 335 pounds. Since then, you released 150 pounds through recovery.

Guest, Lisa K:

I think I was a food addict from day one. My mom would tell me stories about how she would put rice cereal in my formula to keep me full, otherwise, I would cry. So that started the trifecta, right? Sugar, fat, and starch. And it didn’t end there. It just kept going.

All my childhood, I’ve been overweight. I have memories of sitting in front of the refrigerator eating what was supposed to be healthy apricot sorbet, right? It was half apricot puree from the tree out back, and half sugar. I would sit on the floor in the kitchen, taking sheets of it out of the freezer and just eat constantly as a child.

I’m also a volume addict. I loved the feeling of feeling full and stuffed, not just healthy full.

As a teenager, I started realizing I wasn’t eating like other kids. I would start hiding what I was eating. I would eat a healthy amount in front of people and then I would go home and binge on anything and everything.

We’d go out to eat and I’d often order extra meals to take home and say it was for my family. Well, it was not for my family, it was for me.

I started realizing, okay, I’m not eating in a normal way as a teenage girl. I think that was a critical time for me at the age of 14. I was going through puberty, my body was starting to hold onto fat, I wasn’t as active. There were boys and girlfriends, and everything was changing. I was carrying extra weight, and I was embarrassed about it.

I was a volume eater, and I used to feel really scared if I felt hungry or my stomach wasn’t full, and I would feel safe if it was full. It was comforting. It was soothing for me to feel full all the time.

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Host, Susan Branscome:

I’m going to read one of your quotes, which is really, really powerful, that talks about the hopelessness and desperation and powerlessness.

I was recently reading through my past journals and I want to read from my journal, January 1, 2021, the day before my consultation with Shift. I can barely look at myself in the mirror. It disgusts me. I see myself as fat and ugly. Food has become everything to me. I binge six plus times a day on fast food, chocolate, pasta, cheese, sauces. I eat food off of other people’s plates out of the trash. I see many negative consequences of my eating habits, mainly gaining weight, disgust at myself, difficulty with sex, looking and feeling like a pig at a buffet, numerous body pains, breathing difficulties. I can’t walk more than a few feet and I need to take several breaks walking up one flight of stairs in the house. I can’t put on my own shoes and my clothes don’t fit. Food makes me loathe myself. Food is killing me. My body and soul are both dying very quickly. Not even my program is working. So is there any hope at all? I don’t think so. I’m just going to die. That’s what my new year will be, my death.

That was the day before you consulted with the Shift folks, recovery. Talk about where you were January 1, 2021 and what was going on.

Guest, Lisa K:

I had tried everything up until that point to lose weight. That was my goal. I just went to various pay and weigh programs. I tried various diets that were out there, bizarre things. There was one, eat right for your type, where you did your blood type and you figured out what foods you could eat or not eat. That was a disaster. I think I gained 20 pounds in a month on that one. But it was horrible and life was horrible.

I was miserable, absolutely miserable. And I’m not really wanting to live anymore. I’m really feeling like there’s nothing I could do here that’s going to make a difference. Nothing’s going to help me. I tried. I went to a food treatment program a couple years earlier, about three years earlier. I did great there for the week and for a few months afterwards. But there was no aftercare.

I would just go out to a 12 -step group and I did that. I was in 12 steps. I gained weight about 100 pounds being in a 12 -step program. I knew I needed something more, but didn’t know what that could possibly be.

Host, Susan Branscome:

You got the click, I would call it, when you talked to Shift and you heard what might be possible. It sounds like that was your bottom where you thought you’re going to die from this because you have no real solution on how to get out of it.

Guest, Lisa K:

I got to the point where I don’t want to live like this. I’m going to die. I’m slowly killing myself because of the 70 pounds, the high blood pressure, the diabetes, couldn’t walk without getting out of breath. And so that was a bottom for me.

It wasn’t until I had a doctor who told me I was committing suicide and the suicide word just really hit me.

That was two months before that January 1st day. I got so angry, I stormed out of the guy’s office because I was not committing suicide. Then that morning, I sat there thinking, you know, I’m not going to kill myself. I’m not going to commit suicide, but if God took me tonight, that would be just fine with me. That scared me.

The next morning, I was on Facebook looking at family pictures from Christmas. Up pops the Shift Recovery by ACORN advertisement on my feed. I’m barely ever on Facebook. I don’t search for food addiction treatment. I don’t search for weight loss programs or anything else on Facebook.

And here it pops up. I’m like, huh. I talked to my husband, and I asked him if he’d be with me. We did a consult with Shift the next day. I really thought for me, that was intervention by God. I could not have found Shift if I wanted to try to find them. God just put it in my place. I don’t even think I was in the space to look for a food addiction treatment program at that point. I just was totally discouraged and in despair.

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