Recovering Food Addict Colleen Y. Shares the Ups and Downs of Her Journey

Episode 16: Food Was My Friend, My Lover, My Companion

This Episode of the Food Addiction: The Problem and The Solution podcast is an inspiration for anyone experiencing despair in their journey to recover from food addiction. Colleen Y. has triumphed over food addiction shedding an astonishing 150 pounds and regaining control over her life.

Host, Susan Branscome:

Our guest is a recovered food addict, Colleen Y. Welcome Colleen.

I understand you became abstinent at 55 years old in 2018 when you joined a 12 -step food recovery program. Talk about that and what brought you into recovery.

Guest, Colleen Y.

I had never heard of any 12 -step recovery programs. I had never heard about food addiction. I was just a person who thought I had a moral issue that I needed to diet, that I didn’t have willpower, that that was the only way that I could overcome the excess weight. I was getting up there.

I was up to 300 pounds when I finally went into the rooms. Up until that point, I just thought that I had no willpower. But it got to the point where all I could do was think about the food.

I could not function unless I was thinking about food. So that’s what brought me into the rooms.

Host, Susan Branscome:

Talk about you got into recovery and then you relapsed after two months. What happened there?

Guest, Colleen Y.

Well, actually, I was in the program for five years. For the first two years I was following the program, I was good. I lost weight. I was working the steps in the program.

But then I thought I didn’t need it anymore, that I knew what I was doing and slowly started deviating from the program to the point where I left it and just started doing diets again and the weight started creeping back on.

I was still not eating the sugar, flour or wheat. So I considered I was still being abstinent. But the weight came on. I was still eating high fat. Finally, after five years, I just couldn’t white knuckle the diets anymore. I relapsed.

In that two months that I relapsed, I gained over 25 pounds. I finally came to believe that I had a serious problem with food addiction. I just could not function at all over that two months. And I just did not want to live anymore. I just did not want to wake up in the morning. It was a brutal experience for two months.

Host, Susan Branscome:

For critical level food addicts, some of us can get suicidal, where we just can’t see a way out and that we’re always going to suffer from this and food controls our lives.

Guest, Colleen Y.

Yeah, I prayed every night that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning.

And that was the thing – then I’d be so devastated that I had another day in this disease and that somehow I had to function.

Host, Susan Branscome:

So talk about this history then. You got into recovery, five years, doing well, lost weight. Then you relapsed. Tell me about the weight that went off and came back on. You said you gained 25 pounds. You got up to 300, but were you close to maintenance weight during that five years?

Guest, Colleen Y.

I had never been a normal weight my entire life, never. So I got close. I had lost, by this point I started at 300, so I was probably down to 170, which was just absolutely new territory for me.

Then I gained some weight back, and I knew I could not get abstinent on my own. It didn’t matter what I did, I could not keep it.

I tried to go to Renasant and Renasant was running an outpatient program and I signed up for that. Then just before they were going to run it, they contacted me and said that they weren’t prepared to run it anymore.

I was devastated. I ended up getting in touch with Dr. Vera Tarmon, who is a director at Renasant, and she told me that INFACT was going to run their intensive for their students. Esther usually does it in Iceland, but this time she was actually doing it in Ontario where I’m from. It’s like three hours away from me, so I had this opportunity. I jumped at it, went and did the intensive where Esther Helga had Amanda from Shift come in to run the intensive. It was mind-altering. It changed everything about the way that I looked at food addiction, totally, totally opened my eyes.

Listen to the full episode on the INFACT School Youtube Channel

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