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All or Nothing: Alcohol, Sugar, Coffee, Exercise Addiction

All or Nothing: Alcohol, Sugar, Coffee, Exercise Addiction

All or Nothing: Alcohol, Sugar, Coffee, Exercise Addiction

I made it through Halloween without eating a single piece of candy. I did eat a fortune cookie, which hinted I was going to meet an “important stranger who would change my life”, but fortune cookies don’t count. They don’t have any more sugar in them than toothpaste… If I had eaten any real candy, it would have set off a chain reaction. MORE CANDY. One piece, or even six pieces are never enough when I am on a binge.

All or Nothing…

A friend of mine in recovery once said that even as a child, she was excessive about everything she did. She said, “If my family went to the beach I would have to collect shells. White shells. Or round shells. Or rocks. It would be getting dark and my mom would say it was time to go and I’d beg, ‘Wait. I NEED to get a few more.’ And I would have a stuffed bag, but it would never be enough.”

 

That beach story really hits home with me. I have long felt like a glutton. Don’t get me started, because I won’t ever stop. My best friend Kim tells me to “be consistent, keep a schedule and moderate.” So does Mari Winsor on one of my Pilates tapes. I don’t listen to either of them. I am the definition of inconsistent and immoderate.

 

Why Me?

I don’t mean to be resentful. I understand pique is a No-No in recovery, but WHY ME? Why can’t I be like Kim who exercises every day but Sunday? Someone who cuts bonbons in half, because she “just wants a taste of chocolate”. Someone who would never think of spending a day in bed, with a party bag of caramel corn and Netflix for company…

 

Instead, I go for a month exercising three hours a day and eating organic kale, only to have some horrible internal switch occur. I spend the next few weeks fasting on coffee and stopping at the Circle K on the way home for a dinner of Charleston Chews.

 

sea-birds

In my free time I like to walk for 12 miles or so on deserted beaches and collect SHELLS…

 

I AM Sober…

Since I got sober, I have given myself a break on some of my other bad habits. But, it is never a good thing to yoyo diet and seesaw exercise. The second pot of coffee is probably something to avoid… Somewhere deep inside, I think I tell myself that a bag of black licorice might make me gain weight or make my heart pound, but it won’t cause me to run over my neighbor’s mailbox and then yell at them for “leaving it so close to the street.” It seems like the lesser of two iniquities…

 

This is all a long way of saying that I am in long term recovery, but I still have a long way to go.

 

I joined the YMCA this weekend. And I was up at 4 AM doing Pilates this morning. My lunch is a hard boiled egg and an apple. I did not eat a single piece of Halloween candy (even though the little fellow who’s house I was visiting, sorted his candy temptingly around my feet and when he wasn’t looking I could have pocketed the Dum Dums)…

 

I am going to ride this health kick till the switch gets pulled…

 

 

Today I’m not drinking because I am a moderate individual…

 

How come you’re not drinking?

 

 

Comments (13)

  1. Kim
    Nov 2, 2016

    I can’t go without sugar but apparently I can stop. The human body and all it’s differences continues to astound me.

  2. Tim S
    Nov 2, 2016

    Pru and I had a tussle about the basket of bread the other night in a Quebec City restaurant. To her, “portion control” is something one just does when one is trying to manage one’s weight. Have one and stop, whether it be one piece of bread, one candy, one petite scoop of ice cream. Pru is not an alcoholic. Sometimes I will ask if she wants a glass of wine with dinner and she says “no, thank you.” She didn’t know me when I was still drinking but she wouldn’t have understood why I didn’t have just one glass any more than she understands my self-destructive relationship now with many other carbohydrates. BTW, at age 71 I still Zumba 3x/week and walk 12,000-plus steps a day – 20K isn’t unusual – and I never use up all of my WW points but I’m still in active addiction over food.

  3. David
    Nov 2, 2016

    How come you're not drinking?
    I don't what to!
    One of the things I’ve learned since my paradigm shift is that there is balance to be applied to almost everything and there are areas where balance just does not work. When it comes to intoxicants, there’s no balance. It’s all or nothing. I’ve proven that to myself over and over.

    With the other stuff like sweets, eating, exercise, et al, there is a balance and my need to establish said balance helps me isolate the all or nothing nature of sobriety. If I’m not able to balance my overall life, I’m not going to enjoy sobriety.

    I’ve seen addiction show up in many forms over the years in myself and others. About six months into sobriety, I was sitting is 12 step meeting and this man walked in stinking of cigarettes and clutching a cup of coffee. He said it had been a week since he’d been in a meeting…the longest he’d ever gone in 15 years of sobriety… and he was beginning to think differently…that he felt week and that only sitting in one of “these rooms” would straighten him out.

    I walked out of that meeting and didn’t attend another 12 step meeting for just over four years. I knew immediately that I was replacing one addiction with another. That is when I discovered rational recovery and, aside from stopping being intoxicated all the time, was the most pivotal moment of my life.

    Since then, of course, I have attended 12 step meetings but not obsessively. I’ve attended rational recovery meetings but not obsessively. I’ve taken the lesson I learned by having a big scary example of a recovery that appeared half baked and resulted in a life that can’t be lived comfortably without obsessive behavior.

    I’m not quite sure where I’m going with all this but recovery very often spans far outside the behavior that brought someone down and it’s sensible to apply this knowledge in areas that one might never have known that attention was needed.

  4. Lauren
    Nov 2, 2016

    Not my favorite of the many qualities I have gotten from you, mother, I must say. I have been lucky enough to curb my addictive habits that are TOO damaging, but I definitely go a bit overboard sometimes.

    And, I have to admit-I hid some of the best Halloween candy because John keeps eating it all of my favorites!

  5. David
    Nov 2, 2016

    I think fortune cookies count. We will see…

  6. Who the hell has time to drink?
    Nov 2, 2016

    I stopped drinking and 16 or 17 pounds just fell off me??!! I wasn’t even trying. And since then, find myself nibbling on candies and mints all during the day??!! Not regaining weight. Feel good. Also sleeping much better. And as usual Busier than any normal person should be. Idle fingers ARE the devil’s playground (or get busy fixing a drink).

  7. Steve Schwendemann
    Nov 2, 2016

    I always love your posts. I too stay away from sugar, but I have to admit exercise has been somewhat addictive. Get them coming, good stuff!

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 2, 2016

      Thank you and welcome. Sugar is my big “problem” at the moment. Exercise is easy to talk myself out of…
      XXXOOO
      M

  8. Mrs D
    Nov 2, 2016

    omg you sound just like me except I never manage to binge on exercise. But the other stuff, yes. And it’s an on/off thing. Sigh..

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 8, 2016

      I think it is our addiction trying to get attention. ALL then get it under control and go too far in the other direction and the cycle starts all over again…
      XXXOOO
      M

  9. David Kropp
    Nov 5, 2016

    How come you're not drinking?
    No one likes a drunken indian.
    I know what you mean with this moderation thing, I am either all or nothing usually however I am slow to adopt my new AA life and the principles to practice daily. I know this will come and I am patient and learning to walk a new path.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 8, 2016

      Congratulations. Moderation, schedules, routine and community. Nothing to excess. Telling myself that right now.
      XXXOOO
      M

  10. Ainsobriety
    Dec 13, 2016

    How come you're not drinking?
    I'm way too happy to drink. Life is beautiful.
    As a previous go hard or go home type, sobriety has helped me find a bit of flexibility in my food choices, exercise etc.
    I do still love coffee…

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