Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Confessions of a Tristi

Time for me to get a little bit serious, if there really is such a thing for me.

I'm currently working through a book called "He Did Deliver Me from Bondage," at Karlene's suggestion. It's a wonderful workbook designed to go along with an LDS-style 12-step program, using scriptures from the Book of Mormon to illustrate the steps. The step I finished this last week talks about the importance of being honest about your situation. Well, okay -- I'm going to get honest about my situation.

I'm a food addict.

Now, when you read that, you might think, "Yeah, well, who isn't? What's the big deal about that?"

I'd like to share with you just what the big deal is, and some of the things I've learned along the way.

1. I thought it wasn't a big deal either. I mean, I'm only hurting myself, right? Wrong. By having this addiction, I'm setting a bad example for my children, especially my daughter, who has inherited my metabolism. I need to learn to work with my metabolism so I can teach her how to work with hers, so she can have a healthy life.

2. I didn't think it was a sin. Well, I was wrong on that, too. It's not murder, certainly, but:

a) when I turn to food for comfort, I am essentially making food my idol.
b) I am breaking the spirit of the Word of Wisdom.
c) we are told repeatedly that our bodies are temples. We generally think of this in terms of chastity, but it's equally as true for the overall care and nourishment of our bodies. By not taking care of my body, I have been defiling a temple.
d) when I try to deal with my issues myself (with food) I am rejecting the healing power of the Atonement in my life.

This all sounds a little harsh, but when I looked at it in this light and recognized the truth of it, it brought me a lot of peace at finally acknowledging the seriousness of the problem.

3. By letting my physical appetites control me, I'm numbing my spiritual appetites and consequently numbing my relationship to my Savior. It's only as I turn away from food as my comfort and turn toward Him instead that I can really overcome my problems.

4. I don't just want a mediocre relationship with God. I want to be worthy to walk with Him every day, and in order to do that, I need to let Him more fully into my life, in every aspect. President Faust once said that we have to be completely free from addiction in order to merit the Celestial Kingdom.

Now, I know that there's a difference between being willing to admit something and then being willing to blog about it, and I know I've chosen a pretty public forum to talk about this. I'm doing it here because I believe that the things I'm learning might be of benefit to others, and so I want to share them. I also believe in accountability -- if I chart my progress here, I'm less likely to backslide. Believe me, I really thought about keeping my journey a secret and then just walking into the Storymaker Conference in 2008 all skinny and suprising everyone. And then if I failed, no one would know any different. But that's the problem right there -- I gave myself an out. "No one will know if I don't really do it." What a cop-out!

So, every week I'm going to tell you how I'm doing. I'm also a contributing blogger to the Families.com weight loss blog every Monday, and I'll link you to that blog as well.

Okay, and here's the hardest part for me: here's my weight loss ticker. Deep breath . . . deep breath . . .

It was up higher, so I really shouldn't feel too bad, but I do, you know?

On the other hand . . .

I'm really rather proud of this one.

Okay, that's enough full disclosure for now. I'll check back in with my progress on Monday.


Kimberly said...

Oh good for you Tristi! Facing up to it...blogging about it, helps soooo much. I started blogged about my food addiction last year, and have lost 35 pounds since then. I could have worked harder and done more, but I'm happy with how far I've come.

I'm not going to wish you good luck, because there's no luck involved. ~hugs~

Anna Maria Junus said...

I have a different problem regarding my weight.

At least you know what's wrong and can do something about it.

Good luck to you Tristi. I wish I had some hints for you, but I don't, since I have to remind myself to eat.

Take up needlework. You can't eat while stitching because both hands are busy all the time.

And I understand when you're writing it's easy to have something near by to munch on while you think.

Now if I can figure out what to do about me.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Thanks, Kimberly!

Anna, the thing about this book is that it's not just for food addiction. Any problem you have, of any kind, can be worked through using this because it's essentially teaching you how to come unto Christ, and He can solve any problem.

Jen said...

Good luck! I believe you can do it!

Karlene said...

I cannot tell you how much these principles have helped me in my life. I've not only used them with compulsive eating (I used to weigh over 100 lbs), but with depression, stress, anger, through a divorce and financial difficulties, illness, children. I've met people with challenges different from mine, such as anorexia, bulemia, gambling, intimacy, and other issues--all have been able to find help and peace by using this program of recovery. I have not yet found a problem that these principles haven't helped with.

Why are they so wonderful and widely applicable? Because they are no more or less than the gospel, broken down into baby steps. Christ is the Master Healer, and these principles helped me develop a relationship with Him.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Boy, I think I better read this book> I struggle with the same food issues as You do, Tristi.

Amber said...

Good for you. What a huge step to write it down and commit to it. What a powerful book and I could so relate to many of its points. I gained 60 pound with each of my kids and still haven't gotten back to where I once was. It is amazing how food can become our idols!

Karen said...

Thank you for posting this, Tristi. I can relate to so much of this, especially being such a negative role model for my daughter. I keep telling myself, when the kids go back to school. . . when I have time to exercise. . . blah blah blah. . . then I'll do something. It's time!

Karen Hoover said...

I want that book! Where can I find a copy?

Good for you, Tristi. I'll certainly be rooting for you and hopefully joining you soon.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Karen H.,

The title of the book in the blog is a link to Amazon where you can buy it.

Thanks, everyone else, for your comments! See, now I'm accountable, and this is a good thing. If I flub up, I'll have to admit it, and I'd rather be good than admit that I wasn't. :)

Karlene said...

You can also get the book at Deseret Book.com or from the publisher at www.windhavenpublishing.com

HipWriterMama said...

Nothing like a little accountability. I wish you the best in journey. You can do it.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Oh Tristi, I am not being trite when I say you've given me new impetus to continue my fight against my Mt. Dew addiction. Others may laugh, but soda is so bad for you on a number of levels and I've been trying to kick the habit for quite awhile. I am six days and counting.

You have my support, Tristi. And, I'm just over the fence. If you feel like you want to pop the kids in the stroller and go for a walk during the day, I'm your walking partner. Okay? Hey, what are over the backkyard fence neighbors for?

In the meantime, I wanted to share: I posted this on my blog today:

"Okay, I'll admit it. Anne Bradshaw over at Not Entirely British did a really good thing and I am shamelessly borrowing from her idea of spotlighting the most amazing youth in the world. I think it is incredible what she has done and the youth that are the finalists in her contest are truly amazing. If you haven't gone to her blog yet, read about them and vote, you're going to want to do that as soon as you're done reading mine, submitting a nomination and generally recognizing that I'm the greatest blogger to ever walk the earth . . . all right, all right, you don't have to do that last part. As long as it exists in my mind I'm okay with that.

Announcing the Best Husband in the World Contest -- please check out my blog today."

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right?

Stephanie Black said...

Go Tristi! I'm rooting for you!

Marcia Mickelson said...

I'm impressed with your courage in dealing with this and talking about it. I wish you the very best.

Mandi said...

You know I've never really thought of it that way, but it is true- "...when you turn to food for comfort you are essentially making it your idol..." This just reminds me how important it is to turn to the Savior for help and for courage to face our problems.

Thank you Tristi!

And I hope you know that by sharing this journey with us, you are helping us to jump on board a bandwagon that could do everyone a lot of good! You are an inspiration!

Marta O. Smith said...

Tristi, I predict I won't recognize you at the next Storymakers conference.

I hope you have to go out and splurge on a new wardrobe once a month because you are shrinking so fast. (I recommend D.I. until you hit your goal.)

Have you read Diary of a Fat Housewife by Rosemary Green? It's the real diary she kept of her love/hate relationship with food and herself on the dieting rollercoaster. The key for her finally came when her younger brother, dying of an alcoholism-related illness, told her that chocolate was to her what alcohol was to him.

Remember Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Keeley said...

Wow, Tristi! I already respected you after reading your blog entries for the past little while - but my respect has been raised to a whole new level.

Not only that, you have inspired me to start eating better. I'm a sugar addict. =(

I have been searching online for a book or a website or SOMETHING that uses the Word of Wisdom as a basis for healthy living, but have been unsuccessful in finding such a thing. I don't suppose you happen to know if one exists, do you?

Good luck to you, Tristi. And remember, if you fall off the wagon for a few minutes, it's the work of a second to hop back on. =)

Annette Lyon said...

Powerful and inspriting stuff, Tristi. That's a very different perspective. You've given me food for thought. You go, girl!

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

Woa! I am truly amazed and inspired by your blog. Thanks.

Lisa said...

You are not alone! You're doing the right thing and really, the road to success is the fact that you want this. If you want it, you can do it. Last year I decided that my size __ was getting tight and going higher would not work. I found a web-site that helped me count calories and then bought a pilates video I could do in private, and finally started walking. I didn't expect much, but 6 months later, I had lost 24 pounds. Keep track of your measurements, sometimes you can't see the changes, but the measuring tape can--I've read this and it was true for me. Congrats on the new journey!

East of Eden said...

Good for you! Now if you are wondering why such a silly reaction to admiting you're a food adict, so am I, and it's liberating to be honest with yourself!

When I finally came to terms with my love of food it was a sobering reality. I had to dig deep down inside and find out the underlying causes of why I turned to food and why I had to eat every 2-3 hours. I also had to decide to make the changes in my habits, and lifestyle that would allow me to give up my addictions.

So far, I'm down 30lbs. Now, I will admit this has not been an easy struggle. The first few days and weeks on Weight Watchers, I was a mess, and a crab to boot. I had to sit on my hands to keep from going to the fridge, or the pantry! I had to throw away a lot of stuff in my pantry too, and for some one who was taught to always finish her dinner and not to waste, it was a challenge.

There also have been days when I have felt utterly a failure and unable to go on. It's been in those times that I've prayed to have strength and to have the will power to stick to my goals and my plan. I've also had my husband give me a blessing when I felt particularly low. From these experiences I know that Father in Heaven wants us to take care of our bodies and wants us to be healthy and that this is a righteous desire and that He will help us.

You can do this. Make your plan, write down your goals and don't beat yourself up too badly if you slip-up, but if you do always resolove to do better. You can always do better tomorrow. Drink lots of water, eat lots of fiber and lean protein and you will start noticing changes!

Good luck with everything!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Thanks to all of you for your positive, uplifting comments. I really appreciate everything you've said, and knowing that you're cheering me on is really motivating to me!

G. Parker said...

Tristi...I'm so glad you've discovered the book! Isn't Karlene amazing? (and I'm not just saying that...lol) We found the book several years ago when we had a daughter who was a compulsive addicted READER. Yes, that is what I'm talking about. Anyway, I thought I'd read through it too (she never did read it, still really NEEDS too, as I personally think EVERYONE would benefit from reading it) can you tell I'm on a caps lock spurt today? Anyway, I tried reading it and couldn't seem to get through it. I started again with Karlene in a group and did better, but I've hung on it again. However, it has been EXTREMELY helpful in how I look at food. I'm not feeling ready to quit chocolate cold turkey (man, you are the woman!!) but I do recognize more what I am eating and what is good for me. I had to stop eating bread. ugh... Anyway, obviously you can see we are with you. Who knows...one of these days we will all walk up to each other and it will be a group hug, because, you see--we'll all be half what we were.
You're the best.

kris said...

Good for you, Tristi. I think making your list is a very powerful tool. I'm trying to lose quite a bit of weight myself, so I'm going to be checking in to see how you're doing. I think you can do this! :)

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