As I was taking a wonderful walk this morning, listening to the birds singing…the sky as blue as blue can be…and flowers blooming, I was thinking about what Valentines represents to me today, versus years ago before I understood my food addiction. In the past, chocolate for sure was my first thought with Valentines. And, I think it still is. The difference is I don’t “act” on it now. I just think back fondly…sort of like an old lover. You could say I romanced the chocolate for sure. In fact, just looking at it makes the brainwaves tingle just as a hard core drug addict would.
The chocolate in the photo represents a drug to me, yet we would not have a holiday (like Valentines) with a photo of a line of cocaine as part of the celebration…at least not legally. Yes, chocolate is an illegal substance for me. Sort of a sobering thought isn’t it.? How could something so sweet (no pun intended) and innocent wreak such havoc in my life. The answer for me, is I have a chemical imbalance and when I put chocolate, sugar, flour, and wheat into my system I can’t stop. Something clicks in my brain and I start to volume eat. I learned after falling many times that I can not cure this addiction, but I can live a life in recovery. Just like the cocaine addict can not have one little line for old times sake because she/he will jump right back into the illness from one little snort.
So, what does Valentines mean to me today? It means total gratitude. My body is nearly 100 pounds lighter than its highest weight. I am clear in my mind. I am loving my bike rides and walks as much as I loved the chocolates (okay…not quite…but close!). I am able to help hundreds of people through this chronic, progressive, and fatal disease. I am able to have “healthy” relationships. The price of giving up decadent chocolate for my life back is definitely worth all the preparation and vigilance I put forth every day to stay clean.
I am thankful and grateful. Happy Valentines to all of you! May your day bring you love, peace, and joy.