Ha! I thought I was on a diet to lose weight! Turns out I’m finding abstinence again after 11 1/2 years of trying. Only this time I didn’t try. My higher power, that one that I’m not sure I actually believe in, found it for me, and then pushed it towards me.

Notice I didn’t say pushed me towards it. HP doesn’t work like that. It’s like a very faithful Labrador Retriever. It brings things to my feet, wags it’s tail, and then lets me figure it out.

That’s what happened here. I gave up and got down on my knees and prayed for help. The next day an acquaintance at a party started telling me about the diet she was on. It was that simple. I mulled it, I bought the book, read it, decided to give it a try, and changed my mental framework for the diet. I wasn’t going to focus on the end result. I was focusing on just getting through the day.

This diet broke my dependence on sugar, flour, wheat, and all carbs. This diet is too restrictive to be my life long food plan. I’ll want to add in some healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, some healthy grains like brown rice and whole grain oats, fruits and some whole food starchy vegetables. Whole foods, almost nothing refined.

This restrictive diet designed to make me lose weight did that and something more valuable. It cleared my head so I could see the depth of my food addiction and break my denial that I can be a normal eater.

13 years ago I started in Overeaters Anonymous. I’ve been in and out of the rooms ever since I lost my abstinence 18 months in. I don’t know what it was like to be experiencing that early abstinence, because I don’t remember it in its entirety. But, what stands out in my memory are all those people who had physical and emotional and spiritual recovery. Their food plan was simple: no sugar, flour, or wheat.

There have been too many advances in natural foods in the past 13 years. Then, I didn’t know of blue agave, or sucanat, or the myriad other “unrefined” sugars that have since flooded the market and allowed my denial to run rampant.

Even as I write this I want to erase it. I keep trying to convince myself that this is merely a delusion in and of itself and this clarity is really just some sort of diet induced hallucination.

But it’s not. I am not a normal eater. I am a sugar addict; a carbohydrate addict; a flour addict.

Hi. My name is Elizabeth, and I’m a compulsive eater.

There. I can breathe again.