Monday, April 25, 2011

The guest at my table

I may not always be aware of it, or care to acknowledge it, but there is an uninvited guest at my table, and it’s not the Ghost of Christmas Dinners Past.

Recently my friend Wilbur, who is active in Overeater’s Anonymous and has lost 45 pounds as a result, sent me an e-mail with something striking in it. I’m paraphrasing the message a bit for brevity, but I think you’ll get the message. Wilbur wrote:

"I have come to see that for me it is not about food addiction. It is not about trigger foods. It is about the mind, the crazy mind that suddenly, quixotically tells me it is okay to start eating. I can binge on anything. It is not about picking up one piece of food. It is about a mental state which tells me to do things I don’t want to do. And it is about a bodily state which sets up craving where there is never enough. That is the obsession that’s been lifted from me now. Healthy eating of healthy foods in healthy amounts is eating with God. Not drinking alcoholic beverages is drinking with God."

When I wrote Bandwagon, I was beginning to have inklings that there was a spiritual issue at the core of my eating problem, but I didn’t write much about it then because my own awareness was so new. And I’m trying to be careful with how I present it in the Bandwagon™ on the Road newsletters because I don’t want to turn off people who don’t want to hear the word God. Sometimes when I’m writing I hear myself switch into Preacher mode and feel that’s not a good thing. (I think Teacher mode is better on the whole.) But I’d be lying if I said I don’t want to eat with God. I do want to, on so many levels, in so many ways, that it’s really the subject of an entire book.

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