Food was always my first love. Ever since I was a kid, food was my best friend, my safety net, and my go to solution when I needed comfort. Oh yea, I also loved eating when I was happy. It was my favorite way to reward myself after a job well done. Even though I say “was,” the truth is, deep down I still feel this way about food. But COR, an amazing food recovery retreat in Minneapolis, MN, helped me realize how damaging that way of life was and more importantly showed me what my other options were. And they are awesome!
I grew up in a good home. Everything looked great on the outside. But behind closed doors, our family was a mess. My mom and dad fought constantly. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. But whenever it was time to eat, everything was ok. Sitting in front of the TV, eating with my family, was the one time that everyone got along. It felt safe. It felt like everything was fine. It was the one escape from the madness. And as I got older, I continued to use food for safety and comfort. I didn’t realize it at the time. It was just an instinct. I wanted to survive so I grabbed the nearest thing that would get me there and that was food.
The problem is, as time went on, it was never enough. I could never eat enough to feel truly safe or happy for long. I always wanted more and more because the only time I was happy was when I was eating. Then I started hanging out in bars. I’m a musician, so it’s my job to entertain in bars every night. It’s also part of the job to drink and get others to drink more. So I took that to heart and really went for it. Now I was drinking a lot and eating a lot. I gained weight so incredibly fast. Most of my adult life (I’m 42 now) I have weighed over 400 pounds. The worst it got was actually after I quit drinking. I knew I was going to die if I kept drinking the way I was, so after one night landing in the ER with severe heart palpitations, I decided to quit. And I did. But instead of drinking, I turned to food.
2 years later, I was over 500 pounds and miserable. I could barely walk 10 steps without having to stop to catch my breath. My knees hurt so bad, I could almost not get up after sitting anymore. I had asthma and was constantly wheezing. I was pre-diabetic and constantly scared I was going to have a heart attack. The list goes on and on, but I knew I had to do something quick. That’s when I found COR.
My life completely changed the moment I walked in those doors. The people were so nice to me. Love and kindness was something I really craved and it meant the world to get that there. And when we started talking about the disease of addiction and how the 12 steps could help me overcome this, it was over. I knew this was me. This was the solution I have been looking for my entire life! For the first time in years I saw hope again! I felt like I finally found my people too. Finally I could understand that I wasn’t a freak with no willpower. I had this disease that was curable if I was willing to take the steps. Once I realized that, I was all in! I worked the first three steps at COR, found my first sponsor and started working the steps as soon as I got home.
It’s been about 7 months now. I’ve lost 109 pounds! That is super exciting and there aren’t enough words to express how much better I feel physically. But truly the best part of it all, is the day to day of it. I have a meal plan I love. I don’t have to obsess on food all day. I have time and energy to put into things that matter now. I am connected to a bunch of amazing people. I have freedom and peace that I have been craving since I was a little kid. And I finally feel safe and loved without looking for it in food. I can’t say enough about COR. It literally saved my life and made the life I’m living 100xs better. I am finally on a real road to recovery, not just some fad diet. This is the life I’ve always wanted and I have COR to thank for all of it!