In an Overeaters daily reflection for today I read that abstaining is actually easier than overeating. This statement did not sit right with me immediately. But as I read on, I came to appreciate that this aspect of my food addiction is quite similar to my alcohol addiction. Long ago I had the “aha” moment when “I can’t drink today” changed to “I don’t have to drink today” in my thought processes. I was able to give up the anxiety of being in a bondage to not being able to drink to embrace the liberation that comes with being freed from the slavery to alcohol. That understanding has been very key in my recovery.
As I read on in the Overeater daily reflection I understood that in the beginning of abstinence, not overeating does appear the more difficult choice. Rationalizing getting just one more pint of ice cream to eat in a single sitting, or finding a good excuse why the eight-piece meal of fried chicken is really okay seems the easier decision. But at the same time, when I overeat, I am bloated, feel physically miserable and mentally defeated. I think of how I now carry the equivalent of two 20-pound sacks of potatoes when I am biking and everywhere else I go. Freedom from those impediments certainly results in an easier way of life.
So this dealing with reality and not living in my addictions seems a difficult decision at the start, yet ultimately, it truly is the easier, softer way.