The adverse changes began slowly. I was aware of my bad choices, but at that moment I simply did not care. I would succumb, giving in to my impulses. A few moments of peace would wash over me and I would feel better, temporarily. 

Addictions run strong on both sides of my family. Alcoholism is a huge problem. I took great pride in not being addicted to drugs or alcohol.  Secretly, I knew I had another problem. I just could not admit it to myself. Then the problem really started catching up with me and I realized I was not in control. Not that I was ever in control. This was the lie I told myself, along with many other negative, self-deprecating thoughts.

My addiction is chocolate and sweets. I am an emotional, stress induced, binge eater. I am talking about eating a pound of peanut M&M's in two days! Going back for another piece of cake, again and again, until it is almost gone. Eating three snickers bars at a time and justifying my outrageous gorging by drinking a bottle of water! Yup, that will make all the bingeing okay. 

When I was younger, in my 30's, I exercised, ate right, no bingeing. Then I began letting more and more pressing issues creep in and take over the time I allotted to me to care for me. I stopped making time for myself, justifying that my family or work needed me to care for them. I told myself I was being selfish by exercising and taking care of my needs. Instead I was putting myself at the bottom of the list and never getting there. 

This is where the self-medicating with food started. My metabolism tolerated this insane behavior for quite some time. Then, almost as though someone turned off a switch, my metabolism went missing. WHERE did this tire around my middle come from? It was really starting to get in the way of my life. 

I was feeling miserable. Life is hard enough without having to carry extra baggage around. I knew I had to do something. I was so immersed in caring for everyone else, I had no idea where or how to start taking care of myself. 

Then I met Wes Greer, owner of Fitness Together. I was thrilled thinking about exercising and getting back into better health. Wes, and one of his trainers, Lori Eboli began working with me.  Their training was designed to meet my needs, current health and weight. After our first meeting, I was tired, but energized. I knew I could achieve my goal of being healthier and fitter. 

My healthy start began excruciatingly slowly. I was used to being able to shed those pounds in weeks, not months. I thought I could eat however I wanted including self-medicating with the chocolate sweet stuff. I was not losing very much weight, less than two pounds per week. 

Wes encouraged me to keep a diary of the food I was eating. I thought to myself, I know what I eat and it is okay. THEN I began to look closer at the food I was putting into my body. I started to look at the fats, carbohydrates and calories in some of my favorite foods. Wow! No wonder I have this silly fat belly. 

Along with regular cardio exercise, for me this is 20 to 30 minutes per day, strength training and eating healthier food I feel better. I have not lost as much weight as want as I truly thought I could cheat. However, I am able to mop my floors without my back hurting. This may not sound like much, but no back pain is huge for me. 

I have just begun this journey, not destination, of exercising, eating healthier and taking care of me. So, when I ate four giant Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chips cookies in the course of an hour, I realized this behavior was not going to get where I want to go.  I can take better care of my family and loved ones when I take care of myself first.
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