MelBy Mel Tonken

As most people in the western world, I was led to believe by very reputable authorities, including doctors, nutritionists, The Canadian Department of Agriculture, the USDA, the National health Instituted, etc., etc., that if I ate less and exercised more, my weight problem would be solved. Well, try as I may, that simply didn’t work for me. Dieting in many many forms has been a big part of my life for the last 60 years, along with the obsession about food and a deep belief that if I was able to attain a normal body weight, my life would magically improve in all areas.


I was doomed in permanently managing  my weight & food intake for two basic reasons – one, that I was a food addict and could not control my intake, and two, I was being fed misinformation & sometimes downright untruths about which foods were good for me, and those which were adding to my problem.


Being cross addicted (given half a chance, I could become addicted to fence posts) for me was a gift. Had I not been actively working on recovery from various substances and behavioral issues, it is unlikely that I would have twigged to  the knowledge that food, much like my substance abuse problems, was a monkey on my back with claws imbedded very deeply. A wise sponsor sent me to investigate Overeaters Anonymous, one of several support groups for compulsive eaters, where I discovered that I was not weak willed or bad, but that I had a disease manifested by compulsive overeating as a way of medicating my feelings. The more wonderful news was that I that I learned that there is a solution.


Concerning the food choices, I have discovered the villains in this insidious plot to increase my girth were sugar and flour. Documented evidence of the harm caused by sugar in our diets began appearing in the 1940’s. and since 1990, massive amounts of nutritional & epidemiological research has proven beyond a reasonable doubt, that sugar and flour are slowly poisoning us, and are directly responsible for the obesity epidemic facing us as well as spikes in the occurrence of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart disease and cancer.


The solution to my dilemma seemed obvious – avoid any consumption of sugar and flour. Although a simple concept, implementing this concept was far from simple. I needed support from others on the same journey, and that support, for me, was available in several food programs designed to hold the disease of compulsive overeating in remission. Participating in those groups translated into letting go of 110 lbs!