2004 – in excess of 555 pounds and a size 74 waist and a BMI of 75+

Most addictions whether they be alcohol, sex, drugs, or in my case food, usually have some degree of secrecy.  I personally feel that those with food addictions tend to have more secrecy.  Alcoholics for example can go to a bar and feed their addiction right in public with their friends. Sure, food addicts can go to restaurants and eat with friends; however, usually in this setting, food addicts will not eat as much food as they would in private. Alcoholics usually get noticed for their addiction – they are loud, obnoxious, get in trouble with the law, and God forbid, some even kill others.  Food addicts to some degree go unnoticed.  I always tried to make people feel I was strong and “all-together.” I can assure you when I weighed close to 600 pounds, I was NOT all together. I was falling apart!

In their book, The Don’t Diet Live It! Workbook, Wachter and Marcus say, “At the core of food, weight, and body issues is a deep well of shame.”  Shame is what you feel when you believe that you are a failure as a person or that something is fundamentally wrong with you. When you feel shame, there is a tendency to isolate yourself (or your true feelings) from others. You may believe that you don’t deserve support, so you keep your problems to yourself. Or you think your pain will “bring people down” so you hide it where others won’t see it. The more secretive you become, the more alone you feel. The more alone you feel, the more your feelings of shame seem confirmed.
According to my wife, family therapist Joyce Raines,  “reaching out to others is essential to recovery, it is important that the people you reach out to are Safe People.” Joyce describes safe people as those who respect you and are good listeners. They don’t try to fix you. Safe people welcome you and all your feelings, no matter what your feelings happen to be at the time. For me personally, when I talk with Joyce, I feel heard and cared about.
On the other hand, unsafe people are those who criticize, interrupt, try to “fix” you, give unsolicited advice, relate everything you say to themselves, or reveal your confidences. Sadly, most people turn to unsafe people due to a fear of intimacy. We tend to go to unsafe people because their rejection and criticism, though painful, is familiar.
I urge you to find a safe person to reach out to. It will mean being honest. It will mean calling them or being with them when you are in pain or feeling bad about yourself. It means telling the truth when you are angry or hurt. It means asking for help when you don’t know what to do. It means trusting people who are trustworthy.
Joyce and I will be your safe people. I know the pain you experience being overweight. Joyce is trained to help you deal with the underlying feelings and emotions that are causing you to react by over-eating.  I urge you to contact us. I am thankful I found Vollara. Vollara has one of the absolute best weight loss and nutritional programs in the country. They have a medical advisory board that is unmatched anywhere.  As I’ve said before, Vollara’s RE:PLACE is at the core of my successful weight loss, along with other key nutritionals.
Thank you for reading today. I’ve lost 35 pounds in 40 days, and I would love to help you get on the same path. Let me hear from you.
 Your friend,
Brian Raines