Category Archives: Food addiction

Recovery Rocks – Brian Cuban

My goal with the Recovery Rocks interviews is to keep showing the world how awesome recovery is whilst also sharing stories that sometimes get overlooked. Brian Cuban is a lawyer and activist, he hosts his own TV show ‘Brian Cuban’s legal briefs’ on Eyeopener TV and runs his blog The Cuban Revolution.
He is in recovery for addiction, an eating disorder and Body Dysmorphia Disorder(BDD). There is a misconception that eating disorders can be more of a female problem when the truth is many men suffer in silence from food disorders too.
Brian is hoping to shatter that myth by revealing his struggles and how he overcame them.
He wrote the number 1 selling book ‘Shattered Image’ based on his experiences. Hopefully his story will help other men and women recognise their own struggles with food.

Brian Cuban

Brian Cuban

1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’

“Rock bottom for me what standing in the parking lot of a Dallas psychiatric facility for the 2nd time (the first time was after sticking a .45 automatic in my mouth about a 1 and ½ years earlier. My girlfriend had taken me there after a two day cocaine, ambien and Jack Daniels fueled binge and blackout. During that blackout it was clear that I had been unfaithful to her. As I stood in that parking, lot I came to the realization that there would be no more trips to the facility. One more time and I would be dead. I was also in danger of losing the people that mattered the most to be in addition to my girlfriend. My family. Family may love you unconditionally but their tolerance to watch someone they love slowly kill himself has limits. They would distance. I would be alone or dead. The realization in that moment is what fueled me to take the first steps to recovery. I never looked back.

2) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
The first 30 days were hard. I had walked into treatment for the first time the day after my “moment of clarity? , I was scared of the future. I was scared of not having drugs and alcohol to fuel the false Brian I had created. I was scared of being alone with my true distorted Body Dysmorphic thoughts about my appearance without any artificial crutches to soothe the shame. The shame I had struggled with since I was 10 years old as a result of bullying and fat shaming over my weight.

3) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?

The absolutely best thing that has happened to me is that I have become better with my thoughts and acceptance of body image. This has helped me deal with the body dysmorphic disorder, it’s attendant drug and alcohol issues and eating disorders( I was bulimic for 27 years) I have been free of all these behaviors since April 8th 2007. I have accomplished more in the almost 7 years of my sobriety than in the previous sum total of my entire life.

The most recent accomplishment is that I wrote about book about my recovery, “Shattered Image, that became the #1 selling Eating Disorder Book on Amazon. This has provided me a platform to help others in their struggles.

4) If you could go back in time to you when you were drinking/using what would you tell yourself?

I would tell myself that its ok to be flawed and to be ok with those flaws. We are all uniquely beautiful in our own body type and personalities. There is no need to compare.

5) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?

That I can be loved. That I can love.

6) What are your favorite recovery slogans?

Your lowest moment in life can be your most triumphant if you survive it and learn from it.

7) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?

8 years ago, I could not have envisioned the happy and fulfilling life of love, loving and personal accomplishment that recovery has given me. Where there was darkness and loss of hope, there is now only opportunity to achieve.

Recovery Rocks – Tebby B

My goal with the Recovery Rocks interviews is to include as many different types of people and addictions that I can. This weeks interview is with Tebby who has recovered from an eating disorder.

The hardest thing about eating disorders is that you have to eat, you don’t have to drink alcohol or smoke crack. So it is hard for people to understand what abstinence means when it comes to an eating disorder, because we have to eat.
With eating disorder, abstinence usually means being abstinent from the behaviour and sometimes particular foods.
That would mean abstinence from binging, purging, starving and for some people they have to remain abstinent from particular foods like sugar and white flour.
Tebby B
This may sound hard, but having an eating disorder is a lot harder. Like any addiction it is all consuming.

Tebby was binging and purging for many years until one day she realised she couldn’t carry on. Finally her life changed when she started down a path to recovery. She met her husband, had children and a wonderful career. All addictions are lonely but eating disorders are particularly lonely. Binging and purging are hardly group activities.

Tebby understands this and would like anyone who has questions about overcoming an eating disorder to tweet her at: @TEB2350
Please share this with anyone struggling with an eating disorder. Recovery is possible.

Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
At the height of my eating disorder (at the age of 30) I can remember binging and purging as many as 10-15 times a day. I used to drink water and continue to vomit until it came out clear in the toilet so I knew I had gotten all the “bad” food out of my system (like pasta). One night, I was alone and got very drunk. It was two days before Valentine’s Day and I felt so lonely. I remember thinking to myself. “No more….. this can’t continue.” That is when I started to look for help because I knew I couldn’t defeat this beast on my own anymore.

What was your ‘moment of truth’ or ‘clarity’ that prompted you to get sober/clean?’
Watching “Girl, Interrupted” that night I described in previous question. I am not sure why it spoke to me (I’ve never watched it since. For some reason, I don’t want to ‘go back’ to that place I was that night and I feel watching it would make me relive the pain. I’m enjoying my happiness to much.


What were your first 30 days of recovery like?

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Unlike booze, you can’t live without eating so I was forced to face my demons at every meal. I went to my therapist once a week and I was very open with my friends about my struggles. Everyone was very supportive and helped me get through those tough days. I wasn’t perfect- I was out of the hospital in May but it was August before I had stopped all purging completely.

What are the best things that have happened to you since you got healthy?
I don’t think its coincidence that I had stopped all purging at the beginning of August 2001, and I met my husband the next month. I love not having the burden and shame of such a terrible disease hanging over my head. I feel free and alive and I’m so much happier.

If you could go back in time to you when you were binging/purging what would you tell yourself?
Life doesn’t have to be this hard. The effort that you put into this disease is the problem. You can be happy and alive if you get that monkey off your back.

What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting healthy?
I am worth it. I have value. And I am so blessed to have my husband/kids as well as some fantastic and supportive friends. Life is GOOD!!
Tebby B Family

What are your favourite recovery slogans?
Sorry- can’t think of any

And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
I think recovery rocks because of how great life becomes once you start actually living it and not waiting until you beat the demons before you let yourself begin to live it. When you are happy with yourself, others become attracted to your confidence and amazing things happen

Must read alcoholism blogs

This week I wanted to give you a round up of some of the cool stuff on the web that relates to alcoholism and addiction. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Spirituality
Russell Brand talks about how yoga has helped change his life and fill the void that he used drugs and sex addiction to before. As usual, he talks eloquently and humorously about his addiction and how his spiritual journey has changed him. It’s only a brief video and you can watch him here.
Russell is also the patron of Focus12 treatment centre in Suffolk, England. I will be donating a percentage of the profits from my UK sales of ‘Why you drink and how to stop: journey to freedom’ to Focus12. I trained there as a therapist and can personally attest to the amazing work they do with addicts.

Recovery tools
Beth Burgess’s blog on how to deal with difficult people has some great strategies to use. She rightly identifies that alcoholics (drunk or sober) sometimes have trouble dealing with other people. Unless you want to go and live in a cave somewhere it’s a skill we have to learn. The most important takeaway being; ‘don’t take it personally.’ You can read more about what she has to say here.

Eating disorders and hating our bodies
I posted this on my Facebook page (if you click ‘Like’ you’ll see what I post in your newsfeed). I just thought it hit the nail on the head regarding women, food and body image. Nearly every female client I have ever worked with (and a lot of men) have had food issues to deal with as well as alcoholism/addiction. It’s so sad that so many women just hate their bodies. As the mother of a little boy I want him to grow up with a love of his own body and physicality as well as an understanding and appreciation of what a healthy female body is, i.e not half starved.

Alcoholism myths
I’m a big fan of Carrie Armstrong‘s blog on the HuffPost UK. I did a post about her a last week, if you missed it you can read it here.

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair, www.lifeafterthechair.com, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair, www.lifeafterthechair.com, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Carrie is carving out a niche for herself as a Sober Girl who challenges the myths and stereotypes around alcoholism and alcoholics. In her blog this week she challenges the story of ‘rock bottom’s,’ she argues that a rock bottom actually just means death. Because lots of people believe that to be an alcoholic things have to be really, really bad before they stop drinking and get help, this myth is then preventing people getting help. I also think the ‘inspiration to get sober’ or moment of clarity’ is a much more positive and empowering statement. I think she’s on to something. What do you think?

Does food addiction exist?

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There was a very interesting program about food addiction on BBC Radio 4 today. New research is revealing some very interesting stuff about brain chemistry and how this effects addictive behaviour. The most compelling testimony though is from two food addicts who describe the misery of their addiction. The way they describe their experience is no different from an alcohol or addict. After many attempts to get help they both found Overeaters Anonymous helped them the most.
An interesting listen for anyone dealing with food issues and/or addiction.
The link to the programme is here.