Four and a half years ago, five foot nine inches tall, almost 300 pounds. Sleep apnea – 43 episodes per hour. CPAP machine (try to talk with one of these strapped to your face). Two hip replacements done. Heart attack (actually supraventricular tachycardia). Metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetic. Cholesterol high, HDLs low, LDLs high. My triglycerides were 1,609 (normal range <150). Barely walk from bed to bathroom (about 8 steps) without huffing and puffing. Would stop at fast food place on the way home from work and have a value meal – super sized (with a diet soda, of course), then come home and have a “normal” dinner with family. But then I would stay at the kitchen table reading the paper and continue to eat for another couple of hours. Depression. Addiction to food. Undiagnosed dual diagnosis of depression/addiction; food was my cocaine, my alcohol, my drug of choice. I face it (dance with the devil) three times a day. We need to eat to survive. Logically I knew I should stop, but I couldn’t/didn’t want to stop. I was way out of control with the insanity of overeating. I felt hopeless (suicidal, yes), I didn’t know how to control it; it was beyond my control. Heaven knows I tried so many diets over the past few decades with some temporary success, but then I would undoubtedly “fall off the wagon” and gain/find the “lost” pounds again and add a few more as well. The shame, the depression, the self-loathing. What was missing? For me, I didn’t know what else to do. So I got down on my knees and offered it up to my Higher Power and admitted (finally) that I was indeed powerless over food and needed help. An incredible warm loving feeling of calm and security came upon me – God’s Love/Holy Spirit/Divine Grace/Karma/Vishnu, however you may interpret “it” – Sacred Awe indeed. The incredible journey begins….