Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Who I am, why I blog, the Shangri-la Diet and Me

Beginning in 1993, I buried three children in the space of four and a half years, each dying from unrelated, non-genetic causes. I took great solace in food and did my best to survive with what remained of my family and the help of my wife, who suffered everything I did and more. When I realized I would not be able to eat myself into oblivion I lost some weight, but I had moved my set point to a new high. I had two problems. One, I needed to lose weight to regain mobility and for other health reasons. Two, I wasn't sure I could cope with life without recovery and serenity and I didn't have any source for those except for food.

I joined OA and on November 13, 2005, started the Shangri-la Diet. I weighed about 240 at that point, a fair amount of muscle, but a hideous amount of fat, over which I had no control. OA helped me find the tools I needed to deal with life without food, the Shangri-la Diet gave me a food plan, so to speak, that worked for me.

Today is May 3, 2005. Yesterday morning I weighed in at 189. My optimum weight is probably 160.2. I'm about 5'6" -- but years of lifting weights have given me some serious muscle mass. I now wear Lands' End trim fit shirts and they look good (and my wife smiles). I'm a better, and smaller man, and I'm still losing weight.

I blog because, in a moment of weakness, I wrote some essays for other parents who had buried children. The essays helped others. I started an on-line journal (in the days before blogs) and when I was ready to quit writing, I received a number of letters from parents I had helped. I eventually shifted to blogging, where I blog for the 20-30 people each week who actually need what I'm blogging about.

I blogged about the Shangri-la Diet because (a) it has worked so far for all of my friends and associates who have tried it correctly and (b) there are a lot of other parents out there who found solace in food when their children died and who don't need another useless diet that does nothing but mislead and harm them. I've tried a lot of diets since 1993. None of them made any difference until now.

So, if you've found my blog and wondered what a diet is doing mixed with discussions about prayer, faith and surviving the death of children, this post explains how they fit together and where I fit in all of those themes.


Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question in the comments.


annegb said...

You are a lovely person, Stephen.

Things are better. My blood sugar was high when I flipped out (well, I didn't lose control, just got deeply and suddenly depressed), so there is a possibility of diabetes.

I'm not obese, but I'm overweight. I hate diet and exercise. Plus my cholesterol is high. How do you get high cholesterol when all you eat is toast and juice?

Will Ware said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my wife about three years ago and it still pains me greatly. I've been heavy my entire adult life and have just heard about the Shangri-La diet. If it works for me, I think it will give me some mastery over my weight that I haven't had up to now, so I am looking forward to trying it. Thanks for your post.

Stephen said...

Will, can I suggest that you also go to and consider attending a few meetings. I found that working on a twelve step program helped me deal with the emotions that eating was submerging.

Mastery over the driving physical hunger is a good thing, but I found that the other helped as well, got me through the dark days of the year when my daughter's death days and birth days are so close together.

Wish you the best.

Probative said...

I appreciate this blog Stephen. I struggle with loss and compulsion too, even if on a smaller scale. Your experiences are inspiring.

Anonymous said...

oh my god please help me. please. I stumbled across your blog accidentally. I read your about me statement and I have been crying ever since. I have one child. the absolute love of my life. He has not died, but god I just know he is going to. No! He's not going to, there is no reason for him to and oh god he just can't.

I'm not making any sense. My father was murdered when I was two. I may have seen it, I don't know because no one ever has talked about it but I do know I was in the house. My stepfather was abusive in every way a monster can be abusive. My mother was depressed and fairly abusive too. I lost my father, I lost my childhood, and I have lost myself. I'm 33 now, and my son is 3.

I ran from home as soon as I could. I've always had problems with weight, anger, and emotions. Since I've had my son I've realized that my parents didn't have to treat me how they did. I've also realized that I have no coping skills at all, except anger. No coping skills for anything. I AM SO SCARED SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN TO MY SON. I AM CONSTANTLY SCARED. I'm still crying about your three baby girls. Oh my god how did you stand it.

Please, professional help has not helped. My therapist can't do anything because I am just in so much pain. I can't get past the pain. Please. Can you suggest anything? I want to read your essays but I don't know if I can handle them. Please help. please.