After a year working at Store #83, I was transferred to a much larger Bakery, Store #15 located on Canal Blvd, in the Mid-City area of New Orleans. It had a very small work area in the back room, but had huge bakery displays and merchandising space. We did a tremendous volume in the front of the house bakery. The sales of this Bakery were 3 times more than my old store. We had a tremendous Cake Business. I actually had 3 Full Time Cake Decorators. Sometimes, we would have over 100 Cake orders on a given week. Frank was the store manger and a very easy guy to work with. He basically let me run things my way. I enjoyed working with this team of bakers and cake decorators. After a few months, my old crew from Store # 83 was able to join me at this store. We were all back together again. Due to the larger store volume, I was working longer hours, nearly 60 hours per week. The Bakery was hot due to the tight working area. My Coca Cola habit had grown from 1-2 Two Liters Per Day to nearly 4 – Two Liter Cokes Per Day. Between this habit of drinking Coke and my new treat, Jelly Beans, I was always on a Sugar High. I developed a liking to Jelly Beans during the Easter Holiday. I liked Jelly Beans so much I was consuming nearly 3 to 4 – 16 oz. bags per day. My favorite kind of Jelly Beans were either Russell Stover or Smucker’s Brand. Well, it didn’t take much time before my sugar levels started to get out of Control. Not only was I dealing with my weight, but now my Sugar was extremely high. I guess between the morning Donuts, Raw Cake Batter, Buttercream Icing Craze, Jelly Beans and whatever else I decided to eat that was sweet, my fasting Sugar was approaching 400. Needless to say, my family Doctor put me on a Drug for Diabetes known as Metformin. I had developed all the symptoms for Diabetes. I was having excessive cravings for thirst, night sweats so bad my pillowcase needed changing at night, along with frequent urination. This added to my problems. I was slowly creeping back up in weight, around 375 lbs. My wife and I started having some problems at home regarding my weight. She would harp on me about everything I put in my mouth. She had smart ass comments like; “Do you really need to eat that or we just finished eating and you are eating again!!” She did not help the situation. So I went back to Plan B. I started finding excuses to make grocery store runs either before or after dinner to hit the drive thru fast food restaurants. It was totally sick what I was doing to my body. I didn’t care. I hated when someone told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t eat something. This just made my will to eat ever greater. I can remember one time sitting at the kitchen table, I got so mad when my daughter , whom was about 8 years old at the time, attempted to eat one or two of the last Oreo Cookies that were left in the bag. I went ballistic like it was the end of the World. I think I scared everyone that night. I was so pissed I actually went to the store and bought about 4 or 5 bags of different cookies like Chocolate Chip, Oreos, Shortbread and Peanut Butter Sandwiches. I was yelling and screaming at her for letting my night time snacks run out. My Compulsive Overeating was starting to affect our marriage. I finally went to the Doctor and attempted to seek help. I knew I needed to lose weight. I didn’t need anyone to tell me I was fat. I could see it in the mirror. This is why I avoided mirrors, especially if I was naked. Not a pretty sight at all!! My Doctor gave me a special diet to follow along with some diet pills. All this did was make my heart race. I never really followed a diet. Over the next few months, I tried everything including a liquid diet. My mom and a few others were trying this new product known as Shaklee Diet. It was a Protein Powdered Shake. The idea was to have a Shake at Breakfast, one at Lunch and a reasonable meal at dinner. I did start to lose weight for about the first 3 months on the program. But my drive and love for food kicked in again. I needed help. I even tried becoming a vegetarian for sometime. I actually had the most success with the Vegetables. I could eat as much as I wanted as long as the vegetables were steamed or boiled in water. I ate so many vegetables, I started to have issues with gas!! Not pretty by any means. The diet was working. I did manage to lose close to a 100 lbs. with in 6 months. Although I was feeling better and looking better, I still had the Compulsion to Eat. I joined a group known as OA, Overeaters Anonymous. It was a 12 Step Program similar to AA, but only dealing with food instead of Alcohol. I felt good at these meetings. I was surrounded by other Fat people. All we did was talk about our problems and what caused us to eat. We all had the same cure for whatever was wrong, we just decided to eat to make the pain or situation go away!! It was a Sickness and I was out of control!!
Will to Live – Gluttony w/ False Pride – Part 22