Hope, Healing and WellBeing – An Exploration of Addiction and Recovery with Burt Nordstrand
In this episode of Hope, Healing, and WellBeing, host Mary Treacy O’Keefe interviews award-winning author Burt Nordstrand! Nordstand opens up about overcoming multiple addictions (including food!), his latest book, and how he ended up founding the Compulsive Overeaters Retreat.
Nordstrand discusses the ongoing battle with his “enemy,” an addiction to sugar and compulsive overeating, for which he has been in recovery for over 30 years. “With drugs or gambling–abstinence–you can just stop!…With food addiction, you can’t just stop,” points out O’Keefe of the dilemma many overeaters struggle with daily. “Everything wonderful in my life today…is related to my recovering from my addictions,” says Nordstrand, pointing to sugar as the number one most detrimental addiction he had to overcome. “[Sugar addiction] needs to be looked at as a disease,” says Nordstrand.
“Whether it’s carbohydrates which turn to sugar in our bodies, alcohol which turns to sugar in our bodies, or whether it’s sugar, it affects the way people feel and it definiately changed the way I felt,” says Nordstrand. He and O’Keefe talk about the effects of sugar on the body and how a sugar addiction can contribute to an addiction to alcohol.
“There was just half of me that felt insecure and just not normal,” says Nordstrand, explaining his initial attraction to sugar and other harmful substances. “I would take it to the edge and say ‘this isn’t working for me’ and then switch to something else,” he says. Moving from one substance to the next, living a life riddled with addiction, Nordstrand was eventually left with only one substance to abuse that really “worked” for him: Food.
Throughout the interview, Burt Nordstrand details his secret life of shame: A successful businessman to the public and an addict spiraling into the depths of despair in his private life. Tune in to listen to his struggles, triumphs, and how he learned to pick himself up by his bootstraps and get on with his life–addiction free!