Daily Life,  Food

Confessions of an Addict

I want to talk openly about a problem I have. One that I think many struggle with, but don’t talk about. Few truly understand, and as soon as you bring it up it has all sorts of immediate misconceptions.

See, even now I can see you trying to figure it out:

If you go too long without it, you experience symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, depression, anxiety, fatigue.

You often use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.

You spend a lot of time using and thinking about it, figuring out how to get it, and recovering from the its effects.

That’s right: FOOD.

What other addiction can you not completely quit without dying? Food is required for us to function. Alcoholics have to go completely dry, the act of moderation isn’t something they can do. To paraphrase “I can’t have just a little bit, if I could I wouldn’t be an alcoholic!”

But for folks with a problem with food, we HAVE to learn moderation. It is a daily, hourly, struggle. It’s not given the same serious consideration though as telling someone you’re addicted to drink or drugs. It’s laughed off. “Don’t eat so much cake then, fatass.” Really? Not all people are the extreme Oprah specials who scarf 13 cakes and 5 whole chickens every day. You know what some of my favorite foods are? Vegetables. Yep. Brussel sprouts, squash, zuccini, onions, carrots. My mom loves the story of taking me to the hospital worried I had jaundice and turns out I just liked carrots so much I started to turn orange. No lie!

So I’d like to use this platform to document my struggle with food. Because I’ve come to learn, and accept, that it’s not just about losing weight but about changing my entire way of thinking about food. If I cook enough food to have leftovers, I have to either put the food away right after plating (but before eating) dinner or I cannot physically go back into the kitchen without finding myself putting more on my plate. I have found myself picking up a piece of food and raising it to my mouth before really considering what I’m doing and having to force myself to stop.

My problem isn’t junk food either. I love to cook, and I am AMAZING at it. I HATE fast food and haven’t stepped in one (or used the drive through) in over a year. I make salmon croquettes, and steamed vegetables and organic this and that, and shop Farmer’s Markets and sustainable fish and free range chicken. Got the idea? It’s that I like the taste of food. I will eat more because I love the flavors.

Oh, the whole “don’t eat so much sugar/sweets/candy/etc” argument? I’m not a dessert person. I’m VERY picky about food in general and there’s only a few things that I love. Dessert – one dark chocolate mini peanut butter cup. Yes one, and after I need something to get the sugar taste out of my mouth. My husband doesn’t get it either. :rotfl: The thing is I’d turn down cake for another pile of garlic roasted brussel sprouts. Yes, really!

So – as of Jan 1, 2012 I am making it the year I rein things in. I will measure and weigh and portion my food and tie myself to the couch to stop from having more. I will learn what feeling full is and listen to it. I will be healthy again.

I hope that this reaches someone who is in the same position. Someone who sees all the TV shows and articles and says “What about me? What about those of us who are trying – who don’t eat to extreme, but eat just enough more than they should?” There ARE others who understand. It can change.


One Comment

  • Heather

    I hear you.

    My weight gain has taken place, really, over the last ten years. I spent my entire younger life being able to eat whatever I wanted, and I did… and then as I got older, not only did I not stop doing this, but I got a job where I move less, and the pounds began to pile on.

    There was a period where I had a roommate who kept the kitchen pretty gross, and I got in the habit of eating fast food all the time as well… so, add on the pounds… and today, despite trying to eat healthier for the last several weeks, I reached a weight that I’m just utterly ashamed of.

    I swore to myself I would never reach this weight, and I failed. Completely and utterly.

    So now I’m at this wonderful new low in my life. This point where even though it’s broiling hot summer, I don’t want to wear anything but jeans. I’m ashamed of my body, which is something I’ve never been in my entire life… and I feel like there’s no hope… because it’s not like I can just stop eating!

    I’m adding a workout into my schedule starting today. I will begin with a half hour, and if that goes ok, I will move to an hour… but yeah… seriously freaking out here.

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