Friday, February 10, 2012
Addiction: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. (dictionary.com)
I grew up with an alcoholic mother, who smoked, and, in my teen years, did drugs. I remember the pain we all went through, the late night collect calls from jail (2 DUIs), the men in and out of her life, the days and nights I was alone, sometimes with my younger brother, moving b/c bills weren't paid, and so on and so on.....
When people think of addiction they think "alcohol", "drugs", "gambling", etc.
They don't think "food".
Everyone needs food to survive, we don't need alcohol, drugs, gambling, in order to sustain life. So how could someone be addicted to food?
Simple: when you hide what you're eating, when you sneak out at night and try to be as quiet as you can be so the household doesn't know you're getting chips and dip at 11 o'clock; when you eat b/c you had a bad day, you got upset at your mate, co-worker, child, or when you are upset you are over weight; when every happy occasion must be marked by good food and cake!!!
So... how do you overcome an addiction to something that (in moderation and for nutritional purposes) you must have in order to survive?
See, when you are an alcoholic, you will struggle to not drink, but to an extent you can escape from alcohol (don't go to bars, don't hang with friends that drink, don't have it in the house).
When you are a drug abuser you can also find ways to avoid drugs and other drug-users until you have weaned off and built up strength to overcome the urges.
Gamblers? Don't make any bets, avoid situations to bet.
And so on.
Most of the "addictions" people face can be overcome with the right resources and by avoidance, abstinence, etc.
I am a food addict. I still have to eat.
So every day when I go to the kitchen, or walk past the kitchen, or think about the kitchen, or watch t.v., go to the store, make a meal for the family, smell food, think about food, feel my stomach grumble, on and on and on........ I have to face my "enemy"... those foods that make me FAT!!!
I have said in the past, "I HATE FOOD". I wish we didn't have to eat. I wish I could just survive with an i.v. of nutrients and could just walk away from food. I wish I shopped at a store that only sells healthy food and you can only buy enough for one day. I wish my mother (who I share a house with) would stop bringing home donuts and ice cream and cake and soda..... (she must want me to have diabetes!!!!).
So, even though all addicts get tempted, food-addicts have to face their addiction numerous times a day and partake in the addiction while struggling to not "over-do-it".
Its funny when I think about my addict family: mom's an alcoholic, brother's a drug-addict.
I rarely ever even want a drink. I have used drugs in the past, but have no desire to ever do them again. I used to smoke, but loathe the smell of cigarettes now.
And like most addicts, I wear my addiction. Smokers smell like smoke and have a "gray"-look to them, yellow-brown teeth, etc. Alcoholics can hide it more, but hang-overs show, and yellowing of the skin due to liver problems, that shows. Drug-addicts, well, depending on the drug, some show more than others.
Me, I'm 160 lbs or so over weight. I carry my addiction with me every where I go.
Conclusion: I can't hide from it, I can't hide it, I show it off all day long.....
Now, I use tools like SparkPeople, and Planet Fitness, and Wii games to get support, to include more fitness in my life, to visually see what I am doing to myself.
I admit to myself, I am an ADDICT. This doesn't make me a bad person, this doesn't make me weak, this doesn't make me dumb, or stupid, or ugly.
I am strong-willed, intelligent, funny, beautiful.
I take control, and when I stumble and have "2k+ days" (when I go way over my calorie limit), or heck, "3k+ days" (when I go insanely over my calorie limit), I don't quit. I don't let myself dwell in guilt, which can lead to every day being 2k+ and 3k+. I get my butt up the next day, log onto SparkPeople, look at what I did the day before and say, ok, what am I going to do today??? I eat a healthy breakfast, do what I gotta do, get to the gym, dance on the Wii, and MOVE FORWARD!!!!
If you are reading this, you have a need for SP, whether it is weight loss or maintenance, or other. Some who read this are food-addicts like me. If you think you are or you know you are....
.... say it. Say it out loud.... "I AM AN ADDICT".
NOW..... this is the important part: the next step is crucial... If today you decide that you want to truly overcome this addiction, make a change, change yourself and your life... you must do this next step.....
NOW say it out loud..... "I AM AWARE OF MY ADDICTION and I WILL OVERCOME IT!!!!!"
Being aware and taking action, takes us out of the "I am an addict" phase into recovery. Its not our definition, its our "struggle".
Get past the "I am going to try to lose weight this year" or "I want to do this" thoughts.
Recovery begins when you claim it.
I claim it.... today, February 10, 2012.
I've been here before, I've made this step and I've failed.
But today is a new day, a new start, and a new journey has begun!!!!
Today is the day I say, "I WAS A FOOD-ADDICT" but I choose to be more, to overcome what I was, and become who I want to be.
Good luck, God bless, and Share the SPARK!!!