Thoughts on Food Addiction
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
I haven't been blogging for a while. . .there's a reason. I've been slipping badly.
Thanks to ON2VICTORY, I am taking a long look at my journey thus far. . .and evaluating where I want to be in light of what's holding me back from my goal weight. I loved his blog today titled "Introduction to the Holy Grail." In it, he lists 4 key truths that have been instrumental in his success, and have made the difference this time as opposed to the times previously he tried and failed to lose weight.
He mentioned these in a blog from 4/30, and that started me down this road. But I digress.
The first principle on his list is:
Drying Out: Recovering from food addiction
I've known for a long time that I am a food addict. When I was able to lose weight and maintain my losses over a long period, I thought I had conquered my food addiction demons. . .until they reared their ugly heads again in the past month (after over 2 months of fighting them halfheartedly).
Was I ever surprised to discover just how easily I could slip right back into my old habits of acting on those wild cravings for pastries and candy, and then justify them to that voice of reason in my head with all kinds of crappy excuses, like:
- I've been under a lot of stress, and I deserve a treat
- I'll be good the rest of the week; just let me have my goodies now
- Look at all the weight I've lost; this is just a little reward for being so good
- It's just one candy bar (doughnut/handful of chips/fistful of crackers/bag of Hershey's Kisses. . .you get the idea), how much damage could it do?
- I'm feeling blue, and I need a pick-me-up
I could go on, but if you are a food addict, then you already know all the "plausible-sounding" excuses you can feed to your conscience to justify doing the deed. None of them hold water, and I know that already.
What was I thinking??? The answer is that I wasn't thinking at all. I was on autopilot, doing what I always have done when I get overwhelmed: seeking comfort in food.
So that's the bad news. The good news is that I finally woke up when I read that blog and those words "Drying Out" just leaped off the computer screen and hit me in the face. The reason I did so well, for so long was because I separated myself from my triggers long enough for them to lose their pull on me. Then I let down my guard.
I'm a very routine-oriented person. When anything (good or bad) happens to upset my routine, I don't respond well to it. A number of things have changed in the past several months, and without my realizing it, they upset my delicate balance of control over the food addiction. I thought I was stronger than that. . .but it is better to know where you are than to stay in denial about it. It is also good to be reminded it isn't an issue of strength so much as it is one of awareness.
I should have had warning bells going off all over the place when I quit measuring and weighing my food. That (for me) is a step back, because it's dropping my accountability for what goes in my mouth (thank you Tracy 31502, for your blog "Secrets...well there are none!" for opening my eyes to that little tidbit which I had already sort-of figured out and had lost track of). I knew I was eating too much, and I was doing a psychological "end run" (again) around having to admit it by not tracking everything I was putting in my mouth.
I'm a sneaky little devil, I am!
So, I've gained back a few pounds but lost some more of my mental blinders. I knew this journey wasn't going to be without some bumps in the road. I am committed to reaching my goal weight, but not so much for the number anymore but for what it will mean.
What will it mean? It will mean I have learned a healthier way to live and deal with all the unpleasant/unexpected stuff that life inevitably throws at me. A way that does not include downing an entire sleeve of crackers or a king size candy bar and a cream filled doughnut in one sitting.
Where do I go from here? I already know what to do; I just need to get back to doing it, with a much more mindful attitude about the "why" of doing it, keeping foremost in my mind the truth that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. I need to be much more attentive to what is going on in my life and be more prepared with a lifeline to grab if I start slipping.
I never thought I would have another binge-eating episode. I should have known better; I'm not going to beat myself up about it, though. I am going to be glad that I have the wonderful people on SP to help me get up, dust myself off and get after it. I understand well and truly now that I will always be a food addict. . .but I am not condemned to always allowing my addiction to control my life. There is a difference. I knew this before, but I let my success deceive me into thinking I had it beat for good. Nothing like a false sense of security to trip you up, huh?
Never say never. . .not even in your head. It's like throwing down the gauntlet. Also, never underestimate the influence of the little things. They can make or break you in this journey. I forgot that for a while, and it cost me.
Now, I'm moving on. . .a little wiser and a whole lot more humble. I'm looking forward to ON2VICTORY's next blog. I think I'm going to need it!