With the problems facing the Mayor of Toronto getting major press coverage both in Canada and all over the world, I've never seen more info out there about addictions -- and in particular the intersection among the three main types of addiction: food, alcohol and drugs.
People want to change the way they feel. Instantly. By self-medicating with food, with alcohol, or with drugs. That's apparently the common denominator among addictions.
They're all drugs, of course. And no question: for me, food has always been my drug of choice.
However, something I had not thought much about until recently is the inverse correlation between unrestrained indulgence in food addiction (gluttony) and pleasure. Because the impulse to gluttony is by no means a thing of my past. I have not licked my food addiction (if you'll pardon the expression!).
Have to confess that on occasion I still find myself simply wanting to stuff my face without ceasing . . . what used to be referred to in Biblical terms as the "sin" of gluttony. but now is more commonly called bingeing.
When I contemplate eating a whole big bag of potato chips -- indulging in gluttony -- I'm thinking it will change the way I feel. That it will give me pleasure.
The taste. The crunching. The saltiness. The greasiness. Mmmmmmmm! Potato chips!!!
So yeah, it helps a lot if I remind myself that gluttony doesn't work that way for me.
Eating more potato chips actually gives me less pleasure. Makes me feel dehydrated, bloated and sick. Pretty quickly, too. Within a half hour, or even less time, depending upon how fast I'm chowing them back. And the non-pleasure is sustained, well into the next day.
Other than my recent experiment at they gym with that tiny vending machine bag of baked cheddar cheese and sour cream Lays . . . (and despite all the subsequent trouble I had to persuade myself not to buy another small bag, and then not to buy a bigger bag) . . . it's been a long time since I've been drawn into this kind of compulsive non-stop chomping
But I'm not complacent about it. Has happened many times in the past. Could happen again. And those baked Lays demonstrated that potato chips still have the power, in my world.
Here at Spark most people are struggling with food addiction. And we know there's lots of social stigma attached to eating too much . . . we've all experienced the evil eye directed at our restaurant or grocery cart choices, or our less-than-svelte bodies.
But: I think it's still the case that even more criticism is aimed at people who drink too much. I read recently that more and more so-called "professional" women are getting into the 2-3++nightly glasses of wine thing. And acknowledging they're veering towards alcohol addiction. (I'm consistently a 1 glass of wine person, just once a week or so . . . not because I'm so virtuous but mostly because I absolutely hate the sensation of even the mildest hangover. )
Drugs? Never tried 'em. Not even once. Despite having been a teenager during the height of the marijuana Reefer Madness craze, when usage was incredibly widespread. And now, even though many seem to have a tolerant and non-judgmental attitude towards pot, it's still illegal most places. However, the Toronto media frenzy in response to mayoral admission of cocaine use indicates that of all addictions (food/alcohol/drugs) it's pretty clear that street drugs still draw the most disapprobation.
Best possible drug? Endorphins, self-generated from exercise. Absolutely legal, absolutely free, and offering many many side benefits! Changes the way I feel instantly. Changes the way I feel tomorrow too. And eventually, of course, changes the way I look.
Today, however, exercise endorphins generated were possibly too much of a good thing. I may have overdone the raking and bagging of heavy wet maple leaves, and subsequent heaving them into the wheel barrow and trundling them out to the curb.
And nope, all this really wasn't motivated by exercise gluttony. Just gotta get it done before the leaves are all matted down and buried under the snow until spring.
(DH would be quick to tell ya: didn't do nearly as much of it as him! Thirty-one big leaf bags total, maybe a fifth attributable to me?)