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Analyzing a Relapse and Other Brain-Associated Stuff

Sunday, January 13, 2019

My best friend is also a compulsive overeater/food addict and she and I have joined forces to really try to figure out what the heck this disorder is all about. She was recently listening to a podcast that talked about our disorder being the same as an illness like diabetes. She said that asking someone like us to just STOP eating when we get a compulsion is like asking someone with diabetes to "just make more insulin, you stupid body!" Interesting - and it really does make sense. Because if will power was what it took to lose weight and stop eating, I would have been skinny years ago. I have come to believe that it is, in fact, a disorder rooted in some kind of brain chemistry. She said that brain studies have been done to show that when a food addict eats a twinkie (for example) that parts of the brain literally "light up" in much the same way as a heroin addict has when they get a hit. Holy cow.

Of course, the fighter in me doesn't like that - because I can see where many people would say, "Oh well - guess I just need to accept that I will always be like this." HELL NO. What it means is that I have to change the way I eat. CHANGE THE WAY I EAT PROBABLY FOREVER. Case in point - I have been "abstinent" from carbs (bad ones, anyway) for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, I ate fried shrimp and three hush puppies. I didn't overeat, but I did know that I really shouldn't have eaten all that fried breading and those hush puppies. About an hour after? MAJOR SUGAR CRASH. My body was a total mess the rest of the eating. I couldn't sleep. So I got up (danger zone) and ended up eating a peanut butter/butter and banana sandwich in a very COMPULSIVE manner. I felt sick and I did not enjoy it. The whole time, my sane self was saying, "Don't do it!"

Today? I feel like crap still. Sluggish, tired, no energy and borderline depressed. The rain outside isn't helping at all. BUT - I know why and I know how to come out of it on top. Today, I'm focusing on protein, eating only when hungry, and I will be active. I'm leaving to go out of town tomorrow for work and I will be in a hotel room (former danger zone - YES FORMER). I will assure my success by continuing to be on Spark daily, do my Spark points (I'm telling you - going down that list is an AWESOME way to continue to recover), plan my daily exercise and take exercise clothes, go to or watch OA meetings, and continue to check in with my friend daily. I'm also going to start tracking my "sober" days on here. Today I'll begin again.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CAROLJ35
    Very interesting blog! A constant lifelong battle for so many of us.
    268 days ago
    I really appreciate you sharing so honestly. Your ability to articulate your experience so clearly really helps me to see and understand the struggle, and I thank you for that.

    I'm not "compulsive" in any way... I don't ever feel 'driven' with regard to food... my issues are physiological in nature, rooted in gut health and metabolic/hormonal dysfunction, yet this resonated deeply with me: " I feel like crap still. Sluggish, tired, no energy and borderline depressed." This is what happens when I'm exposed to food I can't physically tolerate/properly metabolize... it's the same for my daughter, though even more dramatically obvious. That you feel physically/mentally the same way I do under these circumstances, I wonder if you may not have similar issues, too. Brain chemistry is greatly affected by the gut... my daughter's issues with regard to anxiety, depression, lack of impulse control and agitation are non-existent as long as she fuels her body in a certain way. As long as we eat to care for our guts, our brains/hormones follow suit and cease to create an issue.

    I'm very glad that you've found a model that makes sense to you, and which allows you to take control of your journey. I hope you'll also look into how what you eat can make it easier to control when, how much, why you eat.

    You do have this!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    273 days ago
    Sobriety is possible! It takes work but it is worth it! I've been sober almost a year. email me if you wanna 'talk'.
    273 days ago
    Yes! Truth. The same pleasure center that lights up for a drug or alcohol addicted person lights up for a food addict. And you have the message straight! It is all about changing how and what we eat and exercising. AS a type 2 diabetic, it means cutting out sugar, flour and processed foods. Simple carbs (white flour, white sugar, white potatoes, white rice) And then it’s all about replacing these w/things like almond or coconut flour, sweet potatoes, brown rice – things that are smoother in the way sugars are metabolized – no sky rocket high then crash to the ground. IT is not easy, but your health will thank you. It really IS a forever thing.

    Good for you for tracking your food-sober days! It helps. Any accountability helps.

    274 days ago
    Thank you
    274 days ago
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