Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Food Addicts Diary

No one wants to admit that food can be an addiction. We would all like to think that all overweight people are just too weak or dumb to lose the weight. Laziness and ignorance contribute to many people's problems with their weight but for some people, me for example, have an addiction. And its not one of those cute "I'm addicted to chocolate" addictions. This is hard core, life consuming addiction. Every single day is a struggle. People have sympathy for drug and alcohol addiction. Most people have been affected by it in some way. Its terrifying watching that person deteriorate. But what you may not see is the person next to them. They may be eating a normal meal in front of you, they smile, they get on with their lives, they are productive members of society. But as you eat, they are in a personal hell of their own. That one meal is a string of meals that they have obsessed over, they may have planned their whole morning around it, they may feel guilty about it because they know they can't stop at full, they wonder the whole time if it will look bad if they have dessert, and what if no one else wants it. Its embarrassing to eat a whole dessert by yourself but sometimes it seems there is no other choice. And once the meal is over, the shame begins. The promises to eat better later, or tomorrow, or next week, or after that party. Don't be fooled, food addiction is real and it is insidious. There is no sympathy, there is no support and the most absolutely cruel thing about it is, there is no such thing as cold turkey. It would be considered cruel and unthinkable to make a drug addict smoke a pipe 3 times a day and only 3 times a day but tell them they can never have more than that. It would seem impossible to tell an alcoholic that they have to have a glass of wine at every meal but thats all they can ever have. I can't walk away from food. I can't "just say no." It's everywhere and its essential to live. So what then? What happens when you decide to conquer food addiction. Well so far its seems like you take obsession to a new level. A level that never seems to get easier. Its easy to obsess about chocolate cake and thinking about it all day can seem downright normal. But to obsess about not obsessing about chocolate cake and having to obsess about vegetables and portion sizes is absolutely horrible. I've heard that you have to just take it one battle at a time and that eventually the battles get easier. I just hope I'm strong enough to get that far. Because if life wasn't hard enough, I just happen to have AD/HD. So obsessing gets a whole new helper. My mind is a battlefield and its a war with not just food but how I think about it. Basically, I'm a f-ing mess.

As is always the truth, journaling can help one get out all those feelings trapped inside your head. But sometimes its nice to feel like someone is listening. Now I can't ever guarantee that one single person but me will ever read it, but if one person feels less alone, or one person understands someone else's struggle a little bit better then that would be awesome. Thanks for reading.

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