Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm an addict

I've always known that I have an unhealthy relationship with food1. I don't think, until now, that I've ever fully accepted that it's an addiction. I've often debated the food addiction vs. drug/alcohol addiction. It is my belief that food addiction is far harder to conquer than drug/alcohol addiction. I can't remove food from my life like I can cigs or vodka. I have to eat, I don't have to smoke or drink. If I was found passed out with powder on my face I would be judged less and probably applauded by some if it was from cocaine and not donuts. A fat girl bellied up to a pint of Ben & Jerry's disgusts more people than a cracked out tweaker slapping an arm for a vein. There are a lot of drug and alcohol addicts that function in life quite well without anyone knowing there is a problem. I cannot hide my problem. There are no eye drops that make me look thin. For me, even if I keep all the bad stuff out of the house, there are 25 dealers (some open 24 hours a day) within a mile of my house.

Here is how we are similar. When we are jonesing for our drug of choice we get anxious. If I start craving something I will start feeling tense and I will be consumed by it. We all know what we're doing to our bodies, health, and lives...we just don't care. At least not enough to stop the destructive behavior. Sometimes we get our fixes without even being aware of what we're doing. We sometimes frantically get our high, and then the second we are done, we are overcome with debilitating guilt...until we're not, then we do it again. We often try to quit cold-turkey, checking ourselves into rehab or joining a gym and writing blog entries about how different it is this time. We might even mean it. We try. We might even have a brief stint of success...until we don't. Most of the time, our family and friends don't understand why we can't just fix it. My sister often says "I know you can do it. You've done it before." She's referring to the few times that I've lost 40 or so pounds. I appreciate her faith, but what she fails to realize is, with every "relapse" it gets ten times harder. I lose a little piece of me every time I fail and I fail every day. She and I don't have the same relationship with food2. If my sister struggles with her weight I believe it has more to do with time than a full-fledged addiction3.

What I know about me, for now, is that, like most addicts, I will never conquer this beast. I will fight it every day for the rest of my life. I will wake up every day and have to make a conscious effort to do the right thing. If an alcoholic with five years of sobriety can relapse after one beer, I can easily do the same thing. I need to start looking at food differently. I need to exercise every day. I need to accept that this is how it is and stop feeling like it's not fair. I need to be addicted to a healthy lifestyle. To help with this process I am going to introduce another addiction...lil electronic gadgets. I'm getting a Bodybugg. You know, the little armband things they wear on Biggest Loser that helps you keep track of whether or not you're burning more calories than you're eating? I've wanted one since Biggest Loser started. Now is the time. I'm getting hooked up next week. I was online until about 2am looking at the site and starting to set things up. Not quite sure what all is involved, but I think you know you'll be hearing about it.

1 I like to state all things blindingly obvious.
2 I know this because she often has ice cream in her freezer with ice crystals on it. This is unheard of in my world. It is also verging on grounds for being excommunicated from the family.
3 She reads this so she might just tell me to blow it out my ass.

1 comment:

Diana said...

Love the footnotes. :)

Oddly my sister is the same as your sister. She fights her weight, but she's a.) never had a real weight problem like my 100+ pounds I had to lose. Maybe 30 or 40 for her. 2.) she has cookies, candy, ice cream, you name it, in her house for her grandkids. She never touches the stuff.

My sister is not addicted to food. I am like you, an addict.

So here's the best kept secret on how to beat these cravings. I've been doing it for a few weeks and I think I'm on to something. Honest to God, this is the first time in like forever that I'm not craving sweets and everything under the sun.

I've been following Lyn's Escape from Obesity as she's blogged about MediFast. No, NOT MediFast, but we can do almost the exact same diet on our own with real food. More protein, less carbs. Not no carbs, but less than Weight Watchers suggests.

It's basically Weight Watchers filling foods, but still tracking.

The key I think is to cut the carbs down, only whole grains and totally, cut out as much processed food as possible. Absolutely no Weight Watcher ice cream bars or their stupid one-Point bars they sell (#1 ingredient it corn syrup, #2 is sugar - should be illegal!).

Be sure to get enough protein. Also smaller meals more often. Don't let yourself get starving hungry. A little hungry is good, starving hungry is bad. Then you totally lose control and don't give a damn about anything.

Kelly - you can so do this. I know you can.

Sorry I wrote a book. You probably already know all this stuff, but after 40 years of dieting, I'm just figuring out what actually might work for me (and maybe you too). :) I'm rooting for you!

Oh - send Lyn an email that you want to be on her Bethany Memorial blogroll. You'll get a bunch of supporters besides just me. :)

Bethany's memorial blogroll website -