January 12, 2009 at 10:07 am
It’s said that recovering alcoholics and former smokers put their tigers in cages, whereas food addicts take theirs out for walks 3 times a day. One of the quarks of food addiction is that food is a required substance. People often ask how do you cope with being addicted to something you need?
Well, the answer is that food addicts are not addicted to all foods. I’ve never heard of someone being addicted to broccoli. It might taste good roasted with olive oil and tossed with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, but I’ve never sat on my couch thinking, “Oh my God, I want to binge on broccoli!” And even if I did, it’s broccoli. How much damage can a load of cruciferous vegetables really do? I’m not going to start sprouting green florets out of my head.
Most food addicts have trigger foods which are easy to identify because you usually find yourself plunged face first into them. Some people have weaknesses for salty snacks, but I am mostly undone by sweet foods, especially the crunchy [...]
January 5, 2009 at 8:43 am
Before I realized I was a food addict, I’d been doing some reading on and off about the condition. The major sticking point for me was the same as some people’s responses in my post, which were, “Can you really be addicted to something that is essential to survive?” After all, we never hear about oxygen addicts. “That Bob, he just can’t get enough air! I wish he’d just hold his breath once in awhile.” I wondered if there were better terms for the condition, like “compulsive overeater” or “binge eater” or “Piggy McEatsalot.”
Ultimately, I decided the name doesn’t matter. A name is just a box we put ideas in. What matters is that I understand my relationship with food. Then I can start figuring out the consequences my environment, my thoughts, and my actions have on that relationship and make plans to manipulate these things to my best advantage. I don’t know what the official definition of addiction is, though I could look it up on dictionary.com or the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical [...]
December 16, 2008 at 9:04 am
They say addiction starts with a broken promise. You promise not to have a third drink and then you wake up the next morning with no memory of falling asleep in your own barf. You promise not to have a cigarette and then you’re bumming just one more from a friend. You promise not to overeat on Thanksgiving and then you go back for four pieces of cake and a piece of pie.
The fact that you have to make the promise shows that you have a problem. I’ve never had to promise not to take another drink because I don’t care much for alcohol. It makes my headache worse and I’ve never thought the buzz was worth all the calories. There’s a bottle of vodka that has been in my freezer since July and it will probably still be there next year. That’s how I know I’m not an alcoholic. However, I have often promised myself that I will only eat half the meal at a restaurant and then eaten the whole plate. I’ve promised [...]