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What food addiction is like



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Letting go of addictions is hard.

I'm a food addict. Meaning, I will use food for purposes other than what it is meant for...to the detriment of my quality of life. I medicate myself with it when I'm stressed, bored, sad, want to Celebrate, when I'm angry, when i'm facing a huge decision, when i'm excited....there is always a self-justified reason to eat. And eat again. And again. (and have a little snack) And eat again.

What does using food this way do to my body? A self injurer told me that my use of food was almost exactly like his use of cutting himself. It gave him relief, but it leaves ugly scars. My stretch marks used to look like a bear used me as a clawing post. Big ugly purple lines. Using food this way deteriorates my health and can cause serious illness that can threaten my life. Someone I loved died young of Covid because they used food like I used to. It could have been me.

Sex starts and ends with food, right? A romantic dinner, an aftercare snack. Honey, go get me ice cream.

A bath should have a cup of something and a little something sweet to eat with it. Might as well live it up, I deserve this home spa treatment.

Woke up in the middle of the night? Better have a litttle snack to settle back down so your stomach doesn't keep you up.

Got done doing the shopping...the crowds were awul, I still have to drive home, haul stuff in and put everything away. Who wants to cook? Easier to bring home KFC, and you know what goes great with that? A lemon cake and some Coke and look at the 60% off holiday candy! That's a great deal...lets buy 8 bags for the pantry! Kids will eat it! (they didn't need it either, so I would eat it to spare them)

Speaking of holidays, lets make Grandma's favorite holiday treats...it's to remember Grandma! (not feed my addiction shamlessly)

We're going on a 100 mile two hour car trip? Lets stop twice for fast food, and bring a box of Snacks, too.

Going to the movies? Lets stop at the dollar store and pack our pockets with snacks for $5...instead of paying $20! See how smart that is? We're clever!

Lets have McDonalds for Breakfast, Cracker Barrel for lunch and Chinese for dinner. it's healthy, it has vegetables.

I get on the scale and if I've gained..... I go on a shame spiral and eat

I get on the scale and if I've lost a pound I think....yippee! I bought myself some room in my diet, Let's eat!

Let's be healthy and go apple picking....turns into....let's pick apples for a beautiful artisan homemade pie from the recipe book I found in their gift shop. And while we're at it, lets get cinnamon fried donuts and hot cider. We need to stop on the way home to buy ice cream for the pie.

To hell with it, I bet I can eat an entire bowl of Halloween candy before the kids wake up.

Make bargains that don't make sense. This homemade fresh bread has chia seeds in it. Clearly it is now healthfood. Four servings of healthfood is fine.

When you are addicted, you have this complex pattern of behavior triggered by a million different things. You constantly need to evaluate if you are using food to medicate, cope, escape....or are you using it to build and maintain a healthy body. Am I eating for the right reasons? Am I eating the right foods? In the right amounts?

And the worst part? You can't quit food. If you do, that's another deadly disorder.

You have to make peace with it, get painfully honest about it, and forgive yourself a lot for your screw ups.

You work on breaking the patterns every day. For a long, long time. Maybe forever.

You have to wake up the next day and make the choice to get back on the horse and be accountable. If things start to get out of control, you get to the therapist before it gets worse. You don't obsess about your pride, and you don't beat yourself up over your screw up. You just go to therapy and get back on track.

And you just keep doing that.

If you're lucky, you eventually see all this crap clear enough to get ahead of it most of the time and make better choices. If you work hard, you can beat it. But it's not easy, it's not easy, it's not easy.

Fixing your stomach does NOT fix your head.

But it makes it just a little easier to get to where your head eventually needs to go.

If any of this sounds familiar, I'm rooting for you in your daily fight. I hope you're rooting for me, too. We got this.

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2 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

When you are addicted, you have this complex pattern of behavior triggered by a million different things. You constantly need to evaluate if you are using food to medicate, cope, escape....or are you using it to build and maintain a healthy body. Am I eating for the right reasons? Am I eating the right foods? In the right amounts?

And the worst part? You can't quit food. If you do, that's another deadly disorder.

You have to make peace with it, get painfully honest about it, and forgive yourself a lot for your screw ups.

You work on breaking the patterns every day. For a long, long time. Maybe forever.

You have to wake up the next day and make the choice to get back on the horse and be accountable. If things start to get out of control, you get to the therapist before it gets worse. You don't obsess about your pride, and you don't beat yourself up over your screw up. You just go to therapy and get back on track.

And here I am, thinking I am the fatalistic one, lol.

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Outstanding. Seriously.

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Thank you for your wise advice.

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