So I’m an addict

I never knew food addiction was a real thing until about ten years ago when a friend of mine, who happens to be a psychologist, was a guest on my morning radio show.  I had been given what appeared to be a gorgeous, and large, piece of chocolate that had alcohol on the inside.  I couldn’t have it (of course that amount of alcohol in my gastric bypassed system would have hilarious consequences), as I was at work at the time.  He didn’t want the candy, so he watched me try to give it away.  Eventually, he told me to just throw it away.  I couldn’t.  I said that it deserved a home where someone would give it the love it deserved.  And that’s when my friend told me I was an addict.  He was right.  Last week I was chatting with my bariatric surgeon who said my real problem was carbohydrate addiction.  Well, they are delicious.  Those carbs.  I get high watching butter pooling up on steaming hot Italian bread.  I went to see him because, well, I’ve been feeling craptacular.  The carb addiction was getting the better of me.  When you eat crackers, do you really think of them turning into sugar in your system?  Insulin coverts starch and sugar into energy.  You eat carbs, your insulin gets higher and your blood sugar gets lower.  In turn, this results in a craving for, hey, guess what?  More carbs.  And, even better, it  only occurs in some people.  Had I really thought about it, I would’ve figured this out without studies, without the American Heart Association, without, oh, my doctors telling me this.  It’s obvious, a can of Pringle’s is a single serving.  Now, the actual information may say there’s more than one serving in that can.  But if you’ve ever been alone with a can of Pringle’s, you know as well as I do, it’s just one serving.  I can go for months without eating potato chips.  Put one bag in front of me and the desire kicks in.  And I can’t leave it alone.  On the subtle side, the crackers have been sneaking in.  I have two young children.  I tend to survive on coffee and crackers.  Of course, coffee and crackers do not meet my needs of 60 grams of protein a day.  So I went back to what I never should’ve drifted away from, Amy Cotta’s 6 Weeks to Skinny Jeans program.  Eating that way is how I’m supposed to eat and it makes me feel better.  However.  HOWEVER.  The first few days are a bitch.   Monday I was waiting in line to pick up my oldest from kindergarten.  I had the car in park.  And I was wildly reaching around behind me to search the floor, yes, the floor of the van for a snack (you can usually feed a family of eight off of what you find in the seats and the floor of cars with toddlers, just a theory).  I was crazed.  I found a bite of a pretzel.  I ate it.  (I’m still glad I did it.)  You may find my behaviour revolting.  Eating food off a car floor.  Well, be rational.  Pretzels taste stale even when they’re fresh.  Yet, that’s what addicts do.  There’s always someone digging through trash cans for something in every single crime drama you’ve ever seen.  I asked my doctor if I did meth or smoked if I would be much thinner.  He said yes.  But he was not advising that course of action.  He is a fine man.  And, either way, meth and smoking really do a number on your teeth and skin so, no worries there.  I’m much too vain for that.  As a sidenote, you might like to know that the most popular addiction transference that bariatric patients have is from food to shopping.  My surgeon told me that was more popular than drinking or sex.  I looked at him and said yes, yes I know.  And I would enjoy it even more with the use of his credit card.  I’m still waiting for him to loan it to me.  I’m sure it will happen soon.  I have faith.  Well, how shall I attack this carbohydrate addiction?  I’ve just about eliminated them.  Again.  I know, as I once did with candy, I have to cut them out or I will dream of them, obsesses over them, and eventually binge on them– inasmuch as I am physically capable of binging that is.  The thing is, this really has nothing to do with my bariatric surgery.  I always was a carbohydrate addict.  I just didn’t realize it.  They say knowing is half the battle.  They don’t know the joys of well made French fry.  Sigh.

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2 Comments on “So I’m an addict”

  1. Anita Shank Says:

    Nicely done! I never really thought about having an addiction to carbs until I just read your blog. Crackers are my favorite thing. After all, what harm can they do? They are so small. Then I remembered the short but happy life of a bag of cheetos this week….carry on!

  2. Phil G Says:

    I’ve been doing Atkins-style low carb since around New Years. I think everyone’s reaction to carbs/sugar is dependent on their biology, but everyone has some of it, and it was striking to me, after I had been on it for a few weeks, how much of the time I didn’t feel hungry. I attribute a lot of that to the carb-craving cycle.

    The other part of that, though, was to just relax about the fat and cholesterol. So I’m not hungry, but part of that is because I had a two-egg ham-and-cheese omelette for breakfast with a cocktail of almond milk and about a half-cup of cream in it. Yet I’m losing weight and I’m active. Go fig.

    Everyone’s different, but I think in general, we don’t take the downsides of carbs and sugars seriously enough. In particular, people are eager to demonize candy, but a lot of fruits are just as sugary, and they largely get a free pass. There’s 21g of sugar in a Krackel bar, and 16 in a kiwi fruit. Maybe eating a steak isn’t so bad.

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