Posted tagged ‘food addiction’

I Want to Stop Wanting

May 20, 2013

In recognition of my carb addiction I am now attacking it with a different approach, perhaps it is genetically manipulated wheat and wheat gluten which is ubiquitous in all things delicious which makes my craving heart beat faster.  I am experimenting on myself by eliminating wheat and wheat gluten for about a month to see if I notice a difference.

While shopping with my kids, getting them some pretzels in the gluten free aisle (which cost almost $6) they asked why the healthy stuff cost so much.

I told them that processed foods can be made cheaply.  They taste good but they don’t stay with you.  I have had my share of Fritos.  The first one is always glorious but the 20th, not so much.

You may find this article enlightening.  General Mills apparently said to make healthier food it would cost the company over $500 billion a year.  However, to live as an obese person, it costs roughly $8,000 a year.  And more than 80% of America is obese.  No wonder healthcare costs continue to rise.  So many diseases can be controlled or eliminated by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

For some time I’ve known that your more basic and healthiest foods are on the outside aisles of the grocery store.  The sneaky good stuff that has to tell you it’s healthy is on the interior aisles.

My kids are almost out of school for the summer.  I don’t want to give them a legacy of poor choices.  I don’t want them to ruled by their stomachs as they nosh their way into adulthood.  They are not going to be very happy with me.

But I’m not very happy with me.  I want to stop wanting.  I wish the food industry would help me on that but I think I have to go it alone.


Recovery from Addiction Part 4

June 24, 2012

Jane Ellen and Paul talk about food and alcohol addiction

Recovery from Addiction Part 2

June 24, 2012

Jane Ellen and Paul talk about food alcohol addiction

Recovery From Addiction Part 1

June 24, 2012

Jane Ellen and Paul talking about food and alcohol addiction while going through the 12 steps of AA


May 11, 2012

I am a fixer.  If it’s broken, I fix it.  If I’m sick, I get a doctor to fix it.  Everything can be fixed.  That’s how I approach life.  When my weight was out of control ten years ago I had bariatric surgery and fixed it.  Today I am a healthy weight and no I’m not going to share.  Because that’s not the point.  Even though I have had surgery, I still battle with an overwhelming desire to eat food that calls to me.  I have been told by three different doctors that I have an addiction to food, specifically to carbohydrates.  I have been told that I should steer clear of carbs just like a recovering alcoholic avoids liquor.  And yet, knowing that, just made my desire worse.

Who doesn’t overeat the night before their alleged diet begins?  You have to cram it all in because you’ll never have it again.  But you see, you do have it again.  Eventually.  And the cycle begins anew.  What surprises me is with all this talk of addiction no one, until recently, suggested I read any material from Alcoholics Anonymous.  Perhaps because I do not have an addiction to alcohol.  Perhaps that’s why the obvious was consistently overlooked by my physicians and by me.  Addiction is addiction.  It just takes a different delivery system for different people.

And so I was turned on to the AA paragraph on acceptance.  Here it is:  “It’s from Page 449 (first 3 editions, pg. 417 in the 4th edition) of Alcoholics Anonymous or The Big Book as it is widely known:

      And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

For me, serenity began when I learned to distinguish between those things that I could change and those I could not. When I admitted that there were people, places, things, and situations over which I was totally powerless, those things began to lose their power over me. I learned that everyone has the right to make their own mistakes, and learn from them, without my interference, judgement, or assistance!

The key to my serenity is acceptance. But “acceptance” does not mean that I have to like it, condone it, or even ignore it. What it does mean is I am powerless to do anything about it… and I have to accept that fact.

Nor does it mean that I have to accept “unacceptable behavoir.” Today I have choices. I no longer have to accept abuse in any form. I can choose to walk away, even if it means stepping out into the unknown. I no longer have to fear “change” or the unknown. I can merely accept it as part of the journey.

I spent years trying to change things in my life over which I was powerless, but did not know it. I threatened, scolded, manipulated, coerced, pleaded, begged, pouted, bribed and generally tried everything I could to make the situation better — only watch as things always got progressively worse.

I spent so much time trying to change the things I could not change, it never once occurred to me to simply accept them as they were.

Now when things in my life are not going the way I planned them, or downright bad things happen, I can remind myself that whatever is going on is not happening by accident. There’s a reason for it and it is not always meant for me to know what that reason is.

That change in attitude has been the key to happiness for me. I know I am not the only who has found that serenity.”

You don’t have to be an alcoholic, or even believe in God, to get what these sentences mean.  For me it was a classic a-ha moment.  Because I am a fixer, I was always trying to change things.  Always.  I have spent the last ten years trying to cure myself of an overwhelming desire for food.  A desire that only a true addict can understand.  It eats away at the inside of you.  You know if you just have that one thing, everything else will be better.  Until you do have it, and then the remorse sets in.  Remorse is a bitch.

So what am I doing to change things since I have seen the light of these few lines from AA’s Big Book?  I’ve realized I will always be addicted to these foods.  That’s not going to stop.  It is just one more bit of guidance to help me think why am I eating whatever it is I am eating.  For a bariatric patient, the path is quite clear.  Eat your protein first and get 60 grams of protein in every day–at the very minimum.  I don’t have to wonder if I should eat a pretzel or a bite of hot, delicious, buttery roll.  I shouldn’t.  Ever.  Not even on my birthday.  Not.  Ever.  No good will come of it.

By reading the paragraphs on acceptance it reminds me that even though I will always be a food addict, I do have the power to control myself.  I do not have to give in to emotional eating.  I just don’t.  The emotions will pass.  I don’t have to ruin my health by stress-eating.  Or boredom-eating.  Or it’s-delicious eating.  I can control it.

It puts the power back in my hands.  Accept there is a desire and choose not to give in.  Accept that desire will never disappear, but its hold upon you should lessen over time.  Accept that you can change if you want to.  Accept that you’re not broken.  Accept that an entire bowl of popcorn will not make you happy.  Ever.  That’s a whole lot of acceptance to take in at once.  I know.  But it’s a start.


January 1, 2012

Every day I thought I’d get better, be fitter, be thinner.  Every day since I last blogged I failed.  I hear my friends say, “you’re too hard on yourself.”  Which is awesome, that’s what your friends are supposed to say.  Unless of course you’re wallowing in food and self pity, then they need to smack you about and say “wake the hell up out of this before you ruin all your hard work!”  It’s a fine line, being a friend, especially a friend of a Type A personality food addict.

I’m in the same mindset I once was.  Just even out that slice of cake.  Because of my surgery I am unable to eat the slice, but I can even the hell out of it.  Just this and just that add up.  Now, I’m not a complete and total idiot.  I haven’t gained 100 pounds or anything insane.  I am just living in a state of constant disappointment with my own behaviors, which is never good.  I remember what it was like to be so large I could not cross my legs.  Inwardly flipping off people who were complaining about needing to lose 10 to 20 pounds.  Now I’m one of those people.  I just have a little to lose.  And yet, in my mind, it is as mountainous as when I had 200 to lose.

However, I do have this going for me.  I know that I won’t give up.  I know I never have.  I may sicken myself, but who isn’t full of self-loathing, eh?  I do not write this as a New Year’s Resolution.  My need to fill an empty hole with food is not something that will magically be stuffed by a new date on the calendar.  I write this as a reminder.  Do what has to be done–and so I shall have give it a go, again.   Two people very close to me have commented upon something I thought was either unimportant, hidden, or both.  Perhaps it is none of those things.  One told me, “I’ve seen you get up after you’re down long after I would’ve called it quits, long after anyone else would’ve called it quits.  You’re not a quitter.”  The other, more succinctly said, “For the spirit you display, for your attitude to life — you are unbroken.”

I think most actions, especially addictive ones, can be rationalized (to an extent) because everyone has a story and to me, all stories are compelling.   Regarding just one piece of my own story, I have come to realize that I am no longer the girl who lost 200 pounds.  I am the woman who remains unbroken.


August 7, 2011

Without struggle there is no strength.  No pain no gain.  Ruffles have ridges.  Surgery is just a tool (I said tool, it’s still funny).  Only you can change you.  You have to want to change.  Carbs are delicious (that one’s mine, feel free to borrow it).  Water-loading good, water-boarding bad.  OK, that’s not a cliché.  I just thought of it.  Imagine all the people who are searching water-boarding on the internet and stumble across this.  They shall be disappointed.  I had a self-fulfilling prophecy.  About two months ago, when I found out that I as going to be on a reality show, I said I have plenty of time to really lose these 15 pounds.  Bet I won’t do it.  Aaaaaand, I was right.  Now, it’s not convenient to duct tape myself for an entire week, but duct tape now comes in ecru so I am considering it.  We went to our county  fair the other day and my husband took a picture of me sitting in one of those egg things that’s part of the Tilt-A-Whirl.  I said who is that fat woman with your daughters?  The next day he pulled out a video of me after I had lost 100 lbs. and that was revolting.  So, in comparison, I am not fat.  However, I am driven by my whims, fancies and desires.  I like instant gratification.  I always have.  I eat right for a day or two  and wonder why I’m not at my smallest immediately.  I’ve read what addicts should and shouldn’t do.  I don’t get that flashcards suggestion though.  Yeah, I don’t see me doing that.   When you want it, in my case some sort of food, think about how you’ll feel after.  OK, a handful of chocolate chips are wonderful.  No, really, have you not tried them?  What’s wrong with you?   Weird-o.  Especially if I press them into the roof of my mouth, let them melt a little, then drink a little iced coffee and have the tastes mingle.  Good.  Times.  How do I feel when I’m doing it?  Fantastic.  In return, it makes my brain crave more.  I rationally know this.  So I should never do it.  Yet that high is so amazing.  Yeah, tough call.  Hard to believe that  nine years after my gastric bypass I still have to say to myself what is more important?   my totally hot clothes (oh, they’re smokin’) or a mouthful of deliciousness?  Still there are times I waver.  Like when I’m happy, or sad, or tired.  Or when I’m breathing.  But this time I have realized one thing.  I am not a complete and total failure.  I do a lot of good.  I also know that when I get these 15 lbs. off, again, I will self-loathe, again.  Because I know me.  And that is something.