Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is Food Addiction Real?

I think it is.
I think it's the only thing that can explain why in the sam hill I can't just buy a package of figs without eating the entire package in an hour and being miserable for a day and spending inordinate amounts of time in the bathroom - ONLY to go to the store and do it all over again, over and over.
With each package I tell myself - "OK Jayme - now THIS time - you will eat two a day, and enjoy them, and make them last.  For God's sake woman, you are smart, you have common sense, and you know that if you eat the entire package today, you'll be miserable."  Oh, the conversations that I have in my head.  How I scold myself, how I totally tell myself that 'this time will be different', and I buy the figs, saying "now, if you do it again - you can't EVER buy them again!". 
 Idle threats. 
So, now what?
I'm not entirely sure.
Common sense and maturity would tell me that there are just certain things that I can't really have around the house.  Immediately, my brain will tell me 'oh that's absurd!  You can't live like that!  Moderation!  You CAN just have a little!"
And then I do a fig cleanse for the third time this month, and I'm reminded - "um, no - I can't".
I've done a lot of studying about it - and I'll not go into detail - but there truly is a chemical dance going on in your brain with your dopamine receptors when you eat.
I think the sooner I just accept this as my reality - the better off I'll be.  Somedays, I do.  All is fine in my world when I do.  Other times, I do not.  I get mad, I get sad.
I think food addiction is real - and I think we've all become physiologically addicted to processed foods.  We can't imagine life without them.  When my friends gasp and look at me in awe and say 'Oh ma did you do it?'  I proceed to tell them, and usually - more often than not, they say "wow, I could never do that.  I have to have _____________."  Trust me when I tell you - I have ridden the merry-go-round of 'listening to my body' and working through making peace with food.  I have proven OVER AND OVER again, that I cannot listen to my body.  My 'body' will tell me "oh, you are hungry!  Why - wouldn't some M & M's be great?"  and then my 'body' will tell me - "Yes!  They would!  Let's have them for lunch!"  I am then left feeling depressed, no energy, and hungry again in an hour from blood sugar fluctuations.

I no longer 'listen to my body'.  I'm the adult.  My mind is the boss.  I now 'tell' my 'body' what it's getting, not the other way around.
100lbs down?
I'd say it's working.

See, for me - now - it's not so much the Dairy Queen, junk food, fried foods anymore - it's the dried fruits, nuts, fruit, etc.  It's not uncommon for me to eat an entire watermelon in one day m'self if I do not check myself.  If I buy two pounds of pistachios - I will eat two pounds of pistachios.  Today.

Daily I'm reminded that I am a food addict. Daily I have to work through compulsive food behaviors such as hankering to go to the grocery store every dang day, constantly having something in my mouth, hiding and eating, and spending time on the Internet looking at food porn. Blasted Pinterest!

I used to feel really crappy and sad about being a food addict until I had this thought the realm of addictions...which one would I want? Would I want to be an alcoholic? Would I want to destroy mine and my families life, not be able to function in society, die alone in an efficiency apartment on food stamps from a liver disease? (ok, that's dramatic - but you get the picture). What about gambling? Imagine the havoc wreaked on my life if as soon as my husband's paycheck was deposited in the bank - I hit the boats and tore through it all. I cringe to think of that. What about sex? What if I were a sex addict and I was meeting strangers from the Internet at the Motel 6 in Sheboygan, WI? What a destructive addiction.

So. I'm a food addict. Whooptie frickin' do. Again, not to make light of this addiction. This addiction isn't as 'quickly debilitating' as the others perhaps, but it will suck the life out of your days faster than judges change on American Idol. It will be a slow painful death of heart disease, self loathing, embarrassment, depression, diabetes, and ultimate premature death, and burial in an extra wide casket. Sadly, I imagine by the time you do pass, you are emotionally, mentally and physically ready to give up the ghost.

What does abstinence from junk food, food that triggers me to overeat, give me? Sanity, a slender figure, happiness, energy and peace. Like Wind in His Hair from Dances with Wolves said 'Good trade'. Sure, I still have days where I find myself blowing up balloons for the pity party - and then I think of Sheboygan, efficiency apartments and smoky gambling boats. It's usually right about then that that my heart is filled with a fullness of gratitude like you've never known.

What is your opinion?  I think it could be a heated subject.
If you have a notion - you could Google food addiction and take a test to see if you have symptoms of food addiction - or I have my own...why not take this one?
I can seriously answer yes to everyone of them.

Do you salivate when you hear 'jelly beans'?

Does spending an afternoon in the cookbook section of Barnes and Nobles with a scone and a latte from Starbucks sound like your idea of heaven?

Do you have fantasies of rolling naked in your favorite food?  Swimming in a pool full of Skittles?
Did you just salivate when I said Skittles?

Is grocery shopping one of your favorite pasttimes?

Have you bought cookies for your family, but they never got a chance to eat them, because you ate them on the way home from the store?

I could go on. 
And on.

Open your mind to the possibility that your weight problem could be something besides a lack of willpower.

I think food addiction is real.

(PS - Don't miss out on the incredible pricing right now on The Leanness Lifestyle University - see the last post for information.  Truly, life changing!)


  1. "I no longer 'listen to my body'. I'm the adult. My mind is the boss. I now 'tell' my 'body' what it's getting, not the other way around."

    Thanks Jayme, you mentioned this on your journey to lose weight, in a post on your other blog. . . and it has really stuck with me.

    Stopping and talking to yourself really does help, it makes everyone in line at Starbucks look at you funny, but it really works, "Do you really want that?" "You know your going to be sad about eating it in 15 minutes from now. . . it's not worth it. . .carry on"

    Thanks. . . great post!

  2. I agree. Food addiction is very real. You are so right. I really needed to read this tonight. Thank you

  3. This is the truth girl. I say I would like to lie in the cake pan and eat my way out. And I would but then I would be sick. I am so glad you took me to LLU. You helped me save my life. I am glad to be on this journey with you my dear. xoxo

  4. How bout this for food addiction...buying six cupcakes for a ladies tea, eating 4 of them, and having to rush out & buy six more. Or the yearly multiple trips for halloween candy b/c I can't stand it & WONT stay out of it. You'd think I'd just be smart and buy circus peanuts or cracker jacks or some other crap I don't eat, but no, I'm too prideful & want too badly to be known as one the house w/the "good" candy...b/c that's important in life right?
    Food addiction is definitely real. I luckily had enough activity and metabolism in my teens & twenties that my ridiculous eating didn't show on my thighs or my cheeks (both sets)...but reality set in around the age of thrity & it's been a sugar induced, lethargic down hill slide into obesity every since.
    The realization that frequently the things I long for (food especially)are not what is best for me has been a long time coming. I'm determind (sometimes I REdetermine) not to forget.

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  6. "See, for me - now - it's not so much the Dairy Queen, junk food, fried foods anymore - it's the dried fruits, nuts, fruit, etc."

    OMG- are you in my head or what? Some unsalted dry roasted almonds mixed with some cranberries is my current obsession.. I can pass on the cakes, cookies, fries, chips etc.... but somehow the cranberry/almond combo is like crack to me. I keep my obsession to once a week, and the portion (somewhat) reasonable, but I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't just give them up altogether...

    Great post, Jayms.

    Chris (Your Canadian Friend)

  7. So happy to be learnin' the LL life- thanks for taking me on!!

  8. Sometimes abstinence is easier than moderation.

    On the days that a trigger food is screaming my name, I have to repeat that over and over and over again because there is no such thing as 'just one', not for me.

  9. Hi Jayme!

    Fellow food addict here. Not in the phase of recovery yet - but, I'm on the path. Thank you for this blog site. You've motivated me to track my own progress and try to 'crack this nut' open.

    Food addiction is real.


  10. Hi Jayme,
    I stumbled upon your blog while surfing Pinterest. I am 51 this year and I have never been heavier! For months now I have been loathing myself for my obesity, gluttony, lack of self-control and depression. Food addict? I think I am.... I think what you have accomplished is wonderful but for myself, I am worried about my next step

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