Food Addiction – Is it really a thing?
This week has been a tough one. I’m still very emotional after a call from a dearly loved friend who has hit his rock bottom.
I listened as my friend confessed to me, and to himself that he had a problem with substance abuse, that he was no longer in control and that his life had spiraled to a place he didn’t want to be in. He was going into rehab.
I listened to his self loathing as recounted the endless promises he made to himself and others, and then repeatedly broke. I listened as he spoke about the constant bargaining ‘that this is the last time” and then not being able to control himself doing the same over and over, and I listened to how he finally admitted that this problem was bigger than him and he couldn’t handle this on his own and he needed help.
While my friend was talking about all this, I found myself recalling countless conversations with clients over the years who have described the exact same feelings of hopelessness and lack of control in regards to their eating and weight and destructive relationship with food.
There really is no difference between food addiction and drug addiction – addiction is addiction.
Nobody thinks twice about getting together with friends for a night of eating and drinking to excess, it’s actually billed as a fun night out. Can you imagine the raised eyebrows and tut tuts if you invited people over to smoke pot and do lines of cocaine? You would be socially exiled.
And although it is more socially acceptable to over indulge in food, the thing is that the peripheral results are just as devastating as doing drugs – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression and anxiety to name just a few can kill you.
Food addiction certainly kills your self esteem, it kills your happiness and spirit and steals away your joy, food addiction is a living hell for people caught up in it.
So if like my friend you keep finding yourself in the same place, making and breaking the same promises “to start again tomorrow” or to have “ just this one little piece” which turns into the whole packet”, and the never ending story of “I can do this my own, I know what to do” keeps you stuck in the same place and reliving the same cycle, perhaps you need to finally concede and ask for help.
Addiction is not something that people can battle on their own, you need help and support before, during and after the process.
There is never going to be a perfect time to start so stop waiting for one. Your perfect time is now, to take back control and to start living the life you want, rather than merely existing. It won’t be easy, but it will certainly be worth it. I promise.