Saturday, April 23, 2011

What is Eating Me?

I am getting tired of watching the shows that deal with weight loss. They go on low calorie diets that are prepared for them, there is no other food available to tempt them, they workout several hours a day and lose huge amounts of weight every week. That is not real life and as I am often inspired by their stories, I also get discouraged because when I see those types of results it makes me feel inadequate when I lose 1 or 2 pounds a week. I am watching the show Addicted to Food on the Oprah Winfrey Network and it is very emotional. It is not an exercise show, they don't have trainers or are they taught how to eat. It is dealing with the addiction. The interesting part of this show is that there are not only overweight people but thin people that are anorexic/bulimic because they are addicted too. Food has become a symptom of the underlying disease. The basic belief is; it is not what you’re eating, but what’s eating you.

These last weeks I have been coming to terms with my addiction and the resulting health problems. I have often had controversial feelings in believing that addiction is a disease. Don't get me wrong, I am not minimizing addiction in any way. I have seen my share of friends and family members destroy their lives with addiction and I have watched many go through the difficult and painful process of overcoming them. It is no walk in the park. I have always felt that a disease is something you caught or developed like cancer or chicken pox. I have faced my own nicotine addiction and after several attempts I managed to conquer it but it didn't feel like a disease to me. Now that I am coming to terms with my food addiction I am re-thinking the disease factor.

I think it is more of a disease like Bipolar Disorder or OCD. It is in the mind not the body. There are feelings that come over me when I am eating for other reasons than hunger. I think it is the same feeling that "cutters" get when they cut themselves. An oblivion. An escape.

What are the attributes of one who self-mutilates? They are not generally trying to end their life but harming themselves as a coping mechanism to relieve emotional pain or discomfort. There is self-loathing and disassociation.

OMG! you could replace "self-injury" with "eating", follow it up with guilt and that is me in a nutshell! So is this the first step? Admitting I am helpless over my addiction? I think I have taken this step before but it didn't make a difference. This time it is. From what I have gathered by watching shows that deal with addiction, the addict doesn't want help until they reach a point where their addiction has caused big problems in their life, such as loss of job, home, legal problems and damaged relationships. Why would they? Up until that point, they are having a good time. That is when they realize what they have done to their lives and decide they need help. Well, that is exactly what happened to me! All this time I have been feeding my addiction and it was when a serious health problem surfaced that I realized I needed help. My name is Jamie and I am an addict. So, now what?

My doctor has sent me to a nutritionist to learn a whole new way to eat. Normally I would count calories and get more exercise, but now I have a diabetes wrench thrown in the mix. I have to, not only, be aware of calories I have to be aware of the foods that spike my blood sugar. Not to mention testing my blood, and logging the results along with logging what I eat and my exercise.

But what about the mental part? I go to t.o.p.s. which is a support group and that helps and pouring my thoughts out on this blog does too. I am learning to slow down and think about my food choices and I find that I enjoy my meals much more. I still have a long road ahead but I think I am finally seeing the big picture. Boy! it sure is going to be a lot of work to get healthy.

**My week in review:

*Tracking 6 - getting better!
*Exercise 9 - I walked most days but I think I need to incorporate a little more activity in my days
*Eating - 5 - I was good with the things I ate but I feel I still need to work on portion control

*lost .25 pound


  1. It sure is an addiction...and the hardest one to kick. We HAVE to eat to can live without the other addictions.
    I interned at a local shelter for women overcoming addiction and trying to get their lives back a few years ago...they simply replaced the addiction to drugs with an addiction to religion. This worked about 75 percent of the time.
    I think most addicts who want to survive do the same thing. I'm working on becoming addicted to bicycle riding and nail painting...oh wait, got the nail painting down already. Can't eat when you're doing your nails! :)
    I hope you'll learn to recognize when you're heading down the path you outlined above and take steps to turn it around before the soothing behavior takes hold.
    You're doing really well, it's more about awareness. :)

  2. I agree, we often replace one addiction with another and I think that is good, especially if the replacement is positive. I'm working on finding a good replacement. I like to knit and, like nail painting, it is hard to eat while you are doing it. I like bike riding too, maybe I'll take a few rides and see how it goes. I think I may becoming addicted to blogging, LOL!

    I like your comment about "soothing behavior". I did not look at it with those particular words and it really makes an impression! I am going to think about that when I am struggling with a choice...Thank you

  3. I'm glad to have given you some thoughts to consider. :) You certainly give me a fair share!
    Am I mistaken or, did you once like to write poetry?

  4. No, I did not write any poetry, mostly because I didn't have enough confidence in myself. I have actually been toying with the idea. You may have remembered my Aunt Vivienne's poetry. I talked about it often and read it a lot.