Battling Food Addictions
Those of us who battle food addictions fight daily with the disease. It seems that no matter how hard we try we see the needle on the bathroom scale climbing to higher numbers. The problem is that many of us live in a fantasy land near a river called denial. If you feel I am pointing a finger at you, I have three ore pointed at myself. I am no stranger to this problem.
I know I’m not alone here with this problem. People with food addictions are like roaches. If you see one, there are sixty more you don’t know about. There is something very wrong with our thinking when you we hungry all the time. There is a chemical reason for the hunger that I will talk about in a minute, but we can control it. We don’t have to give into the hunger. We can channel our thinking and our energies into a positive way and the hunger is managed.
Do you know anyone super obese? I used to be, but I was tiny compared to some. I tipped the scales at 400 pounds. I couldn’t breathe and walk at the same time. I lived on oxygen because my heart could not pump enough oxygen that my huge body required. I came to know about many cases of sober living in nj with a similar story like me.
I couldn’t blame my morbidly obese condition on my metabolism because it was doing what it was designed by the creator to do. Thyroid problems are not all that common with super obese people. Even people who reach massive weights of 900 pounds and more have a normal metabolism.
Since the beginning of time our bodies has been doing what God intended them to do. We are designed to pack away the calories we don’t need for a time when food is scarce. We are packing energy away-in the form of body fat-for a famine that never comes. In America we live in the land of plenty.
We don’t have to work to forage for food. We don’t have to hunt for our meat, and we don’t have to grind our grain into wheat flour to make bread. Everything is done for us. Everything is prepared in a box and we just pop it into the microwave and presto! It’s done. We don’t spend any calories getting our food, except for the calories burned walking the isles of the supermarket.
I’ve noticed with some of my obese friends, as well as myself, when we get together and talk. None of us are really honest with ourselves. We mindlessly bend our elbows and stuff food into our mouths in the form of snacks and other junk foods. And don’t forget the good stuff! We can over indulge in apples and oranges also.
My girlfriend complained the other day that she gained 7 pounds in two weeks on her diet. She said, “I don’t know what the matter is. I eat 6 oranges every day!” When I listened more to her and asked a few key questions I found out that she was indeed eating the right things but she was overdoing it. She also was feeding the hunger every time she felt it.
Not all hunger signals are really hunger. Many times it is disguised as thirst, or the need to get up and do something else because you are getting board. And sometimes you feel the sensation because you are eating prepared foods that are literally starving your body of nutrients.
The advertisers for food manufacturers target those of us who have a hard time saying “no” to snacks. You remember the potato chip commercial that said, “I bet you can’t eat just one”. I truly believe they meant it too. In our processed foods there are additives that stimulate a chemical in our brain called dopamine. That dopamine is that “feel good” chemical that gives us a high when we eat the treats we love. The more you eat the longer the high. As the high comes down we find something else to eat to feel good again. It is a cycle.
It isn’t only the additives to the processed foods that are the culprit either. That is part of it, but not the entire problem when we buy these processed foods they are nothing more than empty calories. When the food hits the stomach, it immediately is moved out of the stomach and you feel hungry all over again. I believe the food processors know what they are doing. Keep you hungry so you will buy more food!
All is not lost; we can do a lot to help ourselves. We who are obese may never be a size 5, but we can find our “normal” or comfortable weight where we feel good and function well. If you love treats and you don’t want to give them up entirely, you don’t have to. I allow myself one treat a day. This morning it was a honey bun. Other days it might be a candy bar or a cupcake, but it is just one! I eat the treat early in the day at my first snack time, because the calories will be burned off before I go to bed. It felt good when my daughter noticed my weight loss and commented on it.
More and more I see the way to healthy living is balance. I eat what I want but less of it. Instead of eating every time I feel a hunger trigger, which is about 12 plus times a day, I eat 6 small meals and cut off all food at 7 p.m. Making healthy changes in diet and being faithful to your commitment to live well, you will see a change. I am already seeing a change.