“Hi, my name is Angie…and I’m a food addict.”
It’s clear to me that I am, considering that I’m triggered by the slightest tip of the emotional pendulum. Feeling off balance? I’ll have a snack. Better yet, let me just go get a bunch of sweet and or salty and or fatty “treats” and down them one after the other. This is the kind of addiction that can’t be totally escaped from because, in our society, food and food messaging is everywhere and it’s big business.
There have been times (too many to count) when I have been full to the point of pain, and still ate till the food was gone.
But it’s not addiction to any food, because I’ve never craved a salad the way I have french fries. It’s what the particular food contains: refined sugars, high fat content and excess salt. Not to mention the chemicals added to make a food more enticing (msg). If they can make you want it more, you’ll buy more. And that’s the bottom line. Sales. Profit. The end justifies the means.
The foods that I consider health-promoting to the highest degree are whole, fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables, with small amounts of nuts and seeds added. Food directly from nature, created by God for man, unprocessed, un-“improved.” These are the foods that the cells understand and can work with to create a vibrant body and mind. Just about anything else slowly leads to disease. The more foods we can eliminate from the diet that do not fall into this range, the healthier we will become. Just look at Mike Arnstein, Kristina Carillo-Bucaram, Storm Talifero, and many others.
So why, knowing all this, has it been so hard to change? Why have I held onto this knowledge for so long (since ’09) but never put the information into action?
For one, I’ve allowed myself to fall victim to the physiological effects of the chemical additives, and second, as a creature of habit, when challenged emotionally or simply tempted by what’s around me, I still fall back into the old familiar behavior pattern, even though I have new knowledge.
Because, let’s face it, new behaviors aren’t satisfying like the old ones. At least not right away.
And there’s this little pleasure-seeking bug in my brain that tries to hold on to what’s instantly gratifying, even if the feeling is short-lived, because maybe some other important aspects of life aren’t all that pleasurable.
But knowledge is like the sun’s rays. Once they come in, they’re in. And I have never been able to let go of the thought that I could be 1000% more energetic and radiant.
And after all these years of trying, failing and trying again, I’ve come to understand more about how my mind and body works, and which thoughts are triggers.
For instance, two years ago, my birthday was coming up and I was trying to lose some weight for a summer trip to the beach we were going on. I managed to eat an all-raw diet for 19 days, leading up to my birthday. I was pretty proud of myself. But I remember looking in the mirror and not being able to see much change.
Problem #1: the mirror.
So I got a little discouraged. But physically, I felt good. Really good. I remember actually wanting to walk, which was strange for me, because I had always dealt with joint pain and achy legs. That showed me that the 19 days had done something. I had gotten out of my body’s way long enough to do some healing.
So the afternoon of my birthday rolls around, and there weren’t any plans. I wanted to do something, and when you don’t have a plan, you fall into old routines.
Problem #2: no plan.
The only thing I could think of to do was go out to dinner. In my mind, I told myself that I would have the most delicious salad, but telling myself that was like jumping out of an airplane carrying a kite instead of a parachute. My healthy eating momentum wasn’t developed enough. When I got there and smelled all the food, all I wanted to do was eat.
Problem #3: denial
And I did. It was a million times harder to go on after that. All the cravings came back stronger. I had fallen back down to the bottom.
Looking back, I can see my missteps. And that’s a great thing because I can use that information to dodge the stumbling blocks next time. The key is to remain wary of them. From this experience, I learned to 1, not look for “results” in the mirror, but to enjoy the positive effects as they come. And 2, as a recovering food addict, I have to know what I’m going to eat ahead of time and 3, not put myself in situations that I’m not strong enough to handle. In essence, I have to know myself.
Stay out of the mirror.
Make a plan and keep it.