When I clicked on the television this morning one of the morning shows was featuring a rehabilitation center. I immediately thought it was a rehab center for drugs and/or alcohol. People were in small groups crying about things like what their addiction has done to their families and other negative ways it has impacted their life. Then I noticed the words at the bottom of the screen, Sugar Addiction.
Candidly, I know what an addiction sugar can be for people, but I was a bit dumbfounded by the immense pain these people were obviously in. I don’t think any of us typically think of food addiction as being as detrimental as alcohol or drug addiction, but for those who suffer it is. In part of the segment they actually showed a brain scan of the the founders head as she drank a sugar laden milk shake. Her brain lit up like the fourth of July, showing that the body was getting extreme pleasure from the sugary treat and that indeed the brain would want that substance again.
I have worked with clients that suffer from food addiction. Mentioning they give up their favorite fat laden or sugary foods sends them into a panic, sometimes tears. They often say something like, well then what is the sense of living? That is a huge statement. They would rather be dead then cut down on fast food or brownies. I find this very sad, as food is where they are deriving most of their joy in life.
I think most everyone on a conscious level would agree, food should not be your primary source of joy or where you should seek comfort in times of sadness or stress, but we all do use food in times of our life in one of those areas. We also have been taught to use food in time of celebration. Lets face it, we do need food to survive, so becoming addicted to fat and/or sugar laden foods can be pretty easy. Often starting at childhood when we are rewarded with a cookie or a special trip to a fast food restaurant.
Have you ever heard the following words come from your mouth? If I can’t have (insert a food you love), what is the sense of living? If so, you may just be addicted. So what can you do?
1. Admit it to yourself. 99% of people I have heard these words from also have a weight problem. If you are significantly overweight this is probably an issue for you.
2. Start making small adjustments to your diet. For example, give up soda and start eating more fruit One small adjustment per week will be your baby steps to success.
3. Don’t beat yourself up when you have a lapse and grab that soda, for example. If you do, that once soda will turn into a case in your refrigerator. Just get back on track as quickly as possible.
4. Realize you are not alone. Other people are struggling with this, as well. I know when I am struggling to change something in my life or I have a problem with something I often feel lonely. Just remembering I am not alone in my battle helps. Go purchase a book about food addiction, sugar addiction or fat addiction. You may have just found someone to commiserate with.
As usual, I would add, reach out for support! Drop me an email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best!