Friday, August 28, 2009

Facing an addiction

What if it was that simple? The choice between if we want to eat something that we think will be tasty or if we want to be healthy? For many of us the choice is that simple. Over time we realize that the mocha for breakfast or the ice cream for dessert isn't a good choice if we want to lose weight. We realize that if we eat more than we need to, simply to feel stuffed, our body will retain those extra nutrients and convert some of it to fat.

This choice, while not easy for me, is definitely becoming easier. But I also fit in a group called emotional eaters. I eat when I'm upset, I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm bored and I definitely eat as a social activity. I'm also addicted to food. While it's fine to celebrate a birthday with a piece of cake if I choose to, I'm not always capable of backing up and saying "no, I've had enough, I don't need it." Much like an alcoholic has a taste of alcohol and finds it nearly impossible to stop, so when I have a taste of certain foods, like, oh, I don't know CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, I lose all willpower and dive in face first.

I have had to retrain my body to eat the way it's supposed to. The other day I went out with some coworkers for lunch to say goodbye to someone who's leaving my place of employment. I got a Gyro, held the cheese and a side of green beans. My boss made a comment about me eating green beans. He didn't mean to be mean or rude or anything, he was just making an observation. I told him I liked green beans. This is the truth. I have a definite affinity for most vegetables. I also didn't order a side of fries because I knew I wouln't be able to stop at just a quarter of my fries.

My addition to food and my emotional eating when it comes to food isn't over. It may never be over. I may struggle with food on a daily basis. But so far I've lost 13 lbs. That is worth it to me. I don't have a simple decision to made when I see goodies in the break room or when I'm at a restaurant. I have a mental war to win in five seconds or less. To eat the fries or to get some fresh vegetables. To pass by the cake or to have a piece, or ten. Like an acoholic I will not get better if I continue to nash on whatever food comes my way.

I have learned that right now I cannot have chocolate chip cookies. Maybe one day I'll be able to add these back into my life, but for now they're off limits. I can have all the fruits and vegetables I want though. I'm not depriving myself, I'm healing my body and my mind when I eat right. But I can't do it alone. So Hi.

My name is Jessica, and I'm a food addict.

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