Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is Food Really the WORST Addiction?

Before I start writing, I have to say that I have been thinking this over for a few days now, pondering whether or not I should even make this post. Someone of you will not like hearing this, but you know what? That's ok!

There has been a lot of talk in the recent weeks about this concept of "food addiction". The peak of the discussion was when Dr. Robin Blackstone, the upcoming President Elect of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), pronounced, out loud to a room of 20+ bariatric bloggers that there is no such thing as FOOD ADDICTION!

Yep you heard it right... NO SUCH THING AS FOOD ADDICTION.

Now of course me with my big mouth was the first to get up and refute her statement. I am a food addict so how can you tell me there is no such thing! There is medical EVIDENCE and even RESEARCH out there Dr. Blackstone! If you have any interest in that research, you can find it on a previous blog post here.

The truth of the matter is this... She was right! Yep, I said it. Dr. Blackstone was right! I will explain why in just a moment.

Then there is another point, the actual reason I sat down to write this post. If I had a penny for every time I heard a weight loss surgery patient say to a social worker, doctor etc etc, "You don't understand! We have the worst addiction of all! An alcoholic CAN CHOOSE to never drink again, a crackhead CAN CHOOSE to put down the pipe but we HAVE TO EAT every single day! MORE THAN ONCE A DAY!"

Here lies my issue. This is the reason I am writing this post without caring what you think of me afterwards. We NEED to change this mentality. We NEED to get off of denial highway. We need to stop using this thought process as a way to rationalize our compulsive eating behaviors/habits.

The reason I say I agree with Dr. Blackstone is this... When was the last time you met a person who had to have a piece of broccoli every single time they got upset? I don't know a single one and I know A LOT of  self proclaimed "food addicts"! If you read any of the research on food addiction or even my last blog post on food addiction which breaks down the bodies addiction to CERTAIN types of food then you see where I am going with this.

SUGAR, SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES and CHOCOLATE are the only three food types that cause any type of physical addiction. Think of the foods that you tend to run to when you need a fix? Donuts, bread, candy, chocolate... right?

Therefore... the appropriate term would not be FOOD addict, but Sugar Addict or Carb Addict or Chocolate Addict. Maybe you are one of the above or perhaps you have a poly substance dependency issue.

Now that you have realized you are not addicted to FOOD but only certain types of food, the same rules, as all other addictions apply.

You CAN CHOOSE to abstain, for the rest of your life, from chocolate, sugar and simple carbs. It's not easy by any means whatsoever but if you ask an alcoholic if it's easy to abstain from booze, I am willing to bet money that you will find you both have similar feelings about your situations.

Our worlds revolve around food, all the bad foods in the world. All the ones we are physically addicted to, but guess what... the alcoholics world, before he hit his rock bottom and decided to stop drinking, also revolved around his addiction. They say, people places and things... Gotta change em. An alcoholic can't hang out at the bar anymore and you, the sugar/carb/chocolate addict can't hang out in the cupcakery!

So when you are ready to beat this thing, there are groups out there that can help you. We may not be able to step into a local rehab for detox but there are ranches if you can afford it. There are therapists, 12 step meetings and bariatric support groups that can help you. Below are some resources.

Food Addicts Anonymous
Overeater's Anonymous
Bariatric Support Groups
Rachel's Comfy Couch
Mind Body Health Services
Stein Wellness

Please know, you may not succeed at first and relapse is part of recovery. In order for a baby to learn to walk, it must fall a few times to build up the necessary leg muscles to walk. Recovery is possible!
Sleeve Pixie

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