Food addiction is a serious and tough topic to talk about. And it’s usually surrounded by so much more than just food. There’s emotion with it. Lots of emotion. Many times food addiction is a scary secret you keep to yourself. That’s why today’s post is so important and powerful. If you’ve been struggling with food addiction and feel alone, this post from a beautiful writer and brave woman who requested to remain nameless will let you know that it’s more common than you realize — even among those who you think are the fittest and healthiest people around you …
Food Addiction, Depression, Guilt, Shame … You’re NOT Alone!
This is not the first time I’ve done this. This is not the first time I knew something wasn’t right. BUT, this is the first time I’ve addressed it. The first time I’ve given it a name. And it’s definitely the first time I’ve decided I’m worth the fight.
Let’s rewind a little bit.
When I was 8, I was already very much overweight, supremely sad and felt like I didn’t fit anywhere. The new home I was living in with my dad and stepmother was a business, a job. Rather than being a safe, loving, warm place, it was work. I “stole” food from the kitchen, our pantry, from the kids’ diaper bags that we babysat. And I hid it in my room, backpack or other spots for when I needed “love” or companionship.
Fast forward 30 years later, as I shoved the empty (Snickers, doughnuts, fast food, chips, Hawaiian rolls, cookies, etc.) wrappers under the other trash in the can to hide them, I had one of the lowest moments of my life and the highest weight on the scale. I am a personal trainer (I know, I know), a wife, a business owner, a friend, a daughter, a niece and now, I’m realizing I’m also an addict.
I understood and finally claimed that I have a problem … Food is no longer a way to nourish and sustain my body and soul. Hardly ever does it bring me a sense of fullness or a moment of calm. It’s become more like a leech. It’s evolved into something that drains and overwhelms me. It sucks the energy out of me. I think about it all the time.
Ashamed of it.
Worry about it.
Eat too much of it.
All. The. Freaking. Time … Food.
My first thought — after I pulled myself away from staring in the trash can — was that I could control it. I could MOST CERTAINLY “willpower” my way out of this again. Or I could use a different diet pill, appetite suppressant or 30-day detox to clean myself up. So for about 36 hours, I did. Constant positive self-talk, I cooked a healthy meal for the evening and did some journaling.
Then, I had one of the most intense, severe, can’t-think-straight, full-blown, “I definitely have a problem” cravings. It was as if my body took over, was holding a gun and said, “Get me the sugar and nobody gets hurt.” I had ZERO control.
After I ate “the thing” I cried so hard I nearly threw up. THAT was the lowest moment to date.
Since then, I’ve done a ton of research, finally admitted to my wife how horrifically I was feeling and what I was doing, reached out to a friend who could refer me to find help, read an amazingly useful book called When Food is Love by Geneen Roth, and I’m looking for an OA or GreySheeters Anonymous meeting locally.
Am I out of the woods? Aww, hell to the no!
Am I better than that day I mentioned above? Definitely.
Am I going to continue this fight for myself? Abso-freaking-lutely.
Here are some of the sites and articles I found to be helpful so far.
Daily, I have to work SO hard at this. And this is on top of seeing between 25 to 30 private training clients, teaching 12 to 15 group classes, running “my part” of our business, being a wife, a dog/kitty mom and a friend. I’m not going to sugarcoat it; it’s frickin’ hard. But until I hit that bottom-most feeling moment and decided that I needed help and reached out for it, nothing was going to change.
I know I’ll have moments, days, weeks and maybe months that will be REALLY rough. But I also know that I’m surrounded by loving and supportive people — one of them being ME …
So my FBG friends, exchange shame for hope, drop fear for acceptance, nix guilt for love …
Reach out — online, in person, to your bestie, to someone.
YOU are definitely worth it and you are most certainly not alone …
I certainly can relate to a lot of this. Leave a comment if you’ve ever struggled with food addiction, too. You can read my emotional eating story here. —Jenn