Hi, my name is Jill and I’m a food addict.
It took me a very long time to admit that to myself and even realize that it was a thing. The first time I took ownership of that statement, was my first stint on Weight Watchers back in 2007. I realized that it wasn’t only my love of food that made me overweight, but the fact that I couldn’t control myself around food. Put a meal in front of me and just as I was always taught – I’d finish my plate. Whether I was still hungry or not. And bringing home leftovers from a restaurant? Who did that? At a party – why not just sit where the food is and graze all night.
To some of you, you may be thinking that you’ve never heard of food addiction or I’m just labeling myself to justify why I’m overweight.
To you, I say – this struggle is very real.
Food addiction is stopping to get Taco Bell after you’ve already eaten dinner.
Food addiction is going on a binge and getting your empty pizza boxes or Chinese containers in the dumpster before anyone gets home.
Food addiction is going to a party and not being able to stop yourself from eating everything in sight.
Food addiction is planning a binge all day to make yourself feel better.
This is me and I struggle every day.
I had it under control for a couple years, but I kind of lost myself again and the addiction crept back in. The past year and half I’ve been working on getting my mind back to where it was.
But how do you work on an addiction that is vital to your survival? We have to eat, right? And everyone is eating these delicious foods, why can’t I?
Well, you start small and you figure out what works best for you. I’m no expert by any means and it’s taken me years and years to start figuring out my body. But, for me, it’s this.
Learn what your triggers are. I don’t keep certain foods in my house and stock the cupboards with healthy food that I like. This is key – if you just buy healthy food that you don’t particularly like, it’s not going to work. Find the fruits/vegetables/proteins/snacks that you like and keep those around. Then try to incorporate something new every couple weeks. I’ve been there, along with everyone else getting on the healthy train, thinking I’m going to eat tons of kale and cauliflower….or whatever the current trend is. But the truth is, I don’t really like those things – so I keep other healthy things on hand.
Understand portion control. When I decided to re-admit to myself that I needed help, I first used the 21 Day Fix (which I talked about here) and it helped me understand nutrition and the important of eating from all the food groups. It really helped me find a balance that I’d never had before. Eating the right amounts of fruits/veggies/protein/carbs, etc. Now I use the concepts from that, along with Weight Watchers to help keep my portions under control.
Learn what your cravings are. If I’m craving something like pizza, I try to make a healthified version of it. This doesn’t always work, mind you, but the key is trying.
Have a support system. If you’re feeling a binge coming on, talk to someone about it. You shouldn’t be ashamed to share that part of your life. I was for a very long time and that didn’t get me anywhere. It’s still embarrassing to talk about, but here I am – writing a public blog post about it! If you don’t have someone to talk to about it, reach out to me –firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to listen, I’ve been there, I know the struggle and we can work through it.
I’m sure there’s more that I do, but this is a pretty good start. My main piece of advice and I feel like I can’t stress this enough, is find something that works for you. There’s no one size fits all miracle formula. It’s a lot of trial and error. Personally, I want this to be a lifestyle change, not a diet. I don’t want to be restricted, but I want to consciously think about what I’m putting into my body.
And through all of this, a couple amazing thing have happened lately.
I drove into a Taco Bell, realized I wasn’t hungry and left. That.was.hard. I even sat in the parking lot for a couple mins to think about it. But I left.
And yesterday, another amazing thing happened. I usually get a snack around 3:00, typically boom chicka pop popcorn or crackers/salsa. So as usual, I counted out some flax seed crackers and got a little bowl of salsa, then sat back down at my desk. I ate one cracker and realized – this is not satisfying and I’m not even hungry! So I got up, put all the crackers back and the salsa back in the jar. This was huge.
When you’re addicted to food it’s hard to listen to your body and I listened to mine. I wasn’t hungry…so I left. I wasn’t hungry…so I put it back.
Seems like a simple concept and to some of you, you may not understand. But just like any other addiction, this is serious business. There is always that inner addict saying, “just one more piece, just one more bite…it won’t hurt anything.” But it will and I have to be stronger than that voice, every.single.day.
It’s a constant battle – some days I win, some days I lose, but I’m going to keep on fighting.
And right now I’m on the verge of hitting another major milestone, onederland! For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s the coveted fact of having a one in front of your weight…instead of a two or above. I’m two pounds away from this goal and I’m going to get there! It’s been a long time since I’ve visited this place and I’m hoping to become a permanent resident 🙂