food addiction

Addict

“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

-Frank Sinatra

I was listening to the radio the other day and the host was asking one of his staff if they could stop drinking for a month (this was after he challenged another staffer to stop smoking illicit things for a month). The staff member, Richard, loves beer. He’s a craft beer fiend and drinks a lot of them. Is he an alcoholic? Probably. What was his response? He said he could probably stop drinking but why should he?

This post isn’t necessarily about alcohol. But it is about addiction. What is my addiction? SUGAR. Sugar is most definitely my #1 challenge. It comes in lots of different forms…I eat a ton of fruit, which is healthy but also very sweet and depending on what it is, very high in sugar (i.e. bananas!). I also love chocolate.

I’ve gotten much better over the years eating it in moderation and if it’s not GOOD chocolate, I don’t waste my calories. Have you ever bitten into a piece of candy or cookie and realized it wasn’t as good as it looked? Yeah, that happens to me and now I spit it out. If it doesn’t taste good, why am I still eating it?!? I also make sure that I’m eating things that are a little more “whole” like a really good ice cream with natural ingredients, or fancy chocolate from a boutique. I’m usually taking a pass on the crappy stuff that doesn’t really satisfy my craving.

If you want to read some old posts about food addiction and sugar, I have a plethora. Here are just a few: Food AddictionFat Pills and Why We Get Fat.

A few years ago I did a Sugar Detox challenge. It came about for a lot of reasons but one of them was the Candy Room in my office. I wanted to break the habit of grabbing a handful of candy from this room and mindless eating it at work or whenever I walked by the office. The Sugar Detox Outcome was positive. I realized a lot of things in that single week of refraining from sugar:

I eat candy more out of habit than desire.

I didn’t miss the candy like I thought I would.

I realized that diet soda makes me crave candy.

And what have I taken away from that nearly 2 years later? I’m still eating sugar. I gave it up for one week and that was it. I occasionally go through phases where I stop eating it, or I refrain from eating candy at work but I eat dessert at home. Basically, I can’t seem to give it up entirely.

Awhile ago I took a week off from exercising. It was shortly after I saw the knee specialist who ordered me to rest for 6 weeks. I was feeling depressed and decided to just rest from everything, even though I was cleared for some exercises. I was worried about getting out of the habit of exercising, I was worried taking a week off would cause me to gain weight. I told myself for that week I’d just be really good with my calories and everything would be ok. And I did do pretty decently with my calories for that week. I didn’t go over my allotment but I also didn’t make excellent choices. There were several days where I skipped eating my apple as a snack so I could allot those calories for some chocolate. Was I within my calorie range? Yes. Was I eating in moderation? Yes. Was it the BEST way to “spend” my calories? Probably not!

Some people can’t do the “everything in moderation” concept. I totally understand that. I’m the opposite though, I cannot do the “really restrictive” thing. If I tell myself I’m going to stop eating X, then all I want is X! Then I get hyper focused on it and it becomes an obsession. That is not a healthy path to go down, either, and I’m sure it’s just another sign of addiction.

So how do you moderate an “addiction”? Do you abstain from it completely or try to limit the intake of what you desire?

Designated Fat Girl

As I drove home from work last night, the sun was out and I was tempted to take my bike outside. The temptation was strong after spending a week in paradise (Tucson sun) but I also had Weeds on Netflix that I was dying to finish!


It had been two weeks since I did my home workout. I selected the Cardio Burst on the Nike Training App for the first part. I was extra sweaty as I did it.


After the 15 minute Cardio work I switched to Ab work.


It was a good warm up. I did about 30 minutes before hopping on the bike. I burned 304 calories during the Nike App.

 

It was nice getting back to the routine. The bike was good. I had some discomfort in my knee and leg but honestly I think it’s just the bike trainer. I never have pain when I’m riding outside.

Stats:

Time: 1:15
Calories Burned: 677


Michael picked up a deLite pizza on the way home from the driving range. We’re floundering a bit without our Meal Planning. 🙁


It was delicious. I ate three pieces.


I tried to participate in the Twitter #fitblog chat as I peddled away. I’m the Queen of Multi-tasking. I was watching Weeds too. 😉 Last night’s chat was really good. There were a lot of thought provoking questions. One specifically:

3. What fear(s) have you had to overcome in the past? What helped you?

I said:

Q3: I overcame the fear that I would “always be fat.” 250 pounds no more. I ran Hood to Coast! I conquered it all!

The topic of fear is really interesting to me. I think a lot of the problems with trying to lose weight is fear–fear of change, fear of learning new things, fear of changing your lifestyle. It held me back for years.

Which brings me to the Designated Fat Girl. I started reading Designated Fat Girl by Jennifer Joyner last night.

 

The book is a quick, easy read yet it’s a difficult read because it brings up a lot of old memories and feelings for me. The story is about her life as a 330+ pound woman with a food addiction. The self-loathing, the negative hate talk she tells herself is all too familiar for me. It didn’t “trigger” me too much. I didn’t feel any urge to suddenly go binge–but I did feel lots of “icky” feelings in my stomach as I read it.

In the Prologue, she describes a scene in the grocery store where someone made an insensitive comment about her weight. She immediately drove to a fast food joint and ordered a bunch of food.

“At the McDonald’s down the street, I attempted to stuff down the incredible pain and sorrow. This was going to be a good day, I tell myself. It’s hard to cry and eat at the same time, so I choose to eat. Like I always do. [pg x]”

Eating my feelings. I did that a lot. Eating dessert and savoring every bite instead of facing what was going on was easier for me.

She also makes a great point about being out in the open as a fat person:

“Someone who is addicted to food isn’t allowed the luxury of anonymity; we wear our failures on our bodies for the world to see. I used to be envious of people with drug or alcohol problems. At least they could hide their addictions, if even for a little while, from the rest of the population. A fat person might as well wear a sign with flashing neon lights: I CAN’T CONTROL MYSELF! [pg 23]”

I always felt like I was on display when I was 250+ pounds. Like everyone was staring at me, judging me, criticizing my weight. I just wanted to fade into the darkness and not be noticed. I had horrible posture–feeling like I could shrink into myself and not be seen. It wasn’t a happy place to be.

QUESTION: Have you read this book? What did you think? And what fears have you conquered?