I Am An Addict
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Yes, you read that right, I am an addict, and I have been an addict since I was about 12 years old, I'd say. My drug of choice is food.
Like any addict, I turn to my drug for a variety of reasons. Got something to celebrate? Eat. Feeling sad or lonely? Eat. Bored? Eat. Did you do something good? You should reward yourself! Eat! Did you lose 10 pounds? EAT!!!
Is it really a reward when its killing you? Does it make sense to reward weight loss by eating something that will make you gain it back?
Let's look at this another way. Suppose my drug of choice was heroin. Got something to celebrate? Shoot up. Feeling sad or lonely? Shoot up. Bored? Shoot up. Did you do something good? You should reward yourself. Shoot up! Have you been clean for a week? SHOOT UP!!!
Wow...THAT puts it in a whole new light, doesn't it?
My family and friends have always been very supportive of my efforts to lose weight, but I am sure they have as much belief in my ability to actually get to a healthy weight and stay there as most of us would be able to muster for anyone who has been in and out of rehab repeatedly. It doesn't mean they don't love me, it just means that I have taught them that they cannot trust me. Ouch. That hurts, but I needed to hear it.
Am I being too hard on myself? Honestly, no, I'm not judging myself harshly here, I'm just facing reality.
I'm sure my family has wished they could stage an intervention like you see on TV, but its not like they can all gather in a room and tell me, "If you eat again, I'll have to cut ties with you."
This is where a food addiction differs from other substances. You can't quit cold turkey. You can't even do a step-down program to reduce your dependence until you can safely stop. I've never been a smoker, and from watching my friends struggle with this, I understand cigarettes are highly addictive and stopping smoking is HARD, but I've still always said that losing weight has to be harder, because you do not have to smoke to live. You have to eat.
I guess for a smoker trying to quit, spending time with friends who smoke is similar to how I feel when I attend a party when I'm trying to lose weight. Stopping at the store holds the same danger for them as it does for me. Where they might pick up a pack, I might pick up a cake or a pizza. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that cake or pizza are "bad", because eating a little of either of these foods is fine, but in the hands of an addict, they can be triggers to abuse like any other drug.
I am writing this blog because I feel that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards change. I'm also writing this blog because maybe someone else out there needs the wake up call of putting it in terms of the heroin addict shooting up. We're both getting a fix that ultimately leaves us broken.
I joined NOOM yesterday, because I need help. I needed to commit to my program in a way that I felt slapping down the payment in full for 8 months of "treatment" might help me do. I need the daily reminders from the app to work my program, and I'm hoping it will actually be different in that it will help me address the reasons behind my habit. I did this because it's not OK to dig my grave with my fork and spoon.
I'm 53 years old. I started my program at 256.4 pounds. I have daily pain in my knees and one hip and I am scared that I am going to become crippled if I don't make some changes NOW. I'm praying it's not already too late for my knees to ever function normally again. I'm scared that I am a heart attack or stroke waiting to happen. I'm sick and tired of being in pain and scared and ashamed.
I am an addict, but I can recover, but it has to start now, because tomorrow may be too late.