I was watching a show on TV today and they mentioned drug addiction being a disease. I very much believe that. I believe people have genetic dispositions mixed with their environment which leads to having addiction problems.
I have a food addiction. I grew up where food was a celebration. Of course, growing up kinda poor, it was a celebration. Paydays meant we could have a few good days of supper. Don’t get me wrong…my parents fed us. We ate. But we didn’t eat many fruits and vegetables. Growing up in a house with 6 people, having fruit and veggies would get expensive. So we had a lot of foods that were cheap because they could be easily bought in higher quantity. Just lower quality.
And holidays…we always had great food at holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July…we had feasts! And Sundays! We loved to get together as a family to have big breakfasts. Nothing was better than the whole family, all the kids and grand kids coming together in a rush of loud hectic love and bacon. We celebrated love and family in food.
I do not blame my parents for my weight problem. I think my mom blames herself but I don’t. I wish she would not blame herself. She did the best she could with what she had as we were growing up. My dad worked hard but he was at work a lot. He provided for us and I do not blame him for not being around as much as he wanted to be.
I blame myself. I blame myself because I know what the foods I ate did. Once a person gets to a certain age, they have to take responsibility for their own actions. You can not be a teenager, eating fast food every day because you work at a restaurant and it is readily available. You can not take the “eating for two” pregnancy saying literally. You can’t do that and expect to NOT gain weight.
People with a food addiction know this but something in their brain says “Who cares?” People who emotionally eat and have food addiction know what they are doing is hurting them but they can not stop. I know people judge obese and heavy people. They say “Why can’t they just stop eating so much?” Well ,why can’t you stop smoking so many cigarettes or why can’t you stop drinking so much/shopping so much/ texting so much?
EVERYONE has a vice. Everyone…but most are easy to hide. Except food addiction. We wear that right out in the open. Everyone can see our problem. There is no hiding our problems with air freshener or breathe mints. There is no hiding it by throwing away credit card bills or deleting just how many messages you send a day.
The next time you see a heavy person, don’t think those mean thoughts. Instead ask yourself what did they go through to wall themselves in so much? What did they experience to not want people to touch them or interact with them? Don’t think unkind thoughts because we can pick up on those. We see the side looks. We see the snarl of the lips that even you do not realize you are doing. Instead, root us on. Think a kind thought for us. Just think “Keep trying. Keep going. You can do this.” Start seeing heavy people as PEOPLE. You don’t look at smokers as non people. Or alcoholics as non people. But for some reason, society has made it completely fine to treat heavy people as non people.
People with food addictions and eating disorders in general (going the other direction with weight) KNOW we have a problem. We know something is not right. But the really hard thing about having food addiction…you need food to survive. You NEED food on a day to day base. What other addiction is like that, that you need to take in a small amount of your addiction? That you need to take in small amounts of the right kind of addiction? You don’t see that with drugs…here, take this small amount of PURE cocaine. You won’t be addicted then. Here, smoke just 3 natural cigarettes. You won’t become addicted.
Food addicts have to go through life being confronted every where by their vice. You turn on the TV and see commercials for the newest freshest sandwich. Add bacon! OKAY! You see commercials for pizza with the cheese and sauce and the best prices. You open a magazine and see ads. You check the mail and get coupons. You go to a store and food is everywhere…and as a food addict, if you want to overcome it…you can not give it to any of it.
It is one of the hardest things to do. To basically deny yourself something everyone can have. To be around people as they innocently take in your vice with no problems, knowing if you did that it would lead to problems. Because food addicts can not have 1 piece or 1 slice. Our brains do not say stop. Our stomachs do not limit what we eat. Because our brain and our stomachs are just as addicted.
I stopped eating pizza almost a year ago. I stopped eating lasagna and chicken parmesan because it resembled pizza too much. And I still want it every single day. An addict never ever just gets over it. Never. Their vice is always there, being offered by the demons in their head. And the demons never die. We just learn how to put them away.