Eat To Live or Live To Eat? That is the question.

I do. I have a real problem with food.

Can you be a food addict?

I realize that is nothing to joke about. And in all honesty, I don’t know that I’m 100% joking.

Food is my weakness. Oh how I love it. I’m not one who can “Eat to Live”. No, I am one who Lives to Eat. That is me. Food is not fuel. Food is a treat. Food is a celebration. Food is a time to get together. It’s an activity.

Food… is a problem. For me at least.

How do you retrain your brain to eat to live? That food is NOT a celebration. It is not a treat. Food is not a time to get together. It is definitely not an activity. Food is fuel.

Food is supposed to help my body do amazing things. Things like walk. Talk. Workout. Food is supposed to keep me healthy. Instead, food, or at least my relationship with it, is doing the opposite of that. Food has me winded when I walk too much or too fast. Food has it so that working out is an awful experience or embarrassment and uncomfortableness. And food is in no way, shape, or form keeping me healthy right now.

And this became very clear when my aunt had her heart attack. I’ve known for years I need to do something about my eating. I’ve tried in the past, and been very successful with it. I’ve known I have a family history of heart problems. I know that my Papa has had several heart attacks and a stroke. I know that his sister just passed away from a possible combination of heart attack and stroke. I know that my Granny has Type II Diabetes, something that can be controlled, and sometimes cured, with diet. And I know that my aunt just had a heart attack with a 100% blockage at a very young age.

I know that I don’t want these things to happen to me. Sadly, these things are starting to happen to me. Back during my physical appointment several months ago my doctor informed me that I have slightly high cholesterol. 27 years old and my cholesterol was 203. My good was low. My bad was high. That’s not how things need to be for me. That means something has to change.

That change came today. I rejoined Weight Watchers, much to the humor of Mr. Chocolate, who politely chuckled when I told him I’m starting a diet again.

Today I stripped down to nothing and stepped on that scale in the privacy of my bathroom. I am not brave enough to go back to a meeting. And after Mr. Chocolate’s little chuckle, which he claims didn’t happen, I really don’t want anyone to know about this. But I’m tell you. All of you.

As of this morning I am my highest ever recorded weight. I surpassed my previous highest every by 3 pounds. I’m embarrassed. I’m discouraged. But I’m also hopefully and determined.

Today’s WI. 245.4 pounds.

My goal for next week is obviously to lose weight. But my overall goal is to have more good days than bad days. More days without secret eating or binge eating. More days where I finish my meal feeling satisfied versus stuffed. My goal is to have more days where I go to bed proud of my food choices instead of hoping Mr. Chocolate didn’t see me eat those last 2 cookies.

I think I can handle that goal.

Let’s be Real Here

So yeah. I’m struggling at the weight loss thing.

And honestly, I’m just tired of trying. I’m tired of counting. Of planning. Of stressing.

Of the panic thoughts of “Oh goodness! Mr Chocolate wants to go out to dinner but I’ve already pre-planned & pre-tracked all of this healthy food!” And of the “Oh, I can’t eat that.” Even when on my “diet” I could eat that.

I want freedom from food. And I think the best way for me to go about getting freedom from food is to stop stressing over food. I will still be making smart choices. I will still be planning. And cooking. But I will also not be stressing about what to have for dinner. And pre-planning to the T. And pre-tracking. Because I won’t be tracking. I’ll be eating smarter, not harder.

And if the scale comes down, YAY! And if not, it’s time to love the body I HAVE. Not the body I want.

I am still buying healthier foods. And I’m going to be watching my portion. But damnit, if I want ice cream for dessert I’m going to have ice cream! And if I want to make lasagna that is loaded with meat & cheese I’m going to make it!

I can’t keep stressing. Because stressing is causing me to have a very unhealthy relationship with food. I find myself stressing over my next meal. And then because I want to be so good and so perfect I end up secret eating. And because I’m secret eating I usually end up binge eating while I’m at it. This is not a healthy relationship with food, even if the scale is moving in a downward direction. My happiness is more important than that. And when I’m doing that, I’m not happy.

So here’s to the lasagna, the glass of wine, the ice cream. The freedom to have carbs at every meal and to eat the ooey gooey cheesy goodness. Here’s to a healthy relationship with food.

Can you actually be addicted to food?

There are so many things I’m wanting to write about; like this guy who wrote the 16 ways he ruined his marriage  & how I think everyone needs to read this article – I’m feeling pretty “deep” today, for lack of a better word. But I think food addiction sounds like a good one for today’s topic.

A friend of mine, and fellow blooger, Heather, mentioned in her post yesterday the struggles that those of us who try to “diet” go through. The comments from others about “Just eat less & move more & the weight will come off.” Well, that’s great advice, and it’s very true advice, but let’s be honest here – most of us who are struggling with our weight didn’t get here becaue we like to “eat less.” We got here because we crave food. We turn to food for comfort, encouragement, celebration. We secret eat when no one is around because we’re lonely. We turn to food when we’re bored and want something to do. When we got into a fight with our significant other and want to feel better. We turn to food when we found out we just got that promotion we’ve been so hoping for and want to celebrate.

Birthdays. Anniversaries. Deaths. New jobs. Retirements. All of it revoles around food. All of it!

So how do you tell a food addict to “just eat less” and expect this to be possible?

Food is everywhere we look! You can’t drive down the road and not pass a fast food joint, gas station, or grocery store. Hell, you can’t even sit in your own home! For a food addict, no where is safe from food.

Eat All The Foods

Food is our drug. It’s what we turn to for any situation that needs fixing, or even that doesn’t need fixing. And the hard part about our drug of choice, not only is it legal to eat – it’s required to live! You can’t just stop eating and magically be cured of your bad habits with food. You have to train yourself. You have to work hard. You have to stay motivated. And you know what’s even worse about all of this – what does a food addict, most likely, turn to when they’ve had a bad day trying to stay focused & motivated to break their addiction? Food. It’s what we’re used to doing. But people don’t see this as an addiction, because like I said before – food is required for life. Therefore it’s not a “relapse” just a “bad day on your diet, you’ll get back to it.”

No. That is false. It is a relapse. Plain & simple. You wouldn’t look at a recovering alcoholic who had a couple drinks after a bad day that it was “just a bad day & you’ll get back to it.” You would listen to them. You would get them the help that the need. Why do we not do this for our friends out there struggling with food addiction? I had a bad day – I came home and ate 4 cupcakes. Please. Help me. Listen to me. Let me talk it out. Let me vent. And cry if need be – even if it’s something totally dumb. Holding it in makes it worse. Because on top of trying to deal with whatever petty thing I’m dealing with, resisting the urge to not eat is the hardest part. And just talking to me gets those emotions out. I might still turn to the cupcake, but chances are I’ll only have 1 after we talk.