Do you feel powerless over food? How many diets have you tried? And I’m sure you’ve even lost weight, but turned around and gain it all back again…and even gained more than you weighed before you started the diet. You are not alone. More than likely you struggle with an eating disorder, but I like to focus on it as a food addiction.
Did you know that refined processed foods trigger an addiction response in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease of addiction? Do you have anyone in your extended family who struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction? Research shows women are more likely to turn to food for their addiction. The definition for substance addiction undeniably can apply to eating disorders: Unmanageability. Preoccupation with using or the activity. Denial. Minimization. Powerless. Have you ever said to yourself “I can stop eating cookies, or potato chips any time I want” (denial). How about “I really don’t eat that much, I only had a salad for dinner” (minimization). Have you ever sat at your desk at 9am and you are thinking about what you are going to eat for lunch, or dinner? (preoccupation). Or this one is particularly painful. You’ve just finished off a quart of ice cream all by yourself and as soon as you’re done, you feel guilt and shame. Powerless.
Food is a social event. Sharing food is greatly valued and experienced in all cultures. It is a formidable way of fostering closeness and building trust. But being obsessive with food, either eating too much or too little, is a sign of food being used to medicate one’s feelings and emotions, instead of being used as a reaction to physical hunger. Food becomes a way to soothe pain and manage stress. Buried childhood trauma (such as sexual abuse), loneliness, and anxiety are some of the hidden influences that push an overeater to pursue the safety and sedation of food. If the feeling you have in your body (or mind) can be satisfied by anything other than food, then it is not a psychical hunger you are feeling.
If you or someone you love struggles with food addiction, there is hope. Treatment is available to help you discover what feelings and emotions you are trying to bury or suppress. Call me for an appointment and let’s begin to let go of that weight! (420)-325-0117 x7