Well meaning enablers

Our friends and loved ones like to support us when we are down. Many of us have a natural tendency to solve problems. Others see the problem from a different point of view. Many people will give you advice and suggestions to help you along the way.

So now that I have made this grand declaration, some of my well meaning, caring friends have stepped forward with words of encouragement and support. Some of them have also reminded me of all the cliche things we hear from diet gurus in today’s society:

1. “Just listen to your stomach when you eat and stop eating when you’re full!”
Really? You think I am so in tune with my stomach that I will know when I am full? Have you seen my stomach?

2. “Don’t stop going out to eat with friends just because you’re trying to lose weight. Just make healthier meal choices.”
Its just easier for me to eat healthy when I am preparing the food myself. It’s a preference. If you can eat out every week and lose weight, go for it. I just know it doesn’t work for me. Once I lose the desired amount of weight, I will slowly start adding restaurant meals back into my life. But right now the focus is weight loss.

3. “A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t mean giving up the foods you love.”
If they are making me fat, then yes it should… There is no such thing as “healthy” ice cream. There is lower fat or less sugar, but it’s still ice cream. So instead, during the first phase of this process, it is necessary to give those foods up to an extent. Now that doesn’t mean that if I’m losing weight and had an exceptionally good week of working out, I wont treat myself to a small lemon sorbet! But an indulgence like this has to be earned!

I understand that we are all conditioned to think these things, but when it boils right down to it, I AM A FOOD ADDICT. So, would you tell an alcoholic that they should still be able to have a shot of whiskey when they want? No! So in the same token, I can’t just eat what I want, wherever I want without expecting that it will derail my progress to some extent.

I went so far as to look up some interesting articles about food addiction:

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-food-addiction

I found the last paragraph on that one interesting since it’s what I have self prescribed for myself.

How Is Food Addiction Treated?

Several options are available in the treatment of food addiction. These include consulting a nutritionist, doctor, psychologist, counselor, or eating disorder specialist. In addition, 12-step groups such Overeaters Anonymous (OA) have meetings in many regions or online. Some tips for avoiding bouts of compulsive eating include:

  • Knowing which situations trigger your cravings, and avoiding them if possible
  • Drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day
  • Exercising
  • Relaxing with deep breathing exercises or meditation
  • Trying to distract yourself until the compulsion to eat passes

I would also like to note that my therapist is a licensed psychologist who specializes in addiction. She even does evaluations for bariatric patients. So the program I set up for myself has been run by her and she thinks its aggressive, but its what works for my personality as long as I have a game plan for when a hard day comes along… and I do… find an OE meeting and hit the gym.

So I appreciate all the well meaning feedback from my friends, just please don’t be offended if I take yours with a grain of salt.

*If you think you or someone you love is addicted to food, the website for Overeaters Anonymous is http://www.oa.org/

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