I have been talking with clients, colleagues, friends about this topic recently. As most of you already know, I have a long history of compulsive over-eating and food addiction. Thankfully, I am gratefully recovering.
What makes one a compulsive over-eater or food addict? And is there a difference between the two? Both of these terms are pretty loaded. Nobody wants to think of themselves as permanently having either problem. You want to believe that although you are totally out of control today, that salvation or clarity is near.
I would say that is a big piece of being a compulsive overeater- the belief that it will change somehow. That we can be different around food, that tomorrow (how often do we say THAT??!!) will be different. Sigh…..
But that truly is part of the problem. Denial. I know, it’s a big word that nobody likes to think about (pun kind of intended). But denial is what keeps you believing in a tomorrow that does not seem to come.
Compulsive eating is a way of eating that has nothing to do with food, or liking food, or being hungry, or anything related to eating or hunger. It is a way of managing feelings and thoughts via an addictive form of eating. Eating around reasons other than real hunger. Not being able to stop. Not wanting to stop. Thinking we can stop tomorrow but continuing to eat now. You probably know what I am talking about.
Food addiction is a little different. It refers more to a reaction we have to particular foods. Think of the foods you abuse- the foods you are never able to eat in a predictable way (other than bingeing on or overeating them). Many people recognize they are addicted to things with sugar, flour, processed foods, caffeine, etc. Certainly chocolate is a food that many believe they are addicted to.
This is a very painful topic. You want to believe that you have the willpower or some other strength that can get you out of these painful ways of being with food and your body. Going it alone rarely works. Diets rarely work- and if they do, they usually stop working after a period of time.
First you gotta admit some things to your self. This is a very painful step. And if you have read this far, good for you, much easier to click away and think about something else.
Make a list of foods you think you are addicted to.
Think abour or write about your relationship with compulsive overeating.
Let me know what you find.
I am here for you.
Love and blessings,