Food addiction

The “diet” is underway but, I have to admit it isn’t really a diet. I’m trying to do more and eat less, but as I wrote in my last blog – there isn’t much else I can give up.

I’d love to have a chef prepare my meals and have a plant based diet but I’m not rich. And I do this crazy thing every day called work. Squeeze in more exercise to try to lose weight and I barely have time for Candy Crush. I only need to eat three times a day. I’m capable of eating six small meals a day, but that also takes a lot of work to prepare and do on a regular basis.

For me, and I’m not an expert, it seems as though my problem is addiction. Sometimes I think I’m addicted to overeating. I eat when I’m bored, I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m happy. As far back as high school I would celebrate the completion of a basketball game by going to Dairy Queen. To this day I love Dairy Queen.

Recently I have seen a lot of messages and posts on social media suggesting that sugar is the devil. When I lived in Florida I had a friend go on a no-sugar diet and I thought she was crazy. How could sugar be that big of a deal, I wondered.

After the recent social media buzz and a few of the documentaries mentioned sugar being more addictive than cocaine I pushed aside my thoughts of that hub-bub being about book sales and making money. I have been chewing my nails since my little brother was born. He’s like 38 now. I could call my nail chewing a habit but really, it’s an addiction. I know all the reasons not to chew my nails but I can’t stop. I’ve managed to keep one nail, in case something itches, but I can’t stop chewing the other nine. So I asked myself, if sugar is addictive, how does it affect me?

I started paying more attention and noticed: if I ate oatmeal for breakfast I was done, ready for the day. If I ate a bowl of Kashi cereal as my first meal, I was done. If I ate raisin bran with sugar on it (how else would I get it down) I wanted three bowls. Even more disturbing, I ate two frozen waffles with Mrs. Buttersworth syrup a day for a week. Each day I needed more for breakfast so I would eat a Clif bar afterwards. When I ran out of Mrs. B I discovered I had another bottle in the pantry – but it was a “sugar-free” version. Since I’ve used that on my waffles I no longer “need” that post-waffle treat.

When I evaluate what I’ve considered overeating because of lack of control or emotions I realize what I have no control over is full of sugar. I can’t eat a handful of M&M’s – I have to eat the whole bag. Same with cookies and good lord don’t even try to keep a pint (or more) of ice cream near me. Because I have a “sweet tooth” I tried controlling my portion size of snacks by eating chocolate miniatures. That was a disaster – I would eat the whole bag of miniatures as soon as I opened it.

I don’t know how to satisfy my sweet tooth and counter my addictive personality but I think if I can figure that out, I might lose weight. Until I start reading the hub-bub about sugar-free foods being full of chemicals…

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