Hi, my name is Jason Rowland. I am a food addict.
The other day, someone gave my family a gift of huge, gigantic chocolate chip cookies.
That evening for dessert, I told my kids they could have two. It didn’t even put a dent in the stash. They sat there looking at me. They spoke to me. I heard them. It was ’the talk.’ I had to partake. I had to eat one so I did. I ate slowly enjoying every bite.
Satisfied, I looked at the pile of cookies questioning if I should eat one more. Of course, I would eat it slowly again. I did. Slowly. I then ate another one. By this time, I am ashamed. I had done it again. I had lost control of myself for a temporary satisfaction of chocolate chip cookie. The first one was great. The fourth one had lost its zeal but my mind said to continue.
I have so much grace and mercy for those addicted to substances like drugs and alcohol. I am an addict. I understand the voice of inanimate objects. Food screams out. Many times I compelled to answer. Unfortunately, I can not simply avoid swinging by the corner liquor store or corner ‘drug store.’ I can not simply abstain from my edible cravings.
If I come a few feet away from certain foods, it speaks every so loudly but softly to me. It says the same things repeatedly. “Come to me,” Krispy Kreme Doughnuts sweetly say. “Eat me now for you will never have another chance in your life again to eat me again,” pronounces Mrs. Edward’s Lemon Pie (btw my favorite food of all times).
As you can tell, sugar is my choice of drugs. I can live forever without eating another chip. Sugar? It is my friend, my comfort, or it is my little liar all will be well?
I recently came to the realization of my addiction. It has been eye opening. Certain foods I must avoid. Every food addicts list my be different yet I find my list of foods grows as I discover more foods or concoctions can become triggers which leads me down a slippery slope.
Just today, I was presented a healthy macaroni salad recipe with whole wheat noodles and light mayonnaise. Pretty healthy, right? For me, I wouldn’t be able to control myself. Just a half cup of the salad was low in calories but for me to eat a half cup is a fairy tale. I would eat the whole thing. I really enjoy macaroni salad.
No, I love macaroni salad.
My list includes certain breads like doughnuts though I am not a big bread person. Sandwich cookies can be added to the list. I am not a big fan of Oreos but bring cheap store brand sandwich cookies in our home and I will sneak them away like a kidnapper. Cheese balls or dips or sour cream dips stir up feelings almost sexual. I was at a party recently and pulled up a chair right beside a cheese ball with crackers like I was trying to hit on it.
The thought of never eating a certain food again is a constant battle. The idea of never being able to eat a certain delicacy again steamrolls over me during the holidays, when I am dining out of town, or eating one of my favorite foods. I try to ignore the voices but they turn up the volume as I walk away.
To fight the battle, I have done some of the following things to assist in helping me battle my addiction to food:
One, I don’t purchase the foods which I know I will lapse in my judgement of eating. I don’t purchase them so I will not be tempted by them in my home.
Second, I have enlisted the help of my family. They know the list. They now the foods which cause me to fall off the rails.
Third, I occasionally visit certain restaurants which make me weak. One restaurant, I can’t even go in because of my love of their ranch dressing. They might as well bring it in a beverage pitcher. Another restaurant has certain rolls. I walk in and I come out looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy.
Fourth, our family is far from the poster family for healthy eating but we fill our home with fruit – a lot of fruit. Recently, my daughter shared with us that when she grew up and had her own home, she would fill it with fruit. She probably said this because we never had fruit in our home. Now, every week we shop for a variety of fruit. In addition, we make it fun and shop for fruit at local international markets which has fruit we have never eaten before.
Finally, I am in a weekly accountability group. We are group of people fighting the same things. We share insights, tools, and thoughts as we go about fighting the war. We need each other. We cheer, applaud, and sometimes cry with others as they continue to fight on. The battle is real and we know it is a fight we will have to fight until we die.
I am always looking for help, suggestions, and tools to fight my food addiction. I would enjoy hearing your techniques which would assist me and others on their journey to controlling this slavish dependence.