Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Addiction or Label?

Beth gave this information on addiction. I appreciate the information. I still have trouble with defining our problem with food/eating as an addiction.

I think of Sean Anderson who has lost a tremendous amount of weight and has written a book - Transformation Road about his recovery. Allan Klein has lost a lot of weight - he got sick of it and is doing something about it. Jeanette Fulda who wrote Half-Assed (great book by the way) and so many others. Could they not have said "I have an addiction" and resigned themselves to being unable to change their lives? Doesn't their past eating behaviors qualify as an addiction by the definition at this web site? Yes. So if I give this the label of addiction do these people prove that an addiction is not a life sentence? Did they beat their addiction or did they refuse that label and change their lives?

Alcohol is addictive, so is cocaine and heroine but these things can be totally eliminated from a person's diet and there is recovery. Refined sugar in all its forms can be eliminated from the diet as well. I was over it within a week or two. We do have to eat and I have heard many obese people use this as proof that overcoming food addiction (if there is such a thing) is even tougher than overcoming addiction to alcohol or cocaine. I don't think so. This is only one more way to justify bad choices.

If a child is given a label - lazy, dumb, ugly - do they live up to it? Yes they do in most cases. I think many are living up to labels rather that living in addiction. Is it possible to get addicted to a behavior pattern? I call this a habit and a bad habit if it means eating for the wrong reasons.

I refuse to accept that I am addicted. I don't want a crutch. I want to walk under my own power all the way to my goal weight. Do you?


  1. I don't think you need to accept that you are addicted. I'd just like you to accept that some people may be. Folks like Stanton Peele point out that even addictive substances like cocaine and heroin aren't immediately addicting ... the actual rate of addiction to these substances, even alcohol, is in a fairly small even single-digit percentage.

    So no, I don't think most people with eating issues are "addicted" per se. But I do think that there is a continuum of behavior and some are. And I also think it's helpful to acknowledge that some foods are more difficult to eat moderately, largely because of the way we evolved.

  2. There are people who realize they're addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling...and address it and learn to live their lives without the trigger. If a substance or habit interferes with your living a healthy, balanced life...if it takes on a place of such prominence that your day revolves around obtaining it...if once it is in your possession, you consume it as quickly as you can but are always left wanting more...then I believe you are addicted to it. Certain foods do this to certain people. Not every overweight person is a food addict and not every food addict is overweight. But if you are an overweight person who wakes up thinking about dinner and goes to bed thinking about breakfast...or a person who daydreams about ice cream and suddenly find yourself in the car driving to the store to get it and then eating the entire carton...I think the word addiction is appropriate.

  3. What I mean to say is that identifying your weakness in the face of certain foods, or identifying yourself as a food addict, or "addicted to sugar, " does not mean one accepts that and just continues to feed the addiction. Millions of people successfully break their addictions to toxic substances or behaviors every year. Food is no different.

  4. Hello! First timer to your blog. Interesting subject. Personally, I think some folks use "food addiction" to place blame. But I also believe some folks can become addicted to, say sugar and wheat.

    Once, I thought I was addicted to food. Found out I wasn't. I was just undisciplined (LOL) & didn't like to be told "NO", not even by myself and/or for my own good! We are stubborn creatures of habit!! At least I am!

  5. For me the label doesn't matter so much. What does matter is that I've pin pointed what does and doesn't trigger. I've also taken full responsibility for choosing to eat or not eat that food.

    I do believe that there are the same neuro-pathways for some people that there are addictions for drugs, alcohol, gambling, and over eating food. I also believe that there is likely a common gene mutation or bio marker that will be discovered in those people and we just aren't there yet. May never be, I may be wrong.

    One thing is for sure, I've been this way since I can remember and I believe I was born this way. Same way that I'm short. I don't sit and not do things because I can't reach something, I keep a step stool near by or have the tall people help me. Same thing with food, I take responsibility not to trigger what ever the heck it is and I don't use it as an excuse not to be at my goal weight.

    Interesting topic and I hope to live to see an easier time of it for people who struggle. Karen P.

  6. This is a truly interesting topic. I think I tend to think in a similar way to Myra that labels may not always be so helpful. Having been surrounded by many who seem to embrace their labels as reasons to allow themselves to continually fail and even be cruel and thoughtless, I am of course tempted to think there is no use for labels at all. But then I think of all the ways that people benefit from having a direction to go in to treat so many different things that ail us as humans and then I'm just back to not really knowing what to think. And yet I will probably always be wary of labeling just for the good of having a label because I see the genuine negative effects. Overall think that we just have to be careful and not jump to conclusions.

  7. I for one don't think that food is usually an addiction, but a habit, and habits are very hard to break.

    1. I agree. We cannot give ourselves or anyone else the thought that "since I am an addict, I can't be expected to be in control" mindset. There is no such thing as food addiction and once a person finally decides that enough is enough real effort will be put toward success. Thanks for stopping by.