My husband is a recovering addict/alcoholic. This post is not about that - that's his story to tell. This post is about my addictions and how they relate.
I often joke about my food addiction, but truly it's no joke. The only thing in my life that comes close to being as addictive a substance to me is my books. And let's face it, an over-indulgence in books just makes you, well.....smarter. Even if it lightens your pocketbook, you can overcome that by buying used books or joining a book trade forum.
But food. Food has been my drug most of my life. Even before conscious memory. Baby crying? Give her a cookie. Problem solved.
I've tried to explain my food addiction to my husband in terms he can relate to based upon his experiences with addiction. But in many ways I believe my addiction is far more difficult to overcome. Not to belittle his achievements, or anyone else who has battled drugs or alcohol, but the first, simplest and most basic rule, and the first thing they tell you in Alcoholics Anonymous or Drug Rehab is "Just don't drink/do drugs."
Easy? No of course not. Simple? Yes.
But "Just don't eat," is not only impractical, it's a bit incompatible with life. If we want to continue enjoying this Earth, humans must consume sustenance. Daily. Three times or more per day.
If you told a crack addict that they had to consume crack at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. daily, and they were only permitted one hit of the substance, don't expect to see them or their money (or yours for that matter) ever again. It's impossible.
Is food equal to crack cocaine? Well it sure as hell doesn't make me as skinny as crack would, but it's every bit as alluring and dangerous to me. The detrimental effects of it may take a bit longer to kill me, but kill me they will. Everyone knows being overweight contributes to heart disease, circulatory problems, strokes, diabetes, the list goes on and on.
And besides the health issues, being overweight is one of the last remaining socially accepted prejudices. If someone's fat it's okay to call them on it. Make them the butt of jokes. Speculate on how much weight they've gained. And don't think I don't already know that half the people on Facebook are "friending" people just to see how fat they got since high school.
So it's literally been the fight of, and for, my life.
Today I have lost 10% percent of my body weight. This is a fantastic achievement for me, yet I still have a way to go. But my eyes were opened today to a similarity between myself and addicts/alcoholics everywhere. And I am amazed it has taken me this long to realize it.
I have to battle this every day, indeed every minute, of my life. I have to maintain my "sobriety." By losing weight and achieving a "goal", I have not been "cured." I will never, EVER be cured. And due to the nature of my drug, and the inability to avoid it entirely, I must accept that there will be relapses.
I have taken the first step. I admitted I am powerless over food and that my life had become unmanageable. I came to believe that a Higher Power (and the Almighty Weight Watchers) can restore me to sanity.
Someday I will rock a pair of expensive jeans. And I will run circles around my Grandchildren.
Even if it is in a wheelchair.
Midtown up - Three Hipstamatic shots in one.
3 days ago