I have written before about my first white bread binge at age five, and now at nearly age 49 I'm still on that merry go round of abstaining, fooling myself into thinking I'm cured, and then going off on another food bender. But wait, the news isn't all bad. In the past, when I have brought up the subject of food addiction, most people I talked to would look at me as if the concept of being unable to stop eating sweets until the point of pain was completely foreign to them. Now, thank goodness, there is serious research going into the theory that food addiction might be real. Here is the abstract from a study on food addiction that appeared in the research journal "Appetite".
In two weeks I'll be attending my 30th High School Reunion. I had hoped to be able to enjoy myself by eating a reasonable amount of whatever I wanted at that party. Now I'm starting to think that letting go of sweets for good might result in a lot more peace and happiness that trying of eat just one slice or piece of anything. Perhaps I am one of 15% of the population that has a food addiction, and the only reasonable amount of my fix foods is none. I should note here that the "Appetite" study was among overweight individuals, so I should say 15% of the overweight population as determined by BMI.
In the past I have told myself:
"I should be able to eat treats."
"I should be thinner."
"I should have more willpower."
"I should look like the women on TV"
With a cruel voice in my head telling me lies like these, why wouldn't I feel depressed, and then eat sweets to momentarily quiet the voice?
I predict that more and more, those of us who struggle with overeating will get the support we need to try eliminating trigger foods without judgement. If we are only 15% of the population that struggles with their weight, that explains why so many people don't understand what were going through, but if we speak up about our experience we are more likely to foster understanding from the medical community and the public.
I think it's about time.