Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Food addiction / Overeating

http://blog.smartrecovery.org/2014/01/07/get-your-loved-one-sober-alternatives-to-nagging-pleading-and-threatening/ shows how different alcohol addiction is compared to the food addiction that I have.

My food addiction has a root in childhood. It is (was) frequently a coping mechanism for some situation that I found caused us stress, or there was no solution for. Overeating was a survival tool, learned in childhood. It is as pervasive as any life skill, as is my low social need, also learned in childhood.  Poor close humiliation, poverty or frugality/ uncaring parents, unreachable expectation of parents, continual comparison with cousins, continual criticism, abusive parents, cold house (I damn near froze in the winters), work overload, no guidance, what ever the situation, I (we) ate.

Overeating became an mental escape for a few minutes, a coping method. Nagging, bitching, threatening drove me further into the disorder. Once the situation was removed (I was able to leave), overeating was a coping method I turned to as the first method of delaying, a "flight fight freeze" type of response. Overeating was conditioned in as our first response, it became part of my personality. Now as soon as I am exposed to stress, my first reaction is to want to eat. Add continual stress... and we find obesity. This is beyond and addition to the food addiction issues that come as a result of the overeating.

When we stop overeating, we need another methods of coping with the stresses... some of us find them, some do not. In order to recover from overeating as a coping skill, we need some type of release. Exercise is one possible, but only if we "enjoy". It is finding a enjoyable coping skill that is crucial to lasting recovery. Work was a "solution" when I was in a period of "enjoyment" at work, but with retirement....

Overeating and low social need are part of my personality. It is essentially a personality change that is required to overcome these issues. As you all may know personality change is not easy. It is equal to a gay becoming straight, or straight becoming gay. Most people do not even try to change personality's, but that is what is necessary for some of us to overcome overeating.

The overeating I speak of, from childhood, is not the same of later developing overeating, as David Kessler speaks of, although both may exist in the same person. Treatment of overeating must consider the cause of that specific individual, and where overeating is a coping skill, that skill must be replaced as well. A true cost benefit analysis, done thoroughly honest, will show up the difference, however, it take considerable recovery to reach that level of self honesty.

But what do I know? Be well, eat real food, breath deeply, smile easily, and enjoy what life has to offer. Daoish.

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