One component of addiction is denial. (Denial is a state of mind marked by a refusal or an inability to recognize and deal with a serious personal problem.) You might travel from thinking, I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay around food to, I’m not okay. Consistently eating more than you need, even though there are negative consequences, is part of the addiction, too.
[pix_md_text align=”text_left” max_width=”325″]Denial is a state of mind marked by a refusal or an inability to recognize and deal with a serious personal problem.[/pix_md_text] I am an addict. No matter how many years I practice the new, mindful way of eating, the new habits will always be less substantive than the old habits and patterns I have practiced over a lifetime of mindless eating. The old way will always have more practice, heft, weight, and power than the new way.
From years of pushing the envelope myself – that’s what addicts do – I know for sure I don’t have willpower or self-control; they were both surgically removed at birth. You can, however, learn to buy a little less, order a little less, prepare and serve a little less. By the time food is presented, you’ll eat a little less. Ultimately, you’ll weigh a little less.
It is the times that you’ve gone off your program by leaving food lying around in a too instant, quick, and available form, you’re most likely thinking: I can handle it, or one won’t hurt. (That’s denial.)
It is not one of anything that causes a weight gain. It is that the old way has a ritual, frequency, and portion-size that has been established over a lifetime. And, if the item you choose happens to be one of the current foods you use to distract yourself, then it is not one of anything, because you can’t stop once you’ve started. You’re gonna eat it ‘til it’s gone. [pix_md_text align=”text_right” max_width=”325″]It is not one of anything that causes a weight gain. It is that the old way has a ritual, frequency, and portion-size that has been established over a lifetime.[/pix_md_text]
Do you believe you should be able to leave junk food lying around your home and office and not eat it? (That’s denial.) A young, overweight father of two tells me “I know I can lose all the weight (75 pounds) if I can get to the gym regularly.” (That’s denial.) If you’re using a food or beverage to distract yourself from feeling angry, lonely, tired, stressed, and worried, and you’ve received some temporary relief from your emotional discomfort, why should you stop going into the kitchen to get that food – that distraction? When you get there, you always get what you want: something with which to self-medicate. Even if the young man gets to the gym, he’s not going to lose the weight unless he starts eating an amount of food (less often, smaller in portion) than what he has been eating. When you create a new automatic response to replace your old automatic response (re-patterning), then when you go to the kitchen, the food isn’t there. You’ll find something else (less destructive) with which to distract yourself. Eventually, you’ll stop going into the kitchen.
The few moments of comfort you receive from drugging with food are totally disproportionate to the quantity of drugs (food, portion size, and frequency of usage) you need to achieve those few moments. Because you build a tolerance to drugs (you cannot ever get it big enough and you can’t get it frequently enough) you’re never satisfied.