Rants, Rules & Recipes

An Effort to End Nutritional Ignorance

RANT: Food Addiction

I totally ‘get’ addiction. I can fully relate to patients who struggle with substance abuse.  There are desserts I’ve tasted that I would knowingly steal and sell my mother’s jewelry just to taste again. There are days when I ‘need’ chocolate, and will rummage through cabinets and drawers with the same tenacity as a junkie searching for ‘smack’.  If under extreme duress, a plate of warm, fresh-baked, chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream atop could tempt me to devious sexual acts…I’m just sayin….

But narcotic use and alcohol consumption by addicts is called abuse.  And usually results in a rapid decline in health, morals and finances.  ‘Using’ is considered taboo, irresponsible, even sad; and is illegal. With food addiction, you aren’t ostracized and you won’t die a fast death.  In fact, you are encouraged by every commercial, every relative, every waitress and social occasion to over-indulge (or abuse food).  So you unknowingly experience a slow decline in health, physical fitness, and esteem.  A slow, unhealthy death.

If I approached abdominal sculpting or telethoning with the same gusto I approach ingesting delicious food, lets just say I’d be one washboard-ab-having-fundraising fool! (and much thinner). But there is something deep in the brain, perhaps my satiety center, that lights up like Disneyland on the 4th of July when deliciousness meets my mouth.

I now know, that same chemical reaction in the brain I experience with sugar, is what happens when a person uses cocaine or heroin.  Sugar is like a drug to our brains and I can’t seem to get enough.

Until I do. More than enough.

Then I’m sick. And full. And I say “remember this feeling, and don’t do it again”, but I do it again. Just as the heroin addict finds another needle.

But no one is going to feel sorry for a food addict like they do a drug addict.  Yet there are millions of us out there abusing food.  Where and how do we get help?  Help is Here

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