There’s no such thing as food addiction…. oh right, that’s why I’m hiding upstairs trying to ignore the very tantalizing slice of leftover birthday cake in the fridge. Why are people always so quick to discount things they don’t understand? I didn’t always struggle with food; don’t get me wrong, I have always l o v e d food. It wasn’t until, ironically enough, I was diagnosed with a thyroid issue and gained an ass load of weight that my real food problems began. I was literally killing myself in the gym, eating healthy and pounding back gallons of water. Initially, I lost 45 pounds and then one day, I stopped losing and instead started gaining. A very long story later, I was told that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which basically means that my thyroid is an asshole and wants to ruin my life. After all that work, I had my first ever struggle with depression. I just started eating, with the mindset that if I was going to be fat anyway, then why shouldn’t I indulge? And indulge I did. I ate whatever, whenever. My husband worked a million hours and after a tiring day with the kids, all I wanted to do was lay in bed with cheesesteak. When I was sad, I ate. Mad, I ate. I would lay in bed with boxes of Chinese food and a literal 2 liter of soda…. mountain dew to be specific. It was terrible and I felt awful. ALL THE TIME. The thing about a thyroid disorder is that you feel tired and blah a lot of the time; add terrible eating habits on top of that and then it’s like what’s the point of even getting out of bed? I think the worst thing is that when you fill your body up with simple carbs and sugars, you crave them more and more. It doesn’t matter how crappy you feel, it’s like you NEED those carbs and you’ll practically die without a hit of McDonalds sweet tea. That was my life. I have never talked about this to anyone except my husband and it has always been a little shadow of shame following me around. Sneaking around downstairs at 3am eating TWO peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…. how did I let myself get to that place?
To be honest, it was easy. It was far easier to delve into the fridge for the next even remotely appetizing meal than it was not to do it. People always make weight loss or simply living a healthier lifestyle seem as simple as just doing it. No. It’s not. Maybe for some people it is, but for someone with a true food addiction, it takes much, much more than “just doing it.” My vice is carbs. I’m not much of a sweets person; I much prefer gravy laden mashed potatoes or a bowl full of pasta drenched in alfredo sauce. Yep. That’s me. For the last year or so, I’ve been battling with myself. I am too old and too valuable to my family to lay around face down in an extra cheese pizza. It took many mirror talks with myself, buckets of tears and A LOT of falling off the wagon to regain control of my eating. Even now, I still don’t feel like I’m “cured.” When I have a shitty day, I still gravitate towards the fridge or open up my GrubHub app. BUT, I am finally at the point where I am conscious of it and as a result, I make better choices. Over the last few months I have managed to lose 32 pounds by carb cycling. It has been a struggle but it is the FIRST time in over 8 years that the weight has actually dropped and I haven’t had to kill myself to make it happen. I basically cycle between eating very low carb and moderate carbs over a period of days. I cut sugar and drink enough water to keep me in the bathroom 23 real hours of the day and night. I knew I had had a breakthrough when we went to a steakhouse and they set a steaming hot loaf of bread and butter in front of me, and I didn’t touch a single piece of it. How’s that for victory?
So the next time you hear a judgmental remark from an uninformed but self-professed expert, ignore them and keep it moving. Until they have hidden take out containers or stuffed three slices of pizza in their mouths after a bad day at work, they simply won’t understand. The thing to remember is that you are not alone. The struggle is really real for a lot of people and at the end of the day, the “cure” is to put yourself first. Love yourself enough to take control of your life and realize that that food does not love you back. It might comfort you in the moment, it might provide a distraction from something difficult, but think about how you feel afterwards…. When the food is gone, what then? When you’re lying in bed with a gurgling stomach and an ever expanding waistline, what’s the next move? There came a point when I just got tired of feeling like crap, I got tired of feeling tied to my eating habits. I found something else besides food that gives me comfort; after a long day I take a hot bath and read a new book. The kids stressing me out? I throw on their jackets and sneakers and we all hit the pavement. Choices. It’s all about making positive choices and I promise you it will change you. This probably sounds hella cheesy, but I feel liberated. I can fit into pants I haven’t fit into in years, I can see my waistline and if I say so myself, my booty is looking niiiiice. 😉
I hope this post encourages someone. I know that this will probably be a life long struggle, but I feel like I’m finally on the right side. Almost every day I say to myself, “If, my daddy can put down a crack pipe, then I can put down the bread.” And you know what? That’s real.
Until next time, keep smiling.
*you guys know that I never, ever ask you to share my content; but please share this one! I want this to reach as many people as possible and inspire as many people as I can. It always helps to know that you are not alone. Thank You!*