How are you dealing with your addiction?

Discussion in 'Bring your Head Inside and your Body will Follow' started by KD, 26 July 2007 Social URL.

  1. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    I am an addict. Once I accepted that I probably had an addiction to food it was much easier to deal with it.

    For instance, in the past when I was on diets, “I want” meant “I must have”. No question about it. As I learnt a little more control, “I want” meant I had to battle against having:mad:. I knew I mustn’t have. I was resentful….why me? I had kept to the diet all morning…surely I deserved a treat now. It meant I had to distract myself, to find something else to do on the hopes that I would forget what I really felt I had to do….eat.

    Then I learnt about choices. I could choose to eat or deprive myself. Ummm. Still not good enough. I knew that I could soothe myself in seconds over a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar…followed by a load of sandwiches and anything else I could find. :rolleyes:

    We are programmed to give ourselves whatever we need to soothe our troubled souls....to take care of ourselves and do whatever needs to be done within reason, but it doesn’t quite work like that for an addict as whatever it is may nurture us for a moment, will probably kill us in the long run.

    When I gave up smoking I learnt a technique that serves me well with food well (most of the time anyway)

    I realised that I had nothing to gain from smoking and everything to lose. I couldn’t really go along 100% of the addiction to nicotine as in certain circumstances I could go hours without a ciggie and often not even thinking about one. Of course, as soon as I left that non-smoking place, I would immediately light up. It seemed as if it wasn’t the effects of nicotine that was making me crave, but an associated habit. This place = a ciggie. This time = a ciggie (or 4)

    If nicotine was such a terrible thing to withdraw from, why on earth wasn’t I waking up every 30 minutes a night a quivering wreck? How come I started smoking again after months of abstinence?

    It was then I realised this was just an addictive desire. Nothing more. It had little to do with whether I needed cigarettes, but in the past had been the reason why I had tried to cure that desire with ciggies or food. I misunderstood. I thought that “I wanted” “meant “I needed”. I thought it would make me feel better.

    What if I really separated the two? The desire, from acting on the desire. What if I just accepted that as an addict, I would get these desires. They would have nothing to do with whether I should eat or smoke excessively, but were overwhelming urges to self destruct. I needed to make a new conditioned response and I would only be able to do that by practicing it. I want=my addiction to desire it. IFKWIM.

    Okay…so to practice it meant I had to keep facing up to it. No trying to distract myself away. No beating myself up for just feeling the desire. Just facing and dealing with it. What I had done wrong in the past, was hating myself for having the feeling, or if I was feeling strong, distracting myself away from it. Anything other than face it and practice acceptance.

    Facing the feeling serves me best in the long run. Learning a new response to it rather than learning to avoid it.

    We can’t always run away from the desire. I can hardly go to the help desk in Tescos to ask them to run a bath as I’ve just spied the cream cakes. Neither can I tell a fellow smoker to enjoy his ciggie alone as I will have to go for a walk :D I can only avoid for so long, but for long term success I have to learn to face the fear and deal with it.

    It certainly gets easier with practice, though I do fall on occasion, but that’s okay too. As long as I always remember that the more I practice my new associated response, the better I will get at it.

    Does this make any sense?
     
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  3. tishtosh

    tishtosh Hopeful for the future

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    I do like to see posts like this Karion, and thank you.

    I've been doing quite well on LL and have lost over 3 and a half stone in 12 weeks which is great. My friends often remind me of the difficulty of keeping the weight off and are sceptical too. I reply with 'let me get to my goal first and worry about keeping it off then'. However, I do worry as I am also a food addict, and if I didn't watch things could easily succumb to alcohol too.

    I was at home in Dublin last week and despite my resolve to stick 100% to LL I relented to the lure of my favourite meals etc being prepared 'specially' for me. I decided to enjoy things in moderation - which I did, until Sunday evening. Then I had the crooked thoughts of 'I'm back on the diet tomorrow' etc. etc. and had to have a couple of sandwiches with mayo etc. and all the rest. I did this once everyone else went to bed and in retrospect I had been planning this most of the day, as I knew people would be going to bed early.

    I couldn't bring myself to tell my cousellor this last bit as I'm ashamed. This is about old habits and it frightens me, even though I'm a long way from management. I realise how fragile my relationship with food actually is still, and you hit the nail on the head by saying 'I want' = 'I must have'!

    Your method of dealing with your desires makes a lot of sense to me. They are going to be there for as long as they were there before - which in my case is a very long time. This post - along with your wonderful 'only lost one pound' post is going into my inspirational file, which I'm compiling for when I need to deal with 'real' food in the future.

    I look forward to seeing other replies also,

    Thank you
     
  4. Linda5111

    Linda5111 I can do this.

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    Hi Helen, what u have said makes a lot of sence, i'm also a food addict, u have given me a lot to think about.

    Linda
     
  5. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    I guess all comes to light when you come off VLCDs. Many people feel they have cracked it during the diet and it comes as a big surprise to find there is a whole load more to do. Forewarned is forearmed and all that;)
     
  6. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    It does come to light, but not all at once.

    The posts that have been on here over the past few days have made me think about my food addiction. In fact, made me think enough to do something about it. Im battling with something in the fridge, its there to be eaten, so it needs eating now.

    Just right now, Im not eating it, Ive got a glass of water and Im on here, In a mo, Im going to walk past the fridge, not open it, and go in to the front room. Ive just filled my water again, just to make sure.

    Why should I eat it now?? Im not sure, it will taste the same at lunch time, Im not hungry now, but I still want to eat it, it will taste nice, but then, maybe not as nice as it will when Im hungry.

    So, my addiction is the desire to eat, I know that that piece of food is there, but Im not going to have it, not yet anyway, Ill have it at lunchtime, or when Im hungry, not just shove it in now, and then panic at lunchtime, because its lunchtime and I must eat as because thats what we have to do at lunchtime.

    What a waffle Vic, but maybe it needed saying, so, what have a gleaned from these posts.

    My desire turns in to a need, so therefore I eat, but just because I need it doesnt mean that I really need it, its my brain telling me it would be nice to eat. I love eating. I love lots of things but I dont have to do those things 24 hours a day!!!!

    Ok, so when I am about to open the fridge, the cupboard, I need to stop and ask some questions,

    Am I hungry??
    Am I eating for the sake of putting something in my mouth??
    Is this something I need right now??

    Right, lets stick these notices on the fridge and see where I go from here??

    Im not going to have the item in the fridge.

    Thanks
     
  7. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    The other thing, is when I finished CD, I thought I had it cracked, I said no if I wasnt hungry, I didnt buy rubbish foods, I exercised loads.

    But the old habits crept up, I took food offered when I wasnt hungry, why?? The worls didnt cave in when i said no before, so why would it now??

    I bought healthy foods, so I wasnt tempted, then one day I bought some crisps, thought I could cope with them in the cupboard, guess what, I ate them.

    I got lazy, the weather got bad, I stopped running and doing my work out DVD's, because I couldnt be bothered. Thing is I felt good afterwards, so why dont I still do them?? Dunno, but Im gonna do one in a bit!!!

    Love x
     
  8. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Spot on there vicky!! Absolutely spot on! It's the desire, not the need to eat...just the desire.

    The desire isn't scary. Relax into it. You don't have to fight it, just realise that it's the desire of an addict. Accept it for what it is.

    Don't distract yourself from it, because it will turn up all over the place and you need to practice not making the desire equal the action.

    You are not depriving yourself in anyway by delaying the action, just building new wires to disassociate that particular thought with actually going ahead and eating.

    Of course, there's times when you have to eat,;) but if you pre-plan them at acceptable times, you'll work out the difference between the addictive desire and the real desire, if you know what I mean.

    So true. Imagine wembly stadium and thousands of tiny little lights. I'm turning mine on one by one in slow motion :D
     
  9. AmandaJayne

    AmandaJayne Trainee Maintainer

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    Oh dear me yes Karion, it all makes sense in the manner of not making sense, that is, when I think I've climbed another hill, I find myself back at the bottom somehow. WTF! How did THAT happen?

    I've been giving in to all my desires (some food related, some not!) during this holiday and to justify this (because we addicts are just SOOOOOOO good at justifying) I whisper to myself "once I get home (to reality) I'll revert to 'normal eating'". Yes, really, I honestly believe that too. It's not going to happen though unless I do some work to 'make it so'.

    I've had a lot of time to think during this trip 'up north', and some of the time has been spent dwelling on negative thoughts which have been threatening to overpower at times. I want to communicate this to hubby but feel far to ashamed to admit that I feel such a failure on every level. I think back to the time when I was doing LL and the wonderful feelings of well-being and wish I could feel like that again. At the moment I am fighting hard and struggling against the negative feelings, but feel that am merely shoving them under a carpet where they bulge menacingly. For a while it's ok, it's a bit of breathing space.

    However, the good news is that I know it will get better because, at some point, all this hard learning will eventually begin to pay off. It's just that, like coming to terms with grief, you have to actually go through the whole long and painful process whether you want to or not. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could sleep for X number of years and wake up when the worst has happened, and we're feeling better, and more able to cope. Sigh.

    I am on the last leg of our tour of the North East of Scotland and we have travelled as far north as Dornock (where hubby used to go with parents and caravan). Apparently Madonna got married at the local church. At the moment I am sitting in a cafe in Aberdeen, called Books'n'Beans. Much recommended. Help! Time is running out.... got to go!

    Good luck to all those who are struggling! You only fail when you give up!

    AJ
     
  10. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    Ive just decided to go back to 790 whilst I try do the head thing.

    Im so glad we are addressing issues like thism, feel like I am not so alone now x
     
  11. carebear1

    carebear1 Full Member

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    Fab post KD!!!!

    I'm a crisp addict and could easily eat 15+ bags a day, i would miss all meals and eat just crisp.
    I don't eat when i'm upset so i'm not a comfort eater i just like crisp soooooooo much. The hardest thing about CD is not been able to have my crisps, i can do without eating food as thats normal but not having my crisps is making me a seriously angry,irratible person. I'm actually like that man on the tv that its nothing but crisps.

    I so want to break this and never touch a packet( as i can never have just one they are sooo yummy) but i don't no if i can.
     
  12. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    I thought I'd be like that. To never be able to touch my trigger foods would be enough to make me want to slit my wrists:rolleyes:

    I had to work through each trigger food and learn how to eat just one packet and anything more was probably my addictive desire.

    After all, once maintaining, you can eat anything you want. Just because you love them doesn't mean you have to have them immediately. I very much doubt that you feel such a complusion to do everything you enjoy immediately...over and over again.

    It's the addiction talking. Otherwise you would be able to delay it. Recognise that and you are halfway there. Well, not exactly half way but have the right starting point ;)
     
  13. daisydaisy

    daisydaisy Full Member

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    Just found this thread... it's fascinating stuff! As somebody who lost 4 stone with LL, and has allowed 3 stone of it to creep back on over the last two years, I really need to get food into perspective this time, so I don't repeat the same mistakes.

    I am definitely, definitely a food addict of sorts. Well, more a sugary and (to a lesser extent) salty snacky food addict, really. I know this, because funnily enough, I don't feel any urge to empty the fridge of cheese, or lettuce, or bacon. But if there's chocolate, ice cream, cake, biscuits, crisps or nuts in the house, I have to eat them until they're gone. I'll even drive to the nearest 24 hour garage late at night to get chocolate on occasion.

    I banned all these trigger foods from my diet after LL, and maintained perfectly for 2 months, just by healthy eating - not following LL management. But then I thought I could get away with a little piece of carrot cake on somebody's birthday - big mistake! I remember that day so well - I ate it shortly before leaving work (this is after 7 months of no sugar), and got so giddy on it I missed my motorway junction on the way home! I felt like a zombie - looking back I'm really surprised I got back in one piece. It was amazing the physical effect it had on me, and of course afterwards more and more sugar crept back into my life until I ended up back here with 3 stone to re-lose.

    So, I'm wondering if my 'addiction' is physical or psychological, or a bit of both? Is it possible to be physically addicted? I think going through your triggers one by one and learning to relax into the 'desires' is a fantastic way to do it, but what if I really am physically addicted to sugar? Do I treat it like nicotine and cut it out of my life, or is that being a bit over dramatic? I really need a 'sugar' strategy for when I finish CD this time...
     
  14. clairelesley

    clairelesley Fairy Princess to Be

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I've been away from Mini's for a while and am back because I actually feel like I'm starting to go crazy - and these posts more or less sum it all up!
    I've been slowly putting weight on since the start of the year and therefore kicking myself for it. If I can go for weeks and weeks without actually 'eating', how can I possibly lack self-discipline, willpower, whatever you want to call it? So I start thinking about what I will and won't eat for lunch/the day/the week, then spend the whole day arguing with myself about it. The worst part is when I do eat I *DO* feel better. The last few days I've noticed myself actually getting the shakes while waiting for food to cook or in the lunch queue.
    I really thought I was totally ridiculous, if not certifiable, but I think you're right, I just need to focus long enough to recondition myself.
    So thank you so much for all these posts, it's helped me with a bit of perspective that I can do something proactive to put myself back in control - my present state of mind is costing my a fortune in Lush products (bath & shopping type avoidance techniques!)
    Claire
     
  15. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    I think we need some maintainers like KD around for this one, She is the oracle, YoooooooooooHooooooooooooKD where are you.

    Although any other peoples advice is fab too.

    Im still 12lbs above where i want, I mean, dont get me wrong, its not 5st, but its still makes me overweight.

    Life is so hard, but we will get there
     
  16. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    I think it's a 'lot' of both
    Yes, I reckon so, and recent research has also pointed in this direction.
    Just my personal opinion here, and what I found worked for me......

    I think I'm addicted, physically and psychologically, but I do know that I can control it. I've always been able to control even if I didn't realise it at the time.

    For example...even when I was overweight, if I had sugar (or other trigger foods) in certain circumstances, then I didn't have a nervous breakdown when I couldn't have more.

    Just say I ate a mars bar, then went to work. I could do a full day of teaching without even contemplating having another 'fix'. But...if I had a trigger food at home, when alone, then just one little bit would send me into a frenzy of needing more.

    I'm not prepared to completely eliminate one food group, because I really don't think that I'll ever be able to. There will always be circumstances that will end with me eating something from my triggers. Besides....I did enjoy those foods. I didn't want to never eat them again, but I did want to get my head around the psychological part so that it was so strong, I could cope with the physical addiction.

    So if we compare that with a smoker, is it possible for a smoker to have 'just the one'. Yep, I reckon so. Okay...it's unwise, but if they are really committed to never going back to ciggies after the one, then I reckon it's possible. Stupid....but possible :D
     
  17. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    I'm sure you do. I did too.

    Sugars and carbohydrates raises the endorphins level, which gives you a high. Do too much of it, and the brain's endorphin level slows down, so you have to eat more of it to get the same feeling.

    On top of that, no doubt there were times when you were younger that eating the high processed food (or sweet, high fat/carby foods) during a period of being happy. Birthdays, celebrations. No doubt the mind puts the two together and even though you can eat when you are low, the chemicals remember the connection and it subconsciously brings back those happy times and feelings. Subconsciously remember...you may not realise it's happening...you just get the good feelings again.


    Not sure that makes sense, but I know what I mean:p
     
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  19. Isis

    Isis Ancient Egypt Nut!

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    Ohhh, this makes TOTAL sense to me KD!!! Especially the bit about birthdays etc and remembering the feelings/endorphins etc. Bit like any addiction really....mmmmm....more to mull over :rolleyes::D
     
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  20. blue_grapefruit

    blue_grapefruit Gold Member

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    Been far too scared to answer this post for a long time now, but here goes:

    How am i dealing with my addiction? I'm not.
     
  21. clairelesley

    clairelesley Fairy Princess to Be

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    Just wanted to drop back in and say....
    YAY!!! :bliss:​

    The wisdom on this thread reminded my of the Paul McKenna stuff I read a few years ago (i.e. bought, read, ignored then forgot about) and while I know 'intuitive eating' is a bit of a no-no on Mini's these days coz of not being an actual diet, I've found it really useful as a focus for helping me honestly think about what I eat, when I eat it and why (which yes, you can do for yourself without spending money on books & CDs etc but since I had it anyway.....)
    Anyhoo, the point is that I really feel like I'm putting myself back in control again, less obsessed about food and less (dis)stressed about what I am and amn't eating. It's early days yet, but definitely worth persevering.
    So just to re-iterate: it CAN be done!
    Good Luck to All!
    :party0049::party0049::party0049:​
     
  22. monkeys bunny

    monkeys bunny need 2get my head into it

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    wow this thread it ace. i hope i can take what i have learn and actually put it in to practise cos it all sounds great while im sat here at work but maybe when im at home with my fingers twitching and the juices forming in my mouth at the thought of some 'naughty' food it may not be so easy.

    wish me luck, i need it
     
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