Change -Food & Addiction Part 2
Updated: Apr 27
In part one of this series, I revealed the biggest obstacles to overcoming an addiction to overeating. Today I want to share how I am living out my desire to be free from this addiction, and to live soberly around food while still enjoying it.
About four months ago, I began following a program which has really highlighted my unhealthy emotional attachment to food. I cannot say that I have lost the desire to overeat, but I have put into place some game-changing tools. Before I go on, I want to assure you this eating plan is 100% sanctioned by my doctor, and while it seems shocking, I want to ask you again to keep an open mind.
The program uses a very simple protocol. Intermittent fasting with 23 hours fasting, and about an hour for a meal. The meal is high-quality - usually large quantities of greens and protein, along with (often homemade) dressing full of healthy fats, and I also enjoy a "legal" dessert.
Some of you are thinking, "NO WAY!" So did I, honestly. This seems nearly impossible at first thought, but I promise you it is not. The hardest thing for me has been changing my mindset. I have had to decide every day that if I want a new life and attitude around food, I will need to make it happen. So I began telling myself this is who I am now. I began kindly reminding myself that if I want to be free from this curse of food addiction, I need to walk out of it intentionally by refusing to engage it. By limiting the amount of times I think about, prepare, and consume food, I am limiting the amount of energy I expend pursuing food.
After a few weeks of doing this, I began to need less food in my 1 hour window. I was throwing away food that just weeks ago I would have scarfed down. I began to be aware of my body's full signal, and once I had reached that I would enjoy my dessert and be done for the next 23 hours. The scale result of that change is a loss of about 1-2 lbs per week. That is a healthy rate of loss, and comes with no unpleasant side effects, so I know my body is getting what it needs in that hour.
But mainly, this is about finding a way to function soberly around food. This is my ticket to freedom from the compulsion to overeat, and while I am grateful for the ability to lose weight (which before had eluded me for many years), arriving at a set weight is not my goal, because I have no idea where my body wants to settle at! And I am not about to start obsessing about that, either!
What I know is that this is the only time in my entire life that I have been free from food obsession. I've been thin, I've been heavy, but I have always obsessed about food. Choosing to change to this way of eating has given me space and time to let go of the need to eat constantly, to "feed" my emotions with food, and has given me hope where before there was none for me.
Once I reach a healthy weight, I've decided the way I am eating likely won't change much, because this is not a diet program, but a compulsive-overeating recovery program, and just like avoiding backsliding with any other addictive tendency, it is something I will have to work at for the rest of my life.
If you can relate to anything you read here, leave a comment or message me from my contact page. I will pray for you and am glad to answer your questions.
Next time I'll talk more about obsession with food and the difficulty of taming that beast, but I'll leave you with this one thought: The battlefield is the mind.
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