Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Food Addiction

This Friday marks my very last Prozac dose. I'm very excited to be off of the medication and I'm very excited to be able to focus on getting healthy. For those of you who may not know, I was prescribed Prozac because compulsion runs in my family. My compulsion formed in an unhealthy relationship with food and I became a binge eater... a compulsive binge eater. I would sit and eat and eat and not be able to stop myself. My brain would tell me I needed things and not that I just wanted them... After 10 months on Prozac, I'm proud to say that I haven't had a single binge episode. I no longer feel the need to binge. If I have the urge, I am able to stop myself. It's empowering.

My next hurdle to tackle is food addiction. I am very much addicted to food. Addiction also runs in my family... there are a number of alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, etc... My addiction is in the form of food.

I searched for food addiction online and came across an article...


Signs of Food Addiction
Researchers at Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Science & Policy have developed a questionnaire to identify people with food addictions.
Here's a sample of questions that can help determine if you have a food addiction. Do these actions apply to you? Do you:
  • End up eating more than planned when you start eating certain foods
  • Keep eating certain foods even if you're no longer hungry
  • Eat to the point of feeling ill
  • Worry about not eating certain types of foods or worry about cutting down on certain types of foods
  • When certain foods aren't available, go out of your way to obtain them
The questionnaire also asks about the impact of your relationship with food on your personal life. Do these situations apply to you:
  • You eat certain foods so often or in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with the family, or doing recreational activities.
  • You avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
  • You have problems functioning effectively at your job or school because of food and eating.
The questionnaire asks about withdrawal symptoms. For example, when you cut down on certain foods (excluding caffeinated beverages), do you have symptoms such as:
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Other physical symptoms
The questionnaire also tries to gauge the impact of food decisions on your emotions. Do these situations apply to you?
  • Eating food causes problems such as depression, anxiety, self-loathing, or guilt.
  • You need to eat more and more food to reduce negative emotions or increase pleasure.
  • Eating the same amount of food doesn't reduce negative emotions or increase pleasure the way it used to.

I can answer yest to the majority of those questions. Addiction is frustrating to me. I hate when I don't feel in control of myself. Food addiction is different than other forms of addiction. I say this because alcoholics can avoid alcohol and take control of their addiction... same with drug addicts. Gamblers can abstain from going to casinos, horse races, or whatever they gamble on... Food addicts cannot abstain from eating food because food is needed to survive.

I really wish that there was an Overeaters Anonymous or a Food Addicts Anonymous around here where I could attend meetings. I cannot afford to see a psychologist or counselor for my addictions. I could see a nutritionist if I could get my doctor to refer me to see one...

I need reliability. I need someone to be there and to weigh and measure me and hold me accountable for all of my actions. What I really want to do is to organize a group that would meet once a month at my house or someone's house. We would do weigh ins each month with optional measurements. We would discuss our exercise for the prior month and our food struggles/successes. Basically it would be like a Weight Watchers meeting minus the expensive fees. It would be amazing if I could find a group that would do this! Maybe I will try to set something up!

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