food is my happy pill

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Thoughts, Uncategorized, weight loss

I wanted to write about food addiction for a minute.  I know some people think if your fat your just greedy, slothful, and gluttonous.  True to a point but don’t be a jerk.  We all have flaws, ours are just easier to see.  I’ll say this, if you have never been heavy you don’t have a food addiction.  You might really like hamburgers or sweets but I’m talking about a different thing here. 

I’ve had a real addiction before.  To smoking.  That is what I’ll compare eating to seeing as how cigarettes are widely accepted as addicting.  When you haven’t had a smoke in a while you start feeling restless.  You start getting annoying little signals from your brain.  It taps away at your conscience, “Hey, hey….hey… hey!” It starts driving you nuts.  But if you go have a smoke peace returns and you get a little mood elevation.  If you choose to ignore the signal you get moody and just don’t feel quite right.  Imagine an alarm going off.  That noise sucks and bothers you and keeps going and going and all you have to do is push the button and you’ll get relief.  It’s damn hard to not push that button.  You can imagine if you couldn’t push it how you’d start to feel.  The noise would make you crazy.  It’s very frustrating when you’re quitting to not be able to push the button.  Luckily over time it gets quieter.  BEEPBEEPBEEPBEepBEepBEepBeepBeepbeepbeep.  Finally you can stand it but it never goes away, and sometimes it gets loud again, usually when your stressed, or around people smoking.  It takes constant vigilance to hold yourself from pushing the button which is why when people drink they are more likely to give in. 

Food for me is worse.  I don’t need to smoke.  I can hide from cigarettes forever.  Food I have to eat.  Everyday.  Several times a day.  I have to be surrounded by unhealthy food constantly.  It’s all over television and it fills the aisles of the stores.  It’s at the movies and the ball game.  I have to drive past countless restaurants to get anywhere.  There’s no avoiding it.  But we all do right?  Why is it different for me?

It’s easy to say I love to eat.  That doesn’t cover it for me.  I do love eating, but I REALLY love eating.  My priority is eating.  I spend the day thinking about what I’ll eat that night.  I order food wishing I could hold more so I could try more dishes.  I get excited for holidays almost solely for the food.  I get mad when I’m full because it means I have to stop.  Sometimes I eat till I’m sick, sleep it off, and then eat myself sick again.  I’ve been known to cook a big healthy meal, polish it off and then go out to eat because I’m not satisfied.  There is no off switch.  I never don’t want to eat.  Instead I wish I wasn’t so full because I want to keep going .  I have eaten, gotten a call to go out, thrown up my food so I wasn’t sick feeling, and then eaten again when I got home.  When I watch a movie at home I try to get enough food that I can eat the whole time.  Two hours worth of constant eating.  I wish I could get that feeling twenty-four hours a day.  I want it right now.  I think I’ve made my point.  But why do I want to eat so bad?

This is the addiction.  The feeling eating gives me.  It’s like I’m tucked up warm and safe with all my loved ones around me.  It’s comfort and contentment.  I don’t need or want anything else while I’m eating.  It’s a better feeling than almost anything else I know.  It’s a happy pill.  But it only lasts a short time.  It needs to be constantly replenished.  Not to mention that you feel sick all the time, its expensive, and your killing yourself.  Just like smoking. 

When I say happy pill I’m dead serious.  If I’m in a bad mood hand me a cheeseburger and I will be the jolly fat guy immediately.  I can’t tell you how many times my girlfriend and I have been having a fight and one of us will say, “Want to order pizza?”, and instantly we’re smiling and laughing.  Forget the argument it’s pizza party time!  How can I pass up something that makes me feel so good?

And so I’m back to addiction.  Isn’t this the same problem that drug addicts have?  They feel better when doing drugs than any other time?  They spend their whole life chasing that high?  Even though it’s killing them?  That’s me.  I’m sick, I’m hooked, and I’m getting desperate.  I want to live a long life.  I don’t want to be heavy anymore.  But I have this damn alarm screaming in my head and all I need is a heaping portion of salt, fat, and sugar and I’ll be grinning ear to ear.  Until tomorrow, when I look at the mirror, or go up some stairs, or try to buckle my pants.  Then I’ll need my food more than ever.

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