Some people have a healthy relationship with food. They enjoy eating and cooking, and they look forward to meals. They include food in their celebrations and as part of the quality time they spend with family and friends. Other people have an addictive relationship with food, and just like any other addiction, it can take over their lives in toxic and painful ways.
For many food addicts, food can be comforting and soothing and can become an escape from emotional problems and troubling thoughts. Food addicts often use food to cope with their other addictions. Food can fill emotional voids and serve as a distraction from painful memories. Many food addicts binge, or overeat, long past feeling full or satisfied. They may eat until they feel physically uncomfortable, are in pain, or become sick.
Just like with any other addiction, using food as a coping mechanism provides only temporary relief from our pain. As we come to learn, the pain we don’t face always returns. Over time, as we continue not to address it, it grows worse, and when it returns, it often does so with a vengeance. Our attempts to suppress the pain only compound it, and we create more layers to the pain. We develop more addictive behaviors and find ourselves with multiple addictions to try to recover from. We need food to survive, but when our eating habits have become addictive, food gets mired in all of this pain and no longer fuels us or makes us happy. Instead, t adds to our feelings of sadness, shame, embarrassment and regret.
When we have any kind of addiction, our compulsive behavior makes us feel like we’re out of control, like we’re powerless and weak. We might logically know what’s best for ourselves, we know our behaviors aren’t healthy, but we feel like we can’t stop. We feel like we can’t control ourselves, and this can be very scary. That fear is often another thing that drives our addictions. When we feel powerless and afraid, we escape into the comfort of our drugs of choice.
Food addiction is unique in that we need to eat to survive, so in order to recover, we can’t choose total abstinence from food. Instead we have to develop healthier relationships with food and use it for fuel and enjoyment. We have to tackle our fears, our emotional and mental issues and our addictive behaviors in healthy ways that don’t add to our pain.
Your addictions don’t have to run your life anymore. Let Enlightened Solutions help. Call (833) 801-LIVE.