Friday, September 5, 2008

Addiction

I've sort of been jokingly calling Starbucks my "drug of choice" lately, which for some reason last night got me thinking about addiction in general. When I think about it - I've had ample opportunity to become addicted to many things...

In high school, I dabbled in smoking... but never really got into it enough to become addicted. I'd smoke a couple of times a week, but the cigarettes would always go stale before I'd ever come close to finishing half of the pack.

In college, of course I could have become addicted to alcohol. I never acquired the taste for beer, wine or hard liquor... now don't get me wrong - I did it anyway, but haven't had a drink since my 21st birthday and honestly don't miss it for even a split second.

Having had health problems over the years, and most currently three surgeries within the last year and a half... I've had ample opportunity to become addicted to pain killers - but thank God - I end up hating the delirium that comes from taking them. So I back myself off of the drugs as quickly as I possibly can as the pain subsides.

I've never been around hard drugs (pot, cocaine, heroin, or the like) so that form of addiction hasn't been tested, but I thank God every day for keeping me away from those types of substances.

Now, when I think about how I ended up being 167 pounds overweight - I wonder if my food issues were addiction, but really I have to say that I don't believe that was the case at all.

I happened to grow up with a mother that truly believed and lived as if food were love... in any case - she would cook something to make someone feel better or to show them her love. (She did love in other ways too) So somewhere along the way - I learned those behaviors.

I also use food to calm my nerves... whenever I'm stressed, sad, angry, or even when something goes really well - I typically react by eating or cooking something "special." Whenever I want to show John love... I go to those same habits.

Whenever we get together with family for any sort of gathering - there is always a cake... and food... so it's absolutely cultural.

The only difference is that my body wasn't built to handle that, and I wasn't ever an active child. I could have been, but my mother for whatever reason let me quit most of my dance or sports activities whenever I didn't want to perform in front of others. I'm sure that it's hard when your child looks at you with sad eyes and is terrified of being in front of people... but I hope that I'm able to encourage my children to move past those fears. Or better yet, maybe they'll get John's lack of fear in those areas instead.

I guess the point of this post is more self reflection of my food demons - because surgery certainly doesn't fix the hard parts of our bodies. It gives us a tool to use in order to break free from those habits, but the hard part is fixing our minds and changing our habits.

I've always struggled with changing my habits - I go along doing really well for a while, but then one little thing throws off my schedule or routine... and once that apple cart is upset - it's all over. I'm such an all or nothing type person... and I've been this way with everything I've ever done.

Every diet I've ever been on has been similar - I'd do great for a while, then slip up... and then from there it's all over. I just give up. This surgery has given me the ability to at least in terms of eating have a physical sign that I'm eating to much... and thank goodness in the last 10 months - I've only pushed that limit a couple of times.

I am so incredibly hard on myself... but it's because the stakes are so high for me... it's the chance for a family... or more diabetes and blood pressure problems... so here I go trying to get back on track with a little more limits on what I have around to eat. I will plan everything to take to work with me, and I won't have a whole kitchen full of food talking to me all day.