Food Addiction - A Desperate Call for Help
This young food addict posted a desperate call for help after reaching over 600 lbs. Many "normal" eaters do not understand food addiction and might not even be aware of it. Most food addicts do not even understand that they are addicts. Instead, they believe that their condition is due to "lack of willpower" or "laziness." Nothing could be further from the truth.
Addiction ultimately has to do with a complete inability to stop a certain action or behavior, even when the addict is dead-set on change. It is usually only after countless failed attempts at abstainance that an addict even has an inkling that he is in fact an addict.
Food addicts have peculiar food behaviors that are telltale signs of an underlying addiction. If you have experienced the following behaviors, you might be a compulsive overeater, or "food addict:"
- Removing food from a garbage can and eating it.
- Eating frozen food before it is thawed out.
- Purchasing fast food and eating it before going home for dinner (and eating that too).
- Eating food that belongs to someone else.
- Eating to the point of passing out.
The following list of questions are taken from the Overeaters Anonymous pamphlet entitled "Are You a Compulsive Overeater?"
1. Do you eat when you are not hungry?
2. Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
3. Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
4. Do you give too much time and thought to food?
5. Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
6. Do you plan these secret binges alone?
7. Do you eat sensibly before others and make it up alone?
8. Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?
9. Have you tried to diet for a week or longer only to fall short of your goal?
10. Do you resent others telling you to "use a little willpower" to stop overeating?
11. Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet "on your own" whenever you wish?
12. Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or nite, other than meal time?
13. Do you eat to escape from worries or troubles?
14. Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
15. Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?
Recovered Food Addicts Speak About Their Previous Condition
"Most people don’t have two lunches or dinners. Most people don’t race to the store to stock up for the overnight binge in front of the TV. Maybe something better exists here in Overeaters Anonymous." ~ L.W., Rhode Island USA
"For six months I had been on a nonstop binge. I had outgrown my clothes, gained 40 pounds (18 kg) and become truly baffled. I’d never had a binge last that long. Years of controlled eating had finally failed me. I knew for sure that my yo-yo days were over; my on-off switch was broken." ~ Anonymous, St. Louis, Missouri USA
"Long before my days of Overeaters Anonymous and abstinence, compulsive eating was my life. Food was my life. It occupied my every thought—how much I could have and how I could get it. Compulsive eating was so ingrained, I acted on food thoughts the second they came up." ~ Denise H., Ottumwa, Iowa USA
"Before OA my life seemed hopeless. At 25 years old, I was financially, spiritually and emotionally bankrupt. I was a single mom and 250 pounds (113 kg), not my all-time highest weight but close. It seemed to keep getting worse. My life was not on the path I had envisioned as a little girl." ~ Tobi H., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
"When I entered OA over 20 years ago, my life was out of control. I weighed just under 200 pounds (91 kg) at 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm), my blood pressure was around 170/110, and I was depressed. I had never owned more than two pairs of slacks in any one size because I never knew what size would fit me. I had low self-esteem. Every problem seemed major, even insurmountable. I was unemployed and wondered when I would work again and feel purpose and direction in my life." ~ Marc L., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
"Normal Eaters" Lash Out at Food Addicts Because They Don't Understand Food Addiction
The following were taken from the comments section of the Youtube video posted above. Obviously, many people believe that morbid obesity has to do with "will power." Nothing could be further from the truth.
"It's a lot easier than everybody is making it seem. All you have to do is burn more calories in a day than you eat. calories in vs calories out = weight gained or lost. Learn to track your calories, eat less than you burn, thats it."
"Gluttony is a deadly sin. God isn't blessing you; you shouldn't have eaten so much."
"You just have to clean up your eating habits and start doing light workouts. You clearly haven't dieted properly before if it hasn't helped. No matter what if you consume less calories than your body needs to sustain your weight, YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT."
"You need mental help. It's not hard to lose weight, you just need to eat smaller portions and exercise."