Let’s Talk About Food Addiction with Pennie Hale

pennie haleBy: Pennie Hale – September 2013

January 1 is the best day to start a diet. It’s the beginning of a new year, motivation is high, dedication is renewed, the goal is clear and the path to weight loss is paved with good intentions. Then it’s January 2. We decide that Monday is a better day to start a diet. Monday is the start of a new week; we can plan better and start fresh.

Then, before we know it, Monday has passed and the plan is forgotten. January comes and goes as do the months that follow. Seasons change, life events occur, and we are either the same weight we were at the beginning of the year, or our weight increases. It’s a cycle most of us understand. Most of us always have weight on our minds. Some people like me think about weight every single day.

Addiction is a disease. That is what I have read and heard. Is there a cure for addiction? Some would say seeking treatment from a treatment facility and/or attending a 12-step program is the way to beat an addiction. There are rehab centers for drug and alcohol addiction. There are also rehab centers for people with eating disorders. Is carb addiction and bingeing an eating disorder? I know that when I have asked friends this question, the majority answer is that overeating is not the same as anorexia. Overeating is just a lazy, selfish behavior and people who are overweight just need to lay off the cheeseburgers.

To seek treatment for overeating is just silly. We all know obesity is epidemic in America. Does that mean that only Americans are carb addicts or overeat?

I let all of these confusing messages affect how I feel about my weight. Outside influences and information make me feel guilty for being overweight and for being a binge eater addicted to sugar. I feel that if I really put my mind to it, I could snap out of it and reach a healthy weight and maintain it forever. I feel that if I only had self-control and will power, I could stop all the obsessive thoughts about food.

My struggles with weight and poor eating habits has been a part of my life for over thirty years.

Since I became a teenager, I have had the impulse to overeat. I realize that my own struggles are also those of people I love. How can I break the cycle? How can I finally figure out how to be healthy and fit and be a positive role model in that regard? The best of intentions are great. But walking the walk and helping others do the same is not easy. I continue to try. I continue to struggle. I continue to mark time with food and weight related events.

How do you stay healthy and fit? If you’re struggling like me, what are you doing to finally figure it all out and be your best self? Share your story with me. Email me at pennielacouture@verizon.net.