Let’s Talk About Food … Addiction with Pennie Hale

pennie haleBy: Pennie Hale – February, 2014

Have you ever taken a food addiction quiz? Are you concerned enough about your eating habits and/or weight that you spent time searching for information regarding eating disorders, food or carb addiction and weight loss? Have you wondered why you struggle with your weight or why obesity is common in your family? Are you worried that you will be overweight your whole life? Have you lost weight then gained it all back? Do you ask your doctor to prescribe the latest weight-loss pill? Are you one of the people that spends money every week on weight-loss shakes, powders, pills or plans?

I could answer yes to nearly every one of those questions. I am weight obsessed. I think about calories, food and weight every single day. Even when I achieved a 75-pound weight loss, I was not happy with my weight. I’ve gained a lot of it back which astonishes me. I worked so hard to lose weight. I felt great at my goal weight. Having more energy was fantastic. Clothes fit better. But it didn’t last. I couldn’t maintain that weight. Cravings and addictions that I ignored for a year resurfaced and were more powerful than ever.

I have seen friends undergo gastric bypass surgery. Friends have shared their stories of weight loss and gain. People have sent me emails in response to my column. They’ve offered advice and compassion. Everyone has a weight story. In my life, weight is a topic of conversation nearly every day. Why is it such an issue? Why are so many people concerned about their weight? Why do we obsess over it? Why do we keep trying to lose weight even if we fail?

I think we all have an ideal weight. I’m not referring to weight charts. I’m referring to that weight at which we feel happy. There’s a weight at which we feel our best. We’ve probably all discovered that number we don’t want to go above. We know that when we go above a certain weight, we feel less comfortable, less attractive, and certainly less healthy. Why is that weight so difficult for some of us to maintain? Why are some motivated every day to exercise when some of us procrastinate?

I recently read an article on CNN Health. The first paragraph reads “The baby fat lingering around your 5-year-old’s face (and tummy and thighs) may be an indicator of his or her weight for many years to come, a new study suggests. Children who enter kindergarten overweight are four times more likely than their normal weight peers to become obese by age 14, researchers say.” Is weight predetermined? Are we fighting a losing battle as teens, young adults and adults?

I keep researching the topic of weight loss. I want to understand as much as I can about addiction. I took the food addiction quiz. Based on the results from that specific website, I am NOT a food addict. Its a good thing I don’t believe everything I read. I know what my issues are and how they originated. I know I can’t learn everything from online research. A doctor’s advice is invaluable. Perhaps a nutritionist could offer some insight. I know that short-term weight-loss trends and techniques are not the answer to healthy weight maintenance.

What is your weight–related story? Do you spend a significant amount of time thinking about weight? Is that unusual or is it normal for everyone? I’d like to know how you are doing with your own personal weight maintenance. Please share your story with me. Send an email to pennielacouture@verizon.net