Let’s Talk About Food Addiction: with Pennie Hale


By: Pennie Hale – September, 2012

pennie haleI recently had an appointment with a doctor. I was due for a physical and as we all know, weight measurement is a part of that exam. I was not looking forward to finding out my actual weight. I did think to myself at one point: hey, if my height increased by twelve inches, my weight will be perfect!

My weight was not as high as I had imagined. Although that was a major relief, I was still reminded of the fact that I am still overweight. I started to think about all the extra calories I had consumed over the past several months. It wasn’t a good feeling. I’ve been off track for some time now and I wonder every day how it is that I’m going to get a grip on my diet.

I receive a lot of advice regarding diet and exercise. I have received emails from readers of this column sharing their stories. I have been encouraged and discouraged. I have started and re-started diet and exercise programs. What I have learned and shared before is that most diets work. Most exercise routines help people lose weight. There really is no secret. Exercise more and eat less. I have lost a significant amount of weight before. I know how to do it. Right now, however, I have no weight loss success.

So, let’s talk about food! Food is meant to be a source of nutrition. Plain and simply put, food is fuel. It’s what we use for energy. However, if food is nothing more than a source of energy, why do I (and most people I know) talk about food so much? Why are there so many posts and photos on Facebook about food, desserts, restaurants, recipes and cooking methods? Why are their TV networks, magazines, blogs and newspapers devoted to food? Perhaps it’s because food means so many different things to so many different people. I know that I enjoy reading food-related material. However, I equally enjoy reading about a friend’s weight-loss success.

How do I find a balance between healthy eating, enjoying food, exercising, losing weight and feeling satisfied? I want to be able to manage my weight, on a long-term basis, in a consistent and conscious way. It seems so easy for some people to have a healthy attitude toward food. Some people are thin and healthy throughout their life. They never struggle with body image, weight, eating disorders or unhealthy food cravings. I am a carb addict. I binge eat. I eat when I am not able to fulfill an inner need. I am aware of this and will continue to confront that issue. I don’t know if I will ever have it under control but I know I will always try to understand myself better so that I can ultimately treat myself better and be a better role model for my children.

If you would like to share your weight or food-related story, please email me at pennielacouture@verizon.net