Food Addiction

Hello. My name is Breanne and I’m a food addict. Through the preop process and examining what I eat and how I eat, I’ve come to this realization. I actively crave certain foods, most notably sweets and carbs. I’ll think about them for the whole day or sometimes even for several days until I satisfy that craving. If I don’t delay the gratification and satisfy the craving more immediately I am more likely to give into another temptation the same day, and another and another and another. I don’t believe I am a binge eater. You won’t find me eating till the point of getting sick or surrounded by wrappers that could have been for several grown men, but I will admit that occasionally I’ll eat to the point of discomfort.

Scientists have found that sugar stimulates the same centers of the brain that are stimulated by cocaine, gambling, and heroin, and can actually be 10x as addicting as cocaine. With this also comes the finding that when attempting to detox from eating sugars one will go through withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. In a “study it was found that when rats eat sugar, their brains flood with dopamine, the same chemical released during gambling and cocaine use. As the rats eat more sugar, their brains’ reward systems adjust, so the animals need more food to get the same effects.

Studies have found links between sugar intake and higher levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and lower levels of HDL cholesterol. Excess sugar is also associated with inflammatory chemicals that raise heart disease risk.

Countless other studies link our sky-high sugar intake to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. Sugar interferes with your brain’s satiety signals, which is a fancy way of saying that normally, your brain would tell you that you’re full, but you can’t hear it over the sugar buzz, so you keep stuffing yourself. Excess sugar hinders fat-burning enzymes, encouraging fat storage.” (http://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/sugar-addiction/)

-Completely random side tangent: did you know that cocaine was originally created for medicinal purposes? and that heroin was originally created by the Bayer aspirin company to help wean addicts off of cocaine? –

In today’s prepackaged food industry everything has added sugar in it. We’re taught from an early age that convenience is more important than healthy, that taste is more important. That added sugar gets you hooked and makes you come back for more, very much like the free pretzels in a bar. You eat the pretzels that make you thirsty and thus buy more beer to quench that thirst. Hardly anyone that I know of my generation and below know how to cook as healthy, as good, as our parents and grandparents so we rely too much on the prepackaged, high calorie, sugar laden food. During my childhood my mother only knew how to make a grand total of 4 meals from scratch, or pseudo scratch: scrambled eggs, meatloaf, French toast, and rotisserie chicken from the grocery store  (plus sides). I know even less because I wasn’t taught. My brother broke out and taught himself. My dad is in the same boat. We’re all obese. Meanwhile my mother’s mom cooked multiple meals a day for 10 kids and a husband, all of which were of normal weight until well into adulthood.

So knowing all this why do I still pick up that caramel bullseye and pop into my mouth without even thinking about it till after? Because I’m a food addict, specifically sugar, and I realize that’s just an excuse in and of itself. I am working on it. Some days are better than others, but compared to where I was at the beginning of this journey I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was. My dad, brother’s fiancé, and I actually recently took a cooking class to try to help ourselves in this regard. As they say in AA: one day at a time.

 

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