I don’t know how many times i’ve been around this buoy. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count, not even if I was counting before I lost the top of one finger. The one defining failure/fault/fuck-up (or whatever you want to call it) of my life is my utter inability to manage my weight. Unless of course “successful management” is equated to “always getting heavier” in which case, winner winner, chicken dinner.
I’ve written about this before (repeatedly), and I’m so bored of it that I can’t even be bothered to go back and read what i’ve written before. It’s the same story with a slightly different re-telling. The very short story is: I have a food addiction that I’ve never beaten. Yet. Specifically my issue is around sweet stuff; I’d love to say I’ve got a serious broccoli problem, at imminent risk of turning green, but sadly not. Over more years that i’ve been alive, there’s been a LOT of debate about whether specific foods or foods in general can be addictive. People will tend to come down on one side or the other (well, there are only two sides) and of course it seems like a much less serious addiction than drugs or alcohol etc., as on the surface it’s much less destructive. Personally, I believe food is addictive, but not everyone is affected by it. If you read this while rolling your eyes that’s fine, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t believe it’s an addiction. Years ago I paid a lot of money to a qualified nutritionist as a last ditch attempt to sort my shit out. I told them I was addicted to sugar and she replied dismissively that it wasn’t addictive, because if it was, people would be eating straight out a bag of sugar. My immediate thought was “this is exactly why I don’t have it in the house, because i’ve eaten spoonfuls straight out of the bag”. Other than trying to get me to eat ridiculous amounts of protein (2-3 chicken breasts in a meal? Get in the sea), it was a giant waste of money, and just left me feeling as though I had huge issues which were in my head, I hadn’t tried hard enough and I was generally just useless. I should quickly note, I have NOTHING against qualified nutritionists, I just happened to find an expensively shit one.
Anyway, I digress. Recently moving back up north has been good but i’ve felt something niggling at me, and I couldn’t figure out what it was until this weekend. I’m excited about being back, i’ve got lots to look forward to, but for some reason I felt like i’d forgotten to do something, or done something wrong, as I couldn’t shake this feeling. After a weekend of eating far too much shit, and feeling guilty and ashamed, it hit me. I’ve had this amazing chance at a new start in many ways, except i’ve come home even heavier than when I left. Work and life is good – challenging but exciting – yet i’m fatter now that when I left 6 years ago. I had a good few months in 2017 when I quit sugar and lost almost 3 stone (2st 10lb to be exact), but then I stupidly thought I could have a little bit of sugar, when life got a bit stressful, and now it’s 2019 and i’ve put most of that back on.
I am the only person stopping myself from resolving this addiction. Generally in life I don’t worry too much about what people think of me, but this is one area that I expect a lot of comment (spoken or unspoken) and I have to say I really do let it bother me. Some of the comments that really grate with respect to quitting sugar are:
– it’s a fad; it’s unrealistic; you’re GOING to fail so why put yourself under all this pressure?; it’s impossible to avoid sugar for the rest of your life; if you’re so sure it’s the answer, why hasn’t it worked before?; it’s not healthy to cut out a food group; you just need to eat less and move more; just eat it in moderation; you need sugar/carbs for energy; it’s not a real addiction; food is love so it’s rude to say no to someone who has given you sweet food; blah blah blah….
Why do these comments/thoughts (and probably a myriad of others) bother me? Probably because at one time or another I’ve also thought them ALL myself, even about myself. It’s fucked up, but there you go. I’ve told myself I can’t do it, it’s impossible etc., etc., and here I am.
SO, why say all this, again? I’m getting fatter, or at least not getting any slimmer. Weight isn’t even my worry as such, but I don’t want to have a heart attack or get diabetes. I want to live a healthy life for as long as possible. I want to be able to do sports without all this extra weight holding me back. I don’t want the all-consuming, mental gymnastics associated with whether or not to eat something sugary to take over another fucking minute of my time. Also, I hate to say it, but my appearance is letting down my inner confidence. I don’t mean that I need to look slim to get respect, but I don’t feel as though I’m putting my best foot forward when that foot is fatter than it should be! If I was the only person on earth i’d still care about this, and would want to fix this once and for all, so it’s not about worrying what anyone thinks of me.
Final words (you’ll be glad to read): I’m not asking for approval, or for advice (though if anyone reading this has personal experience of beating a food addiction, please let me know). I’m not asking for permission, or intending this post as the social media equivalent of a “Sigh….” post to get faux sympathy, i’m simply just making myself accountable. I’m only accountable to myself, and being honest in public about something i’m ashamed about is the only way to get me in the right place to sort this out.
Wish me luck (but just not by icing the words on to a giant cake, because I’ll eat the lot).