At the end of February of this year I got the following comment on one of my posts:
I am hoping that you may be able to take a moment and share with me. I have a similar story to yours, as most food addicts have, and have been doing bootcamps and P.T. etc for almost a year. I have lost 30+ lbs and many inches so far and gained an unbelievable amount of strength etc etc etc. I feel like I have conquered that part of my weight loss journey, but there is one piece of the puzzle that I have yet to master. The food. I know I am an "addict" and use food to soothe, comfort, de-stress, celebrate, punish, etc etc etc. I can not seem to find other things that provide me with what the food gives me, and I know that until I do find it/them, that I will continue to struggle over and over and over.
So..... my question to you is: What have you done or found that replaces the food? What do you do for yourself or give yourself that food used to give you? Or do you do massive battle at every meal? Do you still enjoy food, or did you have to give that up?
Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us. I know you probably have heard this many times, but you ARE an inspiration and help to anyone who struggles with this.
I love hearing stories like this, knowing that people are finding success on their own journeys and sharing their progress. I totally get where Susie is coming from with how food provides comfort and that she has "yet to master it". I am a comfort eater, that's how I got to 360 lbs, eating to suppress my emotions and feelings to make myself feel better. But really does it every make us feel better? That moment of satisfaction the dougnut gives you gives you hours of personal resentment. I have been down that road many times, and I still go down that road even though I know it is not the right choice. The important thing to recognize though is I always pull a big U-Turn and come back on the right track.
This picture basically describes how my food relationship is when i'm not committed to making progress..
Back to the question though..Susie asks what have I done that replaces food or do I battle at every meal? Do I still enjoy food or do I give up the enjoyment?
I'm not going to lie, sometimes I do struggle, and honestly I don't think that will ever change. I struggle with making healthy choices while I am surrounded by friends who are not. But what I remind myself of is what do I want more? Do I want to be healthy and alive or do I want to feel bloated and gross for that one moment of satisfaction for my taste buds?
I have started setting my internal intentions every morning on what I want from my day. I also set my intentions before attending any kind of party or night out. I find by preparing myself for my surroundings allows me to be more in control of my feelings towards the food I am eating.
Don't get me wrong I still enjoy food, but I enjoy healthy foods. For example, if im craving pizza I will make a healthy pizza on a whole wheat tortilla to quench the cravings, or if I want ice cream I will have fat free greek yogurt with berries. No it's not the same, but I find it gives me a different satisfaction knowing that I made a healthy choices and that I am in control of my emotions towards food. one thing I know for sure is that when I am fully out of my addiction to white sugar I feel alive and in control but the moment I allow the white sugar into my system the addictive feelings come back.
I think that separating the feelings you get from the enjoyment/comfort of eating something have to be separated from the feelings you get from the enjoyment of other things. Find something that gives you the same level of satisfaction, for me it's a super hard workout or a run or meeting up with friends for coffee for some social energy. For everyone it is going to be different, you have to find the thing that gives you pleasure that is not food. Thank you for your question Susie, and I know you will do well on the rest of your journey, stay strong and motivated and find your pleasures that are not food related. Embrace a new hobby, learn a new skill, challenge your friends to a big goal, whatever it is, give yourself something to focus on when the yearnings for sugar comes your way.