With tears in his eyes, the dad stood and poured out his own fears, revelations, and hopes surrounding this new journey that he and his family were beginning with his son. But as he stood there talking about this hardcore drug user that so many people would have the tendency to look down on, one thought popped in my head and it temporarily stopped me in my tracks: He uses a needle, I use a fork. As I let that sink in, the similarities began to really set in.
I sometimes sneak food because I don’t want people to know how much I really eat. I’ve even gone through the drive-thru on my way to dinner at someone else’s house (just in case they didn’t have enough food or had something I didn’t like). That’s not so different from the person that sneaks off to the bathroom to get their drug fix, is it?
When I deny myself certain foods, I get moody and sometimes even feel physical symptoms. Ever been around a drug addict when they weren’t able to get drugs? They aren’t pleasant.
I’ve lost control over my drug use. Even though I don’t want to overeat or eat things that are bad for me, I find myself in situations where the temptation or desire to consume those things become overwhelming and I give in. Then I feel guilty which will sometimes cause me to turn to more food for comfort. That’s classic addict behavior.
My food addiction negatively impacts relationships with people around me. I can’t play with my 7 year old the way that he would like me to. My body image issues prevent me from being fully open with my husband physically. My lap isn’t big enough to comfortably hold my newborn son. These may not be significant to other people, but to me they are glaring reminders of my inabilities.
I’m not saying that everyone who has a slight weight problem suffers from food addiction. As a matter of fact, I would say that most don’t. But for myself, this truth is becoming more and more evident.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, the first of the twelve steps is admitting that you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable because of it. The second step is believing that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity.
Today I prayed to God like I usually do. But today I admitted that I feel powerless over this aspect of my life. And I asked Him to come into the places in my brain and heart that are broken and to fix them and to show me what I need to do next. If you are so inclined, please say a prayer for me today as well.