Hi, My name is Andi and I’m a foodaholic.
Foodaholic: (noun) a person having an excessive, often uncontrollable craving for food.
Only those people I’m super close to know that I have issues surrounding food and my body. They don’t understand and sometimes, even I don’t understand the obsession. I don’t care if I have makeup on or what I’m wearing – all I care about is if I look fat.
It’s all I’ve ever cared about.
I look back at pictures from when I was young and I look so slender, so skinny. But all I remember feeling was fat.
I still remember the first time I broke 100 lbs. on the scale. I was in 6th grade and I was devastated. I remember sitting around the lunch table with a group of girls and feeling so awful about myself. They all took turns comforting me.
I think it was then that I began obsessing about food, calories, workouts, abs, diets and weight.
In middle school I read that Britney Spears used to do 1,000 sit-ups during her workouts – so I’d sit in my room at night and do 1,000 sit-ups.
In high school I watched Lifetime movies about girls who starved themselves and girls who ate whatever they wanted and then threw it all up.
I’ve tried it all – and these tendencies still live with me today.
In all of my research, food addiction is one of the hardest things to heal from because unlike other addictions, you can’t just stop eating food.
I mean you can – but that creates a whole other issue.
“When you are addicted to alcohol, you put the tiger in the cage and leave it there in order to recover. When you are addicted to food, you put the tiger in the cage but take it out three times a day for a walk.”
Every single day when it comes time to eat, I am tested.
I deal with complicated feelings of:
I can’t eat this.
I won’t eat that.
This food is good.
This food is bad.
And my relationship with food has always been chaotic:
I’m stressed so I eat.
I feel fat so I eat.
I’m unhappy so I eat.
I’m stressed so I don’t eat.
I feel fat so I don’t eat.
I’m unhappy so I don’t eat.
It has been a rollercoaster of weight gain and weight loss; Of clothes that are too small then too big; Food that I swear I’ll never eat again and food I eat 10 lbs. of in one sitting.
Sometimes it’s good food but it’s too much. Other times it’s bad food – food that I know is hurting my body but at the time – it tastes so damn good.
A reality I’ve had to make peace with: eating an entire avocado in one sitting, multiple times a day, is just as bad as eating an entire box (or more) of gluten free cookies. There is such a thing as “too much healthy food.”
I know that I’ll never be fully ‘cured‘ of my foodaholic tendencies.
But, there are a few things that have helped me ‘tame the lion’ and keep it under control:
- I ditched the scale
- I don’t weigh myself anymore and I tell my clients not to either. I go by how my clothes fit and how I feel. My health and happiness is more important to me than my weight. If you’re going to measure anything, measure loss of body fat in inches.
- I don’t track food
- Though this may work for some people, it does NOT work for me. I get way too obsessive about calories and – again – fixating and attaching myself (and my worth) to numbers. I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. I try to embrace intuitive eating.
- I avoid alcohol
- A subject worthy of its very own post – I now imbibe very rarely. For me, drinking just turns on ALL the cravings for ALL the sugar, carbs and garbage I wouldn’t normally eat in my sober state-of-mind. Avoiding booze keeps me honest.
- I started eating Paleo
- Once I started doing CrossFit and subsequently discovered Paleo back in 2011, a LOT of my food issues went away. I loved the simplicity of constructing every meal around meat, veggies and fats. Going 100% gluten-free and cutting out the dairy transformed my body and my mind. I’m so blessed to now have a career in guiding others through the Paleo lifestyle.
If you’re a self-proclaimed foodaholic, I hope this confession helped you feel a little less alone.
Just remember – it’s never too late to start learning to tame the lion.
And P.S. In case no one told you today – you’re beautiful just the way you are.