What are you addicted to?
I’m not just talking about the more commonly referenced addictions like drugs and alcohol. It could be watching TV or drinking coffee. Or taking selfies. It’s something you need, something that controls you. And for me, it’s food.
I’m fit and healthy, and most people wouldn’t even think to guess that anything’s wrong. But it’s not something they can see. I’m not struggling with my body, I’m struggling with my mind. And it’s not just sugar and junk food—healthy food can be addictive too. Healthy food can be worse because you may not realize it could ever hurt you.
Here’s the reason I haven’t posted in so long (yeah, sure I’ve been busy, but people are always busy. That’s no excuse) it’s because I wanted to clean myself up before reporting to the world. I wanted to come back 100% confident and rock solid with a sure-fire method that won’t fail you because it has successfully given me everything I want—which is ultimately freedom and a sense of peace.
Over the past seventy days (yes, I’ve been keeping track), since I decided to start cracking down on my bad holiday habits (new year’s resolutions, anyone?), I found myself doing things I’d told other people not to do. Things like:
What NOT to do: (all the things I did)
-Going back for more even though I was full (you have no idea how amazing that lasagna tasted. If there’s anything that’s seriously underrated, it’s cheese).
-Eating like a starving person (the better it tastes, the faster I eat it. I can’t [don’t want to] help myself).
-Refusing to drink water before eating (it’s just such a bother, and I’d much rather eat food).
-Snacking between meals, not because I was too starving to wait, but because I was bored (chocolate always wins out over homework).
-Cheating—and then cheating some more instead of stopping (I already snacked two-and-a-half spoonfuls of ice cream, so I might as well make it count and go have another two bowls, right? Makes perfect sense).
What I Learned:
I am still addicted to food. And so are probably a lot of people. This isn’t something I’m going to just be able to sort out in a couple of weeks. I’ve been feeding it my entire life. Even though I have all this helpful knowledge in my brain, the information alone isn’t enough to convince me to take my own advice. I’m still going to want things I know I shouldn’t have. There’s still a war zone in my brain, and despite knowing what I should be doing, I still have to fight like hell every day in order to turn the “knowing” into “doing”. And it’s tough. I began to lose hope. I felt like I would never win the fight against myself.
And then I realized something that changed everything: I always have a choice. It doesn’t matter if my dad happens to bring home pizza (If lasagna trips me up, don’t even get me started on pizza), or if every cupboard in the house is stuffed with chips and dip. I am not a victim to the food in front of me. I don’t have to pre-decide that I’m going to fail because there’s no way I can avoid that deadly trail mix. And I’ve discovered that since I have a choice, I should choose me.
What I am Going to Do Now:
Hate the addiction, love the addict (me). I have to realize that I’m worth more than that ten-second sugar thrill. I have to understand that feeling good (which means feeling light and satisfied, not stuff-to-the-seams-full) is worth giving things up for. I want to be at peace with myself, not writhing in guilt or pain (I have eaten until it hurt. And it hurts), or continual frustration and regret. Because there is hope. And that’s what this blog is about.
I want to share an account of my ever-faltering, ever-slipping-up, not-even-close-to-have-mastered-it trek of a journey about how I’ve started to love myself even as I wage war on all the things inside me that are rotten and harmful and simply not true. This is a journey about discovering and coming to appreciate things like discipline, tactics, and routines, about uprooting doubts and lies and hidden, controlling emotions. It’s about God, and faith, and peace and all the things you might never have known were connected. This may be a blog about food, but it’s so much more than that. Everyone is addicted to something. And even if they don’t realize it, everyone wants to be free.
So join the fight.