I am always hearing people complain about their food addictions. My opinion, which happens to be supported by many nutrition scientists and medical researchers is, “in the true sense of the word, addiction, there is no such thing as a food addiction.
I’m not arguing that it’s not hard to avoid using food for reasons other than hunger. Food is used as a form of self-medication all the time. I believe some people start eating and think they can’t stop. Many of these people can stop, all they need is to run out of food on their plate. They are not running off to get more food, so they can stop.
I’ll argue that a food addiction is just another way of shirking responsibility for your behavior. Understand that I don’t think overeating is a crime, a sin, or a weakness, but we certainly are made to feel that way. That’s why the food addiction is such a handy way to excuse our behavior.
You know what? I don’t think anybody needs to make an excuse for what or how much we eat. I think we should own it. “Yeah, I can eat a whole large pizza in one sitting. What’s it to you?”
Okay, so even if we own it, we may want to alter the behavior. Gaining weight gets in the way of life. It’s expensive to keep replacing clothing for larger sizes. It’s not fun to wheeze and gasp halfway up a flight of stairs. Feet, backs, knees, and hips hurt when we weigh too much and stop hurting when we weigh less. Squeezing into spaces that are too small also hurts such as the booth at our favorite restaurant or between the arm rests at the movie theater or an airline seat.
Losing weight may be desirable but it’s not easy to replace the belief, “I have a food addiction,” with a new belief that tells us, “I’m in control of what I eat.” Aversion techniques can help, and most Stephen King novels fit the bill nicely.
Most of us keep our imaginations on a leash when we read his books. Think of the chapter when Gage gets run over by the logging truck. King describes it in horrifyingly detailed words, but we read it trying not to let the full intensity sink in. “It’s fiction…it’s just a story,,,,it’s not real.” That’s our imagination on its leash, but think if you let it off the leash? What if you put yourself in that scene and you actually witnessed it with your own eyes? I think it would kill your appetite, don’t you?
Maybe that would kill your appetite forever. If that’s too much to endure how about some pig blood pouring down over Carrie? Think about the bucketful of viscous, thickened, bloody-smelling liquid falling on her head, or worse your head. I bet you would stop with just one slice of pizza if you played that gory scene in your head before you reached for a second.