I was really impressed with a recent blog post by Hank over at The Business of Losing Weight – You Wouldn’t Give a Drug Addict a Cheat Day.
I am also a food addict. I’ve never thought of it that way, but food is always on my mind and I eat to comfort myself in times of extreme emotion (or any emotion really). Food it the first thing that comes to mind in the morning, and food is the last thing on my mind at night. It’s not a peaceful place to be.
The post by Hank really resonated with me. I’ve no trouble sticking to things or stopping things as long as they aren’t food related. With the below quote I thought I was actually saying it myself:
“Being addicted to food is worse than being addicted to a drug like heroin because my body NEEDS food. I can’t quit food cold turkey. I can’t detox off of food. The ONLY thing that I can do is MANAGE my addiction.”
If I could quit food completely I would avoid temptation. That is not possible. We all need food to survive. Therefore I have to go food shopping. I have to eat and put food in my mouth. I have to go out for meals with friends to have a life. Food is everywhere and therefore temptation is everywhere, so all I can do is manage my addiction. For me that means avoiding trigger foods and tracking my food intake. It also means using my CBT tools to manage my thoughts and behaviour.
“And the only way to MANAGE it is to fully embrace the idea that overcoming your addiction means changing the way you think about food and committing to living as if you truly WANT to change.”
I have to want it. I have to make Project Lifestyle what I want in order to make it sustainable and liveable forever. I have always used cheat or treat days. I used it as something to look forward to each week. I would plan it out to make the most of it, but really it was just a binge. A behaviour I want and need to stop. The next paragraph hit me hard.
“Would you ever consider telling a drug addict that it would be ok for them to have a cheat day? A full day in which they were allowed to do whatever drugs they wanted. No? How about offering them just one cheat high? Not a full day of uncontrolled drug use, just one fix. A cheat “meal” if you will. That would be ridiculous, right? Offering a drug addict a day to go back to their old ways would ruin every effort to help them overcome their problem. So why should ANYONE who is grossly overweight because of their food addiction be allowed a day to cheat on their recovery?”
It would be ridiculous to offer some addicted to any kind of drug a cheat day. So why do we promote it for people who are overweight and addicted to food? I know I can undo an entire week of good work in one binge! I’m not exaggerating as I’ve done it. One binge can for me might as well have meant I’d eaten exactly what I wanted all week and not binged at the end. This next quote was a kick in the stomach and made me want to change my attitude and approach.
“Cheat” days or even meals for an obese person are a sign that someone doesn’t truly want to change themselves. They have not set aside their former self for their new and improved self.”
I want to change, therefore I have to change. There will be slip ups along the way, but that is what recovery is about. It’s not about being good or bad, but rather recognising that food, for me, is not simple. I want to eat to live, not live to eat.
My name is Angie and I’m a Food Addict.
Changes I will make:
Be active everyday
Focus on whole foods with little processing
Cook my own ready meals and make use of my freezer
Do not buy trigger foods – chocolate, cake, biscuits – anything with processed sugar
Try new foods – legumes and grains first
No more treat days – enjoy every meal for what it is and how it fuels my body
So I have finally gotten round to baking bread and it’s going great! I started two weeks ago and have been taking my bread in for lunch everyday at work since. I started with white bread and made in in a loaf.
I realised my yeast was slightly out of date, but went with it. This one used olive oil, which was new to me, but I liked it.
I let it rise in the bowl and then again in the loaf tin (I should have probably let it rise a bit longer in the tin) and then dusted it with flour.
It came out wonderfully golden brown and smelt amazing. I tried an end piece warm with some butter and it was heaven. I say I should have let it rise a bit more as it came out a denser loaf than I would have liked, but was great as doorstop ham sandwiches.
The following week I made a crusty cob, which used butter instead of the oils form the previous bread.
This one rose wonderfully in the bowl as I pretty much left it all day. so it came out nice and round and fluffy.
I then shaped it into a round ball-ish shape and let rise again.
I had to improvise a bit as my house got a bit cold, so under the radiator it went and it worked a treat.
I then dusted it with flour and let it bake into a wonderful golden cob. This was amazing! Lighter than the previous loaf, which meant I got more portions (2 weeks worth of sandwiches). I may have also gone a bit overboard on the yeast as realise my scales had a funny moment while weighing it out, but had already put it in the flour. But it worked out really well.
I loved kneading the dough and letting it rise then watching it turn into bread. It was quite therapeutic really, so I’ll be carrying on working my way through the book I have and trying out different breads with different flavours.
For leaving my job I decided to make cookies to take in as I knew they would keep for a few days and with it being half term it meant people were off for the odd day here and there.
I decided to make two types the weekend before I left:
My friend Ingrid introduced me to the peanut butter cookies and I’ve made them a few times now and love them. I would recommend cooking them slightly longer than directed and also adding chocolate chips is a good option.
I foudn the banana cookies on the Pastry Affiar blog and thought they would be a bit different. I think if I made them again I would keep some bigger chunks of the banana chips, rather than make it all in to flour, to add a bit on crunch. Again I also needed to cook them slightly longer – maybe it’s my oven!
I made a batch of each and throughly enjoyed baking them. The new organisation I’ll be working for is very tea and cakes friendly so I might get to do more baking over the coming year, with new testers
I’m having a go at adding protein to my diet. I’ve been recommended The Protein Works by my friend who is also a gym instructor to try out this brand and the isolate range as they are only 100 kcal a portion. As i was refered my friends recieves some extra points too – just wanted to declare that up front as I can do the same if I refer anyone.
I’m trying the Diet Whey Isolate 97, but my friend recommended the Whey Isolate 90
I was super impressed with the service I got from The Protein Works. I ordered on the Friday afternoon and it arrived on the Saturday. I went for the chocolate as this specific range only has three flavours and I only liked the sound fo this one. I later realised my friend meant a different one that has way more flavours, so I will try that after this one.
I’m going to use it after every work out and see if it helps me lose weight and keep away hunger until my next meal. I’m not using it as a meal replacement, but rather a suplement to aid recovery and help with hunger and weight loss.
I also bough one of the shaker bottles and much prefer it to an old one I have. This one has a wire ball inside, rather than the thing that connects to the lid and it mixes much better.
I have enjoyed the shake so far and much prefer it will milk rather than water. I have looked at the other range and there are more flavours I prefer in that one so I’ll give it ago.
I’ll post an update on this once I have tried it for longer.
Also note I bought this product myself on the recommendation of a friend and have not recieved anything in return for this post.
This is my last foodie penpal for a while. I’ve taken a good look at my budget (and diet) and decided I need to cut back. I’m sad, but this was a an amazing parcel to end on from the lovely Tracey – a huge thanks for the goodies you sent to me
Tracey is from the lovely town of Saffron Walden in Essex and sent me a colourful postcard detailing the hidden delight of the Bridge End Garden, which is a restored Victorian garden.
First in my parcel were some yummy chocolate covered banana chips. I love these and I admit I ate them all in one go. I don’t buy them as they are one of my foods that I can’t stop eating once I’ve opened them, so they only survived the unwrapping of the parcel!
Next up was some also yummy chocolate drop – more like puddles as they were huge!. I could definitely taste the salt and caramel, but not the vanilla. But they were extremely tasty and a small something i would look to find to give as a gift.
This parcel fulfilled my sweet tooth’s dreams as also included were these fantastic chocolate meringues. They were crumbly and light and perfect on their own. I also tried them with some natural yogurt and that worked a treat. Another thing i will keep an eye out for.
It’s like Tracey could read my mind and picked all my favourite flavours. This popcorn was amazing! Subtle flavours of bacon and maple that combined into a savoury/sweet treat. If I can find this near me I will be making this my movie snack of choice
Tracey also included some homemade green tomato chuntey. I ahve tried this yet as am going to save it for christmas to ahve with cold meats as I think it would go perfectly. Also i got given green tomatoes in my veg box this week, so might try to make a mini version as have no idea what to do with them.
Lastly I was given saffron biscuits, which I have never tried before. They were very interesting. Not too sweet, with a subtle (I assume the saffron) flavour coming through. These reminded me of some lavender biscuits I tried at Bath once. A different take on otherwise normal biscuits and I migth ahve to give this a go.
Like I said this was a fantastic parcel to end this year’s run of foodie penpals. I’m sure I’ll do another few months next year as it is a nice way of being introduced to new people and made new twitter/blog friends along the way. I very much recommend taking part for a few months at least