Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Food Addiction

I had lots of time to think today while driving...and reading on the ferry.

In the book that I was reading to kill time on the ferry, addiction comes up a lot. And this got me thinking about food addiction. Let's face it, that's what the vast majority of overweight people have; an addiction to too much or the wrong sort of food. Or an addiction to sitting on the couch. Or both.

But focussing on food addiction, there is a major difference to other addictions. While alcoholics will tell you they can't live without a drink, drug addicts HAVE to score and sex addicts claim not to be able to cope without, food addiction has the real basic property of being addicted to a substance that you REALLY can't live without.

And maybe this is the reason it's so hard to kick the addiction. Most addiction experts will concentrate on complete abstinence (OK maybe with the exception of sex addiction) as a step on the way to beating the habit. Cold turkey, AA, whatever it is, the key to success seems to be keeping away from the subject of your addiction completely and utterly.
Of course you can't do that with food. You have to eat something or die. Literally. And I don't mean literally like people say it a lot. I mean, literally the proper meaning of the word literally.

So you have to carefully control the use and abuse of the very substance that you are addicted to but without the option of giving it up completely. I guess that's why gastric bands and the like hit that they make it "impossible" to live if you do eat too much. And why just regular diet and exercise is so hard to do, and why so many seem to fail...

I'm not sure what this all means. That I should go and get gastric band surgery? I don't think so. Maybe all it means is that it's hard. But then we know that already. Doh!

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