A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Addiction is Tricksy

Yesterday at work someone made a raspberry dark chocolate ice cream cake for a fellow coworker’s birthday.  It looked gorgeous.  According to everyone who ate a piece it tasted pretty gorgeous too.

I wouldn’t know.

I’ve had to accept the fact that I am not one of those people who can have “just a small slice” or “just a bite” of a sugary treat.  A single bite of sugar basically turns me into the all consuming sugar sucking vortex that Allie describes in this comic.

Her excuse was childhood – I’m pretty sure my inability to taste sugar and then walk away is the result of addiction.  A small taste of sugary treats, instead of being satisfying, sets off a relentless and painful craving for more and more and MOAR that takes days to calm down again.  I don’t know why this happened to me.  Maybe it’s the result of thirty-odd years of cruelly tricking my body with diet sodas, or maybe it’s just part of my mental makeup to get addicted.  You’d need a scientist or psychologist to be sure.

Fructose is no problem, I eat fruit every day and it doesn’t cause me to crave ice cream or binge on bags upon bags of apples.  I guess because it’s a different kind of molecule my metabolism is processing it differently.   I do experience fruit lust – like when I know cherries are coming into season I salivate over the thought of them.  Even so I’ve probably never managed to eat more than forty cherries or so in a single sitting.  That’s a lot of fruit, but it still won’t cause a body any harm.

I have to be honest with myself and accept the fact that I will never be one of those people who forgets to eat or craves the crunch of celery.  I like celery just fine, but I have never craved it once in my entire life.  Most of my craving revolves around a pretty lethal combination of sugar mixed with fat (chocolate is my perfect drug) and once triggered the binging that can result is incredibly hard to stop.

For example, if someone gives me a chocolate treat at work I do not put that treat in my desk drawer for later and then forget it’s there.  I can try to set it away somewhere – but I will think about and obsess over the chocolate pretty much nonstop until I have sought it out and eaten all of it.

My best recourse is to do what I did yesterday, to ignore the problem food completely.  If the taste doesn’t make it to my tongue I seem to be pretty much okay.  If someone gives me something I know I shouldn’t have I need to give it away again just as fast before making it to the privacy of my home.  As soon as addiction foods pass from my possession and belong to someone else, my obsession with them ceases – they’re not mine anymore, so eating them would be stealing.  Like any addict, I do much better where people can see me.  If I am alone in my house with chocolate, I am in trouble.

With trips to the shore looming in my immediate future I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the inevitable ice cream runs and stops at the monkey bread shop.  I don’t want to live life denying myself completely, indeed as I’ve posted before I don’t believe constant denial is a proper way to live at all.

My plan is to ask my husband to share everything with me.  If all I can get is tastes of what he’s eating it’s likely he’ll hork things down before I manage to do too much damage.  He and I sharing sugary treats rather than us each overindulging is a pretty good idea for both of us anyhow. 


  1. I have accepted this about myself too. It isn't limited to sugary things though. I can't have bread in the house. I buy bread when I plan to have sandwiches (or whatever) and only buy enough for that one purpose. I can't have snacks like potato chips either. Not even in single portion bags. When I eat out, if I finish a meal with food on the plate and I don't want to eat it, I have to pour a drink over it to make it inedible or I will pick at it until my companions are all done eating. I have been known to throw away halves of sandwiches (or leftovers) because I couldn't trust myself to save them for later. If coworkers give me food, I smile thankfully and then stealthily THROW IT AWAY. I don't like to waste food, but sometimes there's no possibility to give it away without a lot of uncomfortable explanations.

    1. Oh man - yeah I have done that same restaurant trick; ruining food on my plate to keep myself from eating it. Sometimes covering it with a napkin works, but usually I have to have it taken away or mush it beyond recognition.

      I've also dumped something (like chocolate or ice cream) in the sink and run water over it or put something in the trash and then dropped a bag of kitty litter on top.

      It's comforting to know though that other people with my addiction have been able to fight it and find success. On my darkest days I think of you, and I'm hopeful.