As I am writing this, it has been about 21 days since I last had a slice of yummy pizza. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Addiction??? Pizza???? Where is she going with this?” Well, I’m here to confess that I am addicted to pizza. Many may shrug it off as nothing, but to me it was and still is a serious issue.
I first found out that pizza was harmful to me after I had gone on a Whole30 diet and cut out dairy from my diet. The first time I had dairy again, my stomach was not too happy with me. Although I was never formally diagnosed as lactose intolerant, I just had the feeling that dairy was not a substance that needed to be in my body. Being dairy free became increasingly difficult as my favorite food was pizza. The ease of access to ordering a pie on an app made it increasingly difficult.
As I stated in my first blog post, I struggled with depression for a long time. With this depression, came my addiction to pizza. Yes, it may not be as harmful as drugs or alcohol, but it was still harmful nonetheless. When I felt less confident or stressed out, all I wanted was a hot slice of pizza. I would have an overabundance of healthy options at home and all I wanted was the pizza. I would easily do anything for a slice.
It wasn’t until I accepted that I had a problem that I was able to move on in the process of recovery. It has not been an easy road. Every time I watch TV the prospect of ordering a pizza comes up with every single Papa John’s, Pizza Hut or Domino’s commercial. Temptation is real. Every time I get past a commercial without ordering a pizza I get so proud of myself. I know that I can get through this because of the support that I have.
Do you believe that you are a food addict?
Here are 8 common symptoms of food addiction:
1. You frequently get cravings for certain foods, despite feeling full and having just finished a nutritious meal.
2. When you give in and start eating a food you craved, you often find yourself eating much more than intended.
3. When you eat a food you craved, you sometimes eat to the point of feeling excessively stuffed.
4. You often feel guilty after eating particular foods — yet find yourself eating them again soon after.
5. You sometimes make excuses in your head about why you should eat something that you’re craving.
6. You have repeatedly — but unsuccessfully — tried to quit eating certain foods or set rules for them, such as cheat meals or days.
7. You often hide your consumption of unhealthy foods from others.
8. You feel unable to control your consumption of unhealthy foods — despite knowing that they cause you physical harm, including weight gain.
If you can relate to four to five of the symptoms on this list, you may have a serious problem with food. If six or more apply to you, then you’re most likely a food addict.
Here are some first steps to take to help overcome your food addiction:
1. Write down a list of the foods you tend to crave and/or binge on. These are the trigger foods you need to avoid completely.
2. Make a list of fast food places that serve healthy foods and note their healthy options. This may prevent a relapse when you find yourself hungry and not in the mood to cook.
3. Think about what foods you’re going to eat — preferably healthy foods that you like and are already eating regularly.
4. Consider making several copies of your pro-and-con list. Keep a copy in your kitchen, glove compartment, and purse or wallet. Remind yourself why you’re doing this.
Additionally, don’t go on a diet. You should put your weight loss on hold for at least one to three months.
Overcoming Food Addiction
Overcoming food addiction is difficult enough. Adding hunger and restrictions to the mix will only make things harder. You may be setting yourself up for failure.
Once you’ve taken these preparatory steps, set a date in the near future — like the weekend — from which point onward you won’t touch the addictive trigger foods again.
If you end up relapsing and losing control over your food consumption again, know that you’re not alone. Most people with addiction attempt to quit several times before they succeed in the long run. While it’s possible to overcome addiction on your own it can be beneficial to seek help.
Food addiction is a problem that rarely resolves on its own. Unless you make a conscious decision to deal with it, chances are it will worsen over time.
First steps to overcoming your addiction include listing the pros and cons of quitting trigger foods, finding healthy food alternatives, and setting a fixed date to start your journey to a healthier you.
You may also want to consider seeking help from a health professional or free support group. Always remember that you’re not alone.
If you having a problem with addiction, no matter how big or small, I am here for you if you need to talk. Seek help. You are not alone.
Overeaters Anonymous, 505-891-2664 – Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating.
GreySheeters Anonymous – GreySheeters Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive overeating.
Food Addicts Anonymous, (772) 878-9657 – Food Addicts Anonymous is an organization that believes that Food Addiction is a biochemical disorder that occurs at a cellular level and therefore cannot be cured by willpower or by therapy alone.
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, (781) 932-6300 – Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who have experienced difficulties in life as a result of our relationship to food and eating.