Ever get the feeling that you are out of control? – Take 2
What a way to end the week! Last Friday I probably shocked you with the subject of addiction. I know it’s not an easy subject to talk about but if were going to be honest, with all the scientific studies indicating that sugar is as addictive as cocaine, I would be remiss as a coach if I didn’t expose this side of dieting.
There are many places to go and lose weight and 99% of them won’t bring this subject up… why? Because they don’t want you to stop regaining the weight! They are happy to take your money, time and again, without any remorse about the negative impact of your regaining the weight! So if you are ready, I would like to continue our talk from last Friday.
What is an addiction?
Last week I offered you one definition for addiction. Today, I would like to introduce the difference between a habit and an addiction:
“Habit – it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.”
“Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved. “
“Put simply – with a habit you are in control of your choices, with an addiction you are not in control of your choices.” Reference
So how can a person recognize the tell tale signs of addiction? Here are some signs and symptoms:
The person takes the substance and cannot stop – you know exactly what I mean! For me this was THE sign! If I ate none, I was good but as soon as I had a piece (of cake or chocolate) the desire for more overpowered me like I was beaten into submission!
Withdrawal symptoms – have you ever experienced being on the short end of someone in withdrawal of sugar? Ouch! We see it all the time especially on the second day on the diet. Only 48 hours later, everyone is now calm and happy but those first two days can be brutal!
Addiction continues despite health problem awareness – Many of our clients come to us directly after their annual check-up where they just found out that they are borderline diabetic… and still, talking about quitting sugar is a sensitive subject!
Maintaining a good supply – It’s not enough to have some in the house, addicts bulk buy Costco sizes!!!
Dealing with problems – a person who is addicted will turn to sugar to deal with their problems. I often ask clients “what is your Go-To food”. This helps me identify if they are addicted to the sweet sugars, the salty sugars, or the liquid sugars (i.e. wine)!
Obsession – an addicted person will make a detour to get their “fix”.
Secrecy and solitude – have you ever found yourself making up a story to stay behind so you could endulge? I remember one Christmas day long ago, when we were all in the car, leaving the house to go to my inlaws for dinner, and I thought “it’s going to be a long time before I can eat another sweet”. So I told my husband that I had forgotten a song book in the house; this being the excuse for me to leave the car, get back in the house, grab another candy bar, chow down, grab the book (the deception) then returned to the car! This is not one of my proud moments but you get the idea of how powerful addiction is!
Denial – most people who are addicted to sugar are in denial. They are not aware (or refuse to acknowledge) that they have a problem. They laugh it off as though it is totally normal to eat so much!
Excess consumption – I remember putting away (down the hatch) several candy bars (the fundraiser sized ones) in one sitting. It’s almost as if your brain is thinking eat it all now in case there is none later!
Having stashes – When it comes to sugar, this is hardly necessary since it is so easily available. When I worked in the federal government, I didn’t need to have a stash, the vending machine was less than 30 ft away! My stash wasn’t sugar, it was money for the vending machine!
Taking an initial large dose – I remember trying to lose weight by myself. From Monday to Friday at noon, I would be so good then we would go out for lunch with the office staff and the restaurant offered a free small piece of cake with your lunch special. This would completely through me off the wagon. By the time, 2:00 pm rolled around, I would have already consumed 2 more candy bars!
Financial difficulties – This is more typical of people who consume expensive drugs but still, the way people consume (or overindulge) in one area is often reflected in other areas of their life, including the way they spend (or overspend).
Relationship problems – these are more common in drug/alcohol addiction however, the guilt and low self-esteem that often accompanies addiction can make for roller coaster like relationships.
As you can see, there are a lot of signs. Once you start processing this, you are definitely on your way to self-control. They say that recognizing the problem is the first step!
If you are opening your eyes to this reality for the first time, please be kind to yourself. None of this situation is your fault! You are not responsible for getting here… But think of all the possibilities from here on end!
You are not alone! Right after you have your ah-ha moment, you may feel like you are carrying a heavy burden. Please remember that we are here not only to help you carry it but also to help you lighten it. This is our commitment to you!
Have a great weekend! Tomorrow, we talk about making food FAST!