I’m a food addict. I abuse food in the same way other people abuse drugs: for the sheer pleasure of it, as a substitute for sex, as a means of escape, to ease all types of anxiety, and to relax myself enough to go to sleep. Sometimes I feel totally out of control in my relationship with food. It scares me, and can make me feel really bad about myself. It’s difficult to talk about, not only because the subject is so damn tiresome, but because people take one look at me (I’m not fat) and assume I’m being neurotic. For example, I tried weight watchers last year, and at the very first meeting, a woman looked at me and said, “What do you want to weigh, eighty pounds?” No, I don’t want to weigh eighty friggin’ pounds you snot bag, I want to develop a healthy relationship with food! Needless to say, I never went to another weight watchers meeting. I did some reading instead. I bought a self help book that promised to show me how to overcome overeating. After my weight rose five pounds beyond the heaviest I’d ever (previously) been, I stopped reading that ridiculous book.
I haven’t given up the idea of improving my relationship with food. But I have decided to accept myself as an addict, and to try to let go of the anguish I feel over being involved in an unhealthy relationship. Yes, I’m in an unhealthy relationship. With Food. So what.
That’s step one for me. Step two of my potentially risky and nebulous ‘plan’ is to identify the positive aspects of my relationship with food and to emphasize and develop them. I’m just gonna go with it! Food is wonderful. I love cooking. I love learning new things. I love posing a question then designing an experiment to answer that question. I love writing instructions. I love taking pictures. I love listening to people talk about food. There’s so much good in this relationship! The greatest enjoyment I receive comes from the exchange of ideas, recipes, and photos with friends and especially family. I feel closer to people because of food.
What I’m doing now – keeping a food related blog – is part of an exploration of my relationship with food. I don’t know what will come of it. I doubt it will end my tendency to use food for things unrelated to actual hunger. So why does there seem to be a glimmering possibility that by diving headlong into my addiction, I will magically improve my relationship with food to the point where I no longer feel bad about it, or myself? Probably some error in psycho-logic on my part. We shall see!