Confessions of a recovering junk food addict

There are more glamourous addition’s out there, but this one is just as powerful and destructive.

Addiction

It’s an incredibly emotional and powerful subject.
Even picking out an image for this story was tough.

Today I want to talk about an addiction. One that’s not made glamourous by Hollywood.

It’s not a sex drugs and rock’n’roll addiction either.

The patterns of self-destruction and ruined health are the same though.

I’m talking about that most modern of addictions…

Junk food

One definition of an addiction is:

Addiction is when the mind and body need a substance to function. Taking that substance away causes physical and psychological withdrawal.

Having been there and come out the other side. I can tell you that addiction to sugary and high carb/fat content food is real.

It’s a real addiction with real consequences and real health issues. It’s also very tough to quit.

Like other addictions, you are never cured. All you can do is recover and try every day not to fall back into it.

The reason I write this is to highlight this issue and share with others. So that they don’t have to go down the same path of discovery.

They say that you are what you eat, it’s taken me about 32 years to work that out.

My diet was awful, sugary drinks and snacks between meals. The meals themselves pizza, burgers, fries. All my own choices, all addictive and all destructive.

Through my twenties, my health declined and at my worst, I weighed 145kgs or around 320lbs.

I was morbidly obese and pre-diabetic. Over time I have lost over 30kgs/60lbs of that weight and regained my health. I’ve also regained my fitness, although I still have around 20kgs/40lbs left to lose. It’s an ongoing journey.

The hardest part of it all? Changing my eating habits.

Recovery and Reeducation

It took me months to work out what was happening. I could go for a few days eating well, drinking water or tea, and exercising. I would feel good when I made those changes. But the next thing I knew I was 8 cokes deep into the day, sitting eating junk food at lunchtime.

As much as I tried, I was struggling to break the cycle. After a lot of soul searching and research, I finally worked out I’m addicted.

I always have known I have an addictive personality, it’s what’s made me terrified of drugs for example. I just never made the link between the food I was eating and the chemicals being released in my brain.

Once I understood that I could begin to tackle my issues properly. This is an addiction like any other and it needs to be treated accordingly.

What works for me is making small changes. The first that I made was my relationship with sugary drinks, which I wrote about on medium.The biggest and best lifestyle change I have ever madeSwitching from Soda to Sparkling watermedium.com

After that went well, it’s been a case of making changes one at a time.

As with any addiction taking one step at a time and counting each day is key.

The support you get from family and friends is also key I have found.

Today about 18 months on from my first real attempts to change its working. Like I said I’m slowly and healthily losing both the weight and the medical issues that I had collected.

I’m much more open to trying new foods and for the last 6 weeks, I have been trying a vegetarian diet. No salad as yet, but it will come.

My main message here is that, if you are stuck in the same cycle that I was help is available. You can change your lifestyle and improve your health.

Yes, it’s frustrating at times and it’s hard work. But in the end, even though there are good days and bad. The positive change makes it all worthwhile.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be lighter, healthier, and here for longer?

Life is meant to be enjoyed. But as anyone who has suffered from addiction will tell you sometimes that easier said than done.

The great thing is that with support there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

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