A number of years ago, I was talking with a friend about our respective drinking habits. I don’t recall what she said or even how we ended up on the topic, but I mentioned that I feel almost like a freak sometimes because Matt and I don’t choose to drink regularly. It’s not because of any beliefs about the “evils” of alcohol; we do drink socially a couple times a year. It’s just not something that we’re into. I went on, saying that because I have alcoholism in my family, I feel a need to be cautious because I’ve heard that there might be a hereditary link. Then, in my oh-so-self-righteous way I stated that despite the history in my family, I don’t think I have an addictive personality.
What’s that thing they say about pride and falls?
Monday evening on my commute home from work, I was reading this post over at Trains, Tutus and Tea Time. I was reading Corinne’s words about Corinne’s life and Corinne’s struggle and my inner cheerleader was doing backflips I was so thrilled to hear about her six-month milestone. I also realized i could relate to some of her feelings, which is pretty strange for someone who doesn’t have an addictive personality, right?
At some point as I read and absorbed the story, I finally realized and acknowledged that I have an addiction of my own. I’ve never thought of it this way before because I’ve always pretended that the issues I have are beyond my control. I’ve blamed genetics - there’s that hereditary link - and my health and bad habits. And there is some truth to all of these assertions. But that can only go so far before one must simply grow up, get over oneself and choose to take responsibility.
My addiction is food. I love food and I eat too much of it. I don’t stop eating when I’m full. I eat foods that I know will harm me. I choose unhealthy foods over healthy foods far too often. Self control is a problem for me unless I strictly regulate my diet.
Some might be taken aback with my comparing food addiction to alcoholism. But you know what? I’m pretty sure statistics will back it up that food addiction/overeating are serious problems. I’m 33 and I have a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, just based on personal and family medical history. By not taking care of my body properly, I’m increasing that risk every single day.
Six months or so from now I want to be able say I’m six months healthier. That I’ve made good food choices - more often than not - for six months. That I’ve exercised regularly for six months. That I’m losing weight (though that truly isn’t the point, but it’s an obvious consequence of taking these other steps). I want to be able to say that I feel better. And look better. I want to know that I’m doing everything within my power to live a long, healthy life. To be there for my husband and son.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs to look like a model - trust me, that is so not going to happen for me! I believe that if you’re comfortable with your body and your health, then why change? My reality is that I’m uncomfortable. My clothes don’t look or feel good. I’m self-conscious and there are things I want to do that I physically can’t and that bothers me. So, I have to be that person who takes responsibility and makes some changes.
The changes are already happening. I feel like the pieces of a puzzle are finally fitting into place. I’m thinking and planning and also doing, because thinking and planning will get me nowhere without action as well.
In the next couple of weeks, it will all become clear.