I saw a post from one of my challengers in my free Health and Fitness group yesterday, and I decided to make this blog post about it because I feel as though it is important. Anyone who has ever struggled with food addiction will understand this, and anyone who hasn’t, probably won’t. Some people may even find this notion completely ridiculous, but if you haven’t been through it, it would be hard to grasp. So, what is addiction anyway?
“A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as a drug or alcohol” Dictionary.com
The idea here is that food can be an addiction much like alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, etc. If you struggle with food addiction, chances are you have formed a habit of eating snacks as you watch television or movies. It can be so drilled into your mind that it is actually hard for you to sit through an entire show or movie without getting a snack of some sort. I struggled with this bigtime when I started my fitness journey, and I had to ease my way into eating healthy by still snacking at night with healthier options. It is not easy to change these habits, but just like any other addiction that is damaging to your health, you have to work at it to break these habits.
Maybe this kind of addiction isn’t as obvious or extreme as some of the others out there, but it is still detrimental to your health in the long run. From what I’ve read, it seems there are differing opinions on this topic from health professionals. However, having been through it, I strongly believe that eating can be a psychological addiction.
“A strong or harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)” Merriam Webster
In this case, the strong and harmful need factor would be applied to junk food, and the act would be considered eating. What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that for many people struggling with weight issues, eating is more than fuel for our bodies. For some of us, eating is a form of comfort. We get sad, depressed, angry, frustrated, stressed out, et cetera, and we immediately head for the junk food. Sometimes this is completely subconscious behaviour, but we do it anyway. This ends up being a NEVER-ENDING cycle! You eat to make yourself feel better for negative emotions, and then you gain weight. The weight gain makes you feel even worse, so you go for the junk food again to feel better. You then gain more weight, eat more junk, and the cycle goes on and on and on until you put a stop to it.
“… most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn’t what matters; it’s the need to take action under certain kinds of stress.” Psychology Today
What does this mean? Well, what this means to me is that it is possible for you to shift your “addiction” from food to fitness. It honestly worked for me, and I think it can work for everyone else too. Exercise releases endorphins into your brain, which ultimately makes you feel better overall! When I finish an intense workout, I usually feel refreshed. There have been many times when I’ve been upset or angry when I went down to do an intense cardio workout like Turbo Fire or Combat, and by the end of the workout, I felt a million times better than when I started.
If you start gradually decreasing your bad food habits and exercising on a regular basis, you WILL start to see results. You’ll start to feel better about yourself, you’ll sense the brain fog from all of the junk food start to lift, and you’ll start regaining your confidence as you lose weight from your positive life choices.
Are you ready to start working toward a happier and healthier life for yourself and your loved ones? If so, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “I’m ready to transform”.
I can’t wait to help you along your journey as your free coach, and I look forward to watching you transform!