To most people, the first thing they think of when they think of addiction is someone being addicted to drugs, alcohol, or smoking. And while these are all very common, very serious addictions, there is another addiction that many people fail to realize is a serious issue: food addiction. For someone like me, who has struggled with bad eating habits my whole life, eating healthier, and more importantly, eating less, has always been a huge struggle for me. I was at a point in my life that I never really felt as if I was ever “full,” despite eating way more than the daily recommended calorie intake. My freshman year of college, I gained 30 pounds. I am certain that it was my poor eating habits and lack of self-control that made the number on the scale soar. I would eat all the time. I would eat dinner, and then be able to eat pizza an hour later, never feeling as if I was actually full.
Food has always been a way for me to feel satisfied. If I was sad, I would eat. If I was lonely, I would eat. If I was bored, I would eat. It is an addiction that many people are quick to write off as “laziness” or “not caring about yourself,” but how is that any different from addictions deemed as normal? Why is my addiction any worse than someone with an alcohol addiction which can cause just as much harm? And to be fair, an alcohol addiction can be seen as easier to quit because you do not need it to survive. How are people with food addictions supposed to become un-addicted when you have to eat to survive? It’s not like we can just give up food. Unfortunately, our society lives on fatty, greasy, salty food that is very unhealthy, making it even harder to eat healthy. I am truly envious of the people who have the self-control to say no to food. It is something I wish I could easily do. However, that is not the case. But I have let myself come too far and I refuse to let it go any further.
Along with exercise, I have learned to make better food choices. I have changed my diet completely in the past few months. I went from eating fast food at least two times a week and having five meals a day to eating a high protein, high fiber diet with only 1,500 calories a day. And let me tell you, it has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. I get food cravings every. single. day. Just like any normal addiction, changing a lifestyle does not happen overnight. It takes time and commitment. It takes knowing that everything will be worth it in the end. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how nice it would be if I could chow down on Taco Bell or McDonald's. But that is what got me where I am today, overweight with bad eating habits. And I refuse to let it define me, anymore.