So between two challenge choices; a) an item I can’t live without OR b) what I’d have for my last meal, either prompt can really lean towards one answer. Food; reason being I’m a food addict.
I’ve seen a lot of addiction and the traumatic experiences behind them in the news recently (Demi Lovato and Ben Affleck), and there’s been some misunderstanding and judgement made on those who are suffering with the addiction. And it may come as a surprise, but an addict is an addict, regardless of what it is. Food addiction is more serious than many people think.
“Just stop eating.” “Don’t eat so much.” “Stop eating junk food.”
For a food addict like myself, these arent anything we haven’t heard before, and what makes it worse is that it’s a sign the ones who are saying this don’t understand exactly what we go through and may unknowingly be placing more shame, depression and guilt onto us – which obviously makes the situation worse.
I asked my kids what their last meal would be, out of my own curiosity. My son who is seven told me his last meal of choice would be chicken nuggets and french fries, with ketchup. When I asked if he wanted anything else, he added strawberries, grilled cheese, eggos, and Rice Krispies squares.
My four year old daughter’s answer was simply French fries, until I told her she can have anything she wanted. Before I could suggest other foods, her answer was simply, “everything”.
And that’s how my mind works. If I’m not prompted, I’m searching without knowing what I’m looking for. And anything I see I’ll eat, attempting to get rid of the craving. I’ll keep eating until I’ve placed myself into a guilt, sometimes eating myself until I feel sick and still not knowing what I want.
I need to be prompted, and I think the reason behind why is because of how I’ve been trained as a consumer. We’re given so many choices, we’ve become dependent on others – advertisements telling us what we want. And here’s where the health problem lies, because for those of us who have grown used to others suggesting what we want, we’re always craving the only foods that spend millions on advertising, the reminders that haunt us, follow us wherever we go – junk food.
Food addiction is just as serious and deadly as drug addiction or alcoholism, sometimes acting in a slower manner, attacking our bodies most of the time without visible warnings of the worst symptoms. The consumption of junk food over time can cause death, or diseases and illnesses not easily cured. So being a food addict is a big problem and should be taken just as seriously as any other addiction, even though it’s not. It’s mainly treated as a simple personal problem.
The cycle is very similar to that of a drug or alcohol addict. The rush of food is more than satisfying, and some joke better than an orgasm at times, but the truth is it’s no joke. For food addicts, food satisfaction triggers the same chemicals in the brain as orgasms.
“Just one more chip/candy/slice of pizza/taco/sandwich…”
Depression and guilt follow forcing the addict to behave in a vicious cycle of compulsively eating. Or, instead of eating, a temporary victory lasting less than two weeks could happen, only resulting in either long lasting success (very difficult to achieve without help or medical assistance like alcohol or drug addiction options), or a craving so bad, a massive relapse happens and binge eating begins.
It takes over our mind and we can’t think of anything else until we eat next, brainstorming of which foods we want the most while not being able to escape suggestions of the best junk foods around. To make it more difficult, it’s cheaper to eat badly. And on top of it all, it’s a necessity to eat. So, have a little, but don’t have too much? Yeah right. We eat until we physically can’t anymore, feeling almost nauseous at times.
And then there are days we make it through, for whatever reason. Most of the time for me, I’m sick of feeling heavy, drained of trying so hard. I want to give up food altogether and wish I could. If I didn’t have to eat at all, I wouldn’t have to control portions. Just don’t show it to me and I wouldn’t have temptations.
Needless to say it can all be for not. Because every day thereafter, any day we could lose our will and give into temptation once again. Constantly surrounded by food, a necessity for living, needing a little but never too much. It’s always there, always available, always in sight. The taunt, the torment and the temptation. This is what it’s like to be a food addict.
The food addict in me wants everything I shouldn’t have, and it would also make sense since it would be my last meal, because there’d be no repercussions of health, or even something as simple as becoming bloated if it was my last meal.
So my last meal? It changes everyday depending on my cravings. But it’s definitely something I can’t live without because I require for survival, everyday:
Baked Ravioli with a side of asparagus with butter, and Cherry Pie for dessert.
– Lisa xx
There are a couple others doing this challenge with me, and their answers are always just as entertaining!