Food Addiction

Food Addiction: The Social Context

It’s not your fault; that’s the first thing I need to say.

You see, like everything, food addiction exists in context. You do not exist outside of a social context no matter how isolated you may be. I mention isolation because many of us who struggle with food addiction a.k.a. compulsive eating have found ourselves isolated from people, groups, and community.

It’s important to recognize that if you are in the grips of food addiction, you are most definitely having a battle with addictive substances. Unlike alcoholics or other drug addicts, food addicts tend to get judged in a way that suggests you are to blame. “Just stay away from the sweets,” “use your will power,” and “you can do this on your own,” are criticisms you may have internalized.

What people tend to forget or not know is that those highly addictive foods—cookies, cake, chocolate, pastries, bread, bagels, crackers, pizza, french fries, cereal, pretzels, chips, soda, fast food, and all the other combinations of flours, processed sugars, trans-fats, rancid oils, and iodized salt—are laced with highly addictive substances. Period.

So… YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. Once these substances enter your body-mind system, it is not uncommon for addiction to occur. That means that you may actually experience withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, foggy mind, anxiety, headaches, anger, irritability, and a lot more when you pull back from eating those specific ingredients.

Food Addiction: The Emotional Context

To discover what lead you to eating for emotional reasons is a journey and not always the first life-lesson revealed. It shows itself or it doesn’t as time allows, based on your curiosity and commitment to the process. Is this discovery the most important insight needed to recover from emotional eating? No.. not really.

Rather than spending endless cycles identifying and unveiling childhood and adult traumas, or at least while you are unveiling these stories, you must “get the good stuff in.” The good stuff in healthy, nutrient-dense food, gratitude practice, moving your body, stress-reduction practices such as meditation and yoga, support groups such as Overeater’s Anonymous meetings, finding a coach or mentor, reaching out for connection in your community, and/or any other tool in your recovery toolkit.

The idea is to SATURATE yourself with what makes you feel good about yourself—good in your skin—beyond the instant gratification of quick-fix, refined and processed foods. Anytime you “get off track” with your eating or if you have not been on track ever or for a very long time, you’ll want to reach into your basket, grab a tool, and take a few deep breaths.

In conclusion

These words are but a nutshell attempt at sharing the Holistic Lifestyle Practices approach (HLP) to recovery from food addiction. If you are left with questions, I have accomplished this task. I would rather provide you with a compassionate, thought-provoking place to land than spoon-feed you predetermined answers.

There is never a one-size-fits-all solution for your individual journey. To dive deeper into your recovery with a whole bunch of hand-holding, step-by-step guidance, and loving affirmation, please consider my holistic health coaching program.

Peaceful healing,
Dr. Nicki