I included a link to this news article in a comment on my last post, but I thought it should be highlighted in its own post as well.
I’ve talked about addiction before, but even despite my own personal experiences with food addiction, there was always a part of me that felt like I was being melodramatic. I think it can shut up now.
A researcher at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Medicine has produced some pretty damn good evidence that getting off a high-fat diet is akin to going through drug withdrawal.
“‘By working with mice, whose brains are in many ways comparable to our own, we discovered that the neurochemistry of the animals who had been fed a high fat, sugary diet were different from those who had been fed a healthy diet,’ Fulton explained. ‘The chemicals changed by the diet are associated with depression. A change of diet then causes withdrawal symptoms and a greater sensitivity to stressful situations, launching a vicious cycle of poor eating.'”
Well good goddamn. That’s pretty interesting, isn’t it? It has a whole slew of potential ramifications. I love that Dr. Fulton pointed out, “It is food for thought about how we might support people psychologically as they strive to adopt healthy eating habits, regardless of their current corpulence.”
Know what else it means?
You can stop beating yourself up for all the failed diets. I’m sure you have at least a few tucked away in the closet with the rest of your skeletons. I know I do. I’m not saying that you should no longer feel a sense of responsibility to yourself and your own wellbeing because the Addiction Demon in your head made you do it. What I am saying is that beating yourself up over a failed diet is not only pointless, it’s not constructive. What does the guilt get you? Nothing good. Does it inspire you to try harder? If you’re anything like me, the only thing guilt inspires is a long list of comfort foods to eat to make yourself feel better.
So stop beating yourself up. Stop right now. Just take a step back and take a deep breath. Understand that overcoming what is actually a very real addiction sucks. It sucks hard. And understand that everything will come in its own time. For you, that time might not be right now. Keep pushing until you reach the breaking point–either your own, or the addiction’s. If you fail, at least you tried. Pick yourself up and keep trying.
And stop the guilt. You are not a punching bag.