Addiction comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and I have first-hand experience with more than a few of them. But while alcohol and drugs often get center stage, there is another substance that is extremely easy to get and can be dangerously addictive – food.
The hardest addiction to break, and one that millions of Americans face, is addiction to food. While giving up alcohol and drugs is hard, giving up food is simply impossible – we have to eat to live. But our culture is one of fast food, soft drinks and supersizes. Everywhere we turn is another temptation threatening to break our resolve. Fat and sugar have been scientifically proven to be addictive, and food companies are capitalizing, making us dependent on their products. The dangers are well-documented; according to the medical journal Circulation, the number of Type 2 diabetes cases brought on by obesity has risen dramatically in the last 20 years.
As a child growing up in a family of ten and headed by an abusive father, I turned to food to comfort and protect me. By my early teens I had added alcohol and drugs to my repertoire. I was on a fast track to an early grave, either from alcohol poisoning or obesity.
But through hard work, burning desire and, most of all, an amazing support system, I was able to get myself off the path of destruction. I stopped drinking and using drugs, and lost 100 lbs. through diet and exercise changes.
This is why I support New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent campaign to ban large soft drinks. His efforts have been controversial, and I understand the arguments for self-determination. However, I know that addiction is a hell of a beast to throw off, and it requires help. I see Bloomberg’s ban as that help to millions of people, whether or not they yet know they need it.
Will New Yorkers miraculously stop drinking soda? Of course not. But Bloomberg’s law will act as the reminder we need that excessive quantities of sugar, just like booze or cocaine, damages our bodies.
This isn’t about losing weight; it’s about treating your body the way it deserves to be treated – with health-creating, non-addictive substances.
Loving yourself is an inside job.
We live in a culture that rewards beauty and celebrates thinness. What we focus on expands literally. If you keep focusing on how much you dislike your body, guess what keeps showing up? A body that you dislike. On the flip side, if you focus on loving your body and taking care of it the way you would someone you love, you’ll find that your body is your true home, deserving of wholesome food, respect and love.
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Weight Release & Body Image Coach Laura Fenamore is on a mission to guide women around the world to love what they see in the mirror, one pinky at a time, so they can unlock the secrets to a healthy weight and start loving their lives as soon as possible. Learn more about her programs, invite her to speak or contribute to your program or conference, or place pre-orders for her book today at OnePinky.com.