Let's start with the honesty. I'm not an alcoholic nor am I a gambler. I completely sympathize with anyone who is suffering with those addictions. But, I think a food addiction is harder to deal with in many ways. Gamblers probably don't wake up betting. Alcoholics probably do wake up drunk, but not all of the time. But, if you have a food addiction, most likely you are waking up fat and hungry. It's staring you in the face day after day.
Even if you manage to get a handle on your addiction you can't escape the temptations. If you are an alcoholic you can avoid bars and liquor stores. Gamblers can avoid casinos and race tracks. But, it's awfully hard for a food addict to avoid the grocery store. In fact, it's impossible. And then you have to face your demons head on at least three times a day for meals. Going out to eat sucks. Going to someone's house for dinner sucks. You don't really have control over your options at that point. And do not even get me started on "donut" days at work. I want to strangle someone on those days.
It took a lot for me to condition myself to grocery shopping and not caving. I had heard repeatedly to "walk the outside" of the grocery store. All the junk is in the middle. But guess what! Even if you do that, you still have to check out. And what's at the check out? CHOCOLATE! So my cart will be full of vegetables, yogurt, chicken, wheat bread, and then it all comes tumbling down by a dang Kit Kat. And I think we all know that it doesn't even make it home. Shoot, it's gone before I even leave the parking lot. FOILED AGAIN.
Let's talk about the unexpected battles. As I write this hurricane Irene is swirling over me. You know that means that I had to go to the store yesterday to make sure I had enough food for the storm. I stocked up on salad essentials and I am good to go with turkey sandwiches on whole wheat. But, that fat girl in side kept saying "What about the snacks? You're going to be inside for days, you need snacks." She wanted chips and salsa and about a pound of chocolate. And she almost won. What she got though was carrots and guacamole and one bag of M&M's (I'm not a saint afterall). They were eaten last night if you must know. So far I have been able to fend off the cravings, but tomorrow when I can't leave the apartment all day will be a different story. I can see myself contemplating the dangers of walking to the store, which will probably be closed anyway, just for a dang Snickers.
So I have come up with a few tips to help me through the tough times:
1-Going out to eat
*Look at the menu ahead of time. If you decide what you want before you go and don't need to look at the menu you have less chance of changing your mind. Please note- this is no guarantee :-( but it helps
2-Eating at a Friend's house
*Offer to bring the salad. You at least have control over that
3- "Donut" days at work
*Just go ahead and quit your job. Just kidding. Although I feel like that every time. Think of the calories. They are empty calories. Is it worth an hour on the treadmill? I think not. But, if you have a sweet tooth go ahead and keep the 100-calorie packs of the chocolate cover pretzels in your desk.
*Most grocery stores off at least one check out lane that is candy free. Become familiar with it and make it a point to use that lane every time.
*Don't Do it! If you stock up on the junk food that is what you will eat. If you are stuck at home with healthy options only you won't regret it after. But if you stock up on junk food you will hate yourself after you eat it all.