Is food the enemy?
Well to some people, it can be.
Let's face it, it is an addiction that plagues more Americans than any drug on the market.
That's what this chapter faces.
We all associate memories to food, even those who aren't addicted - the Thanksgiving turkey, making cookies with mom, grandma's coconut cake . . . It's only human. But the difference between that and a food-addicted person is this - the food addict will take that memory and run with it. If it's a joyful memory, that food becomes attached to that joy, and we addicts have to have more of it especially during stressful times (still not convinced that food can be an addiction?)
For Marla, this addiction is Macaroni and Cheese. For Leanne, it's chocolate. For me, it's any food I can get my hands on.
Do I have a specific food memory? Well, I have several, but when it comes to "comfort food" I honestly don't have that one food that triggers me. My food addiction stemmed from a traumatic childhood that I won't go into detail about here. Essentially, I subconsciously put on weight for a purpose. Sadly, it didn't work, so I ended up continuing to eat to fill the painful void. I started putting on large amounts of weight by the time I was seven. Yes. SEVEN.
As a latchkey kid, I was never given limits on what I could or couldn't eat after school. I'd eat two mini pizzas, a whole box of macaroni and cheese, or a half a bag of potato chips for an after school snack. And then at dinner, I'd eat an entire plate filled to the rim with food, simply because my older brother would take whatever was left, and not leave anything for seconds or leftovers (I guess that was a form of self-preservation).
After I moved out of the house, I went to Austin where I got into some heavy legal trouble. Additionally, I was living with a (so I thought) friend that was manipulative and verbally abusive. In fact, she was the reason for all the legal trouble. After a year, I moved back home to my folks, but the depression and worthlessness were still in tact - full force. Again, I ate. By the time I was 21 years old, I was 240 lbs. Years passed, and I continued to put on weight - slowly but surely. When I had my daughter at 28 I was about 265. I stayed around the same weight until I met my husband about a year and a half later. After we moved in together and we got married, I gained even more weight. When I became pregnant with my second child, I was up to 280, roughly. After his birth, I went into a period of a kind of postpartum depression, and within five months time, I had put on 30 lbs to reach 310 lbs! I think I just now realized that I was depressed. Looking back now, I must have been. My house was terrible, I looked awful, I slept all the time, when I wasn't sleeping I was eating . . . I was depressed for sure.
Food had become my enemy, but I wasn't ready yet to relinquish all control.
Something Leanne said was that she finally realized that "It's only food! It isn't Love! It's not God!"(8). It would take me a while yet to find that realization.
Want to know exactly what Marla and Leanne say in their book? Buy it for yourself!