Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Food Allergy Addiction

I'll admit, when I got my diagnosis of multiple food sensitivities/allergies I felt like someone was taking away my favorite toy! All I could think about was all the food I wasn't going to be able to eat. Initially I lost weight, because I wasn't eating. I didn't know WHAT to eat. No egg, no dairy, no wheat, no rye (that's an easy one to avoid), and no oats. Of course that did leave fruits, vegetables, meat, and nuts... and I like those things, but I like pasta and cheese and all manner of baked goods too. So here's the thing, it's just not easy to change a life long relationship with food over night. You see, these foods I can't have anymore, but still crave, I've been eating many of them since I was a little kid. Even though it's been a few years since my diagnosis, I still struggle. I'm not perfect. I'm doing better, but I cave to my cravings from time to time, and I pay for it. Thankfully I have a husband who is supportive and is often my voice of reason when I get those cravings, but even he gets tired of my roller coaster with food. His most frequent response to me when I admit I've eaten something I shouldn't is, "I don't want to hear it later." And I get it. I do. It's hard to see someone hurt themselves over and over again because they choose not to make the right choice. It was that cycle of "I know I shouldn't have it, and I know it will make me sick, but I'm going to eat it anyway" and then, in fact, becoming ill that made me realize something. What I live with, and what many other people with similar issues live with is not entirely unlike what a recovering alcoholic goes through. We have something we enjoy, that gives us comfort, and makes us happy, but also makes us sick. No, these foods may not make me act differently when I eat them, not in the way a drug or alcohol does, and they may not destroy my relationships with other people, but my temptations are everywhere. They're on every shelf in the grocery store,  at every restaurant, every gathering, every event, and even in my own house. It's a battle I fight everyday, so where's my 12 step program? I suppose I could seek out a Food Addicts Anonymous group (and they do exist), but I don't really fit their profile. I'm not a closet eater. I'm not a binge eater. I don't have an eating disorder. Or do I? Addiction is the continued use of a substance or behavior despite adverse consequences. Granted, I wouldn't say I have a food addiction in the traditional sense, but some foods, for whatever reason, are now suddenly harmful to me, yet I still want them..Thankfully, some cravings aren't as prominent as they used to be, mostly because I'm tired of feeling like crap, but they haven't all just disappeared because I can't have them. I suspect it's something I'll have to live with for a long while. So, for now, instead of being angry about it (which usually leads to me saying, "F@#% it! I'm eating it anyway"), I'm going to surrender to it. Before you can slay the beast, you have to acknowledge that it exists, right?

Hello. My name is Kim, and I have a food allergy addiction.