Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Sensations and Placeholders

 Recently my mentor in food addiction recovery said to me "I think it is possible you are using the sensation of sweet to get you through your day-to-day activities,  using food substitutions such as artificial sweeteners as a way to get the foods your mind craves."

Ouch. I did not see that coming. I was not even sure what it meant. I denied it was true but over the course of these last two weeks I have to say it has been festering in my mind. I have Splenda or Truvia in my cereal even if I have fruit in there, too?  I been having seltzer mixed with Toroni Splenda flavorings - mixing flavors to get different 'real' dessert tastes? I have yogurt with sweetener almost every single day and often have fat free ricotta with Splenda and extracts because it tastes like cannoli.  Am I using these sweet sensations as a placeholder? If so, what am I going to reach for if a day comes when I want the sensation and the artificial stuff just does not give it to be any more?

I cannot afford to play with this stuff anymore. When I tire of the taste of artificial sweetener I begin to look for the 'real' taste of sugar. Last year I found myself using too much artificial sweetener. I dialed back my use of Splenda to 1/4 of what I was using. Since that time I have increased that amount to about 1/2 the original amount. I have been wanting more and more sweet sensation. I have been thinking that a day of real sugar and ice cream, etc might help me get over it. Major red flag! I have never been able to stop at one bite or one day. It took years to get to where I no longer binge. The first bite always, always, always puts me back into the pit of food compulsion hell.

Compulsive eating and food addiction does not make me a bad person. I am a sick person trying to get well. It is time to start employing some new concepts I am learning:

  • I love myself and my body. It is not love if I consume foods or beverages that hurt or abuse my body in any form, in any amount. All foods that cause inflammation, anxiety, or addictive responses in my body are painful to my system when consumed. Sure, they look pretty and taste good at first. However, such foods and beverages are not rewards or treats.  I must stop and ask if I love myself or want to hurt myself.  No more punishing myself under the guise of thinking I 'deserve a treat.' No more punishing myself period. 
  • Denying myself the foods that cause the problems is not punishment. It is pure love. 

Are you using the sensation of sweet as a reward? How does this hurt your efforts in keeping the pounds off?  I love all of you who are on this journey with me. Love yourself today. You deserve it. 


No comments: