Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Voldemort in My Life

Why are so many of us casual with the love, acceptance and approval received without reservation from people who love us yet we go crazy seeking love, acceptance, and approval from places and people who do not want/have it to give? 

I have been trying to make a friend of this disease of compulsive overeating and food addiction - to tame it; get it to like me and then maybe, if I can do that, perhaps it would stop hurting me. I use the excuse  one bite is not too much or it will be fine as long as I do that workout and then walk an extra three miles or, God help us, I rationalize 'that chocolate bar is fine because it is 87% dark, organically grown, blessed chocolate. 

My crazy relationship with food addiction is similar to the fictional followers of Voldemort. They like feeling in some way powerful because their evil lord calls on them to do his bidding. They know he is fatally dangerous but they bow to him and try to be in his favor so that he will not harm them. Of course as Harry Potter fans all know, no one is safe with Voldemort. As we all need to remember: no one is safe playing with the disease of food addiction and compulsive overeating. 

I need to be aware that this disease is like the poisonous snake who bit the kind mammal who was carrying it across the river. I need to always be aware that I cannot change its nature. This disease will always be the enemy. There is no way to make it anything else. When I want to eat things that taste yummy but infect my body and spirit with a sickness that takes away from my life it is like trusting Voldemort will let me go unscathed. It is like trusting the poisonous snake with my life. How foolish is that?

Food addiction and I cannot be friends or even frenemies. I have to respect its power but I do not have to pay it homage. I need to give it a wide berth and not get caught in its painful, deadly grasp.

Another term from Harry Potter takes on a new meaning in this analogy. The close followers of Voldemort are very aptly named - Deatheaters. 


Jane~


9 comments:

Karen said...

I like your analogy , Jane. I named mine "the disease" and in my mind I give it the same ranking as my Hashimotos thyroid disease.

Chronic, always there , life long. I take thyroid Meds every day and have to get my levels checked. With "the disease" I have to keep it in remission by the food I choose, the thoughts I choose, and using exercise to balance my mind

Stinking thinking is much harder for me to manage than my thyroid disease. I take it one meal at a time and I know relapse is one bite away. It's a narrow therapeutic window. Like a tight rope sometimes. Wider path other times.

Onward. You are not alone. Karen P

Norma said...

That is a great analogy, Jane. Pretending we have the power to stop at that one bite, or to indulge in a trigger food and 'make up for it' with an extra workout is insanity. The food addiction will always win. Always. As the wise computer said to Matthew Broderick in the movie "War Games" (long live the 80s!) the only way to win is not to play. Never engage Voldemort.

Vickie said...

For days now, I have been pondering the concept of taking a cruise (you mentioned it). Because a cruise (from memory, my honeymoon, 1985) is a floating smorgasbord, 24/7. I realize you are in Florida; I realize that now there might be very different food set ups.; I realize you might have done this before with no trouble. I am very curious about the concept, because it seems like entering a war zone from my viewpoint in Indiana.

One of my kids just attended a conference. It happened to be at Disney in Florida. She is a vegetarian. Disney did a pretty lousy job with food for the conference for vegetarians. She made do with a little store she found. In retrospect we realized we should have packed a cooler (bus). But we talked about the fact that I would have had a very hard time. I even thought about your packing food (conference and you had made my lemon chicken soup and it spilled). It made me think a lot about the war zone concept, and then I saw your cruise note.

If this is not the right time, tuck topic away for later, or just let it go if it is upsetting.

Caron said...

When I first started blogging, I saw several people mentioning intuitive eating and how they were going to beat their eating problems just by being "aware". I bought one of the books on intuitive eating but I knew in my heart that it was not something I would be able to employ.

Shakespeare had it right on this one: "This above all: to thine own self be true." We may have to learn as we go, but if we discard the lessons learned, we are foolish indeed.

affectionforfitness said...

Hi Jane! Boy, are we on the same wavelength this week!

I call that "food-as-a-bad-boy," you call it Voldemort--who is the worst boy.

When I personified this eating relationship, I realized how demeaning and destructive it was.

It is certainly worth giving up any type of dessert versus feeling like a person who is treated like crap by food. I think I learned how to eat better because I just could no longer stand being trampled by myself. There is just so much more to life than eating.

:-) Marion

Sean Anderson said...

Brilliant analogy. Thank you.

Becca said...

Wow...this is a very timely post as I just watched the last 2 Harry Potter movies with friends last night.

Thank you so much for your honesty and perspective...I can't tell you what it means to me (a person who is seriously addicted to food...sugar in particular)

Jane Cartelli said...

Karen - ever onward! We can do this one day at a time.

Norma - I love the Wisdom of Joshua. I need to find a way to give that voice to my computer and have it spout sane quotes at meal times.

Vickie - I think it is a great topic for a who;e post, not just a reply to your comment. I have entered the war zone many times and sometimes it ended well and others it did not. I have learned tools along the way that have helped me. This time I did not follow through with them all - to my detriment. I am going to start a full post of this for later this week or early next. Oh, and about the lack of food choices at Disney for the vegan vegetarian - I will absolutely have a post on that on soon.

Jane Cartelli said...

Caron - I was and remain very disdainful of the idea that intuitive eating can work for most people. Naturally intuitive people who do not have eating issues - yes.

Non-intuitive people who learn the tools and do not have eating issues - yes. People who have eating issues but are not addicted to food - sure, it is possible.

Me, a food addict who was morbidly obese and can get that way again if you give me a fork and a few months - no. However, the tools used to pause and think about the meal have led me to healthier eating behaviors. The idea that I am going to have the one piece of cake and not look for more tomorrow or next week does not work for me.

Marion - Self-respecting ourselves above the food is our path to healthier living. :-)

Sean - Thanks for the comments all this week. I appreciate your experience, strength and hope.

Becca -It is so awesome that you admit your have the sugar addiction. I have tried making that demon into saint over and over again and it ain't happening! I am addicted to sugar, like it or not. I don't like it but today I admit it - which is progress.