Thursday, April 11, 2013


Obesity is a symptom that is hard to hide. Famous stars are experts in how to stand for photos so they look 10 pounds thinner than they really are. There are obese people who are experts in how to take their own photo so that they look even 50 to 100 pounds thinner. (Think sharp angles and extreme close ups - it can be done).

If you were in a room with one obese person and 8 people of normal body weight and were told on looks alone to determine which person in the room had an addiction, which would you choose?

I was watching The Mindy Project the other night. There was a scene of a sharing circle at a rehab. Sitting in the circle are addicts of various addictions. One guy is dominating the conversation, lamenting how people are claiming an addiction to things that he thinks are bogus. Argues that drug and alcohol addiction are real but women thinking they are addicted to needing validation from men is bogus,  guy addicted to body-building - bogus, guy addicted to sex -bogus, woman addicted to relationships - bogus, etc. He tells each person they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to pass through life with bogus addictions. . . then he comes to a very overweight woman in the circle and says to her "except for you ma'am. Overeating is a legitimate addiction.  Food is a drug." The woman looks up from her knitting and says "I'm addicted to buying little figurines."

I remember when I was over 330 pounds and I went to an addiction group for the first time in New York. I listened to what they had to say and when I was asked if I wanted to say anything I said "I don't know if I am really addicted to food and overeating . . . but I can see now that I am a Disney addict. I spend all my time planning trips four times a year and all our money goes to the next trip. I have debt because of the trips and I am currently obsessed with the next trip.

I was 27, 5'4' and over 300 pounds. Addiction is real. Denial is what is bogus.

Did someone point out you had a problem with food before you accepted the truth? How did you manage your denial?



Unknown said...

Hi Jane! I actually feel that brain part lighting up when I eat a refined carb. I enjoy that zing far too much--enough to start a binge over it. Every time I lose complete control I know--Yes, that's definitely food addiction. That knowledge has helped me make better rules to avoid those situations.

:-) Marion

Tiffany said...

I hid from the denial for several years both with my weight and depression.

The Book Barista said...

Hi Jane! I recently discovered your blog and I have to say you are such an inspiration! I've recently started a blog to chart my own weight loss journey (beginning at 302 pounds). Pastries are my downfall..anything with a sweet zing to it really. I've approached this not as a "diet" but rather as a complete life-style make-over.

Vickie said...

What a good post. Loved the stories.

I know someone in real life who is addicted to disney too. And she is in the same weight category. very interesting. I have always thought she was looking for the fairy tale family there.

I think almost everyone in weight loss blog land has an addiction problem. and I think there is also a lot of addiction transfer.

I also think the weight loss programs that are based on 'anything in moderation' or sell processed 'food' will be in business forever. They are self perpetuating.

Diane has a post up today -

Karen said...

I was flat out told by my cognitive behavior counselor that wheat and processed sugar were like "an allergy" and I should be off of them completely.

I was so in denial. :0 10 Years of my life. Glad I did not have a heart attack or stroke while waiting for the clarity and the action.

I transferred my addiction to coffee drinking, but it seems to be okay that way.

Someday, there will be a gene mutation discovered and we will all have the same point mutation - 1 or two pairs. Just a guess. I might be wrong. Either way we all have to deal with it in the here and now.

I can spot the "others" in denial a mile away most of the the time, now that I'm in recovery myself.

Jane Cartelli said...

Marion - I know that zing!

Kim - Not just life-style, we actually have to re-wire our brains to understand every one of those zings is leading to our death.