• Karen Murray Heffron

Are you a Food Addict?

I've always considered myself a food addict. I used to joke that vegetarians don't eat meat, and I don't eat vegetables! In college, I would eat fried chicken sandwiches and fries 2 out of 3 meals a day. I could eat pizza 3 days in a row. Processed food is sneaky because food companies work hard to find your "bliss point" so the food they are selling can't be resisted. The biggest slogan I remember growiing up was " No one can eat just one," and it's true - I could eat a big bag of Lay's potato chips in one sitting! But we aren't addicted to food. Food is necessary to sustain life - there is no addiction to breathing. We can be addicted to certain substances like sugar, caffeine, and flour as the inner essence of these ingredients get processed and magnified to activate the pleasure centers in our brain. These are the same centers that are activated also with alcohol, drugs, and even spiritual experiences. Calling oneself a "food addict" feels like a disease that can't be fixed. It feels like we are powerless to change it, but actually we have more power than we realize. Food cravings are really just

a habit that takes practice to overcome. Filling your plate with higher quality food and being mindful while eating are great starts to turning that habit around. I've been able to eliminate almost every addiction (and I had ALL of them) this way. If you want to turn your health around, you can overcome these "addictions" with focus and patience with yourself.

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