“We believe that the action of alcohol on these alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy … a ‘phenomenon of craving’” – paraphrased from “The Doctor’s Opinion” in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
I was at breakfast one day during a recent cruise vacation (look under the tag “December 2018” for posts), took one look down at my large bowl filled with oatmeal, cream, butter, raisins, and walnuts and thought:
This here is one big ole bowl of ‘phenomenon of craving.’
Now for some context.
One major premise of the disease of compulsive eating, modeled after the disease of alcoholism, is that sufferers are “bodily and mentally different” from their fellows.
As a compulsive eater, the “bodily” part for me means I react addictively to certain foods. When I put these foods in my system, my body automatically, physically craves more. Here’s my additive list:
- Any form of sugar (i.e., brown, white, raw, honey, agave nectar)
- White flour
- Wheat (includes both cold and hot cereals)
- Full-fat dairy (i.e., cheese, cream, butter)
- Dried fruits
- Sugary fruits, such as bananas and figs
- Most artificial sweeteners (i.e., blue, yellow and pink packets)
Now, don’t get scared.
This is true for me. I have learned this unfortunate truth from more than forty unsuccessful years trying to control and enjoy these foods.
My eating disorder started when I was four years old and I’m 49 now. If there was any way I could have learned to make these foods work for me, I would have done it by now.
So how do I feel about this? Doesn’t matter.
(For the record, I don’t like it but that’s beside the point.)
Do you think I like being the only one at the company picnic throwing away the bread from the provided sandwiches and only eating the insides? No.
Do you think I like traveling with sardines (of all things) because I know the free continental breakfast is going to have nothing but sugary cereal and pastries? No.
But here’s what I do like.
I like the fact that I’ve accepted this unpalatable truth and am no longer fighting it, because the more I fight, the more I suffer.
I like that fact that I’ve learned to live in the Serenity Prayer, which tells me to “change the things I can.”
Mostly I like being sane.
I spent eight days on a cruise eating a lot of my addictive foods and by the last day I wanted to binge. Luckily I didn’t.
So now that I’m back in the “real world” I’m back on my clean food plan that works for me.
Because no bowl of oatmeal is worth a binge.
# # #