Food Addiction

Real Relationship Advice

We have said a million times, between the two of us, we know everything. Seriously! One of us was all science and math guy and the other was all touchy-feely, Sylvia Plath and Jung. With the added interests in religion and entertainment, we pretty much cover every area of life perhaps with the exception of some pygmy tribe in the Congo. We can speak intelligently about a lot of things but one of our favorite subjects is FOOD! We can talk about food all day long with breaks only for snacks.

We are the rare combination of the two extremes of food addiction. One of us is over-weight and has struggled with obesity all of her life whereas the other at one point in his life went on a 10,000 calorie a day diet to gain weight. Skinny or fat, the addiction to food is there. And like crack heads, some things mess us up more than others. Our triggers differ but the result is the same, an unhealthy relationship with food.

Let’s face it, if you watch TV now, you know this country has a really unhealthy relationship with food. Food is no longer utilitarian; it is an event not unlike an orgasm. Not that we have anything against a good orgasm, on the contrary, we say, ‘Orgasms for everybody!’ But food should not feed the need for such intense pleasure. Food has taken its place among the pantheon of love and safety substitutes with the likes of sex, money and violence. Before, food was something fun and now we have made it an obsession.

Case in point, why did the Food Network really need to spin off another channel called ‘Cooking’. If you watch the channel at all, you see more of their shows are really about food than the actual art of cooking. They feature food trucks and neat ways people are taking comfort food and making it even more decadent (because putting a pound of butter into your mac and cheese wasn’t decadent enough, let’s use duck fat and cheese curd!). We aren’t complaining. Food television has taken the place of porn. People sit there and salivate (and we would be surprised if the occasional Bon Appetit magazine wasn’t used for something other than recipes, wink, wink.)

We are obsessed with looks and weight and yet we feature the chef taking a bite of his cuisine like a money shot. This double bind is what is making this country unhealthy. These mixed messages are saying don’t eat but take a bite of this! In the old days, this is what scientists thought caused schizophrenia. Mommy loves you now go to your room, you are punished. No wonder we all feel a little whacky these days. The double bind is all around us. We are told to eat healthier but we are also shown the science that denying yourself leads to feelings of resentment which makes us eat. This is why we can eat the duck fat French fries with the Diet Coke. They cancel each other out!

Food has become the top topic of cognitive dissonance. I can eat whatever I want if I work out. We recently observed that a woman was posting on Facebook how many calories she burned every day. The amounts usually ranged around 3000. Here is someone who is convinced that she can give up her food addiction whereas she has supplanted it with a working out addiction. The addiction is always there just waiting for you to satisfy it. Today she will be happy with 1000 jumping jacks, tomorrow it will be a hostess cherry pie. Yum!

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