One of the reasons why some people do not want to even start to lose weight and get in shape is because they feel that it is impossible to change anything in their diet at all. On the surface it makes sense to not even try to change something that is perceived to be too difficult to change. Unfortunately, this also means that such people will continue to suffer from poor self-esteem and body image while not doing anything about it.
In most cases, the reality is that most of them simply do not know how to start. It could have been the case that they have tried before and failed. Similarly, they could have witnessed the failures of others in their personal life who have tried to lose weight and ended up with yo-yo weight loss. Of course, these people would then talk about their failures as though it’s a completely insurmountable barrier.
This post is dedicated to anyone and everyone who feels that it is impossible for them to lose weight and stay in shape in the long-term because they are too addicted to unhealthy food. Today I am here to try and bust this myth that it is highly unlikely that one could be addicted to food. If you fall into this category, I would like to suggest that whatever is holding you back from starting the weight loss journey is rooted in some other fear rather than addiction itself.
Why am I taking such a hard stance on this topic? Because I want the best for you, and if making you recognise what the true barrier is and what it isn’t is the first step to you hopping on board the “healthy lifestyle” train, so be it. Before you even think of using that excuse again, let us first explore what addiction really is.
The truth of the matter is that there is no objective way to measure “addiction” itself. I say this much in the same way that you can’t measure “love” or “integrity” because such things are subjective. If you ask ten people how much integrity a politician has on a scale of one to ten, you’ll get a wide range of answers based on the person’s political leanings. Like someone once said, opinions are like a-holes – everybody has one.
However, as the medical and scientific world is all about proof and quantification, it is unsurprising that those in these professions have come up with a scale to determine whether a person is addicted to something or not. Of course, there are other potential measurements such as levels of dopamine and other substances in the brain, but those are rather complex and beyond the scope of this article.
As such, I have researched several different addiction checklists, all of which are specific to a certain vice. Examples of such vices include smoking, gambling, pornography, drinking, internet usage, smart phone usage, video games, and whatever else can give a dopamine high. I then organised and rephrased relevant questions to come up with my own list.
Without keeping you in further suspense, here is a list of 12 questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you are truly addicted to something, whatever “the crutch” may be:
- How often did you fail to meet crucial life responsibilities ie working to support family, going to school or college, going to meetings, because of this addiction?
- Does the quality of your work and responsibilities suffer because of your addiction?
- How often has your addiction made you act recklessly or put yourself or anyone else in a dangerous situation?
- How often did you try to quit your crutch but fail?
- How often did you continue to use the crutch even though you knew that it was causing you harm?
- How aware were you of the crutch when you were not using it? Ie how much were you thinking about it?
- Were there any withdrawal symptoms when you were not using it?
- As compared to the past, did you find that you had to use it more often, or have a higher dose of it to feel the same effects?
- Do others constantly tell you that your addiction is unhealthy and causing a problem in your life? And if so, how annoyed are you about it?
- How often are you defensive or secretive when someone asks about your addiction?
- Do you use this crutch as a means of feeling good, and as an escape of any discomforts you might experience in real life?
- Does the thought of spending time away from that addiction for long periods make you feel agitated?
Now, since I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, I will not give you firm guidelines to determine whether you are addicted to food or not. Notice that I have left these as a list of 12 questions, and not give each of them a scale. You can do this if you want to.
The purpose for the questions is simply for me to put things into perspective for you, and to make you realise that in a lot of cases, your perceived addiction to food is not really an addiction at all, but that you were simply using it to avoid taking the crucial first step to a lifetime of good health.
That being said, I will not go as far as to say that food addiction doesn’t exist. It absolutely does, and is important to deal with. In fact, Yale even developed a comprehensive “food addiction scale”, which many health professionals recognise. Here is a link to the scale: http://www.uconnruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/addiction/foodaddictionscale09.pdf and here is a link to its usage: http://www.uconnruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/addiction/FoodAddictionScaleInstructions09.pdf
So the bottom line is that only you know whether you truly have a food addiction or not. If you answered ‘no’ to most of the questions above, chances are that your relationship with food is not unhealthy to the point that you need medical or professional help. In such a case, you only need to know how to empower and convince yourself to kick-start the journey.
If you are feeling lost and don’t know how to start, you have come to the right place. The Granite Fitness Solution is a complete system that provides every resource and tool you need to succeed in your fitness journey. One of the books in the system – The Winning Psychology Manual, is all you need to tune your mind and get the determination fired up. The other books, manuals, videos and physical tools will then follow on and push you down the road to success.
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