Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Food Addiction

So, it's taken me a while to get around to this, partially because I don't really want to talk about it.  But, then... all the more reason for me to do so, yeah?  So here we go.
Believe it or not (and some people who don't deal with this don't seem to think that it's an issue, but there's science behind it) food addiction is a thing.  Check out this article about it if you don't believe me.  But the long and short of it is, for some people, certain foods can mimic the same effects within the brain as cocaine or heroine.  This generally applies more to foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fat.  I think you can all see where that would lead.
The problem, though, is that you don't need cocaine to live, though you may feel like it.  But if you stop eating, you will die.  And this stuff, this garbage food that has this effect on people and (while I'm not huge on conspiracy theories or seeing a bunch of faceless, money-grubbing demons behind every big corporation) it's certainly possible that companies are exploiting the things that make their foods more addictive.  I'm not gonna get into the whole food market thing, because I can't really do anything about what the food industry, or the FDA, does.  All I can affect is me.  And I'm a food addict.
So the thing, then, is to no longer "reward" myself for doing well by going completely off the reservation and pigging out on a bacon double cheeseburger with large chili-cheese fries and a wading pool-sized bucket of coke.  Does it serve the crackhead's best interest to celebrate a week sober with an 8-ball and a party?
The answer, my friends, is no, and if you said yes then put down the lighter and call your sponsor now.
What I need to do is not eat all this garbage that I have grown, over 30 years, to love and enjoy.  I need to retrain my brain, my palate, and my behaviors.  That involves making a transition from the delicious, convenient, cheap food I've depended on for years, to food that costs more, takes more time and energy to prepare, and that doesn't taste as good.  But it's for my health.  It's worth tacking another 30 years onto my life to do.
And of course I realize that once I've done it for long enough, a huge salad of mushrooms, peppers, and other vegetables of unknown provenance that I can't even properly pronounce, will taste as delicious as yesterday's greasy burger, and I'll feel good about it.  I won't have to wait until I'm alone at the house to eat, or try to hide a bunch of disposable dishes covered in ketchup and mayonnaise, because it won't be there.  I'll be proud of having made that transition from what is modern and cheap, to what is good for me.  And that's a huge part of the Primal Shift.
Even as I write this, I'm tempted to type "so tomorrow, i start eating right."  But that's the old me.  The addict.  The obese, neolithic slug with no willpower that would find any excuse to go back to what was cheap, tasty, and comfortable.  He'd take the easy way out.
But the new me, the descendent of Grok, the world's finest Apex Predator, is not going to do that.  I am making this change now, and I am not going to revert.  I'm honest enough to know that I may backslide, but I will not give in and say "well, I might as well get a large milkshake as well...".  No longer is it in for a penny, in for a pound. 
I will make this change, this Primal Shift, and I will stick with it.  When lay dying, at 100+ years old, a shredded old man in my bed, I will be able to honestly say "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.  Booyah."

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