Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Food Addiction

For those ever wondering about whether they might have a problem with food addiction, I found this list kicking out there on the net. Apparently if you answer yes to any of them then you might have a problem. I'll tell you at the bottom how many applied to me

1 Have you ever wanted to stop eating and found you just couldn't?
2 Do you think about food or your weight constantly?
3 Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
4 Do you binge and then "get rid of the binge" through vomiting, exercise, laxatives, or other forms of purging?
5 Do you eat differently in private than you do in front of other people?
6 Has a doctor or family member ever approached you with concern about your eating habits or weight?
7 Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?
8 Is your weight problem due to your "nibbling" all day long?
9 Do you eat to escape from your feelings?
10 Do you eat when you're not hungry?
11 Have you ever discarded food, only to retrieve and eat it later?
12 Do you eat in secret?
13 Do you fast or severely restrict your food intake?
14 Have you ever stolen other people's food?
15 Have you ever hidden food to make sure you have "enough?"
16 Do you feel driven to exercise excessively to control your weight?
17 Do you obsessively calculate the calories you've burned against the calories you've eaten?
18 Do you frequently feel guilty or ashamed about what you've eaten?
19 Are you waiting for your life to begin "when you lose the weight?"
20 Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with food?

Me? Back at the beginning of the year I would have answered yes to 13 of them.


Lisa said...

I, too, scored 13. Yikes!! This probably explains why I weigh so much. I hate being fat, I really do, but I can't stop eating. I wonder what has given me an eating disorder? I'll probably never know.

Kim Ayres said...

There are a whole range of reasons why we over-eat. In order to tackle it we need to try and what they are. If we don't know WHY, then we'll never get anywhere. In my posting "Why did I overeat?" I've put down a few suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Amanda said...

16 for me...after years of working through this...SCARY

Kim Ayres said...

I think what I find almost incomprehensible is that there will be some people out there for whom none of these apply.

When I first read this list I thought for at least half a dozen of them, "doesn't everybody???"

Amanda said...

I know exactly what you mean!!! That would be a miracle if I could ever become one of those people...

Anonymous said...

Holy Moley! I scored 13! It's a pity, as with all addictions, that something like this only gets noticed when it's already a big problem (no pun intended)

Kim Ayres said...

Welcome to Losing a Hundredweight and thanks for taking the time to comment!

You're absolutely right - we eat, make excuses, and fail to realise it's a problem until it really, becomes a problem.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up, Kim- it turns out I'm not 6 foot 9 after all! Honestly, I expected the calculator Google provided me with to be accurate, but apparently it's too much to ask.
My weight loss goal needs to be closer to 170 pounds!

concerned said...

i scored 16!!!
wow! i'm just curious if there's anyone who scores zero on this...

Kim Ayres said...

There are some strange people out there - I have a brother-in-law who can open a packet of maltesers, eat jsut 2 or 3 and put the packet away! Bizarre!

Midnitefyrfly said...

WOW! I consider myself a relapsed food addict. I was sure I would score way more. It is likely that before my WLS (weight loss surgery) I would have scored very high. It was actually a little inspiring to know that some of those answers have permanently changed, but the ones that have not are fierce. I am back 60 lbs over where I am comfortable and persistently gaining.

To think that I let that happen after how hard I worked to get the surgery and reprogram food's control over me so I could lose 200 lbs...

I'm stuck now, because I am still so happy to not weigh 380 lbs, but I am scared for what the newly added 60 lbs can turn into.

I am extremely impressed, Kim, that you have come so far with bakers in the family! Keep on keeping on... or taking off I guess would be more appropriate- but GREAT JOB!

Kim Ayres said...

If you've read other posts on this site, you'll see that our approach is one of Health first rather than weight.

I'm convinced it makes a huge difference - if you think about your health first and foremost, then anything you eat needs to be healthy and balanced, rather than restricted.

The weight then comes off as a side effect and you don't risk the major heart problems often associated with repeated and rapid weight loss

Tina said...

I scored a 15. I also hate being fat and can't stop eating. I read the "why did I overeat?" but the problem I have is how to work through these issues when you can't afford professional help? I just ate 1/2 package of pretzel M&Ms, potatoe chips, celery,cheese and crackers and I am still hungry. HELP!!

Kim Ayres said...

Hi Tina,

I've never had professional help, just worked out the patterns which I've written about here and on the other posts.

The thing to realise is there are several reasons why you will be overeating - and you need to understand each of them before you can start tackling them.

First of all make a list of all of the things you know will trigger your eating:

- which emotional states have you reaching for food?

- what particular foods or food types can you not stop with once you start?

- habits - when do you eat other than at mealtimes (in front of the tv, mid morning or midnight snacks etc)

- how long does it take between eating and feeling full?

- can you tell the difference between stomach and mouth cravings - feeling hungry and feeling munchy?

Once you start doing a proper stock-take of the different contributing factors, you can start looking at how to tackle each one.

Do you have a blog? If not, it might be worth starting one to write down your thoughts, discoveries and outcomes when you try out different approaches. It's also a good way to team up with other people who know exactly what you're going through.

This isn't going to be fixed overnight, but it can be fixed in time. You just have to make a start somewhere, and starting a blog and making a list, is a start.

Tina said...

Thanks Kim for the words of wisdom. Do you exercise? I do know I need to do this (eat right and exercise) to get healthy. I feel absolutely miserable. Do I start now or tomorrow?

Kim Ayres said...

Hi Tina,

Exercise is always a good idea - not only does it make you healthier, but it contributes to an overall sense of well being too.

Unfortuantely for the past 4 years I've been suffering from CFS/ME which means I have very limited energy levels. I do go out for a 10-15 minute walk every day, but I can't do much more than that.

But in the first year or so of eating healthily, I did exercise much more and that helped the weight come off more quickly and steadily.

Kim Ayres said...

Oh, and get out of the habit of saying I'll start tomorrow/ next week/ on Monday.

You can always make a start now, today. Even when you relapse, you can still retake the reins of control later that day :)

Tina said...

You are right. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Stay strong.

Emma_ps said...

Sadly I could say yes to 14 , I have realised that I have an unhealthy relationship with food and need to deal with it, all to often I have used food to try and compensate for emotional issues something I'm trying to address!

Great blog by the way

Kim Ayres said...

Emma - thanks for taking the time to comment - wishing you the very best on your journey :)