Food Addiction and the Holidays
Amongst the warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas lights, tinsel and a perfectly decorated tree, let’s take a moment to have a gut level, reality check about food addiction.
In our culture we tend to “categorize” addictions by the priority we place upon them.
We have programs in public schools to teach students to say no to drugs.
We encourage teens not to smoke or drink. We’ve even established laws to prevent them from purchasing the destructive items.
As a nation, we’ve put a high priority on educating the culture about the life controlling power and damaging effects of drug, alcohol and cigarette addiction. We’ve heard the stories. We’ve seen the graphic images. We’ve developed special care for crack and fetal alcohol syndrome babies. We’ve even put Surgeon’s General Warning labels on packs of cigarettes.
We understand the concept that once an individual makes the decision to stop nicotine addiction, there’s no going back to smoking just one cigarette.
We understand the dangers of a recovering alcoholic having that innocent sip of wine at a cocktail party.
We wouldn’t think of putting a recovering drug addict back on the streets to sell cocaine.
Unfortunately, as a nation, we’ve put a low, almost non-existent, priority on the life damaging effects of food addiction. We think nothing of grooming the taste buds of children for a lifetime of addiction to salty fries, donuts and Big Macs. We think nothing of celebrating the holidays with a month-long food binge.
Just because Christmas cookies, fudge and cheese balls don’t have a Surgeon’s General Warning label on them, doesn’t mean they’re safe to put into the body.
Food addiction is serious stuff. Because it’s both psychological and physiological, for many, it only takes one bite to unravel weeks and perhaps months of nutritarian progress. For most, it's unwise to enter the traditional, holiday feasting arena; even an occasional detour.
If you are caught in a situation this holiday season where food choices are life threatening to your commitment to health, are you prepared to JUST SAY NO? (You will not die if you have to wait until you get home to eat. Better yet, keep apples and almonds stocked in your car for those emergencies.)
Are you intentionally planning and preparing your own health-promoting food to take with you when you attend a holiday party?
Be proactive. Don’t allow the month of celebrations unravel your commitment to optimal health.
Diabetes is serious. Heart attacks and strokes are real.
Food addiction kills. It strangles the very life out of a person; destroying health and ruining precious relationships.
If food addiction isn’t taken seriously, repeated compromises will lead to addictive necessity. Guaranteed.
It’s important for each of us to know our limitations, establish clear boundaries and live within them.
That is where freedom abounds; and freedom is where health abounds.
Freedom to all this holiday season!
Be honest, do you take food addiction seriously? Do you have clear boundaries established this holiday season, and if so, what are they?
image credits: computerpartsgames.wordpress.com; markhoustonrecovery.com