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Dealing with DENIAL in food addiction / emotional eating

Friday, January 21, 2011

I SUGGEST reading my OTHER BLOGS prior to this one. I started writing about Food Addiction on 1-17-11 and have written one every day since.

If you have read my blogs you will see I got off track in Dec and part of January but got back to my eating plan on 1-17-2011

1-17: Wgt 180.5
1-18: Wgt. 179.2
1-19: Wgt. 176.4
1-20: wgt. 175.4
1-21: wgt. 174.8

Today I will blog about DENIAL! I have been really finding out just HOW MUCH DENIAL I HAVE BEEN in the last several years.

ANY COMMENTS in PARENTHESES are mine below. (I commented after most of the paragraphs)

by Kay Shepard, LMHC

Denial -- a major symptom of food and other addictions -- is a psychological mechanism humans use to protect themselves from fear by blocking conscious awareness of truth. Denial by food addicts consists of blocking awareness of excessive and inappropriate use of food and resulting harmful consequences.

Denial is a potentially fatal aspect of food addiction because it impairs judgment and results in self-delusion, locking the addict into a destructive pattern. Denial may permit medical advice of "Stop overeating or you will die!" to be ignored.

Recently I heard a food addict say with a laugh, "Why live if I can't eat what I want?" Addiction, through the mechanism of denial, creates a value system in which the use of the substances supersedes the will to live. ( I HAVE sure thought this sometimes, like a 2 yr old having a tantrum!)

Denial is the term used for a wide variety of psychological defenses food addicts unwittingly set up to protect themselves from the realization they are food-addicted. All defensive maneuvers distort reality. ( I have really found this to be true ‘distortion of reality’)

Simple Denial -- maintaining that something true is not true. This dishonesty is a form of denial, although the addict may not be aware of it. "Who ate the bag of cookies?" "I don't know!" Of course, I knew I ate them but I actually believed my own lies. (I HAVE said this countless times when someone in the house asked where all the ____blank__ went ( insert food name here like cookies, cake, candy, chips, etc). I even lied just last Saturday when I had eaten the cookies my 10 yr old and I had gotten at Subway. I said I don’t know where they went and I just wanted him to SHUT UP and drop it…. Sad really!”)

Minimizing -- admitting the problem in such a way that it appears to be insignificant. "All I need is a good diet program and everything will be all right." ( I have sure said this countless times and bought every stinkin’ diet they came out with”

Blaming -- denying responsibility for behavior and projecting responsibility onto someone or something else. The behavior is not denied, but its cause is identified as an external person, place, or thing. "You would overeat too if you had a husband (children, mother, job) like mine" ( I HAVE Said this allot too.. to others and constantly to myself)

Rationalizing -- making alibis and excuses for behavior. Rationalizing and justifying are attempts to create a logical reason for illogical behavior. "I was in so much pain, naturally I ate for comfort." Since food addicts eat to feel better and that always makes them feel worse, this rationalization doesn't hold water. (I have found I do allot of EMOTIONAL EATING and will be blogging on that too soon)

Other defense mechanisms include judging, analyzing, explaining, quibbling, debating, arguing, questioning, evading, defiance, attacking, aggression, withdrawing, silence, verbalizing, shouting, joking, and agreeing. All of these defenses protect the disease process and defend against healthy recovery.

How are you holding up after reading all of what I have written this week?
It is scary and overwhelming but also encouraging to me!
In my “Why Can’t I Stop Eating “ book by Debbie Danowski she wrote a paragraph similar to what I am writing here.

She said “we are sure your first thoughts are about all of the food you think you will have to give up now that you know. But, did you think of all you will GAIN?”

She said IMAGINE GETTING THROUGH A WHOLE DAY WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT FOOD, EXCEPT AT PROPER MEALTIMES. Think about eating a healthy satisfying meal without feeling one ounce of guilt or shame. And how about never having to eat powdered, packaged diet food again to lose weight? Imagine BEING AT A COMFORTABLE HEALTHY WEIGHT FOR YOUR HEIGHT, WITHOUT STARVING YOURSELF.

She goes on to say Think about the self-respect you will gain from knowing that your are not to blame for failed weight-loss attempts. And what about the immense feelings of relief that come from believing that, before now, you could not have stopped yourself from eating all that you have eaten?

Even greater than this, realize how much more energy and time you will have now that your life no longer revolves around food. You will have the time, stamina, and desire to do all the things overeating too away. Isn’t there a hobby, activity, or even a career that you used to do or have always wanted to try? Well, without food monopolizing your life, you will be able to do this. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT, BUT IT WILL HAPPEN.

HUGS to all my readers! I am here for you and there is HOPE! Amen!

I will blog more tomorrow!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo GWENAEL
    I'm done being queen of excuses, aka rationalizing!
    Thanks for yet another great blog!
    3222 days ago
    This is so the mindset I was in when I was weight loss coaching~truly how I was guiding, supporting, encouraging, and helping others(pre accident). Post Accident~being told noooo more work for six more weeks~ time and time again, until getting the NO MORE WORK AT ALL~ my heart sank, as you are aware. With that plumet, as well as the NO EXERCISE AT ALL~Dr./ Specialist/Physical Therapist ordered (since June of 2010)....a realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Basically my entire life was defined as well as lived by cleaning for others as a career(FOCUSING MORE ON EXERCISE THAN $$$$$), and weight loss coaching heart and soul to help others conquer what they felt was impossible, as well as keeping myself focused while continuing to work on me. Food truly wasn't preventing from hobbies & interests~GETTING OVER THAT HUMP LED ME TO GUIDING OTHERS OVER THAT PREVIOUS VALLEY I'D BEEN IN MYSELF.

    Nowwwww....I've landed back in a valley so to speak. Feeling lost, worried, afraid not only within, as now my outer shell shows it too. emoticon
    3222 days ago
    Another great blog!

    One additional reason i think abt food alot is b/c i am the main meal planner and preparer for our family- that's very re-inforcing.

    My plan is to spend time on the wknd planning out the meals for the week and doing as much prep (in freezin stuff ahead) as possible so that i can reduce my daily need to focus as much on food.
    3223 days ago
  • CHRYS13
    This was great. Thanks so much for posting!
    3223 days ago
  • SPARKIE1964
    WTG on the loss! I'm still in the denial phase....
    3223 days ago
    In order to get well, you first have to admit you're sick. Or as Dr. Phil would say, to fix a problem, you first have to own it. It's one thing to KNOW you have a problem with managing food--it's another to accept it at an emotional level and realize you've become powerless when it comes to food and its hold over you. Finally accepting food addiction is the most freeing and empowering thing I've ever done, I believe. And without doing that, I think you just sit and spin in the same rut forever. I did, for at least 30 years! Well said, sistah!
    3223 days ago
    Am enjoying tackling your blogs this week. Hitting close to the mark on a few issues. Thank u!
    3223 days ago
    Great blog!! Getting past denial is so important for promoting true change! Sometimes it hurts to see and hear the truth about ourselves, but then we can change it and make it what we want it to be! Thanks for inspiring me to look at my own denial and how it plays out in different aspects of my weightloss journey!
    3223 days ago
    Yep! Can totally relate.... "Who ate all the cookies?" My answer: "You didn't pay for them so don't worry about it!!!!" Loving your blogs, Sherlyn!
    3223 days ago
    I also have been looking into my food addiction and emotional eating. Made my daughter take a pic of me 2day. Wow seeing it in film cant deny that. Im down 11 pounds since starting this journey (again) but this time I am working from the inside out. It already feels different and lasting than the times before. Keep up the great work:)
    3223 days ago
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