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    Food and Addiction: Share with Your Community Members
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP posted:
    Greetings to the wonderful members of the WebMD Diet Community. Next week you'll see my blog "Food and Addiction: Hand Over the Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt" in which I talk about the new NIH-based research noting the powerful relationship between food and addiction. In my new book, The Hunger Fix, I translate and transform this info into practical tips and tools so that you can learn how to prevent and treat this newly discovered condition.

    I am working with a number of people who have taken the Yale University food addiction quiz and discovered they have a problem. In this discussion group, I'll be introducing you to some of these wonderful people who will be sharing their day to day challenges and triumphs as they work to get unhooked from their habits and achieve control over eating, once and for all.

    Kris is a 67 year old retired administrator who is 5'3" and 287 lbs. She has been heavy all of her life and the foods that make her lose control include all three categories of sugary/fatty/salty combos. She sleeps until 10 or 11AM, and eats breakfast at noon or 1PM, often going to bed by 2 or 3AM. She just started to come clean and would love to hear from all of you to support her as she begins this journey.

    Whether you're in a great place of experience and success or just starting out, how about we share this adventure together?

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Dr. Peeke

    KrisWC responded:
    Hi everyone,

    I'm Kris and I'm so grateful for your support and help as I start my journey w/ Dr. Peeke, tackling my food addiction. I am so ready because the battle I've been fighting all my life of losing some and then regain all or more. I've been at weight watchers for the last 2yrs and lost 21 lbs. and yes, I've regained it plus 6lbs. I tried several others ending the same way. Thru this all which has made me so crazy, eating out of control on sweets/chocolates, nuts etc. I loved peanuts which I would buy in the shells thinking that I would eat less, well I got hooked on hearing the cracking sound as I shelled them; so I ate, ate more ending w/a stack of shells.

    Now, just 1 week w/Dr. Peeke (her great information and advice and having read her books including the just released "The Hunger Fix"), I am super charged up. I've detoxed my house of the False/Fixes; made drastic daily routine changes--going to bed & getting up earlier; eating healthier on the Dr.'s recommended schedule, food, gratitude & daily journals & got a personal trainer. I've released 5 lbs of unhealthy fat. Thank you for listening.

    brunosbud responded:
    "...She has been heavy all of her life and the foods that make her lose control include all three categories of sugary/fatty/salty combos. She sleeps until 10 or 11AM, and eats breakfast at noon or 1PM, often going to bed by 2 or 3AM. She just started to come clean..."

    When I read a profile like this, I can easily understand why this person may have a problem with uncontrolled weight gain. Why?

    I use to live this way and I suffered the same consequence. I've abused multiple substances. Food was just one of several.

    The problem I see with most all diet forums is it's rare to read an honest, accurate account of a dysfunctional lifestyle...No one wants to reveal what they truly eat and do when nobody is watching...

    ...And,because this is so, it makes the process of weight loss very confusing and next-to-impossible to achieve.

    If I went to an AA meeting and told my audience that my problems were "genetic" and that medications were the cause of my problems, I'd get water (or worse) thrown in my face. They'd tell me to shut-up and leave the room.

    Step Five: "Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty and genuine humility."

    You cannot break addiction without being honest.

    Until there is greater honesty about obesity in this country, there can be no hope for improvement for ourselves and, more importantly, for our children. Its essential and fundamental to the process of recovery.
    Sugarfree responded:
    Congratulations Kris on reaching out to improve the quality of your life! I know when I was 212 lbs (at 5 foot one) things felt very bleak. I had no confidence in my ability to follow through with lifestyle changes. I always worried that the cravings were stronger than I was. Dr. Peeke helped me to change that. With her help I learned about the value of the Mind, Mouth and Muscle approach. All three had to be addressed for me to create lasting change. The good news is that these can be taken in steps, and with small changes you will see wonderful results that you can build on. For me, at first I couldn't see how I could get my ME time if I didn't stay up late after my kids went to bed. And in the morning, I'd then sleep too late to exercise. A very helpful member of Dr. Peeke's team helped me to re-organize my day so I could have both. I taped favorite shows and watched them the next day at a convenient time when I needed a break. And I got up early to exercise. Then the shows felt like a reward.

    In the afternoon when I wanted to eat many snacks and I knew I'd had enough, I'd play on-line solitaire to get me through until dinner. It is hard in the beginning to get past the cravings, but it doesn't take long before the new habits feel so much more fulfilling. I had to do some mind work to realize that I also didn't have to punish myself by overeating. I realized that I deserved to feel truly good. It's was a positive mindset for my kids too. They saw me discussing food in an open and honest way, and we no longer disassociated the food item from the benefit/detriment it would have on the body. Once when I was walking through the market I caught myself lamenting all the food options that no longer work for me. But then, I re-focused to acknowledge how many things DO work for me. And they all taste amazing Those are just a few points I wanted to make that helped me through the early months of my new lifestyle. It's been 5 years since I started, and now I weigh 146 lbs. (66 lbs less) I only tell you that help motivate you. Long term success is possible! The healthy food actually changes your cravings over time so it becomes much more automatic and ritualized to care for yourself in a way that will nourish and strengthen your mind and body. And now I know that the real reward comes when I say NO to destructive food choices. Because then I realize that I am strong, healthy and eating in a way that supports my body. Please continue to use the message boards to get support as you travel down this new path. I am so proud of you for beginning the journey!
    KrisWC replied to Sugarfree's response:
    Hi there,

    Wow, thank you for that great and helpful response which really makes me feel so hopeful again. And, congratulations on you success for 5 big years, as Dr. Peeke says "success is sustaining".

    Yes, I felt that I had no ME/QT (quiet time) until the quietness and the stillness of late nite when I would spend w/my girlfriend (doing my gigsaw puzzles). As I told, I've been going thru this battle & struggle all my life and I was so frustrated and felt like giving up so many times.

    I'm so glad that I've gotten in w/Dr. Peeke. I read her "Body for Life" in April and I said I must get in touch w/her and it took me until Oct. 5 to get an appointment. At the end of our first meeting, I felt so alive and hopeful again and ready for change. You are so right about the (M-M-M) having to address all three. She done the same for me, re-organized my day by my going to bed and up earlier; my meals and workout times and (still time for my girlfriend/gigsaw puzzles but doing the day or before midnite). I was in that "diet mode", eat it all today because tomorrow I'll give it up; and the more I ate he more I craved.

    I have some big time work to do w/my mind, loving and caring for ME more which include eating healthier and moving more. As you say, being honest, taking small steps and acknowledging small changes, you can see wonderful results to build on.

    Thanks again for your inspiring and uplifting response. I feel inner love for me for the changes I made in this first week.

    KrisWC replied to brunosbud's response:
    Hi there,

    Thank you for responding. I agree w/you 100% on honesty and especially starting with being honest to ourselves. I started by keeping a food journal which I write down every bite of food and drink I have and this has helped me.

    Thanks for sharing Step Five. Your response is certainly helpful to me.

    Sugarfree replied to Sugarfree's response:
    Hi Kris, (and anyone who is at the beginning of this journey)#next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    It sounds like you are off to a wonderful start, and are already seeing how possible it is to re-work your schedule to make your new "healthy-fixes" possible! (or if not yet, then know that it's truly possible with a bit of planning) I'm reading the book too, and learning more about the wiring of the brain and why certain foods make us feel the cravings we do. It's a big puzzle, but it seems like you like puzzles
    And once the pieces start to fit, it makes a lot more sense. Life can be good, and fulfilling, and healthy, and it's not just something for other people, By following these tools I've discovered that it applies to me too. It takes focus, and vigilance, but that's so much better than defeat and despair. Lasting change is possible, and life is more satisfying than ever. I promise!!
    brunosbud replied to KrisWC's response:
    Regardless of outcome, you show great courage and humility. Please, post regularly so we may follow your progress. Good luck, KrisWC.
    FrancesKuffel replied to KrisWC's response:
    Hey, Kris -- Welcome to one of your tribal homes. I hope you check in not only with your progress but with your discoveries & frustrations. Anonymity is a wonderful freedom to really be yourself, to explore the service you do us by sharing your journey & softening what is such a lonely path, & to discover that there are no "bad" feelings (unless you're, say, a psychopath -- LOL), only feelings that are often directed by some other, root feeling & which, as you go through detox, are sometimes scary simply because the Tribe isn't used to having many feelings beyond shame (which is itself directed by the root cause of compulsiveness & self-neglect & a chemically starved brain.

    Sorry to go on so long. I'm charged up for you & by *The Hunger Fix* & I want you to know you are accepted for your very own self and that you've helped me this morning.
    fight4yourlife replied to KrisWC's response:
    I hope to be able to experience what you're experiencing very soon. I'm reading the book and feel a real shift in thinking already. At my heaviest, I was almost 600 lbs. I've lost almost 200 because of weight loss surgery, but I never did the work of getting past using food to cope. There's no other way. So I am staring fresh. Thanks for sharing.
    Sugarfree replied to fight4yourlife's response:
    Just wanted to share an experience that I had at a small cafe last week. Based on Dr. Peeke's model I'm at stage 3, mastery. I feel reasonably confident ordering out at this point, and know what to avoid in order to stay balanced. I ordered the chicken salad, to by-pass the cream sauce that was on most of the other entrees. I took the croutons off of my salad, and ordered it without cheese, because those things don't work for me. (and I no longer eat dairy)#next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    As I started to eat the chicken salad, it tasted unnaturally sweet. I finally was able to ask the waitress, "is there anything sweet on this?" And she proudly said, "the chef uses honey".
    The friend I was with asked me, "isn't honey natural?" And I responded, "yes, it is, but so is sugar. It just doesn't work for me". So I sat there, feeling hijacked by my entree. In that case, I didn't send it back, because I figured that I had already eaten enough honey to have whatever effects from it that I would (later cravings and immediate headache) but I was angry. And I had to mask all of that, because I was with a friend. I also didn't want to "cause any trouble".
    In looking back on it, I wish I'd sent it back, with a polite reminder that all of the major ingredients should be on the menu. After all, some people are diabetic, and can have an immediate health issue from sugar. (of course my issue is less understood, but significant to me as well)
    I write this post to remind myself, as well as anyone with sugar or other food addiction issues that it's ok to ask questions, and take our time when ordering. And it's ok to stand up for what works for us. We have to take ourselves by the hand and know that it's ok, we matter, and can have a respectful, and perfectly legitimate voice.

    I am often reminded by tiny slips that my addiction is quiet when I care for myself, and when I stop being vigilant, it is there trying to push itself out. This fact is OK, because it's a constant reminder that what I choose to eat matters, and feeling good is a well deserved reward when I do what I know works for me.
    This lifestyle IS possible, and we can all do it. And when we have a slip, we will have another opportunity to try again
    re-group, re-group, regroup!!!
    Sugarfree replied to Sugarfree's response:
    Not sure why this is the second time a strange text has appeared in my post. Must be some type of code, but it's not intentional.#next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    Hmmm. Hopefully it won't happen again. Sorry for the distraction.
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to Sugarfree's response:
    Hi Sugarfree! I'm the community moderator and wanted to know if you are copying your post from another document (Word or a blog or an email for example).

    If so, you need to post text in a Notepad document first then copy to make sure any hidden code is removed.

    If not, are you typing directly into the box? Are you in Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome browser?

    Sorry you're having difficulty - I'm really glad you're here and hope you stick around

    BigDaddyMatty replied to Sugarfree's response:
    Do you have a medical condition that triggers an "immediate headache" when eating chicken seasoned with honey? After your meal what did eating the chicken make you crave? Thanks.
    Sugarfree replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Hi Haylen, Thanks for your help with this! I am typing from an iPad or Mac, but the problems showed up when I typed from my Mac. I did type directly in the box. The code only showed up once I hit submit. (And seemed to follow parenthesis) don't worry. Of course I'll stick around! I just don't want to be confusing to others reading the post. Thanks for everything that you do Debby (Sugarfree)

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