Thursday, May 8, 2008

Addiction transfer

Addiction transfer. Maybe you've heard of it. Say you have a problem with addiction or compulsion. Take me, for example. I think it's safe to say I'm a compulsive over-eater. I also have a problem where I get addicted to a certain food (like the cereal problem or the frozen yogurt problem).

Anyway, the idea behind addiction transfer is that we trade one addiction for another. From what I've been told, folks in AA tend to become coffee addicts. I've also heard stories of women who have gastric bypass surgery, then become very promiscuous after losing the weight. Since they can no longer consume huge amounts of food, they look for other ways to fill the void.

Food was (and still is) very much an addiction for me. I think about it all the time. Planning my next meal is something that occurs while I'm still eating the current one. Thankfully, a little planning never hurt anyone when it comes to weight loss.

So, when I'm not eating, what fills the void? What addiction(s) do I transfer to? There are a lot of things, really. Running, blog writing/reading, list-making (yeah, I'm weird), shopping... I have lots of "mini-addictions" that happily keep me occupied if I can't be participating in my monster addiction.

Clearly, some of those behaviors aren't dangerous, but a shopping addiction could really get me in trouble. I'm not rolling in money, but I sure do like to purchase products. Thankfully, I really did need all the stuff I got today: new running shoes, shorts, 10-lb dumbbells, and Gu packets. I also got some stuff for Mother's Day. The point is, the little high I got when the receipts were printing reminded me slightly of that "warm feeling" I get when I bite into something really delicious. Just another thing to watch out for.

An even greater high, however, was when the running store guy looked at my I.D. He looked at it, looked at me, and said "Morgan, it looks like you've lost a bunch of weight!" You can't beat a rush like that.


Melanie said...

I can't tell you how I relate to what you've written here. I have lots of "mini-addictions" too, but shopping is one that could easily get me into real trouble. It DOES give me a high when I get home and start unpacking all my shiny new things. It's funny though, usually while I'm shopping I'll have buyers remorse before I check out and I'll start running around the store to put half of my items back where they came from. Sometimes I'll talk myself into buying some of the items anyhow. It's kinda like eating. I'll get ready to eat something that I either don't really want or don't really need and I'll have this pause where I tell myself how much I really don't want or need it and sometimes (if the good me wins out) I'll put the food back or distract myself with something else, but most of the time the bad me wins out and I eat whatever it is anyhow. Does this make sense? I've kinda lost my train of thought here, because I got caught on a mental tanget trying to think of a word that I wanted to use and for the life of me I cannot think of the word. When my 9 month old little guy gets into something I don't scold him I just (blank) him. I cannot think of the word! I was going to say that I do this to myself sometime when it comes to food and I have no idea what the word is! Ha! Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know how completely right you are about our addiction transfers.

deanna said...

You can't beat a comment like that with a bat! If you stay as focused and dedicated as you are, you won't gain the weight back. I do remember Ali from BL that she gained her weight 5pounds at a time. I can relate to that, and that is scary to me. So I so get what you wrote - about gaining and the addiction transfer, I am right there with you! Hang in there, you obviously can get those highs from other places - like the running store from random clerks!!!

Chris said...

God I wish I could gain weight, I am like you but the exact opposite, I am constantly battleing my body to gain weight, It takes a complete over eathing binge to get me to gain a pound. people think its hard to loose weight but I can drop 20 pounds in a matter of weeks without even trying and eating fast food the entire time, I litterally loose weight if I eat fast food like mcdonalds all the time. my body shuts down and I loose my appatite completely start eating just sugars for the energy boost. I am 6-1 and only 140 pounds soaking wet. its horrible.

Anonymous said...

I used to enjoy going to Vegas for the great food/buffets, then it was about the alcohol/freebies, now it is all about the gambling. Went from food to alcohol to gambling, can anyone relate?