No one—trust me no one—would know that I have an addiction to food. I’m thinner than most, I work out constantly, and hide my addiction when no one’s looking. If you can think of a habit or a place you go in your mind when no one is looking, do it in excess, and don’t want to admit you have a problem, you probably are in a an addictive situation—substance or mental.
I work with people all day who have some sort of habit they want to be rid of. The habit could be fear or anxiety. A habitual thought or fear is just as much a demon as alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs sometimes. I know, you may say that one has the power to kill you with chemicals and the other doesn’t. But, you forget about suicide and the ability to keep ourselves in harmful and stressful relationships and work situations, because of lack of self-esteem.
So, addiction comes down to one thing:
The belief that you must have or must do something
that becomes unhealthy for you!
Notice, I didn’t say the substance itself is the problem. The issue starts in your mind. Some of us have habits that are connected to physical addictions, such as nicotine or a specific drug. But, still, in almost every case, the abuse begins in the brain. If it didn’t, there would be no reason for AA, NA, OA, or counseling. We would simply give up and die. But organizations such as AA and counseling helps make behavior changes, which begin in the mind: 1) Admitting to yourselves and others that you have a problem; 2) talking about problem with people who care. Treatment can’t begin unless you come to Step #1 first. The first words that come out of person’s mouth after their name in a 12-step program is admitting that he or she is an addict.
The 12 steps inherently begin with the acknowledgement that you have no power over your addiction and that you offer this problem up to a Higher Power. This Higher Power is purposely undefined in 12-step programs to invite different kinds of belief systems into the process. The Big Book, the manual for 12 steps was written by Bill W. His full last name has never even been printed. That’s how anonymous this club is. Over 30 million books have been distributed or sold. This is how many people who have admitted they have a problem. We know, however, many more addicts exist who never will discover their own problem.
I mention all this because I had a long-time Alcoholic friend and therapist tell me that he recently read a study about addiction and spirituality. In the study, scientists studied the efficacy of addicts getting off of substance by different modalities. The most effective method was having a spiritual belief. I’m not surprised to hear that. Understanding that you are not alone in the universe and that there is a purpose for your life is one of the next steps to stepping forward from an addiction.
How did I discover my own addiction to food? I tried to lose weight for 2 years unsuccessfully. Every time I would lose a few pounds, I’d put them right back on because of binging and an addiction to carbs or sweets.
Honestly, what really brought me back to reality was getting on a gluten-free diet. When I decided to quit gluten, my choice had nothing to do with addiction. I realized quickly, however, that gluten was most of the problem. It is said by scientist lately that Genetically Modified Wheat now has the power of an opiate in the brain. So, when I got off of the opiate causing the cravings, I was able to see clearly my addiction. I realized my desire to eat sugar was wrapped in the obscure package of bread and cookies. When I replaced the bread and cookies with gluten-free bread and cookies, I immediately ate less of them. After about a month, I didn’t even desire to eat bread or cookies. My hunger started to manifest around fresh vegetables and healthy protein.
I have helped a few people get off of gluten. Each of us had the same reaction. The weight came off without even trying. I lost 16 pounds in one month. 14 pounds came off in the first 2 weeks. You see, heavy food with gluten makes your body feel heavy and, often, you don’t exercise because of feeling of being too full. I don’t get that bloated feeling much any more.
So, two things needed to happen for me. I had to come to a self-realization of the problem. Then, I had to understand a good way to release the problem. For me, I didn’t need to go to meetings. For some people, meetings or life coaching are a necessity. You must do what your mind and spirit are telling you to do, to take the first step forward out of this problem!
Mostly, and I can’t stress this enough, the first step is admitting you have a problem!
* Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or http://bosebastian.com/Home_Page.php Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed. Please spread the word by liking the page or sharing this with your friends.
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