If you have a food addiction, how do you prepare for situations, like parties, where the food situation is out of your control? Dr. Rhona Epstein, a recovering food addict herself, has some helpful tips.
“You have to try to think ahead because planning is really, really important. It’s a skill you have to build. You really cannot just go into a party without knowing what’s going on. Most of the time people don’t have what you need.”
“If you are in recovery from a food addiction, chances are you’re not eating foods that normal people are eating. The problem with food addiction is everybody is different. Everybody’s on a food plan, and you have to know what your trigger foods are.”
“Sometimes, it might be good if you’re going to a party to offer to bring something that you can eat, or maybe bring along a safe food in case you show up at the party and find out there’s nothing there that you can eat. Or, just come at a different time and just don’t eat the food.”
Rhona encourages us to consider food addiction just as serious as an addiction to alcohol.
“You know, if a person is an alcoholic and they go to a party and the only thing that’s being served is alcoholic beverages, you don’t just pick up one because that’s all there is to drink. I know it’s a little hard to make that transfer in your brain when it comes to food, but for a food addict, that’s how you have to think, it’s that serious.”
How serious is food addiction?
“If a person goes into a party and all they’re serving is lasagna and that person’s addicted to white flour, and that’s all they’re having, that could be the beginning of a binge that lasts for a year. They can’t think of it like, ‘Oh, well, it’s a few extra calories.’ It’s like this is the first drink for an alcoholic. That’s how you have to think about this when you’re working with your addiction.”