Friday, February 17, 2012

Do You Think About Food Constantly?

Is it true that those of us who struggle with weight problems may think differently than those who do not?

Most of the time, I keep my thoughts about food to myself. And to be honest, I am almost always thinking about food. Especially sweet foods. I know this is not normal, but I just have to keep myself in check. If I see a cookie, a cupcake, a chocolate truffle, or ice cream, I will think about that constantly. I want that sweet food. It really is almost like an addiction.

But do “normal” people obsess like that? I wouldn’t know because I have always struggled with food.

But recently, I had a moment where I felt slightly ashamed of my thinking. We visited a cupcakery where they also serve delicious cake balls. The women I was with also love the cake balls. We didn’t have time to eat our cupcakes, so we were getting them to go, but I was really craving something sweet and the decadent aroma of cupcakes and frosting certainly wasn’t helping. So I expressed my thoughts out loud and said, “I wonder if the have any cake balls today—we can’t eat our cupcakes, but we could eat cake balls in the car…” And the other woman laughed like I was joking around and said, “Now you’re thinking ahead!” And I was totally serious.

I felt like a complete weirdo. A monstrosity. I really wanted something sweet so much that I was devising a plan to have something sweet as soon as possible. I didn’t end up having any cake balls because they were sold out. But I realized that my thinking is probably different than a lot of people. Most people do not think about food constantly.

Food can be just as addictive as alcohol and drugs. Some of us seem to be more prone to food addictions than others. While I know that I am not severely addicted to certain foods, I recognize the tendencies. Now that I know why I obsess about certain foods sometimes, I am going to work harder to resist these urges to stay in control. It’s not that I will constantly deny myself a sweet treat, but when I know that I might just be having urges like an alcoholic would have to have a glass of wine, it makes me think of it a little differently. It just might be worth the struggle so that I don’t start giving in every single time and end up at 500 lbs. because of it. It happens. We’ve all seen it. I don’t want to get to that place.

I am proud of how far I have come to overcome my struggles with food, even though I am just starting to understand the WHY. These issues are often far more complex that we can ever imagine. That’s why I have to laugh whenever someone says losing weight is easy. It’s calories in vs. calories out. They’re so wrong. There’s a mental battle and chemistry at play too. They’re not excuses, but the process is not cut and dry.

But first, we have to recognize our tendencies, admit it, and work up the motivation to start resisting.

We can do it.


  1. I used to be that way. I thought about food and eating constantly and would head to the pantry/fridge almost hourly, even though I wasn't hungry. Finally, at the age of 36, found out that I have a certain type of dairy intolerance that would leave me with extremely low serotonin levels. My body would then crave food (carbs) to raise that level but I ate/drank so much dairy it never went up. I gave up 99% of dairy last summer (and I LOVE dairy) and 95% of my food cravings have gone away- as well as my migraines and depression. I never had normal dairy intolerance symptoms so I never had a clue that it could be a problem. Just my two cents for others so that they can perhaps research if this could be an issue for them.

  2. I have moments, actually more time then not, I'm looking at, thinking about and wondering what is next with food.

    I catch myself looking at what people are eating while I'm talking to them. Then I see them notice me looking at the food and feel totally ashamed.

    I'm hoping that as I lose weight, and practice healthy eating, that this will be less and less.

    For now, I try to use calorie counting as my healthy food obsession, planning good meals, thinking about my caloric intake, and trying not to focus on the goodies.

    I just removed a cake from my desk and put it in our office kitchen. If it sat there with me looking at it any longer, I was going to have some.

    Great post, thank you for putting it out there!

  3. I still think about food a lot. Our brains are just wired different and there really isn't anything to be ashamed of about that. It is just something we have to deal with.

  4. Sometimes I hate the fact that when on WW, I think about food constantly. I tell myself what I can and can't have, or what I can have and when, or plan out meal after meal so I can have "x" here. Ugh. But when I'm NOT doing WW, I just eat anyway... not thinking of it.
    Yesterday I wanted an egg roll. I tried to say no. I tried to deny myself. It was like all that was on my brain was a stupid egg roll! It's like if I can't get what I want, I'm mean and angry. It's just like an addiction. My husband can't relate, and I feel stupid a lot.
    I find myself getting excited about foods. I find that my oldest daughter has picked this up from me. She will squeal with excitement or jump up and down and clap at the announcement of pizza or brownies. I make comments like "OMgoodness. This is the BEST thing I've ever put in my mouth." Blah. I definitely think about food. :(

  5. I don't think you are unusual at all Alissa. Most of us think about food regularly. Thank you for your honesty!!! Hope you and your hubby have a great weekend.

  6. I think we were separated at birth :(

  7. Thank you for this post
    Now I don't feel like I am so weird
    This is why I love blogging
    We are soooooo wired the same
    We got a new rack in the produce department
    It has about 10 items I LOVE
    I am obsessed
    I buy them
    Throw them away
    Buy them
    Give them away
    Buy them
    Eat them ( see 3:30 AM post this mornin)
    Buy them
    Refund them

    I may actually have my produce manager discontinue carrying them

    I did that with with a certain chip, asked the vendor not to bring them into the store

    Working as a Grocery store manager can be tough when dealing with my weight

    The rack may have to go ......

    Yes we are so so similar, makes me feel better, if you can work to fight it, so can I


  8. I think a LOT of us spend a LOT of time thinking about food. I remember places and trips by what I ate then. My first Weight Watcher leader called the other group of supposedly "normal" people civilians. She said (and I believe it is true) that they just don't understand.

    That's one of the great things about Weight Watchers. Every person in that room gets it. They are there for a lot of the same reasons that we are.

  9. i try to not think about food, but i tend to obsess over calories in vs. calories out. if i eat something higher in calories, i'll think and obsess over it all day until i workout. it's rather sick the way i think but it keeps me in check to where i won't be that fat girl every again and yes, i wish i wasn't like this...

  10. This is a very interesting post as my family has recently told me that I talk a lot about food. I guess I mainly talk about how to prepare it and what recipes I have tried certain foods in. I am also addicted to watching the Food Network. I don't get hungry, but I like to watch people prepare foods and use recipes. Maybe I should have been a chef. Thank goodness I am not!

  11. I think about food quite a bit, but part of that is positive because it gives me a chance to think about my choice instead of just grabbing. I almost ALWAYS know the next thing I'm going to eat. I was going to try to do the intuitive eating thing, but eh, that didn't work out so well. I tried to read "The Beck Diet", but it wasn't for me. I had never thought about food sooooo much and craved it constantly. Interesting post, Alissa.

  12. Great post. It is so true. I have actually been seeing a counselor in the past year who deals specifically with eating disorders. Food addiction is totally real. For me - it's sugary treats, all the ones you mentioned. When we talk at our sessions and sugar is brought up, it is likened to a drug addict - she takes it to that level every time. Why? Because in the beginning (about the first 8 months in counseling), if I didn't have a sugary treat in my hand, I was thinking about the next time I would have it and what it would be. I planned days, even weeks around it! I do it privately and do I was always planning around when I would be alone, then go get whatever the craving was (dozen donuts, three Whole Foods cupcakes, etc), eat it, then hide all the evidence (and if that meant driving down the road to a public trash can that is what I did). I haven't thought this way in about four months, but I do catch myself staring to every so often. Thanks for the open and honest post! It is so helpful to hear other women talking about sugar like this (even if it is just a fraction of how I did it). One thing that helped me was cutting out sugar for two months. I don't know what it was, but it worked. Now I just want the really good, quality sweet in small amounts - it tastes so much better. And, I don't desire cheap candy or cookies because I can taste the lower quality ingredients now. I love not having it control me to the extent it did before.



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