5

votes

Do you see youself as a recovering addict?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

More and more I see that I have been (and still am) addicted to:

Sugar
Wheat
Caffeine
Nicotine
Alcohol
Diet Soda
Desserts
Fried food and fast food
Spicy food
Eating regularly or bingeing
PaleoHacks
and I could probably think of a few more...

Most of the above has been dealt with, excepting occaisional relapses. I recently kicked caffeine by switching to decaf coffee and Diet Rite from Diet Coke. I am now just drinking decaf (2 cups) and water daily (not counting the red wine/scotch) after realizing that diet soda of any kind makes me hungry. I think I will need to tackle alcohol next.

Emily Deans has had some interesting posts on this: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/04/eating-disorders-and-addiction.html
http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/04/small-post-on-neurobiology-of-binge.html

Do you see yourself as an addict? Or has paleo cured you of being addicted?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:58 AM

And it's normal to relapse. If it was easy to quit it wouldn't be an addiction. But you CAN do it. Be gentle with yourself. Accept lapses as steps along the way and learn from them, but don't blame or punish yourself. Learn to tell yourself "to avoid this kind of lapse I can ..." and make a plan. DON'T go down the horrid shoulda, coulda, woulda path.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:53 AM

as I've eaten properly I don't feel that automatic desire for carby sweet things. Over time I shed even more crap purchased in the center aisles and eventually found that I could get most things I want at the farmers market and local farms. That helped a lot. I have a lot of incentive too. I watched my father die miserably 5 years ago from diabetes complications, then was diagnosed with prediabetes/insulin resistance myself. Re: the weight and loathing - It helps a lot to get past the loathing. One thing you should get from Taubes if you get nothing else - It's NOT your fault.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:46 AM

I had to completely clean all that stuff out of the cupboard, freezer, fridge, etc, and avoid eating out for weeks to get properly going. Even then I had some relapses, especially associated with bouts of depression. I finally feel I've gotten it under control, although I know that there could be times when I'm tempted again. Cold turkey really is the best way IMO. For a while I chanted (in my head) "not food, not food" every time I went down one of those aisles at the grocery. Eventually my subconscious came to agree and I can be near big piles of homebaked bread and cookies and so long contd

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Cordain, grant me the bacon grease to cook my eggs, the strength to make it through my crossfit WOD, and the wisdom to take a rest day. Recovering addict/alcoholic/compulsive overeater/bulimic here. I hesitate to say that I have turned my will and my life over to Robb Wolf, but...I do listen to him probably more than I do my Higher Power (working on that). The hardest part for me is accepting that while my recovery has to be 100%, if I slip up a bit on paleo, it is not the end of the world and NOT an excuse to say "what the hell" and binge on junk.

E5103bd115084c001999682686069a20

(286)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:09 AM

Yes! In program and it's hard not to relate everything in my life back to recovery stuff. But in particular I was led to Paleo for chronic headaches and migraines, It was maddening to wake up "hung-over" and I hadn't had a drop of anything in YEARS! When I "relapsed" on some grain I figured out that I have an allergy to corn which was giving me physical hang overs. After some experimenting I get wheat and soy "nods" so to speak.. So tired I can't even keep my eyes open. I feel very grateful to HP for showing me how to eat!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:11 PM

Rather than answer your question, I will defer to the various Miss Groks I have had the pleasure to encounter.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:31 PM

i did gluten first, last year. the improvements were so phenomenal, for me (n=1). after a few months i cut sugar and all the other grains + legumes. i will have a few bites of rice or corn tortilla if it's in front of me (RARELY,) but i no longer prepare any grain foods. now at 3+ months. being PMVLC (pretty much very low carb) has stopped wild cravings. i know you've heard this before. i'm soo much more stable, blood-sugar wise and mood wise. Clean out your cupboards and regain yr power!! :) btw i have had 2 or 3 binge-y slips. it sucked, i don't want to go there again.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Do you have a cream filling?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:34 PM

I was just listing things, not necessarily making value judgements.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:29 PM

The latin grammar police have arrived! "En vino veritas!"

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:28 PM

I think that abstaining from sugar and wheat is similar to quitting drinking and smoking at the same time. Hard to do. I'm knocking 'em out one at a time (with backsliding, of course). It takes longer and the health improvements don't come as fast, but it's more do-able for me. I just remarked last week that if I could just do what I know to be correct, I would be really healthy in no time! (or much sooner, anyways)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:02 PM

i had to literally clean out the cupboards to stick to it at first. i know it's hard with a kid-- but it makes it even more crucial. she can live a few weeks without the sugar/bread while you adjust. good luck to you!!!

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 20, 2011
at 03:34 PM

what's wrong with spicy food. I thought spices were a good part of any diet

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:26 PM

I remember visiting the US for the first time and being so excited to try Twinkies and Ding Dongs. The thought makes me want to vomit now!

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:24 PM

It's "per se", it's latin, and it doesn't mean what you think it means.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I don't think I could bring myself to ever eat a Twinkie. Pizza still sounds good to me though...

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8 Answers

best answer

3
1bc6523ff4130a673e2dd73850795b57

on April 20, 2011
at 03:55 PM

"Hi, my name is Pam..."

I am an addict. To all of it listed above. I don't have it beat by a long shot right now. I struggle every day - mostly in the evening. The longest I've gone Paleo is 5 days, and then for some stupid reason or another, I cave. I'm 50 pounds over weight and I loathe myself. I'm a single mom of a wonderful beautiful 8 year old girl, I work full time and most days I don't know how I pull it all off. I eat in the evening to relieve the stress. I use to run marathons years ago. Now...nothing. I see now that the marathoning was chronic cardio. I understand Paleo, I've read all of Mark's Daily Apple, Gary Taubes, I get it. I GET IT ALL!!! But crap, I can't pull it together.

The 5 days I was Paleo I started feeling wonderful. I started Paleo, AGAIN, this morning. I'll never give up - hopefully it'll stick this time. God knows I've said that how many times though. I know I'm addicted to the sugar, the wheat, the alcohol...it's a vicious cycle with the insulin response. I know if I can quit smoking like I did 15 years ago, I can quit the sugar/wheat crack addiction.

Carry on...

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:31 PM

i did gluten first, last year. the improvements were so phenomenal, for me (n=1). after a few months i cut sugar and all the other grains + legumes. i will have a few bites of rice or corn tortilla if it's in front of me (RARELY,) but i no longer prepare any grain foods. now at 3+ months. being PMVLC (pretty much very low carb) has stopped wild cravings. i know you've heard this before. i'm soo much more stable, blood-sugar wise and mood wise. Clean out your cupboards and regain yr power!! :) btw i have had 2 or 3 binge-y slips. it sucked, i don't want to go there again.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:02 PM

i had to literally clean out the cupboards to stick to it at first. i know it's hard with a kid-- but it makes it even more crucial. she can live a few weeks without the sugar/bread while you adjust. good luck to you!!!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:28 PM

I think that abstaining from sugar and wheat is similar to quitting drinking and smoking at the same time. Hard to do. I'm knocking 'em out one at a time (with backsliding, of course). It takes longer and the health improvements don't come as fast, but it's more do-able for me. I just remarked last week that if I could just do what I know to be correct, I would be really healthy in no time! (or much sooner, anyways)

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:46 AM

I had to completely clean all that stuff out of the cupboard, freezer, fridge, etc, and avoid eating out for weeks to get properly going. Even then I had some relapses, especially associated with bouts of depression. I finally feel I've gotten it under control, although I know that there could be times when I'm tempted again. Cold turkey really is the best way IMO. For a while I chanted (in my head) "not food, not food" every time I went down one of those aisles at the grocery. Eventually my subconscious came to agree and I can be near big piles of homebaked bread and cookies and so long contd

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:58 AM

And it's normal to relapse. If it was easy to quit it wouldn't be an addiction. But you CAN do it. Be gentle with yourself. Accept lapses as steps along the way and learn from them, but don't blame or punish yourself. Learn to tell yourself "to avoid this kind of lapse I can ..." and make a plan. DON'T go down the horrid shoulda, coulda, woulda path.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:53 AM

as I've eaten properly I don't feel that automatic desire for carby sweet things. Over time I shed even more crap purchased in the center aisles and eventually found that I could get most things I want at the farmers market and local farms. That helped a lot. I have a lot of incentive too. I watched my father die miserably 5 years ago from diabetes complications, then was diagnosed with prediabetes/insulin resistance myself. Re: the weight and loathing - It helps a lot to get past the loathing. One thing you should get from Taubes if you get nothing else - It's NOT your fault.

5
E5a41bcb2819c818cc0d92489e7c35f2

on April 20, 2011
at 03:11 PM

As someone who's in recovery, this is a very interesting question! I initially started eating paleo in order to drop the weight that I gained once I stopped drinking and using drugs. As far as whether paleo people are addicts, I can't say; however, in my experience there are some interesting parallels between the relationships that alcoholics have with booze and the relationship some people have with the SAD. For example, a couple of the reasons I drank was to fit in, to feel comfortable in social situations, to silence uncomfortable emotions, and to sate what I later came to understand as a spiritual hunger. When I went paleo and became more mindful of eating with intention, I realized that I also ate a lot of the crap I was weak for (pizza, ice cream, and pastries in particular) for the same reasons: as comfort, a pass into social situations (birthday cake, anyone?) and to emotionally shut down.

I think a big difference between paleo and recovery, though, is the concept of unmanageability and powerlessness. Step one of Alcoholics Anonymous (and by extension most every 12-step group) involve admitting that you are powerless over alcohol, and that your life has become unmanageable. From my own experience eating paleo and knowing folks who also eat paleo, I don't find that most people's stories involve this particular sense of powerlessness ??? instead, people "woke up" to the logic and deliciousness of eating whole, natural foods and started changing their lives.

Now that you have me thinking about this, though, I can see some other comparisons. The second and third steps ??? coming to believe that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity, and making a decision to turn your life & will over to this power ??? reminds me a bit of the way that some folks put the lifestyle itself or figures/organizations aligned with it (Crossfit, Wolf, Sisson) up on a pedestal as the pinnacle of correct living/eating/exercising, and then devote themselves 100% to the process. I sincerely doubt that anyone is praying for Cordain to grant them serenity, though ;)

Any other folks in the program have thoughts on this?

E5103bd115084c001999682686069a20

(286)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:09 AM

Yes! In program and it's hard not to relate everything in my life back to recovery stuff. But in particular I was led to Paleo for chronic headaches and migraines, It was maddening to wake up "hung-over" and I hadn't had a drop of anything in YEARS! When I "relapsed" on some grain I figured out that I have an allergy to corn which was giving me physical hang overs. After some experimenting I get wheat and soy "nods" so to speak.. So tired I can't even keep my eyes open. I feel very grateful to HP for showing me how to eat!

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Cordain, grant me the bacon grease to cook my eggs, the strength to make it through my crossfit WOD, and the wisdom to take a rest day. Recovering addict/alcoholic/compulsive overeater/bulimic here. I hesitate to say that I have turned my will and my life over to Robb Wolf, but...I do listen to him probably more than I do my Higher Power (working on that). The hardest part for me is accepting that while my recovery has to be 100%, if I slip up a bit on paleo, it is not the end of the world and NOT an excuse to say "what the hell" and binge on junk.

5
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:29 PM

"Hi, my name is Annie..."

Unlike Carl, I am not ashamed, however. I was doing everything the doctors and mainstream sources of information told me was healthy. I refrained from "too much sugar," and instead went with low-fat and whole grains, very little junk food. I was a vegan for goodness sake, it doesn't get any more regimented or stricter than that! I was so disciplined with my healthy eating-no shame here.

Too bad I was only eating 1000 calories or less, spent at least an hour on chronic cardio, and was still overweight for my height. I don't feel shame, I feel bamboozled and hoodwinked and only wish the rest of the population would see the deception and jump on board with us Paleo folk!

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 04:26 PM

Hi, my name is Thomas. Well, I just wanted to tell the group that I am getting in touch with my Inner Twinkie here. I know that I just need to take it one day at a time. I logged on to the Internet this morning, but now I feel like I'm in Marin County thanks to this thread :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Do you have a cream filling?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:11 PM

Rather than answer your question, I will defer to the various Miss Groks I have had the pleasure to encounter.

2
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 29, 2011
at 06:26 AM

I know this is an old question, but I just had to weigh in. No, I don't see myself as a recovering addict. I see myself as someone who is making better choices in order to become a healthier person. Calling myself an addict makes it sound as if I have no choices and can't control myself. We all have choices and I think we should own them.

2
9dbfedbe21eae2a65093f8774ba8ad4d

on April 20, 2011
at 05:50 PM

I don't see myself as a recovering addict even though my old eating habits mirrored addictive behaviors. Like Annie, I see myself as having been hoodwinked, lied to. A victim, basically, as is anyone else who believed even a tenth of the nutritional advice that's been disseminated all these years.

As Bill Hicks said, "Anyone here who is in marketing or advertising - kill yourself. There's no joke there." (google it)

But being wiser now, the best that I can do is continue to be skeptical of ANY information, whether from the paleo community or the media at large.

So in short, I don't see myself as a recovering addict - more like a recovering fool.

1
3fdaf84be3f5f9054d2a9a029db95acf

on April 20, 2011
at 02:21 PM

I have to say that I've been very lucky in my paleo adventures. I've never been a huge food lover per say, so when it came time to start cutting out the junk, it wasn't that hard. Keep in mind that I ate like crap for a long time always trying to find what was the "right" way of eating. Now that I know I'm eating better, it's not too hard for me to walk past the reese's pieces or the peanut butter cups.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:24 PM

It's "per se", it's latin, and it doesn't mean what you think it means.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 05:29 PM

The latin grammar police have arrived! "En vino veritas!"

1
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on April 20, 2011
at 01:55 PM

"Hi, my name is Carl..."

Yes, I was an addict. In fact, I feel ashamed when I think about what I used to eat. I look at certain foods today as not being food anymore (like a snack cake might as well be a brick), but other foods, like pasta and pizza, I see as a pile of the same crack I was addicted to.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:26 PM

I remember visiting the US for the first time and being so excited to try Twinkies and Ding Dongs. The thought makes me want to vomit now!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I don't think I could bring myself to ever eat a Twinkie. Pizza still sounds good to me though...

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