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Able to Identify

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A simple definition of insanity is “unsound reasoning and judgment.” Where has my reasoning and judgment been unsound around food?

I have been continuously abstinent for twenty-four years, maintaining a 100+ pound (45+ kg) weight loss. My food plan is sugar-free, flour-free, and volume-free. I follow a structured approach because it is the foundation of my physical recovery: it is much easier to abstain when I am not consuming trigger foods. Regardless, as I was finishing my breakfast today, the turkey franks tasted so good that I wanted more. My grits were too salty, so I wanted more. The apples were so good, and there was a teensy bit left over after my 4 ounces (113 g), so I wanted more.

My unsound reasoning and judgment around food is the desire for more, even when I know I’ve had enough. My desire for more has nothing to do with hunger. It is a desire to keep the tastes and flavors and good times going. It’s my wiring that makes me think the most pleasurable sensations occur on my tongue. How warped this is! My food lust is not connected to a need for fuel or sustenance but is only a misguided reaction to a stimulus. I taste food, smell food, see food, touch food, hear food being unwrapped or prepared, and these sensations tell me I must eat. This is not true hunger emerging from my stomach, but an amorphous hunger that can never be sated by food.

Without program, I was unable to identify this insanity, and I was powerless to stop the reaction to consume more and more. My judgment wasn’t about thoughtful consideration and logic. It was only a base instinct parading as a decision. I had no choices regarding food. I was its slave.

During moments of “temporary insanity,” like the one I had at breakfast, I am struck sane by my HP and my program. I hear voices asking, “How much more will be enough?” and “Is this hunger?” My HP helps me with the appropriate responses: “There is not enough extra to satisfy me.” “I rarely experience extreme hunger.” “I do not perish without excess food.”

Thank you, Higher Power, my sponsor, and my Fellowship for helping me make the choices I could never make alone.

— Ellen S.

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