Q. I am convinced that our society is addicted to being addicted. I have been in recovery from a serious eating disorder for five years. My thoughts will occasionally take me back to behaviors that I could engage in to lower stress but I work my program and “stay sober.” But I realize that in some ways society has benefited from my addiction and others. I will explain.
A. I have a friend Cindy, who weighs over three hundred pounds. She is carrying two people on her skeleton that was designed for one. Her ankles, knees and hips hurt all the time and she takes opiates for pain relief. She has been in therapy but had the typical addict responses, i.e, “I really don’t eat that much.” “I am big boned,” etc.
Cindy called me one day and while talking I could tell that she was eating. She told me that she had gone shopping at her “fat lady” store and she got a reward coupon for spending over $50.00. I held my breath imagining what the coupon “reward” would bring her. READY……… a free pie at one of the local restaurants!!!! A free pie for the obese shopper to make sure she comes back to the “fat lady” store.
I was outraged and wanted to call the store and scream at them but then it hit me; this store was in the business of selling clothes to overweight and obese people and they want to stay in business.
Fast food restaurants lure us in all the time. Who can’t afford the dollar menu. But what are the choices? How much do you know about the calorie content, as well as the nutrient content.
How many doctor visits and medications could be avoided if food choices were healthier. People will often say it costs more to eat healthy. Really think about that statement. It costs more………how many overweight people taking diabetic medication might be eliminating that medication with weight loss. I know for a fact doctors have told people, “If you lose weight you might not need medication.’
Just for grins, sit down and add what you are spending in doctor visits and prescriptions. How much healthy food could you buy with that money.
There are people advocating for healthy eating, less prescription medications (don’t even get me started on the amount of money being made by the pharmaceutical companies, they want you to eat the pie.)
I recently experienced a situation when I was at a gas station. A man with a large apron approached me and asked if I smoked. I said, No. I watched him approach the person next to me and handed them a free pack of cigarettes with a coupon attached. It never ends.
Addictive behavior is hard to change but it can be done. Be aware, have support systems and don’t eat the pie.
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at [email protected]