Most weight loss programs and recovery programs don’t spend a lot of time talking about the environment we live in. Sure, they’ll say stay away from places where the sight of foods will trigger you but that’s about it. They don’t really tell us what to do with the coworker at the next desk with a big bowl of jelly beans or the break room with donuts and cookies. They don’t have much in the way of suggestions for eating out with non-addict friends who look forward to beer and pizza and a chocolate lava cake for dessert, a meal that will have us stopping at the grocery store for sweets on the way home.
Nor do they talk about the emotional environment we swim in: the overly critical mother-in-law, the narcissistic boss, the cheating or indifferent or demeaning partner, the teenage son or daughter who’s always in trouble, the aging and demanding parent. Of course, non-food addicts have these issues too, but they may not respond to them in the self-destructive way we do: by bingeing or overeating.
Recovering alcoholics often discover that they have to change jobs, change partners, change their lives in major ways to stay sober.
Can we food addicts find the same courage to make big changes to make peace with food?