Being stuck is such a common experience for us food addicts that we often don’t recognize the stuckness for what it is. Our ruts are so comfortable that we don’t see them as ruts. There’s a 12-Step joke that goes like this: Give an addict a rut and he’ll furnish it (carpet, big-screen TV, barcalounger).
A woman I know has watched close friends lose a lot of weight and feel so much better on a good program that promotes a hot, healthy breakfast. She won’t try it because she “has to have” a smoothie on her way to work. This one change is something she can’t do. Another woman has given up trying to control her eating because once a month she and friends go out for hot fudge sundaes. She doesn’t see how she could ask them to do something else in their time together. “We’ve always gone out for sundaes!” she insists.
I try to watch out for this kind of stuckness in my own thinking (I’m just as prone to it as anybody else). First, I watch my languaging, shifting as soon as I notice from “have to” and “we always” to “I want to” and “I/we could.” I want to keep snacking, I want to keep eating triple portions of cheese, I could have French fries with my burger, we could go bowling instead. When I move into possibility, I’ve a better chance of getting unstuck.
And of course, I try to figure out what’s under the stuckness. It’s usually fear. Fear of change, fear of loss of some comfort, however temporary. Then I can hold my stuckness with more kindness.
Where are you stuck around food? What might get you unstuck?