Some food addicts come into recovery terrified by food. They have been so out of control, eating anything and everything in excess, that they don’t feel safe around choice. If they’ve also had success on one of the monotony diets (cabbage soup three times a day, for example), they may believe that’s the only way they can safely live.
My mother was one of these. She felt safest with a strict regimen of grapefruit and toast for breakfast, cottage cheese and tomato for lunch, and fish and salad for dinner. She didn’t want to have to think about food, she said.
Others of us see such monotony as a sure recipe for relapse, a return to cravings and bingeing. We need to enjoy what we eat while watching out for favorites that we can hooked on and then obsess about. We feel safest when we try new combinations and fresh flavors.
While most addicts agree on abstinence as the best path out of food addiction, what we choose to eat can vary widely. And while peace with food is our common goal, how we achieve it can be quite individual.
Do you feel safer with sameness or variety? Why?
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