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On Life, Death, and Fighting Food Cravings

Jun 20, 2008
I want to talk a bit today about my father, who passed away about a week ago. I have been thinking a lot about him in conjunction with this blog, as his major illness was diabetes- the disease of chronic, lifetime overeating. It mostly goes hand in hand with food addiction and cravings.

In the days of my childhood my dad and I had a great time together, and our time always included goodies. Ice cream, donuts, and candy bars were among our favorites. We laughed and sang and ate in a fairy tale world where I had never even heard of food addiction or cravings.

In short my dad loved to eat and so did I. It was one of the many levels upon which we met. We were very connected and we loved each other a lot.

But as my dad grew older and I began to learn about food addiction I began to wonder, was it really worth it? Could eating all of those 'goodies' for a lifetime really be worth spending your declining years listless in a chair, unable to walk, see, sing, or even swallow. And wouldn't the 'something special' my dad and I had together still have been as strong even without our constant binging on sweets.

And one could arguably say that he starved himself to death in the final weeks of not even being able to eat.

So what is there to say about all of this? I know for me I lived a full seven years with no traces of sugar, wheat, or flour in my body- as well as a whole host of other ingredients. And it took a lot of work because in truth there is hardly a box, can, or jar on a grocery store shelf that does not contain at least one of these ingredients, and usually they have a lot more than one. Now I live mostly craving- free, perhaps because it also takes seven years for the cells in a human body to replace themselves. Considering that the cells in your body literally become addicted to those substances, I probably don't have any addicted cells left.

During the week of my dad's death, I played in the arena of eating some no-no foods. In some ways I think it was a last and feeble attempt to connect with my dad, who was gone by then. But I can tell you that I don't suggest this as a good idea. I have had my days of intense and unmanageable cravings, and it's not fun. So I know that seven years or no seven years, it is best for me to stay on the straight and narrow.

So where does that leave us, as masses of us still experience cravings that seem almost debilitating and as we step closer and closer to a slow, dehumanizing decline like the one my dad experienced. The first step is to learn about food addiction and how it operates, one person at a time. And we hope that the more people that learn about it, the more we will be able to find healthy, tasty, and non-addicting foods in the grocery store. Right now, it seems to be a bit of an uphill climb to find and eat non-addicting foods. But today I feel healthy, and vibrant, and fully alive- which is more than I can say for all of the years when I ate all that stuff. And I honor my dad's love by not going down the road that he did. And my father was an amazingly loving man, so I am sure he would have wanted that for me.
About the Author
For more assistance with addictions go to the sites of famed author speaker and Second Hand Addiction Specialist, Lorelei F at fightingfoodcravings and at assistanceful-hints-for-quitting-smoking
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