Monday, June 15, 2009

The Cost of Food Addiction

Sometimes I kid myself and think the only person I've hurt with my addiction is myself. My life so often consists of helping everyone else. How can I be hurting them?

Food is a barrier to intimacy. I don't talk while I eat. I'm totally absorbed in my food, which I devour like someone might take it away before I'm done. I just might stick them with a fork if they tried. I stand and stare at food which I want to eat but know I shouldn't. I leave conversations at parties in order to go snatch a little more food. I open and shut cabinets and refrigerator doors hoping there will be something in there that will quell the restlessness of ADHD but have no caloric impact. Fat chance.

Food has robbed the people around me of my presence and also of funds that could have been spent on things like home improvement and vacations. I don't want to even begin to tally up the costs, not only of excess food, but of medicine for conditions created or exacerbated by overweight, as well as over-the-counter supplements to try to prevent me from eating or to counter-balance the ill effects of overeating. I've spent money at weight watchers and Jenny Craig. I may have helped the economy but I robbed my family.

The epidemic of obesity in this country has raised the cost of insurance for everyone else astronomically. You're paying for my obesity.

Insurance companies don't make it easy to get this surgery. Personally, I think they might save money in the long run if they made it more available to those who are pre-morbidly obese, who have not yet become physically handicapped, diabetic, or had debilitating heart attacks or strokes, before the counter is lined by medicines needed to counteract the effects of obesity.

Nutritionists, weight-loss gurus, magazines, self-help groups, and Oprah all bombard us with information about the dangers of overeating and how we should eat, but that doesn't stop the compulsion and it hasn't even slowed down the epidemic. At the nutrition classes I was required to attend prior to surgery, I knew the answer to every question the nutritionist posed. Knowledge is not always power. Oprah, herself, is living proof. Even with her own pet nutritionists and work-out gurus, the weight came back.

I believe that I'm going to cost my family and the insurance company a lot less in the future. The Lord willing I'll be able to be there for my grandchildren, I'll be able to keep teaching full time, I'll be better off financially, I'll actually look at and talk to my husband while I eat, I'll feel better, look better, move better, and not make a meal out of pills. I'll be able to be the best Cheri God created me to be, the person he made me to be from the beginning.