“My name is Misha, and I am an addict.”
"I am a food addict."
“I binge eat.”
“I just cannot stop eating.”
I said it. Now you know that you are not alone. This is a safe space; now let me tell you my story.
My entire life, food has always been a problem for me. I always over-ate, and I always had seconds. I always snuck a plate of thirds here or there.
Like everyone else, I had my own childhood traumas, and by no means does that make me special. My way of dealing with trauma, starting at a very young age, was to stuff my face, and get into a state, which I notoriously called, a “Food Coma”.
When you struggle from certain trauama’s you use medicators to cope with your life and your reality.
My medicator for the “struggles” in my life was food.
Rather than getting drunk or stoned to deal with discomfort or stress, I would over indulge in any type of food that I was in the mood for. When I am in a food coma, it is as if I am as hungover as a frat boy during the last day of rush week.
I am out for the count.
A food coma is loosely defined as:
“A state of sleep or extreme lethargy induced by the consumption of a large amount of food.”
Now that I am more educated in the world of health and nutrition, I can now more clearly explain what was happening to my body, biologically. What I was experiencing was brain fog due to a group of brain cells called, orexin neurons, that are specifically found in the hypothalamus. Orexin neurons are extremely sensitive to glucose levels, which normally spike after a big meal. Those neurons subsequently produce a protein, orexin, which moderates wakefulness in the brain.
When you couple a large meal with the fact that it is also an UNHEALTHY (high in glucose) meal, the “food coma” can become even more intense.
Before high school, I was one of the chubby kids in class. When I went through a growth spurt, there were moments when I looked trim, but I always had the shame of being the fat kid.
I would get picked on my friends, and even my family for being out of shape.
This constant verbal torment caused me to feel even more shame about my body, and I would constantly suck in my stomach and walk past mirrors, window panes, car door mirrors and anything reflective so that I could inspect my belly or my little (some would argue big) man boobs.
I always was concerned with how I looked.
Whenever something was going on in my life, or whenever a traumatic, or emotionally straining moment happened in my life, I would medicate with food. I would (and occasionally stil ) stuff my face until I was out of commission, by design.
I would binge.
Food can be used as a tool for health, or it can be used as a weapon. Your fork is a powerful weapon; you are to be mindful in your practice.
To quote Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
You can read more about it in my blog focused on my transformation, but essentially I got to the point where I was 296 pounds, hating myself constantly, and perpetually shaming myself every time I stepped on a scale, or every time I looked in the mirror.
When I reached my peak weight, I knew there was something I needed to do in order to change my life, and I knew I had the answers right at my fingertips.
I thought to myself “I can heal myself with the exact thing that is slowly, but surely killing me: food”.
As Socrates so eloquently put it, “Food is medicine, and medicine is food.”
As I was standing on the scale, looking as the dial hit 296 pounds; I decided to change my life immediately.
I started a basic elimination diet where I avoided all gluten, dairy, and sugars. I was on a Ketogenic diet, eating mostly healthy fats. I was able to lose all of the weight in 7 months, and my lowest weight was 198 pounds.
Eating disorders are tough. With the help of life coaches, and my father, who is a functional medicine doctor, I was able to use my skills and background in nutrition to change the course of the rest of my life.
However, I was lucky. It is hard to face having an eating disorder alone. You need support and community.
And that is what I am here to do. I am here to help you with your arduous struggles with food, and how you view yourself and your body.
Why Eating Disorders are so Tough:
Unlike most addictions, you cannot go “cold turkey” from eating food. You need food and nutrition to survive.
You cannot (always) avoid having a meal.
In our society, we are encouraged to eat 3 times a day, and most of our social structures have a focus on food, or going out to eat. Imagine if you are a heroin addict and every time you go out a server handing you a menu of various types of heroin to choose from.
It would be impossible to avoid.
You cannot get “Sober” from eating:
- An eating disorder is unlike any other addiction, you cannot go “cold turkey” from eating.
- Sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine.
- It is in your face 3 meals a day (or more if you are snacking healtily.
- You have to go to others homes and out to eat and you have your “drug” or mediator thrust at you.
- People think that you can just “control” yourself.o
- It is a biological addiction.
You cannot just have one skittle. You cannot just have one bite of cheesecake. If you can, I commend you. Most of us mere mortals do not contain that type of self control.
The Solution: How to Heal
I cannot claim that I have the answer for everyone, but I know I have the answer for myself, and I have guided others with the same advice:
“Become mindful and conscious of every decision you make in your life. Be mindful of your relationships, your time, your actions, and most importantly, what you use to fuel your mind, body, and soul, food.”
As a global society, we have forgotten that food is the root of community, longevity, family, and life, in the rudimentary form. If we do not eat, we will die.
Like all long-term relationships, the same is with our relationship with food, most relationships become toxic. Food used to be a sacred form of ritual, tradition and even survival for our ancestors. Now, we have more fast food restaurants than grocery stores. We live in an instant society, and we have forgot the essence of what mindfulness actually means.
We are too busy rushing around, taking pills given to us by doctors who are being paid by big Pharma rather than taking a moment to think about why we are sick, what are we doing to contribute to this pandemic, and how can we make a change in our lives.
We want the quick fix, but more often than not, we don’t want to see the root cause. The big picture.
The big picture is that food is medicine, as Socrates so eloquently stated thousands of years ago.
With someone who struggles with an eating disorder, I have derived that food does not have to be a trigger, a malignant crutch, or a medicator, but it can actually be the solution.
If you follow my meal plans and the fundamental principals of a Ketogenic diet and only eat whole, real, organic foods, you can eat as much as you want without the guilt, and the ramifications of eating junk and unhealthy food options.
Trust me. Just try it out.
Give yourself some love. Be mindful of every decision you make.
Be a Warrior.