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Painting a Picture of Food Addiction


Painting a Picture of Food Addiction

Danika Brysha

My relationship with food has been challenging. For those who don’t know, I am a recovered bulimic of 9 years, and a recovering binge eater and food addict. There is more and more evidence these days that food addiction is a very real thing, and though it can be hard to understand if you haven’t been in the depths of an 8,000 calorie binge, there is a VERY big difference between someone who overeats emotionally on occasion and someone who is consumed and controlled by food thoughts. I feel like it is my duty to draw awareness to this disease and paint a picture for those who may be trying to support loved ones, or struggling themselves.

The reason I choose to eat very clean is because foods like meat, vegetables, and healthy fats keep me sane. The reason I no longer drink alcohol is because it makes my food struggles harder to manage. And when my food is chaotic, my life is chaotic. When things like flour, sugar, and fried foods are in front of me (my “alcoholic” foods), and on the rare occasion that I choose to eat them, I cannot stop. One bite for me turns into 4 cupcakes, a pint of ice cream, a large bag of chips, 3 chocolate bars and a numb excursion to Taco Bell. I could spend $100 on a binge easily. Like an alcoholic or drug addict, there’s no “balance”.

The problem with food addiction is that you can’t just eliminate your drug. You HAVE to eat. And for me, eating clean allows me to participate in life. To be present and engaged in conversations and experiences, rather than focusing all of my energy on bread baskets and endless tortilla chips and the candy dish that is thoughtful for guests but inner hell for food addicts. My motto is to keep it SIMPLE. Will I likely spend my entire life skipping "treats and sweets"? Yes. Is it worth it so that I can participate fully in that life? Absolutely!

There are a lot of resources out there but if you ever have questions or need some guidance, please feel free to email me or reach out on behalf of loved ones.