Addiction, Part II

Now that it is March and New Years resolutions are seemingly forgotten, there seems to be an influx of desserts everywhere I turn. (Brownies, cookies, breakfast pastries, you name it.)

I have two reactions, almost simultaneously. One is desire--sugar, yum! and the other comes a split second later, as a sick feeling in my stomach, which translates in words to something like ugh, hamster wheel of wanting sugar all the time, don't want, don't want, don't want...

On a drive a few months ago, I heard an episode of the Dianne Rehm show with Dr. David Kessler, who himself has struggled with disordered eating in the past. He had fascinating things to say, like how fat, sugar, and salt together create this potent combination that trigger pleasure centers in our brain,* and so we need those sugar-salt-fat combo foods so we can hit the pleasure button in our brain again. He told a story about how he someone gave him a bag of M&Ms that he put in a bottom drawer at work, and for the rest of the day, tickling his conscious, would be the idea of those M&Ms sitting there.

I tend to see the world through psychological lenses. Dr. Kessler's take helps me explain why sugar has such a hold on me above and beyond my psychobabble. Not only does it trigger childhood fatty memories, not only does eating tons of sugar "numb" a bad day, but I also am dealing with neurons that are aching to be lit up by the sugar. Without a serious team backing me up (Karen, Tony, Tricia, many of you at the gym), it's just me against my psychology and my physiology. That's a lot for one person to take on alone, even if that person is a badass.

*Tricia would like that part of Dr. Kessler's book is all about how the food industry, knowing about this potent s-s-f combo, capitalizes on it to make as many foods as possible contain the trifecta of addiction, to keep us hooked and keep their profits rising. He headed the FDA under Bush I and Clinton, so I guess he would know...

No comments:

Post a Comment