The primary, underlying component that drives food addiction is the use of food as a tool to manage the following:
Emotional pain and distress
Unresolved or suppressed emotional feelings
The above-mentioned components are caused by various patterns of family dysfunction such as physical, sexual and verbal abuse, control, part-time parenting and alcohol or drug abuse. When these patterns are coupled with a low level of coping skills, the end result is low self-esteem, diminished personal power, and distorted identity. Hence a recipe for compulsive overeating and/or binge eating is created.
There are in addition, however, secondary components that contribute to food addiction. While these secondary components are some what prevalent in all forms of addiction, they seem to occur more frequently in food addiction. These secondary components or as I like to call them, “Food Addiction Factors” exist on a subconscious level and are not always understood by the folks that struggle with food addiction. One of these factors is…….
Social Isolation or Withdraw
* Food addiction and obesity is used to avoid intimate contact or a relationship with the opposite sex
* Food addiction is used as a tool for total withdrawal and complete social isolation, which is generally driven by a skewed perception of society or anger directed at life, society or even God. No one will talk to me if I’m fat! Or, I can’t go out into public if I am obese!
As an example, Jill, a thirty-two year old marketing representative grew up in a physically and verbally abusive household. Jill’s father was often physically abusive towards her mom, which subjected Jill to a distorted view of heterosexual relationships. To make matters worse, Jill’s mom compounded the situation by consistently bashing men and verbally abusing Jill! As an adult, Jill has struggled with self-esteem issues as well as a fear of intimacy. Just the mere thought of interacting with the opposite sex sends a surge of fear and panic through her body. On a subconscious level, Jill learned to use food and ultimately obesity as a means of social isolation and withdraw. In other words, if I’m fat, no one will want to approach me. And, I won’t be faced with an intimate encounter!
To overcome her food addiction, Jill must face the core issues that stem from her parent’s dysfunctional behavior. She must also begin to restore her self-esteem, personal power and identity by embracing self-love and intimacy. As she liberates herself from the dysfunctional patterns, she must take the empowering action required to achieve social integration, beginning with non-threatening encounters with the opposite sex while working towards a healthy intimate relationship.
For more information on how to overcome addiction, visit my website below…..
The Addiction Freedom Coach