Weight Loss Support - Addiction Transfer

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04-06-2007, 05:15 PM
I was on line at Walmart with my groceries, in a looong line, and began reading the new People mag. There was an article on people who had had huge weight losses who had gone on to exhibit other addictions than food. One became alcoholic, and one shopped her way to bankruptcy. The article talked about transferring addictions from food to gambling, drinking, spending etc. I did not get to finish the article, but this was the first I'd ever heard of this. Has anyone else read anything about this? I don't think I am addicted to food, altho it is definitely a preoccupation. :o
I hope that what I am doing here is learning to become a healthier person both physically and emotionally as it relates to food. :)

04-06-2007, 05:58 PM
I personally hope that I get addicted to maintaining and exercise. That wouldn´t be bad. Heck, I´m basically training myself to be addicted to maintaining and exercise. I doubt that it would happen to me.

Okay, unless I end up with an extra hot body. Then I´m spending my money on clothes to show it off. I can live with that.

Janie Canuck
04-06-2007, 05:59 PM
Yes, I've heard of this. I think that some people just have addictive personalities. Carnie Wilson was on Oprah a few weeks back, and after she had her gastric bypass, she became a raging alcoholic. Apparently, she said, this is not all that uncommon.

04-06-2007, 06:42 PM
i think some ppl become overwt because they have addictive tendencies. Then when the weight is gone..switch to some other addictions. I sort of find it funny that psycologists are finding names for everything these days. But all i can say is..yes some ppl have addictions, be it food alcohol drugs etc. I think if you learn how to loose wt and relax you should be okay. Just watch out if you start leaning towards a substance when you are down or stressed. Trust me...most days i'm stressed and yes some days after an insane work day i WILL have a drink..but not after every single bad day.

04-06-2007, 06:44 PM
Well, I already gave up smoking, and I already gave up drinking, and I don't use any drugs, and I stay away from sugar as much as possible, so the only thing left is caffeine...

Addictive personality? Probably. Hopeless? Naw! :D


04-06-2007, 08:24 PM
One lady on the Oprah show had an addiction to sex with other partners, other than her husband. She just became a different person when she got thin. I am having a terrible time not eating in the afternoon. I drink extra water, but still eat too much, mostly, tho, it is food allowed on my South Beach Diet. Tina

04-06-2007, 08:55 PM
LOL, I'm sure my dh wouldn't object if I became addicted to more sex with him, but as Archy said, my addiction is to maintenance and exercise!


04-06-2007, 09:34 PM
I think it's probably a matter of why a person eats. If you eat as a way to cope with stress, you need to find an alternative coping strategy (hopefully a healthy one) because you're still going to have stress in your life after you lose weight. I think it's sometimes easy to "forget" that, because sometimes people seem to have the impression that weight loss will solve virtually every problem in their lives. I think if you believe that, then you're likely to fall victum of another inappropriate way to deal with stress, because if you don't consciously change strategies, you unconsciously will - and may not pick something healthy.

04-06-2007, 09:48 PM
I saw that Oprah show (while I was at the gym, working out, wouldn't you know... :carrot: ) and, I know this wasn't the appropriate or healthy response, but after Carnie told her story, my only thought was "how? how did she drink all that alcohol and maintain her weight?" I can barely fit a glass of wine into my calorie plan and she was drinking something like a bottle of wine and ten martinis a day! Is there some sort of no-calorie wine that I don't know about?

Seriously though, Carnie's point that was that she ate as a way of dealing with other emotional issues that she had (and she did have a really screwed up childhood). When Carnie lost all her weight, she thought life would be perfect, but she still had the emotional issues. In fact, they were harder to deal with because now she didn't have the crutch (food) that she had relied on all her life to deal with them. So she ended up turning to alcohol.

It is not uncommon for survivors of incest and child abuse to have eating disorders (either underweight or overweight). If your being overweight is due to something like this and you manage to change your diet and exercise habits without also finding a healthy way to address these underlying issues (which is an incredible achievement and something Carnie and others in her situation deserve a lot of credit for) then you can end up turning alcohol or something similar to try to address the emotional pain and distress you are feeling.

04-06-2007, 10:02 PM
Everyone's replies were so interesting. This was a totally new topic to me. I need to start watching Oprah! I am trying to gain an 'addiction' to healthy living although strenuous exercise still eludes me.
Jayell, giving up smoking and drinking and losing weight? That is some serious discipline. Wow!
Mel, five years at or below your ideal weight is terrific. It helps me know this is possible!

04-06-2007, 10:31 PM
Yeah... well, that's over a number of years. I didn't do everything at once!


04-06-2007, 10:45 PM
Tangential Anecdote:

I knew a guy years ago who was obese, an alcoholic, a heavy smoker and had a very serious addiction to painkillers. He was an absolute mess. He hit rock bottom, checked himself into rehab, and quit smoking, drinking, painkillers AND lost about 150 pounds, all at the same time!!! It was a complete miracle. He tried to give up coffee, too, but failed on that front. I can't even imagine the mental discipline required to change one's life so radically. It was really amazing.

04-06-2007, 11:26 PM
hm, they say that habits are never broken, but replaced! Open for debate, I am sure! THe thing is, what do we replace them with? WHen I gave up many habits years ago, I replaced them with exercise. (a true godsend). For example, say a smoker quits smoking. Do they replace it with something? maybe eating more? or maybe with exercising? etc. I , for one, strongly feel that when we break one habit, we need to replace it with another constructive habit. Have back up ready. I am so tired tonight, I don't know if I am getting my point across. In a nutshell, for me to be successful at breaking some habit, whatever it may be, I need to have a back up plan in place! Incidentally, "those psychologists who have a name for everything" happen to be right on mark in this arena. Labeling is another story but I am referring to habits broken and replaced. I am always thinking about my back up plan. Like this week for instance, I was afraid of the grey skies and cold weather triggering eating of sorts or depressed mood so I pre-planned back -up options to get me through. I am very tired and best spare you all from my further ramblings. Happy Easter to all of you, hope you have a great weekend :)

04-07-2007, 07:08 AM
I saw that Oprah. Bluetoblue, I think Carnie had a tough time maintaining her weight. She herself will tell you she gained a real lot of weight back. She was even on that VH1 show, Celebrity Fit Club.

I for one don't drink, do drugs, not addicted to sex, sorry hun (DH), I don't even ever, ever have 1 sip of coffee. So, if I was addicted to anything, it most certainly would have been the food. My addiction transfer - oh yeah, I'm right up there with Arcy and Mel - weightloss, healthy eating and exercise. I actually get a *high* from it - without a doubt, the eating right and the exercise and the weightloss itself. IF I was addicted to food before, I did so mindlessly - I just ate and ate without giving it much thought. NOW - I actually THINK about it. So, if anything I'm more addicted now then before. But I think in order to lose the amount of weight that I have lost and will continue to lose and THEN maintain it, a certain amount of addiction, or obsession or dedication or determination, or whatever the heck you wanna call it, is required.

04-07-2007, 08:13 AM
rockin, SO COOL! :cheer2:

I am not sure I believe that we have to replace one habit with another, although in the short term it might look like it. Consider that at one time we were all children and did not smoke, drink, etc. But people who are stopping drinking often increase their smoking, if they smoke... and people who are stopping smoking sometimes up their eating. I suppose the trick is NOT to replace one habit with another but to get off the merry-go-round.

I also think it matters what we call it. An addiction is out of control. We use the word loosely, but a true addiction is overpowering. People will do virtually anything to obtain the addictive substance. No one here has sold their child for a Hostess Twinkie, right? (I hope not!!!)

Obsession isn't the same as dedication or determination, in my view. Obsession is a 24/7 mental process. Dedication or determination means you do what you have to do, but you also do other things as well. No athlete trains ALL the time. A lot of the time, yes, like a job--but not ALL the time.

Commitment... that's where it's at. The sum of dedication and determination. That's the thing that gets us through the days when we're not motivated, when we don't feel a lot of enthusiasm, when some food is calling our name.

Ahh... I think I need another cup of coffee... ;)


04-07-2007, 11:41 AM
Jay, thanks for bringing up the differntiation between "addiction", "habit", etc. I so agree about getting off the merry-go -round, yet for me to get it off it meant walking briskly away from it, literally! : )

I had quit smoking, drinking, coffee, and rich foods or bad eating habits. I did it all simultaneously. I was not addicted to alcohol and as for the coffee, I am sure I was physically addicted. The smoking of course an addiction. I gave up the alcohol and coffee for some time as those things were major triggers for me and would set off a craving for a smoke. After some time, I could enjoy my cocktails again on weekends or social events and have my morning coffee w ithout any cravings,,, right along the lines of what you said about short term, etc. HOw I got off the so called merry go round was by replacing it with exercise. I started eating healthy and exercising, which led me to a healthy lifestyle for many years (10). I didn't gain any weight from quitting smoking, I went on to lose 43 lbs and reach my ideal. So for me, jumping on the healthy eating band wagon and exercising were my ticket, and thus, "replacement" if you will. Needless to say after 10 years, I started smoking again about 5 years ago :( what an idiot ha? NOw, I already eat healthy and exercise, what do I replace it with now? lol Yessssssss, good point about the replacement thing jay. I am going to quit cold turkey as before and not necessarily needing to replace it with something but just a sheer breaking the addiction!!! I will most definitely utilize exercise though as I currently do and have some other sort of back up ready. Knitting? lol :) I beleive in the power of the mind and that we can accomplish anything we want to.

another one of my long , rambling posts! sorryyyy I admire you ladies who can get your point across in such a succinct fashion. I am a rambler, lol :D

04-07-2007, 01:21 PM
I saw that Oprah show (while I was at the gym, working out, wouldn't you know... :carrot: ) and, I know this wasn't the appropriate or healthy response, but after Carnie told her story, my only thought was "how? how did she drink all that alcohol and maintain her weight?" I can barely fit a glass of wine into my calorie plan and she was drinking something like a bottle of wine and ten martinis a day! Is there some sort of no-calorie wine that I don't know about?

She probably compensated. A friend of mine, who is also a calorie-counter and who has lost a ton of weight, drinks every night. Her calorie limit is about 1300 calories a day, I think. She calculated that she drinks about 500-600 calories a night in alcohol. So she simply makes sure she only eats about 800 calories a day in food so she can use up the rest of her calories drinking. Because I asked her one time how she drinks so much and has still lost all of that weight. Well, that's how.

Not healthy, but that's how she does it. Thank criminy she at least takes vitamins. I know it's not the same as getting your vitamins from food, but it's better than nothing at all, in her case.

04-07-2007, 03:18 PM
LLV, I'm afraid that your friend is an alcoholic. When people sacrifice food so they can drink alcohol, that's a pretty sure sign. :(


04-08-2007, 12:40 PM
LLV, I'm afraid that your friend is an alcoholic. When people sacrifice food so they can drink alcohol, that's a pretty sure sign. :(


I know :(

Janie Canuck
04-08-2007, 03:18 PM
Another conjecture re: Carnie Wilson's drinking. Let's face the ugly truth, when you're drinking huge amounts, it doesn't all stay down! Also, a large portion of the small intestine is removed in that surgery, is it not? Since the small intestine is where absorption takes place, I suppose she may have absorbed less than all the calories from the alcohol that she did keep down.

04-09-2007, 07:29 PM
I think that is interesting. I wolud like to become addicted to cleaning and ironing :) Not kidding. I will try to change my adiction to food to celaning and ironing because I wolud like to have cleaner flat. When I got hungry I will go clean my kitchen or irone my cloathing. I will let you know how it goes :)

I lack discipline in everthing not just around food.