Trigger Food Frustration

Source (click through for  a great post on trigger foods)
Yesterday I shared how I have started attending Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meetings.  Even though I have only been to two gatherings, one major theme that folks have been sharing about is abstinence.  If you're anything like me, the word "abstinence" makes you think of sex (as in not having it), but that's not what OA abstinence is.  Rather, this is food abstinence, or staying away from foods that trigger disordered eating.

Many of the people at the two meetings I have attended seem to be abstaining from sugars.  They have noticed that sugary foods like candy were leading them into compulsive food behaviors, and so eradicated sugars from their respective food plans.  As anyone who has tried to be conscious about what is going into his or her body knows, this is a difficult feat considering the fact that sugar is added to so many foods, many of which we assume are healthy, like peanut butter.

As these people shared how abstaining from trigger foods has helped in their recovery, I found myself nodding along.  It makes sense.  Eliminate "problem" foods (which can be different for every disordered eater) and so eliminate a great amount of the struggle.

Except . . . it doesn't make sense for me.  I feel like every food is a trigger food.  Just the sense of having something in my stomach, whether it's healthy food or not, seems to spark disordered behavior.

I am feeling very frustrated.  At least other addicts (alcoholics, narcotics abusers, gamblers, etc.) don't need the object of their compulsion to survive.  But we all need to eat.  If I could stop eating, I would.  I would trade the enjoyment of sharing a meal with my loved ones for a lifetime without disordered eating in a heartbeat.  If I could take a pill that would meet my body's daily nutritional needs, I would.

Imagine telling a recovering alcoholic that he has to drink booze three times a day.  Or told a compulsive spender that she has to visit the mall for an hour each day.  Or told a meth addict that she has to use meth regularly.  Crazy, right?  That's the kind of struggle recovering disordered eaters face every single day.  

All that to say that I'm in a place where I would gladly give up eating if I could.  If you offered me a magic nutrition pill, I'd take it.  Anything to get a leg up on this disease.

But it's not that easy. 

What the heck am I supposed to do when this is a trigger food . . .

Moose bar

. . . and so is this?

I wish I knew.  

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