Many people underestimate the dangers of a food addiction while many others do not even realise that they are suffering from this illness. Countless individuals do not actually understand the implications of what a food addiction such as binge eating disorder is and think that, because it’s not a drug or alcohol addiction, it is not harmful. However, this is incorrect and could not be further from the truth. Excessive food consumption, especially foods enriched with sugars, salts and fats, can be extremely dangerous and could result in a whole host of health problems, not just making people overweight.
Jackie Smithers from Welwyn, Hertfordshire was obese, unhappy and knew something needed to change. She would spend roughly £50 per week on food such as cookies and chicken bakes from popular bakers’ Greggs. The extortionate amount of food she was consuming so often soon led to a food addiction that spiralled out of control, and she was shocked to learn that she weighed 19 stone.
“I must have been consuming 2,000 calories in just one sitting, but I couldn’t help myself. Now I cringe whenever I see a Greggs store,” she said, after admitting that she had resorted to going to the store wearing her pyjamas to get her fix; this is when she realised that there was a problem that needed to be addressed immediately.
Jackie has admitted to being overweight since childhood, and weighed in at over 14 stone at sixteen years of age. Upon leaving school, she decided to take a gap year and travel to Chile; she had plans to combat her weight issue also. She commented, “I was supposed to be having the best year of my life. But instead of enjoying myself and making the most of the beautiful scenery, I was struggling to go on short hikes. I got out of breath at the slightest incline and regularly failed to keep up with the rest of the group. Instead of becoming fit and healthy like I had hoped, I ended up turning to food for comfort.”
When Jackie got back from Chile, she decided to take part in a politics and history degree at the University of York, but her weight was still a huge issue for her. She tried all the standard diets, but none seemed to work. She went down the teaching route, but was signed off with depression soon after and resigned in 2011. “It was then that my eating habits got out of control. I was living on my own, and I turned to food to make myself feel better. Every day for six weeks, I visited Greggs for lunch, which was just a five-minute walk from my house,” Jackie admitted. Every lunch time she would purchase cookies, cakes, two chicken bakes and a diet coke; she thinks that she would have been easily consuming over 4,000 calories per day, and this led her weight to creep up to 19st 7lbs.
Upon moving back in with her parents, she knew she had to change and kick her food addiction once and for all. “I knew I had put on weight during those months, but I wasn’t prepared for the shock I got when I stepped on the scales. I felt horrendous, but it was the wake-up call I needed.” This was when Jackie realised that she needed to stay away from the junk food; she started preparing healthy home-made meals and, by May 2016, had reached her goal of a healthy 10st 7lbs. Since losing the weight, she has returned to Chile, and said, “This time, my confidence is at an all-time high. I’m ready to make up for all the missed opportunities. My days of gorging on Greggs are well and truly over.”
It is true that overcoming any kind of addiction is tough; however, it is entirely possible with the right support. The key to overcoming any addiction is to ensure that you do not try to go it alone because in most cases, doing so equates to a much greater chance of relapsing.
Here at UKAT, our primary objective is to ensure that you successfully overcome your addiction and go on to live an addiction-free, happy life. We cater to people from all walks of life, and we believe that everyone suffering from an illness such as a food addiction should be able to overcome this with help and support. Our friendly and welcoming staff will go out of their way to make sure that you feel comfortable and are satisfied with your stay with us. If you have any further questions or require any more information, do not hesitate to give us a call today.
Source: This woman says she lost 9st after cracking her Greggs addiction (Metro News)
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