Food addiction, borrowing the mechanism of “addiction” to explain the long-term obsession with food, and the inability to control eating behavior, usually characterized by overeating, prolonged eating, etc., clinically classified as eating disorders . According to relevant research statistics, in recent years, the number of food addicts has continued to increase, and only a small number of patients will seek medical treatment or go to psychological institutions, and there is no way to know the specific number. Many food addicts choose to take it alone, or seek out ways to overcome it themselves. They have less access to information, have weak social support, and are even harder to get understanding from people around them, such as the respondent Xiaola said: “This It is a place where there is no sunshine.”
From moderation to loss of control
A few months ago, the cheese once again stood on the scale and looked at the pointer from last year’s 72.5 to 60. He was happy. For a big boy 180cm tall, this weight is a bit too light, but he likes the skinny skin, leaving no fat on his body. The hypoglycemia caused by the thinness made him dizzy on the sixth floor. He did not stop controlling the diet. There were only two slices of bread per day, zero sugar and low-carbon water. When riding the high-speed rail, the person in the seat next gave him a way, worried that he could not get in. He waved his hand. “Nothing, I am thin.” He posted this conversation in a circle of friends.
Recalling this time, he said with self-deprecation: “When you stand on the scale and smile at the corner of your mouth, you don’t realize that your inner demon has smiled at you.”
In the summer vacation that followed, he Gluttony began without warning. After the first gluttony, he wanted to control. On the second day, he rigorously lightly ate, but he would eat too much on the third day… Weight loss and gluttony became a counterbalance between subjective will and physical needs. The more he wanted to control his diet, The more clearly the body desires food, “In the case of overeating, I can eat what I can’t eat when I lose weight. When I eat it, I will eat without any scruples.”
He faintly felt that he had a hard time stopping this. Looped.
The first gluttony is very sudden for everyone. Like a typhoon that is unexpected in the summer, when you first come, the breeze is cool, you won’t resist, and when it turns into a wind that sweeps everything, you can’t escape. .
After five or six years, Xiaola still remembers the afternoon of the first gluttony. In the summer of my sophomore year, she walked on the crowded campus and passed by the canteen. She had been dieting for a while and she suddenly wanted to eat something. She bought one thing, but after eating it, things got out of hand.
The idea of buying food instantly took over the entire brain, and she bought all the stores she had seen. “At that time, my eyes could not see the people around me. I only saw what was in my sight.” She took a box of fried rice, a few big bags of snacks and drinks, and returned to the dormitory. Eat, then use sweet food to solve the spicy, eat tired and start to eat salty, after eating nausea, start the can drink. When she couldn’t eat it, she cried on the bed and cried out. “I don’t know why I am like this. I obviously only want to eat a little. I don’t know why I can’t control it…”
”Do you know what is the most terrible thing? After I cried for 20 minutes, my stomach was not so swollen. I didn’t throw away my leftovers. I picked them up and finished eating.”
Like cheese and small pull There are many people who eat too much because of dieting. Dr. Han Wei from the Haidian District Mental Health Prevention and Control Institute in Beijing is not surprised: “Over-control and out-of-control are always at the same level.” She mentioned an experiment on human hunger at the University of Minnesota during World War II. Most of the subjects showed an obsession with food when food was scarce, collecting recipes and food pictures, and constantly chewing gum.
“The Minnesota experiment tells us that if you have had a diet control experience, it is easier to overeating in the face of stress.”
More extreme people can’t control overeating, and they can’t give up losing weight. They will induce vomiting after each binge, and medically Performance is classified as bulimia nervosa. In private, they are called “rabbits”. Xiaola has encountered a lot in the gluttony bar: “When I have a stomach lift, I have to wait for a few hours, I can’t move. ‘Bunny’ eats more, They can spit it out. They will think, I have eaten a little bit this time, I simply eat a little more, anyway, I just made it alive today, and tomorrow seems to be starting from scratch.”
Is it enjoyment or dependence?
The gluttony after the diet makes the weight of the cheese increase, and he no longer evades sugar and carbon water. However, the situation has not improved. He relies more on eating and venting his emotions. “This is for physiological reasons. When eating, serotonin is produced in the brain, and emotions will become positive.”
In Xiaola’s view, Eating “Emotional relief can be more simply understood as: “I am in a bad mood, I don’t want to think, slowly your attention will only change from the level of thinking to the moment I want to chew, because you don’t have to think when you chew. You have been chewing, just complete this simple movement.”
Kathy will get out of control when she gets sugar and flour, but she is more obsessed with the spiritual experience that gluttony gives her: “I don’t like much flour and sugar. But when I don’t eat flour and sugar, I will slowly suffocate. I have to do very well. I have this tendency of perfectionism. I feel very uncomfortable and my emotions are blocked. I need a place like Geyou. completely relax, spread out his own kind of feeling. overeating can give me that feeling, I seek is not necessarily the substance, but the substance brought me this spiritual change. ”
people tend to binge eating of mood And more serious problem than most people, and fear, doubt, anxiety, their ability to regulate emotions weaker. One way to “eat” is quick and convenient, making it difficult for them to use other methods to relieve stress. In the long run, it is difficult to solve practical problems. “Tenseness is overeating. After eating, I feel guilty and regretful. I don’t have to deal with tension. They solve emotions too fast. Painting and singing are too slow. They are not as good as food. The tolerance is gradually reduced. It is addicted over time. Dr. Han Yu explained.
Before the gluttony, Kathy was able to satisfy a bag of burritos, and now she needs to take ten takeaways. However, when eating ten takeaways, I clearly know that I am “having a problem.” The more I eat, the more I feel aversion to myself. “I regret, I am very painful, I have to vomit, look at myself in the mirror, I feel too disgusting, too uncomfortable, you will not go out, will not change, very dirty. In the end I especially hate myself, very disgusted with myself. That way, completely lost respect for oneself, lost the dignity of being a human being, and the valuable things in life fell apart.”
What most people think is that this kind of aversion does not stop people. Instead, it may push the gluttons into deeper abyss, because all emotions will be dealt with through food, whether it is depression, disappointment, sadness or anger. They can’t stop themselves by being trapped in their emotions. Xiaola will experience the process of “pleasure-self-doubt-anger” during binge eating. “When I eat a little bit more, I feel that I can’t control myself a bit, but the action won’t stop. I faintly found this. Once I failed, I just wanted to prove it. I found out that I didn’t succeed. I felt angry about myself and felt that I couldn’t do it. It was not good. I cried and asked myself, the last time I said it was not like this, you It’s not fun to eat it afterwards… It’s not very important to eat it later. My anger has been burning. This emotion pushes me to eat. I use food to prove that I am incompetent. I have been punishing myself and making myself uncomfortable. “”
If the addicted object is replaced by wine and cigarettes, people will be more receptive. It can be taken for granted that alcohol/nicotine makes “I” addictive and will not have such strong dislike. The confusing nature of food is that it is a necessity for people. Just like air and water, no one can control the frequency of breathing under normal circumstances. Therefore, when eating out of control, frustration will overwhelm. “You can even eat.” Can’t control, what else can you control? The gluttons finally admit that they can’t do anything about food, and often need to struggle through countless times. This is a kind of defeat and the beginning of redemption.
However, from recognition to change is not a matter of course, cheese feels that many people do not even want to change: “Like me, there is bipolar disorder. If you eat what you want to eat every day, you can be happy. Why don’t I do this? Change the binge eating, I Life is not going to go anywhere. Where is the meaning of life for me?”
Out of the closed circle
Lonely adds a layer to the difficulty of gluttons to quit food. The pain is fermented in the secret corners of the heart, and the moss grows and the sun becomes harder to reach.
Most of the children I met in the gluttony bar were high school students, college students and postgraduates. There were also many office workers who worked in the first year of graduation. “There are a few points when life is relatively lonely, when the mind is not very mature… Walking on the road, it seems that you are the same as others, but only you know the face of your own wolverine.” When they gluttony, they usually avoid other people. When they gather together, they eat less than others. Even a few mouthfuls of symbolic. The real food is a carnival that lasts for a few hours after a break.
It is also difficult for them to talk about their problems with their parents and friends. When asked if they have sought understanding, cheese, Xiaola and Kathy all show disappointment.
Xiaola said: “In fact, you want to tell each other’s emotional needs, but parents usually simply dissect your behavior. ‘You don’t lose weight, don’t eat too much.’ I want them to know that I am not just this behavioral control. I can’t control my emotions, I can’t control my rejection of myself. You want someone to understand and care for you, but others will only regard it as an act.” Kathy’s experience is similar: “I told my mom and friends, but they didn’t understand me. I felt that you couldn’t control your mouth and your willpower was too bad.”
Most of the gluttons gathered on social networks are not understood in reality. Or simply dare not tell, anonymously looking for companions on the network. Cheese at B station uploads a video about the gluttony experience. There will always be a lot of people replying. “I am also.” More people use the way of text to pour their feelings on the bar, douban, those gluttony, vomiting and lying weakly The fragile moment of the fall is hard to bear.
Even parents who realize that they should seek medical care cannot communicate effectively with gluttony children. Han Yu has been exposed to a large number of parents in the treatment of family-based eating disorders. “In many families, mothers are jellyfish or kangaroos, and they tend to be overprotected. They feel that this disease is caused by poor parenting. They help children. Taking care of everything is actually a kind of control. Dad is an ostrich type and wants to escape.” Whether it is to control or want to escape, they will hope that this matter will be faster, so the disease will be simple. Is attribution, is it a child’s problem or a problem of its own, or is it another reason? They want an answer too much, and with the answer, things are easy to solve. However, the cause of this disease is multiple, physical and psychological factors are entangled, and can not be cured overnight. ”
China has a very strange phenomenon, and parents have developed an overly active response. My feeling is that they are also over-controlled people, they have no way not to be active. But being too active is not a good thing. They don’t quite understand that this is a chronic disease. It is difficult for many parents to accept this. One party wants to make one party better, and one party does not want to, it will cause family conflicts, quarrels and violence are very common. ”
Kathy thought to help voluntary groups, the same experience can understand each other, and members of the contact group than among groups of users to network up more closely. Was removed several times, she joined the food addict rehabilitation unknown (Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, hereinafter referred to as FA), Kathy learned how to get along with food here. She found her own helper, a member who is experienced in food addiction. Every day, the helper will be with her. Make a diet plan together, help her pull her back to reason when she is out of control and wants to eat too much. “I first found a helper, she told me that you have to eat this. I feel clean. I used to think that I was a trash can. I dumped everything dirty. The first time I thought I could become a clean person. ”
In addition to helping people, FA members can call other members when they are helpless. Zhang Jing, who has been in the FA for many years, believes that the main reason for food addiction is that she is too self-centered, so she needs to see her own problems through other people. “This disease will destroy all relationships, make people isolated, I have seen many foods. addicts, the last person in the room, pulled the curtains to eat, all of life were body weight, food and occupy themselves. this disease is so powerful, you need the same strong backing to support you. ”
they abide by a A 12-step rehabilitation program for the addiction disorder. In addition to acknowledging that you are incapable of food and thoroughly reviewing your past mistakes, many steps are designed to allow gluttons to take the initiative to connect with the people around them, whether they admit their mistakes to others or to those who have hurt them. make up. Kathy couldn’t understand it before he made up for it. “I think they must forgive me. I don’t see the meaning of doing this.” With the encouragement of the helper, she prepared an article to say to her mother. More than 20 times, she shouted at her mother during a walk after dinner. Her mother’s first reaction was to escape, fearing to hear bad news from Kathy’s mouth. Kathy immediately dropped all the prepared words, only assured her that she would try her best not to hurt her and then gave her a hug.
After doing this, Kathy suddenly realized that what was important was not what she wanted to say to her mother, but in the process of thinking about everything that happened to her from small to big, she tried to understand her mother and see the relationship with her mother. , profoundly review their own problems. In the past, her relationship with her family was not good. Her parents didn’t know her illness. Now my mother will make a joke with her. “Oh, I am going to travel, but unfortunately you can’t eat delicious food with me.”
”These 12 steps actually It is a spiritual change. The rehabilitation plan says to help others and think less about yourself. The book says that selfishness is our fundamental problem. Normal people are not obsessed with their own emotions like us. Kathy’s job now is to teach children with autism. She likes and is grateful for the job. “For the first time, I didn’t think about myself every day. I thought about others and I was ‘helpful.'”
There is currently no research that can specifically clarify the causes of food addiction. It is a consensus that it is a physical and psychological disease. Genetic, personality, family, social and cultural factors can cause illness.
Zhang calm never thought that she would be addicted to food before she was 30 years old. In that year, she gave birth to her first child and fell into postpartum depression. “The magazine said that eating chocolate can make people feel happy, and eating cakes can be. I went to eat chocolate sandwich cake.” She would eat something that was a little unsatisfactory in her life. Her husband said something to her that she was not happy and would think of eating. Some acquaintances on the road did not say hello to her, but also thought of eating. . Then she found that she could not stop the sugar and carbon water. She called herself “grazer (grazing animal; herbivore)”, not that she is vegetarian, but rather that she would eat like a sheep.
She believes that food addiction is more due to genes. “Many people have genes for food addiction. Some people may have nothing to do for a lifetime, but they are always addicted if they are triggered.” That is, in addiction. Before, you can’t be sure if you are addicted. But who will be wary of food before becoming addicted? Food can indeed produce substances that bring happiness to people. When many people are in a bad mood, they will think of something to eat, just as “nothing is a hot pot can’t solve it.” Cheese feels that modern people are not as awesome as food, so they will use food as a tool to vent. “This is a reasonable, legal, sensible and understandable way. Now people feel bad and eat well.” Contact, it is easy to be understood.”
Even if you can’t eat it yourself, watching video broadcasts becomes a way to release stress.
Video bloggers who ate on the Internet abound, the highest number of hits can reach a single episode, and many of them are beautiful bloggers. Xiaola disapproved: “If you eat a lot of it, it is the real amount of normal, then putting video is his freedom. But I don’t want to see a very thin girl, so much exaggerated to eat. She seems to be going outside Unleashing not so good information is like who can eat so much. This is actually a pleasure to enlarge the food. The most feared thing for the glutton is to see only the food, people should enjoy the food, and the big stomach king passes A large amount of ideas.”
Responding to eating video is a weight loss tutorial. On the Internet, they are equally popular. “Now the standard of aesthetics is thin.” Cheese has been somewhat fleshy since childhood. He remembered that when he was a child, he pressed his tiny belly and watched it bounce back. It was even an interesting thing, and now it became his nightmare. Only in the few months when he lost weight most successfully, he didn’t have a small stomach. After the gluttony, the fat returned.
The cheese gradually accepted its own binge eating, but he still wanted to go back to the time when there was no stomach. “If overeating is not fat, who is willing to improve overeating? To induce vomiting will affect health, but no one really cares about health and unhealthy. People of this age think they are not dead.”
After a year and a half of repeated episodes of binge eating, Xiaola began to use sports to vent bad emotions, and instead of losing weight with fitness, she became a fitness instructor. Too many people said to her, “I want to have the shape of a Victorian model”, “I want to have a beautiful muscle like a star”, she slowly realized why people want to pursue the so-called ideal body? Shouldn’t you accept yourself? “Foreign countries are starting to oppose the use of good-looking people to be ad models. Although they are very beautiful and well-formed, they are also transmitting information. Good people and goddesses should be like this. They don’t say it, but all models are The legs are very slender and have no flesh. This kind of aesthetic is deeply rooted. I think that all the gluttons can’t accept themselves, so I think I have to diet, I want to lose weight. They think girls are born to be thin, otherwise they don’t look good. Their benchmark is not happy and confident.” The
interview was late at night, and the cheese said to me: “I feel that I will eat too much tomorrow.” I don’t know what to say at this time, comfort or deliberation. I thought that Kathy had already called the helper at this time, maybe she was reading before going to bed every day; Xiaola came home from work, maybe she got the call for help again, and then she said to the other person: “You have to Learn to accept yourself.”