Jonathan Keeth is my Gear Guy at Beyond Limits Magazine but today, in this guest post for Ann’s Running Commentary, he has stepped outside his comfort zone to make a confession. Today he confesses his addiction to food and his desire to end that addiction. This was not an easy post for Jonathan to write. But by sharing it, Jonathan hopes to reach others who struggle like he does so they can tackle this addiction together. Thank you Jonathan for sharing your story here.
Written by Jonathan Keeth
If you have not heard it yet, you owe it to yourself to listen to Ann’s podcast from April 29, 2013 titled, “My Thoughts on Weight Loss and Running”. In it, she talks about the tendency some people have to take the “rules” of weight loss too far and completely sever ties with entire food groups. She also talks quite honestly and encouragingly about her own recent struggles with weight and keeping herself at racing weight to qualify for Boston. I really appreciated the frank and honest discussion about keeping some sanity about food as she exercised discipline to lose weight.
I would like to share my story though to present another perspective of weight loss. I completely agree with everything Ann said in her podcast, but for me and the amount of weight I need to lose (100 lbs), it is clear that I am dealing with a bit more than just needing to exercise discipline. I come from a long line of addictive personalities and I believe I have inherited the same trait. My addiction though is more socially acceptable because I am addicted to food. For clarification, I have not been diagnosed by a professional, and my reference to a food addiction is in no way meant to make light of any situation or illness that anyone might be battling with. I genuinely believe that I am struggling with an addiction to food.
I believe I am dealing with an addiction because there are certain foods that I simply cannot stop eating once I have started. I cannot stop with just a slice or two of pizza. Instead, I have to finish off the entire pie once my family has eaten as much as they want to. I cannot stop with just a serving of chips. Instead, I finish off the entire bag. I volunteer to run errands so I can hit the drive through for a burger and a large soda, immediately after I have enjoyed a meal that my wife made for our family. While these actions may not qualify as a true addiction, they are not the behaviors of someone who has a lot of discipline when it comes to food.
Here is where I have to respectfully diverge Ann. Not because I disagree with her thoughts, but because I simply do not have the discipline to make the changes needed to lose the weight I have to lose. To be successful, I have to take the hardline stance that Ann speaks against. I will be treating my food addiction the same way an alcoholic would overcome their addiction. I will create a list of foods that cause me to lose control over my eating and I have to stop eating those things. I am also in accountability with several other people who will check in with me on my progress on a regular basis to see my progress and keep me honest about what I am eating.
I have attempted weight loss before and I have not been successful. I don’t mean that I am a yo-yo dieter, I mean that I have never been successful at losing more than 15 pounds on any given attempt. I set myself up to succeed during the first week, but when it came time to have my first “cheat day,” I never went back to the disciplined eating that I started the week before. If I want to see true and lasting change in my life, I need to sever ties with those foods that I currently allow to have control of me and overwrite the habits that told me I needed to eat those fries to feel better.
So, if I agree with Ann, why take the time to tell you about what I am doing to lose weight? I am a part of another group of listeners who do not have the discipline to stop at one serving of Triscuits. I would eat the whole box. I want to help anyone else with me in that group with me to know there is hope to achieve lasting change if they are ready to stop playing with their habits and change the patterns that are keeping them captive to food.
If anyone would like to talk about their successes, or have another partner to help them on their weight loss journey, please leave a comment below. You can also contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Keeth is a father of two and the husband to a beautiful and patient wife who tolerates his obsession with running shoes and gear. Jonathan is the author of odyssey100.com where he blogs about his two great goals, training for his first 100 mile race and losing 100 lbs so he never has to register for a race in the hippo class again.