Thursday, March 10, 2011

The alcoholic in me

No, you didn't just discover a dark secret of mine. My friends will confirm: The closest I get to drunk is my one margarita a month (maybe two if I'm feeling feisty).

But I suffer an addiction just the same. And anyone who has read even one entry of this blog knows that addiction is to food.

So why the alcoholic comparison?

We all know alcoholics can get sober. But you only have to say the words "Charlie Sheen" to know they also suffer setbacks.

I was thinking about this as I heard Dr. Drew Pinsky (a la "Celebrity Rehab") talk about addiction and how it's so much harder for an addict when he relapses. The first time he sought help for drug or alcohol addiction, he learned all the tricks, all the rules, he followed the guidebook, fought his demons and came out sober. But the second time, he goes in knowing it all already. He thinks "I did it before and I'll do it again." Dr. Drew calls them "repeat rehabbers" and they're hard to wrangle.

I've often thought about my big weight-loss of 2003-2005 and have tried to re-create everything I did back then. But time after time, I fail. Why did I succeed back then but I can't now? I know all the tricks, all the rules. I know what's proper to eat, how best to use exercise, how important drinking water is, etc. And that, Dr. Drew might say, is the problem. I know too much. Or rather, I think I know it all.

As a "repeat rehabber," I need to be more careful. I need to treat this effort like I did back in 2003. Fresh. Open. Willing to take advice and seek help. And careful not to let my guard down.

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