Active Low-Carber Forums

Active Low-Carber Forums (
-   Best Of (
-   -   Carb addicts like alcoholics-then here are some tips from one (

Paleoanth Tue, May-13-03 06:32

Carb addicts like alcoholics-then here are some tips from one
I have seen the carb addict is like an alcoholic analogy used on these forums several times. Since I actually am an alcoholic, I thought I might share some things that have helped keep me sober for 14 1/2 years that can be adapted to carb addiction. Perhaps subconsciously I am using these things to help me low carb as well. Where I use the word drink or alcohol just substitute bad carbs.

1. When I was newly sober (and even now) I could not think of not drinking for the rest of my life (double negative-sue me). The prospect was scary and daunting. Instead I made a decision EVERY morning, and still do, not to take a drink that day. One day at a time was all I could handle. There were certainly days where even one day was too much, so I would break it down into smaller increments. I would tell myself that I just wouldn't drink for the next half hour (or sometimes 10 minutes)-I could have a drink then. Then after that half hour, I would push it back another half hour. Eventually, I would have a whole day down without a drink.

2. I had a sponsor. Someone who had been sober at least a year who could talk me through a bad time and give me the benefit of her experience. I use this forum as a giant sponsor. I also have family members who low carb and have been successful. It is extremely helpful to have a person who knows you to give you feedback, cheer you on and kick you in the butt when you need it. I also called her when I wanted to drink. Instead of picking up a bottle, I picked up the phone. Now, I log onto here instead of eating crap.

3. I had no alcohol in the house! Seems simple, huh? In order to drink I would have to leave the house and go out and buy some. By the time all that would happen, I could either call my sponsor or talk myself out of it by using Number 1 or the following.

4. Think through the drink. This was a very helpful tool. I would think myself through taking a drink and all the effects it would cause. I knew I was not going to stop at one-so I would think about how I felt when I drank, how it affected me, what the consequences would be and how awful I felt after I did it. I knew I didn't want that-no drink tasted good enough for all the crap it caused.

5. Ate something legal. Part of the alcohol addiction is an addiction to sugar-Surprise! Sometimes eating something sweet helped. Since that is no longer an option for me, when I want carbs, I eat something high in fat or protein. I know that for me, I only really crave carbs when I am too hungry. Then, I want french fries. As soon as I eat a low carb meal or snack that craving goes away.

6. Prayer or meditation. Since I am a pretty devout agnostic, this was probably the hardest for me. But I was taught that all I had to have was a power greater than myself that I could turn things over to. I could deal with that. I actually had a box that I would dump stuff into. I would write down my immediate issue, say wanting french fries-and then put that in the box. Once it went it there, it was no longer mine and now belonged to my Higher Power to deal with. I wasn't allowed to take stuff out of the box! Turning things over is hard, as I try to take things back all the time. It is a continual process for me.

Those are probably the main things that have helped me over the years.

Alina Tue, May-13-03 06:46

Dear Paleo,

Thank you for sharing this! You are a very strong person and it's no wonder you have a great success, ALSO on this WOE.
Take care, my warmest thoughts!

BTW - I relate to points 3 - 5 very much! ;)

chelles Tue, May-13-03 07:16

Good post. When I describe my carb addiction to people, they think I'm exaggerating. My father is an alcoholic and my mother was addicted to pills, so I have 31 years of experience recognizing addiction. When someone can eat a dozen donuts in 20 minutes and want a brownie an hour later, and this happens every day, something is going on besides gluttony.

I've decided to treat myself as an addict, albeit one that only hurts herself with overeating. I'd always thought I just liked the taste of food, but I realized that I simply had no power over food, that it controlled me instead of the other way around. Low-carbing gives me so much control that I can't imagine eating any other way.

Katana Tue, May-13-03 12:25

I almost slid out of here with no response, but I think this post deserves one - so ...

Thank you, Paleo - that is a very powerful statement, and I hope a lot of people read it.

Iowagirl Tue, May-13-03 12:44

Awesome post, Paleo. :thup:

Scarlet Tue, May-13-03 15:23

Very powerful post. Very caring of you to share it with us all. Im sure it wasnt easy.

God Bless You.

Paleoanth Tue, May-13-03 15:28

Thanks guys-

Actually I just thought that some of these things might help someone else. It is all about giving it back. Getting over an addiction actually has nothing to do with willpower-it has more to do with trust in others and doing the next right thing.

nawchem Tue, May-13-03 15:49

Great Post!!!

I really liked #4. Usually I only think how great something is going to taste and stop there, instead of the whole truth that I'll then want more and more, only taking a break when I'm sick, but still not satisfied.

Kaillean Tue, May-13-03 17:08

Originally posted by chelles
I've decided to treat myself as an addict, albeit one that only hurts herself with overeating.

Good thread! Had to respond to this post. I think we DO hurt others with our overeating.

Feeling fat and overweight often causes us to withdraw from the people around us. At least that was my experience. My social life definitely suffered, and I think I hurt some of my friends by turning into a hermit!

Being overweight also affected my moods - I often felt sad or depressed and expressed this as dissatisfaction in other areas of my life.

Being concerned about my various fat and jiggly parts affected intimacy with my husband.

In short, I think being fat keeps a lot - not all -- of us from really being ourselves and getting out there in the world with a positive and happy attitude.

Gaining self esteem and confidence benefits not only ourselves, but also those who love us.

Have a great day, everyone!

:) Kaillean

penelope Tue, May-13-03 17:30

Thank you Paleoanth ,

I needed to read this .

I also needed to read Kaillean :)


gotbeer Tue, May-13-03 17:33

Nicely done, Paleoanth. Thank you for that.

(I imagine some of that carb-addiction talk came from me.)

jers52 Tue, May-13-03 19:38

great thread!
thanks for starting it. I KNOW I am a carb addict - and I deal with only one meal at a time...

Hey, I liked the saying "Sugar Free" and maybe I'll have to get a siggy done up for Sugar Free ME!


lovin this WOE!!!

Magicslr Tue, May-13-03 21:19

Thanks for sharing with us. I can totally relate and sometime in Jan. 03 I realized I was a sugar addict. When I think about eating sugar or anything that could even cause cravings, I think about how an alcoholic would handle it. Now I know.

I will be using points 3-4.

You are a very strong person, Paleoanth and I hope you are proud of yourself.


paradise Tue, May-13-03 21:29

Paleoanth, all I can say is, "Wow! What a great post!" I really think #1 applies in my case. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Karen Wed, May-14-03 00:02

Good thread! Had to respond to this post. I think we DO hurt others with our overeating.

I agree. Food addiction is just as insidious as any addiction. The difference is that it's a little more socially acceptable because we all have to eat to live. When we sacrifice other things in our lives because eating becomes more important than everything else- just as alcohol or cocaine can be - we've given our lives to a black hole.

Perhaps many of us obsessed over a favourite binge food. We couldn't wait until we were alone so we consume it. Our attention was not on what needed our attention at the moment because we were too busy thinking about food or eating it. And, in spite of our best intentions, our lives got messier. It's a hard thing to recognize because many of us lead lives that we can term as "successful".

Think through the drink.

Yep! Play the tape loop all the way to the end. The first bite may be heaven but what about an hour from now?


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:06.

Copyright © 2000-2021 Active Low-Carber Forums @
Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.