Countless individuals simply cannot comprehend the fact that other people could be suffering from a food addiction. Many believe that this illness cannot be classed as a ‘real’ addiction and, as such, could not possibly affect a person’s life. However, a food addiction is just as dangerous as any other addiction and many people across the world suffer from it. It not only negatively affects the life of the affected individual but also the lives of their close friends and family as well.

An addiction to food can totally consume the individual, to the point that all he or she can think about is food. This can be extremely damaging to the individual’s health and can put a strain on relationships with partners, friends and family.

Unhealthy and Unhappy

One woman who found herself battling a serious food addiction is 39-year-old Anita Garrett from Auckland, New Zealand. She was morbidly obese and because of this was extremely unhealthy and unhappy. Shockingly, she has admitted that she would consume a staggering 9,0000 chocolate bars or more every year! Anita ballooned to over 28 stone due to her food addiction and the consumption of approximately 25 chocolate bars every day.

A Way to Cope

Anita first had a gastric bypass ten years ago and lost an impressive eleven stone as a result, which she hoped to keep off for good. However, after complications with the birth of her son Brody, she found herself piling on the pounds once again, getting back up to a size 32. Anita acknowledged that she used food, particularly chocolate, as a way to cope with her son’s condition. Thinking back, she said, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved chocolate. As a kid, my family would sit down with a big block together and divvy it out while watching the TV. It was always my go-to when I was happy, sad and even bored. When I was 18 and I landed my first job, I was scoffing at least three big bars a day, and that’s when my weight really started to creep up. At my heaviest, I weighed 28 stone, which was a size 34, and was getting through five blocks a day.”

Comfort Blanket

Anita’s son Brody was born with a condition called tuberous sclerosis (TSC), which results in non-cancerous tumours growing in the body. “Brody was born four months premature, which caused issues with his throat as it hadn’t fully formed. He was also diagnosed with a severe form of TSC. His brain was riddled with growths and doctors warned it would affect his developmental state and causes seizures. It was absolutely heartbreaking” she explained. Finding it difficult to see her baby in such a state, Anita turned to food, which acted as a comfort blanket for her. As she and her husband Shane were in the hospital all the time, it became habit to just grab food from the nearest vending machine.

The lack of any nutritional foods soon took its toll on Anita, and she quickly went from a size 18 to size 24. Looking back, she commented, “I just didn’t care anymore. The only thing that mattered was being with Brody, so I ate whatever I could get my hands on.”

Need for Change

As Anita found herself gaining huge amounts of weight again, she started to realise just how much she hated being obese and that she needed to do something about it, for the sake of her son. She said, “When I met Shane online in 2005, I weighed 23 stone and was the heaviest I’d ever been. I was eating five big bars of chocolate every day as well as hearty home-cooked meals; all washed down with almost a litre of fizzy pop. I was so big I couldn’t tie my own shoe laces or walk to the shops without getting out of breath. I didn’t want to live that way again. Especially now I had a sick kid who needed me.” She knew from this point that she didn’t want to be fat anymore and that she had to do something about it.

Fantastic Results

As she had already stretched her stomach, she was not eligible to receive another gastric bypass; therefore, she would have to do all the work on her own this time. She started to keep fit with a personal trainer at her local gym and was put on to a strict high protein diet. The results were fantastic, and she soon dropped from 28 stone to 15 stone, which was something she had never been able to do before. Anita has never felt better after slimming down from a size 32 to a size 12 and she now feels that she can be the best mum to Brody.

“Brody loves the new, slimmer me and though he still can’t talk because of his condition, I know he’s proud of me because of the big smile on his face. He faces so many struggles in life, the last thing I want is to not be around for him. Losing 15 stone has not only changed my life, it’s changed his too.”

Overcoming Addiction

Overcoming any addiction can be both strenuous and monotonous, but in the end, the results will be worth the hard work. Here at libertyhouse.org, we can provide you with all the information you need on your addiction and how to treat it. Contact us today for any further information or enquiries.

Source: ‘I ate 9,000 chocolate bars a YEAR – but I beat my addiction and lost 15 stone’ (Mirror.co.uk)