Hi. My name is Annie and I am a compulsive over-eater.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my food addiction and how this addiction affects those I love. In particular, I have been thinking about how this addiction affects my sons. What are those boys learning from watching how I handle my addiction? Are addictions hereditary? I don’t really know. I’ve been told that having a parent or grandparent with an alcohol or drug problem makes a person more likely to develop or drug dependency. But I don’t know if that holds true for food addictions.
What I do know is that my addiction leads me to model some bad behaviors for my sons. The behaviors I engage in often don’t match the words that come out of my mouth.
For example, when I tell them a handful of potato chips is enough and then continue eating directly out of the bag, what are they learning?
One thing I remember from my childhood is my dad and his chips. He almost always had a bag of Cain’s BBQ chips stashed beside his chair. Those were Dad’s chips. Occasionally he would share. But more often than not he ate them all. I can remember thinking how great it would be to be an adult—then I could have any snack I wanted and not have to share it with anyone. And you know what? That is exactly what I have been doing.
Only I am not as disciplined as my dad. My snacks rarely survive for a second sitting.
If I learned how to “hog” a snack all for myself from my dad, I shudder to think what my boys are learning about food from me.