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21 May 2012

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Barbara C.

I don't think that I am glutton, but when you live with someone who does struggle with gluttony you also start developing a need to "secure your food supply". Otherwise food you've bought for a special purpose will have disappeared before the time comes to use it. You might start hiding it, purposely avoid buying food you know that the glutton likes even means not getting to eat it yourself, and threatening "pain of death" if it "disappears". And then you struggle with whether you are being selfish or just making sure that you don't starve when there is no food left in the house and no money for more.

Jennifer Fitz

Erin, I can ditto this. The discovery that being hungry can make me irritable, tired, nauseated (pregnancy, but also not pg), headachey, unable to think straight --> led right into an obsession with always having the food on hand.

It is like you say. A big thing for me (only very recently) was to decide that I could be hungry. That I'd be okay. (It helps tremendously that I'm neither pregnant nor breastfeeding right now.)

Kate

I joined a group of other ADHD women on FB recently, and the topic of food and eating habits came up recently. People with ADHD are inclined to impulsive behaviour anyway, but what came up most was not impulsivity, but the foggyheadedness thing you mention...that eating was something that seems imperative when the fog settles in.

Christine

Wow, when I read this I realized that I have a very similar experience! It is that same panicy feeling and does not dissipate until the full feeling soothes it. However, the origin of the feeling for me is not a little pang of hunger. What I feel in those moments is "I can't take another moment of hearing whining!" or "a decision needs to be made and I have no emotional space and quiet to think it through!" or "I am tired and want to rest!" or "Arrgh, the children are doing what they are supposed to do and I don't feel like holding the line!" Each thought is one I really need to basically expect to happen each day. I have to find other ways to live with those feelings instead of soothing them with or dulling the feeling with food.

Man, I am grateful for your writing about your thoughts!
Oh, here's the passage I am referring to: That used to happen a lot:  the bottom would fall out of my brain and I couldn't think until I got something to eat.  A strange panic would rise, and I would go looking for food.   Within a few bites of, say, a cheeseburger, I would feel oddly soothed, relieved; but the panicky feeling wouldn't go away until I no longer felt the slightest twinge of anything that resembled hunger.  I would have to eat until I literally felt full before I felt safe."

Christy P.

Can't tell you how many times I have shared the tidbit which I first read here "A calorie consumed by someone who doesn't need it is still wasted" with other people.

MrsDarwin

I don't have panicky feelings at all about being hungry, though I do get crabby when my blood sugar drops too low (self-diagnosis; not related to diabetes or any health problem). I eat *because I like to eat*. I overeat *because it tastes good* or *because I want to*. Sometimes I'm not paying attention and cram too much in, or sometimes I eat too fast because I'm having a meal with the kids and you know how that is, but often it is gluttony, pure and simple and naked.

We don't keep many snacks around the house, which is good for me and good (usually) for the children. I do often wander around looking for something to nibble on, but I don't go to the trouble of making something if it isn't convenient. There often isn't any fruit left because the kids snatch all the apples or bananas in the first 24 hours (food stealing has actually become a spankable offense here because some children gorge if any tasty tidbit is within reach). I have cut down on mindless eating, but there are some things I just can't resist, such as tortilla chips, that I find best not to bring into the house unless it's for a particular occasion.

I should mention that I don't think I have any sort of clinical problem with overeating. As you've pointed out, gluttony doesn't equal large meals or obesity. I ate a big breakfast after running this weekend; I was hungry, and it was appropriate. But I know when I'm just stuffing myself, and often I just don't feel like stopping. That seems more culpable than responding to deep-seated psychological insecurities.

Delores

I read this post a couple of days ago and was thinking about it... and came back to respond. But basically, you can ditto MrsDarwin's explanation for me. I eat because it tastes good and I want to continue to taste it. And I basically have to just deny myself chips permanently. Because when I start eating them again, even in controlled moderation at first, it isn't long before I can eat the whole bag at one sitting.

And the gluttony is not just about food and taste. For me, gluttony manifests itself in continuing to read a good book late into the night when I know I need my sleep. Not only is it merely unwise, but it is the lack of ability to deny myself. Same goes for watching a movie or TV (on Amazon/netflix), or knitting. Though with knitting it isn't too bad. I knit to also think and clear my head to determine the next task that needs doing (when I have many to choose from and am feeling overwhelmed). But the reading and watching can also be used as excuses to not do something else -- mostly to avoid cleaning and grading schoolwork. I think that would be gluttony out of lack of obedience (going from your earlier definition).

Anyway, for me, gluttony is much more about the 'sensual' aspect and about the here and now. I like the way it tastes and feels, and I don't want to deny myself, and a bonus might be that it can help me avoid an onerous task.

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