New ways of coping without abusing food

Guest Article by Joanna Painton

When an individual turns to food for comfort and to find a quick fix or sense of relief it begins the cycle of addiction over time. Many people find it offensive to think of food as addiction most individuals equate addiction with drugs and alcohol. This maybe a news flash for many people however, relying on food for the quick instant relief one gets then the guilt and remorse they feel after he or she has finished eating is the same feelings and motivation as an alcoholic and addict. This maybe hard to swallow pardon the pun, yet the truth nevertheless!

Only the individuals truly afflicted with an eating disorder of bingeing or compulsive overeating will relate to this analogy and he or she needs to hear this as a reminder. Food is meant to be an energy source used to fuel the body. The misuse of food is what is being addressed in this article. An individual who is overweight and wants to lose weight can in fact, lose weight by strenuously changing the behavior of foods eaten and exercise, however, how often has that individual gained and lost and repeated this process?

Unfortunately, no one has found another way out of the addiction cycle of food. Many individuals choose to go to an inpatient eating disorder treatment program to deal with the behaviors that have them caught in the addictive cycle. Food is but a symptom the root cause is what is addressed in treatment. The safety and commitment of the individuals on the clinical team allow the individual to bring to the surface what is blocking them from living a successful happy life free from food. 

Learning new ways of finding comfort instead of turning to food is essential to recovery. Some ideas to implement go for a walk, read a book, take a bath, exercise, and journal, listen to music, and take a class. These are just a few ideas to discovering who he or she is and who he or she wants to be is a process. Many individuals find out later in life that the life they had been living was someone else’s and they were able to recreate his or her life.

Joanna works for the Women’s Behavioral Program. She has overcome adversities and shares her hope with anyone she comes in contact with. Joanna is a known published author in the Bariatric and Weight Loss Community, she has spent the last 13 years helping to inspire and motivate people on the value of the body, mind and spirit connection.

Please feel free to contact Joanna at or by e-mail