Hello, my name is Kristin, and I am a carbaholic. My drug of choice is pizza.
I’ve suspected for years that I had a problem. In college, 10 bucks got a small cheese and a Sprite delivered right to my door! I didn’t even have to get off my behind.
Post-college, Papa Johns was within walking distance. I’d walk over to pick it up, an attempt to justify my 4-night-a-week habit. Reality struck at my physical when my Triglycerides were 356. Normal range is under 150. My doctor’s note was “cut down on carbs or you will be on meds”. I was 23-years-old. So, I cut down to one night a week and supplemented my pizza habit with noodles.
This time triglycerides were 252: better, but not great. Again, “cut down on carbs or you will be on meds”. Ok. No more noodles every night for dinner. Just 3 nights a week. Pizza on Fridays. And bread at lunch.
Oh sweet, warm, fluffy goodness. Lightly toasted. maintaining the soft inside and crispy exterior. Your dough relaxes me, soothes me, calms me. The pleasure is enhanced with cheesy garlic, butter, and tomatoes. You make me forget my troubles.
How bad can this be? It’s food. My body says I want it. You gotta eat, right? So eat something you like.
I felt horrible all the time. My guts were twisting. Then I woke up in the middle of the night frantically searching for food, shaking like an addict.
It was incredibly scary.
I knew I needed help. I reached out Jen Liddy and told her I felt wrong and weird things were going on. She recommended a nutritionist, Georgia Austin.
At my first appointment, I was brutally honest about how I felt and what I ate. I’d eaten lunch at Brooklyn Pickle. Half a turkey on white, lettuce and mayo, salt and vinegar chips, chicken noodle soup, and pudding.
Yes, this is what I showed a nutritionist.
Addict? I don’t do drugs.
“The brain doesn’t distinguish between what is making it feel good. It just knows it wants the high.”
Food is making me high?
“Well in a sense, yes. So we can make some changes. Ok?”
I’m desperate. I’ll eat dirt and weeds if I have to. I’ve been scared straight.
Then, “No gluten. We’ll just try it. Are you ok with that?”
Deep breath. “Yes, I’m game for anything.” Including, apparently, going cold turkey.
“And no sugar.”
“I’m ok with no sugar.” (I’m too distracted by the no pizza.
I realized it isn’t about pizza or not being able to eat something. It’s the realization that my old life is gone. I was making a life change, and I had to mourn the old Kristin and those eating habits. So I cried it out.
The first few days I had withdrawals and was jonesing for a slice of cheese. I had a headache and my mind was yelling, “GO GET A SLICE OF CHEESE!!!” I resisted: after 2 days the symptoms went away, and I thought, “Maybe I’ll be ok after all!”
Three weeks into no gluten, no sugar, I decided to test the addiction theory. I went to Twin Trees got a large cheese pizza and Sierra Mist.
A little fear set in. Is the pizza going to taste bad? Well I’m here to tell you it still tastes fabulous! I stuffed half a large pizza in and waited. About 20 minutes later I was high. Drunk on pizza. The room was spinning. I was sweating and feverish. What in the hell was in that pizza? I went to bed hoping it would just go away and woke up the next day hung over. Since I’m not 20 anymore recovering from a hangover takes a whole weekend. Never again!!!
I’ve been sober for almost a year. And when I get tired and run down, that craving hits, and I don’t give in. I stay strong. I talk to my nutritionist. I stick to my plan and my pizza- free lifestyle.
Sometimes it takes true grit to make a big change. Do it and don’t quit. Because I’m here to tell you, if THIS addict can do it, you can do it. Truly.