Food Addiction Help: Addicted to Food – Food Addiction Help

I’ve been following the “Addicted to Food” mini-series, and I believe there’s a great deal to learn here – from both a productive and counterproductive perspective. The series showcases a treatment center in Texas called Shades of Hope. The owner and founder, Tennie MCarty, has developed a forty-two day recovery program that is specifically designed to address food addictions. The treatment is largely based on the 12-Step Program; however, she does combine the traditional approach with some extremely unorthodox methods.

The episode that aired on April 26, 2011 was primarily structured around, what Ms. McCarty calls “shame and anger reduction.” The show began with each client uncovering and addressing their childhood trauma. As I have stated over and over again, family dysfunction is the root cause of addiction. So, I wasn’t surprised to learn that every single participant had been either mistreated or abused as child. I concur with Ms. McCarty that family dysfunction is the foundation. However, I vehemently disagree with the shame and anger reduction method she uses to help participants overcome it. It’s no secret that most folks who are addicted do struggle with issues of shame and anger. But, the solution is not to stoke the fire or perpetuate it. On a positive note, the clients were asked to confront their parent or parents in a ceremonial way, which I believe is necessary. But, I would recommend a more direct, face to face method. Strangely, the anger that surfaced as a result of the parental confrontation was re-directed towards striking pads, screaming, and controlled shoving with staff members, which in my opinion is counterproductive and even dangerous. Sure, the participants may feel some freedom and/or emotional relief from this exercise, but that will be short-lived. Without question, these souls are angry at their abusers, and who can blame them for that. But, the solution is not to perpetuate that anger but rather to dissolve it. Authentic anger dissolution can only be accomplished by learning to calmly and confidently speak one’s will and, ultimately, take back one’s personal power. When this is achieved, the need for anger dissipates! As an example, Amy, a thirty-five year old compulsive overeater, was sexually abused by her step-father and verbally abused by her mother. As a result, Amy uses food to manage her emotional distress and guilt. Based on her testimony on the April 26th episode, when she informed her mom of the sexual abuse, her mother said, “It’s all your fault, you invite it, and you enjoy it!” Clearly, Amy is angry at her mom for the dysfunctional behavior. But moreover, she blames herself for the abuse and feels unworthy. To overcome this emotional trauma, Amy will need to address it directly.

OK! Let’s get real here for moment regarding Amy’s situation and sexual abuse! Aside from taking the life of another, molesting a child is one of the most horrific and evil acts a human being can commit. And, in my opinion, what her mother did doesn’t follow far behind. As a child, we look to our parents for guidance, bonding love and security. We do not expect to get thrown to the wolves! Nevertheless, it is what it is! And for Amy, the questions are; how can she liberate herself from the emotional trauma caused by her parent’s abuse, and what can she learn from it in a positive sense? In other words, she must find a silver lining in the dark cloud or adopt what I call a “positive symbolic perspective.”

Well, I believe she needs to confront her mother face to face if possible. But, if her mom has passed on, the end goal can still be accomplished. Certainly, for many folks, just the mere thought of confronting their family presents a dilemma. Many struggle with the fact that their parent or parents could commit such atrocities. That is understandable, but if addiction freedom is to be achieved, confrontation and, ultimately, liberation from toxic behavior is necessary! Yes, it’s her mom, but that doesn’t make it right, does it? Amy must calmly and confidently speak her will and tell her mother exactly how she feels about her behavior. And, while some folks may interpret the confrontation as blame, it is not. On the contrary, I would ask Amy to forgive her mom after the confrontation. Oh, and by the way, she needs to confront the monster that sexually abused her as well. And, if he hasn’t departed from this plane of existence, he should be incarcerated! Bottom line, it is not likely that Amy will achieve addiction freedom unless she liberates herself from this issue.

Now, of course there are other components to achieving freedom from food addiction such as “The food Addiction Factors,” forgiveness, self-love, identity and true life purpose, but liberation must always precede those steps. You can’t rise from the ashes
If you haven’t walked through the fire of liberation!

If you’ve watched the show, I’m sure you noticed that Ms. McCarty refers to food addiction as a disease, yet her program as well as 95% of all recovery programs employ the 12-step program and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as primary modalities. These methods attempt to address spiritual and emotional issues. In my mind, this prompts the following question: How can you call addiction a disease yet treat it with spiritual and emotional modalities? So, which is it; a disease or an emotional and spiritual issue? Is this not a bit hypocritical? The proponents of the disease concept would have you believe that everyone who is addicted has a faulty gene. Subsequently, when those individuals drink alcohol, use drugs, eat certain foods, gamble, smoke a cigarette or shop, they become chemically addicted to that substance or compulsion. If you tally up all types of habitual behavior, the number of addicted people would probably exceed 70 million. So, am I to believe that nearly a fourth of the U.S. population is genetically defective? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m just not buying that!


David Roppo
The Addiction Freedom Coach

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Article Source:



Burt Nordstrand – FOX Minneapolis – New food addiction recovery program – Help to stop eating sugar at COR, an interview with the founder, Burt Nordstrand.


From Twitter:

RT @georgiabullz: I need to control my food addiction @jesus help me – by teenspir1t (Irene )


From Twitter:

I need to control my food addiction @jesus help me – by georgiabullz (georgia†)


From Twitter:

@Emma_OHalloran it’s for a good cause haha help my gym addiction and food addiction and drink ha – by HealyE3 (Eric Healy)