Reply To: Addictive desire when the food is already in the house

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Thanks for asking for this clarification, Alison. I’ve noticed a few people are confused about this question of having certain food at home.

I do believe it can be helpful to “make your choices at the shops”. What I mean by this is (when shopping) to acknowledge addictive desire, free choice and motivation – and to take into account that, in a very real sense, your choice to eat that item is made when you buy it.

It’s an idea many have found useful. Especially those who often buy things “for the kids” which in fact they end up eating themselves, and also for those who live alone. But this is not a primary strategy, as you seem to suggest. Do you really think I’ve been saying that you need to remove temptation because you can’t handle it?

I’ve not intended to promote a black-and-white “get it out of the house” solution, as for many this isn’t going to be practical, as we’ve seen on this forum. But at the other end of the possibilities, I doubt there’s huge benefit in bringing your favourite binge food into your home purely to work through your feelings of desire.

If, however, you very specifically want to consume addictive food more gradually, say, one cookie a day instead of the whole box, by all means use “Working Through” for that. I find the challenge with this is in the motivation: “I’ve eaten one cookie, so why not have another?” And so on. I get a much better sense of the outcome when I choose the whole box (or not).

I’m going to go out on a limb here, Alison, and ask you to consider that the idea of not having certain addictive food in the house creates alarm bells of perceived deprivation for you. If so, that is why you would never consider leaving anything you might want in a shop, and dislike the suggestion that you do.