@cblasz, it most certainly is an addiction. The brain reacts to sugar the same way as hard drugs! I read something recently that said quitting food is harder than quitting drugs, but it's not just because we still have to eat (if you compare to alcoholics, for example, they still have to drink just not alcohol). Rather, it's more difficult because they don't sell heroine at every gas station and your mother doesn't give you cocaine to express her love. Unlike drugs, food is everywhere, and we are often hassled for rejecting it. And unlike drugs, we risk alienating and ostracizing ourselves by not joining in (one of the many reasons it's so difficult during the holidays). There's also an underlying belief (both individually and culturally) that if we don't partake we are somehow missing out on something that makes our lives somehow better. Imagine NEVER eating another bite of non-healthy food. NEVER eating another gram of sugar, cake, ice cream, cookies, chips, fries, or whatever the item you have a hard time resisting. For the REST OF YOUR LIFE. My first thought is, "What a sad life I will have." But would it be? I don't know.
I think the tough part is moderation. I don't know how to wrap my brain (or my habits) around the mostly-not-good-for-me-but-brings-me-some-measure-of-pleasure-and-is-okay-sometimes. NEVER seems too harsh, but ALWAYS or OFTEN is detrimental to other areas of my life. And SOMETIMES seems far too elusive, ambiguous, and difficult. This way of eating is definitely helping me find that sweet spot. I mean, there's only so much chocolate I can consume within my calorie limits. But I don't see myself ever being able to do without a supporting eating system like 5:2 or measuring/weighing my food. There has never be a time in my life where it wasn't a massive internal struggle to stop at one slice of cake, so it's hard to imagine there ever being a time in the future where that becomes a non-issue. So, like you were saying, cblasz, it's all well and good until something happens that throws off the system/routine (sickness, special event, vacation, car breaks down, etc) and instantaneously you find yourself reaching for the nearest package of unhealthy food without hesitation. Because it's easy, because it's soothing, because we're bored, because we've been wanting it for the past three months and haven't let ourselves. Because it's exhausting to have to think about it all the time, sometimes we just want a break to not have to think about food at all.
I'm thankful you are all here, to listen to me blab and to share in my success and failures! Good luck to everyone this coming week!
P.S. If people are okay with it, and @Sassy1 would like a break, I'd be okay with moderating the January challenge when this one is finished. I tend to check the boards daily anyway, and it would give me extra reason to keep my eating habits in line.