All addictions, including food addictions, develop as a result of a delicate “dance” between an individual’s genetic predisposition and environmental inputs. Studies suggest that the percentage of genetic predisposition can be as high as 50%. This could sound like an alarming statistic until you consider the flip side of that same number – 50% of addiction is determined by environmental input.
The good news is that your genes do not determine your destiny; the bad news is they are lurking around waiting for a trigger. Want more good news? You are in control of the “triggers.” You just need to learn the coping skills for doing so.
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother …
You don’t need a fancy test to determine your genetic makeup; just take a look around you. If your mother or father struggle with an addiction, you are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction than if your parents were non-addicts. This has to do with both nature and nurture. Not only did your folks pass on their addict-prone genes, they also passed on their ineffective coping skills that flipped on their “addiction gene switch.”
But what about those addicts who did not have “addict” parents?
While many addictions are the result of the nature-nurture tango, you do not actually have to be predisposed to develop an addiction. Poor coping and behavioral skills can actually re-wire your brain, transforming bad behaviors into addictive behaviors. Repeatedly abusing any “coping device”—whether it be alcohol, sex, video games, food, etc.—can cause your brain to develop neurological pathways for that behavior. You can literally behave your way to addiction. But, you can also behave your way to wellness and recovery.
If you are struggling with addiction, you can begin your journey to wellness today. In her recently released book, Shades of Hope: A Program to Stop Dieting & Start Living, she talks about understand your addictions and are provide a proven pathway to wellness that has helped thousands of addicted individuals reach emotional, spiritual and physical wellness.