Health Issues

After the Show: Mary

posted: 02/21/12
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Before being on My Strange Addiction, Mary was consuming over 900 cat treats and several cans of wet food every day. Did help from friends and therapy convince Mary to change her ways?
DCL

What is the status of your addiction today?

The last time I ate a cat treat was the day I saw Dr. Sasse. That evening I went home, ate one last treat with all of my cats and said, "This is the last treat that I'm going to eat." That was the last day of my addiction. All the cat treats are out of the house. I donated them to a pet shelter.

My cats eat my homemade cat treats, which I'm very excited about it. I just need a better food processor so I can make cat treats with hamburger meat too.

Has your life changed since being on the show?

So far, my diet has changed. I now eat food for humans, like cereals and vegetables. Also, my friend Danny and I have become closer. I think I am all around better off. I've been playing my guitar and singing more, and I've also spent some time studying to get certified as a pharmacy technician.

Was therapy beneficial in helping you cope with your addiction?

Therapy was beneficial in helping with my addiction, but the thing that really made me stop was my visit to the doctor.

Dr. Sasse was the turning point for me. I remember what he told me about the ingredients used in cat treats. It really surprised me. When he told me about the blood and guts, my heart was racing and I thought I was going to puke. My brother Tommy had been trying to tell me the same thing, but I was in denial.

After leaving the doctor's office, I said "Oh my God, that's it. I'm never eating another treat."

Things have changed over here.

Did being on the show help you deal with your addiction?

Yes, putting myself out there helped a lot. If I hadn't been on My Strange Addiction, I think I would probably still be eating cat treats today. I think I was in the process of developing an eating disorder.

Now I'm eating regular food and vegetables and feel better. I'll be the first one to admit that I was being stupid and ignorant. Now, I'm addicted to eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch because I love those crunchy little squares. I eat mine one at a time or by the handful.

my-strange-addiction-mary-follow-up-250x375
Read more Read less
Before being on My Strange Addiction, Mary was consuming over 900 cat treats and several cans of wet food every day. Did help from friends and therapy convince Mary to change her ways?
DCL

Currently, what steps are you taking to curb your addiction?

I'm doing my own thing: making cat food treats for my cats, eating my favorite cereals, carrots, and celery sticks. I've basically integrated crunchy foods into my diet to help me with my crunching. Also, now I go on the internet to find out how foods are made. As they say, knowledge is power.

There were a couple of days when I had cravings. To deal with this, I would eat cereal squares or take a walk, or go out on my paddle boat -- anything to distract myself from the cravings. After a few minutes, the cravings would go away. This happened during the first few weeks, and then it went away. I'm surprised at how easy it was to get over this addiction, especially because I had been eating cat treats for a long time.

Do you have any advice for other people dealing with addictions?

Well, what I have to say to people with strange food addictions is to do you gotta do your research -- go on the internet and wake up and smell the coffee! If you need counseling, there is therapy out there! If you have strong enough willpower, the power comes from within you.

Also, draw strength from those around you. You have that support. You might not think you do at times, do you do. You are not alone. If you need support, call your best friend or someone in your life. That's how I feel. I was able to quit my addiction.

I'm glad that I don't eat cat treats anymore. They could have given me cancer or caused some other health problem. I'm happy it's over.

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