Comedian Faces His Addictions To Food And Alcohol | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Comedian Faces His Addictions To Food And Alcohol

Play associated audio

In a single week, comedian Jamie Kilstein realized he was both an alcoholic and a food addict.

He has alcoholism in his family, and didn't start drinking till he was legally allowed to. But then, he became a stand-up comic — a job that often pays in drinks.

"I was like, well, I gotta get paid somehow," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "I earned this."

While alcoholism is a term most people understand, addiction to food can be a bit murkier. "After my first week of not drinking, I felt really proud of myself," Kilstein says, "but I still felt like there was more."

"I still felt that need to, like, self destruct," he says. That's when he realized he was dealing with a food addiction.

While human beings' survival doesn't depend on alcohol, it does depend on food. Kilstein says he could always find a reason to overeat, and it was more than just a love of food — he was using food as an emotional crutch.

"Literally, I'd just cooked a very filling, healthy dinner, and then an hour later, something happens," he says. "And it can be something as little as some random dude on Twitter says, 'You should go back to Russia because you're a lefty commie,' and then I go 'What? I hate the Internet! I'm going to order Chinese food!' "

Kilstein says his heart would race as he ordered food, and he'd end up ordering much more than he originally intended. After eating it all, he'd feel sick, but he'd talk himself into finishing because he thought feeling bad would remind him not to do it all over again the next day.

So far, Kilstein is managing his addictions on his own. He says there's power in admitting his problems. "If you say, 'I'm trying not to drink,' your friend can still go, 'Come on man, you can drink!' And you go, 'Yeah, alright, I am going to drink!'" he explains.

"But if you say 'I'm an alcoholic,' and your friend says, 'Come on man,' that friend is a horrible person. And that rarely happens."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Picasso, Nazis And A Daring Escape In 'My Grandfather's Gallery'

As a little girl, Anne Sinclair knew Pablo Picasso. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why she didn't want the master to paint her picture, and her new memoir, My Grandfather's Gallery.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.