I am Annie, and I am a compulsive overeater.
Step One, Question 2, Part C
Has chronic unhappiness over my eating problems affected my friendships or marriage? How?
My eating problems have led to a weight of over 400 pounds. That weight often keeps me from doing things with my husband or my friends.
It has affected my marriage by basically killing my sex life. My size makes experimentation impossible; I find sex boring because it is always the same thing. And I am sure that is my fault, because it isn’t my husband. I love him dearly and find him more sexually appealing than I can explain. It’s just that knowing exactly what to expect when we are intimate takes all of the adventure out of it. It makes sex feel more like another chore, something dull and routine that I have to do rather than something fun and spontaneous that I want to do.
It has affected my friendships by keeping me from going out often. The last time I went out with friends I sat in the backseat of my best friend’s van. Getting out at home was not easy. I felt like I was stuck in the back of a van. A VAN! Embarrassing. And I can’t go shopping with her. She’s a size 12 now, and me, I’m still in walrus sizes. I doubt we could find a store that even carries clothes that would fit both of us.
I see myself becoming more and more of a hermit. I don’t like to leave the house, and look for excuses not to. Basically, I leave for church and OA meetings and that’s it. Occasionally, I go grocery shopping or to visit my parents. Last week, I would have gone nowhere other than church or OA if not for the subpoena that I received in the mail.
My weight is what makes me unhappy, not my eating problems. Then again, the eating led to the weight gain so I guess it is all tired up together.
Hi. I am Annie, and I am a compulsive overeater.
What has it been like living with me at home?
I can’t really speak for my husband or my kids. But I can say that I know there are times when I feel like I am hiding and lying WAY too much. I’ll binge on food and then hide the wrappers. When I miss something and I am called on it, I have been known to lie about where it came from. “So and so bought that,” I’ll say. Or, “This other person bought lunch for me today.” I have even said, “Oh, I saw that fast food bag in the front yard and thought I’d just put it in our trash.” Lie, hide, deny. That is my mantra some days.
Now that I really think about it, it is like I am cheating my family with that thinking. It is hard to relax and be sincere with them when I am worried that they will uncover my dirty little food secret.
Hello. My name is Annie. I am a compulsive overeater.
Have I excelled at my job or just gotten by?
I would have to say that I have just gotten by. I don’t know if that has anything at all to do with my overeating or not.
Inside of me is a fear of success. No matter what I do, I can either fail or succeed. And I don’t really know which is worse. If I fail, I am likely to give up and never try again. If I succeed and reach the top, the only place to go from there is down. Either way, I will fall. So why should I even try?
So instead of facing those fears and working through them, I stuff the fear down with food. That will help me shut up the fears at least for a few minutes. I have “bragged” about publishers showing an interest in my work, but I have not actually taken the step to send a complete book to anyone.
That doesn’t show me excelling at all. I love to write and I am good at it. Maybe not the absolute best, but I am good at it. And I enjoy it. But unless I actually take that step and submit my work to an editor or publisher, I can’t really excel at what I want to do.
But is that really a result of my eating disorder? Or is it just a fear?
I am Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.
How has and does this malady affect my life not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well?
Ok, so the physical part is easy. This malady has caused me to balloon up to 440 pounds. I am not proud of it, but that is what I weighed the last time I was at my doctor’s office. It has also led to high blood pressure, asthma, acid reflux, aching joints, sleep apnea, and a heart condition.
Emotionally, oh boy! I have had issues with depression and anxiety since I was a teen. I get depressed, I eat. I feel anxious, I eat. So I honestly don’t know if the emotional issues are from the eating disorder or if the eating disorder stems from the emotional issues. I know that the physical aspect of the illness has led me to feeling worse, emotionally. I look at myself and wonder how anyone could possibly care about such a fat cow. My low self-esteem was in place long before I realized I had a “problem” with food. There are just so many things that are going on of me. I don’t know what was caused by what.
Spiritually…. Wow. I am not sure about that. A part of me thinks, “I am the way God made me. If He didn’t want me to be like this, He would change things.” But that seems so silly. I don’t know.
Hi. My name is Annie. I am a compulsive overeater.
Trying to get back to my 12-step workbook. Weight loss surgery is looking more and more likely for me all the time. Still, I know that it won’t solve my problems. It is a tool to help me lose weight, but if I don’t get the bottom of my eating disorder, if I don’t figure out what makes me eat and what foods are the biggest problem for me, I will be wasting my time and the surgeon’s time, not to mention the insurance company’s money! I can tell you one thing: I DO NOT want to go through surgery just to be this big again in a few years.
Today’s question is not a hard one for me to answer: “Have I returned to my former compulsive overeating behavior after years in recovery?” I can honestly answer NO to this one.
I have not returned after years in recovery because I have not enjoyed years in recovery. I have barely enjoyed days in recovery. In fact, I am not at a point yet to think in terms of days.
In my meeting this week, we talked a little about the concept of “one day at a time.” Where I am right now, though, it is more like one minute at a time. In this particular minute, I will not overeat. Then when I conquer this one, I will move on to the next one. And then the next. And then the next.
And before I know it, I will get through an hour without overeating. Once I get through that first hour, I will add another. Only after I get the hang of being in recovery for a series of hours will I think about days in recovery.
My name is Annie. I am a compulsive overeater.
The next question in my The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous is: What other solutions have I tried, and what were the results? Am I still looking for a solution outside of OA?
I have tried Weight Watchers. I believe that I joined 3 times before I realized that it wasn’t going to work for me. I’d do well for a while. Shoot, one time I lost nearly 30 pounds in the first month! So long as I counted my Points and walked as I should, I lost weight. The problem came in when I stopped writing down my food choices and started to count Points in my head. Writing down every single bite that went into my mouth got to be too much of a chore. And what Mom wants to add one more chore to her daily routine? It was too much. Nothing at all against the Weight Watchers plan. It is a good plan; it’s not a diet so much as it is a lifestyle change. Problem is, it was not a lifestyle change I was comfortable keeping up with. And since it wasn’t a comfortable fit for me, I didn’t keep up with it.
As far as the second part of the question, no, I am not looking for a solution outside of OA. I have finally reached the point where I know that I am battling a disease. It’s not a lack of will power that is keeping me heavy. It’s an addiction to food that is my problem. Will Overeaters Anonymous help me overcome it? I don’t know. But I know that I need to face the addiction. And it seems to me that facing it with the help of others who have fought and are still fighting the same disease will help more than it will hurt me.
Hi. My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.
I am also quite a procrastinator.
It’s been a week since I’ve updated this blog. Mostly, that is because of a promise I made over a week ago. Remember how I said that something had been on my mind that I hadn’t put in my compulsive eating history? It’s just so hard to actually put it into words. Scary.
Then again, what part of self-reflection isn’t scary?
On the plus side, I think I really have figured out where my food addiction began.
I was 14 when I worked my first job. That was the first summer that I worked in the starter house at a local golf course. My job was to sell soft drinks, coffee, and snacks to the golfers. My payment came in two forms—a bi-weekly paycheck and anything I wanted to eat while on the clock. Sandwiches, chocolate, ice cream, and soda pop. Anything I wanted while I was working. Problem is, even back then I had no willpower at all. I can remember slow shifts when I would eat enough food in 4 hours to equal two or three “normal” meals.
I think that is where my food problems really began. Only question now is where will the problem end?