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Good morning.  My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about accountability.  I say that I want to do certain things with my eating and my exercise.  I am even good at keeping up with it for a day or two.  But when the “newness” and “excitement” of whatever it is I’ve decided to do wears off, I stop doing it.  At least I stop doing it on a regular basis.  I still track my food.  I still read my daily literature.  I still ride my stationary bike.

I just don’t do those things every day.

I don’t even remember to do them all on the same day.

The OA group that I am a part of recently started an accountability group.  For a few weeks now, I have thought about going.  This week I actually went.  It was one of the worst OA meetings I have ever been to.

OK, so calling it a bad meeting probably isn’t fair, especially since I could see that the others in the room were getting a lot out of the meeting.  But it didn’t work for me.  I don’t know if the meeting was a bad fit or if I was just in a bad frame of mind for it.  Heaven knows that I didn’t put puch into the meeting.

It was odd for me from the beginning.  Rather than using the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of OA, they were reading from the AA 12 and 12.  Why that was uncomfortable to me, I don’t know.

Anyway, one thing they talked about was emailing their food plan and action plan to each other; they said that keeps them accountable for following through with what they are committing to do.  Now THAT is something that I can get into!!  Nearly every morning, I make up a plan of what I am going to do that day, and I have in my head what I will eat for the day.  But I have yet to share it with anyone.  If no one knows what I have planned, they can’t get on my case to make sure that I am doing it.  Yeah, OK, so I know that it’s not up to anyone else to stick to my program.  But I do think having some encouragement throughout the day would be helpful for me.

Who can I ask to be my accountability partner, though?  I suppose I could post it all here on my blog.  Only I don’t know how many actually read it.  (It’s not like I have been very good about keeping up with this blog in the past few months!)  I’d prefer to share with someone I KNOW will respond to me daily, pushing me to stick with my plans.  Maybe my sponsor will help.  And my best friend.  I suppose I will have to ask them.




My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

This week, I purchased a couple of books to help me in my OA recovery plan.  One is called Drop the Rock.  It was recommended by the other members of my Monday night meeting group.  The focus of this book is Step 6 and Step 7.  On Mondays, we are going through The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous.  As we have just finished with Step 6 and are about to start work on Step 7 (though I freely admit that I am not that far along in my recovery yet), we have decided to start reading Drop the Rock on Monday nights.  I think that working through that might help me to adjust better when it is time for me to fully work those steps in my own life.

The other book I bought is not an official OA book, though I thought it was when I ordered it.  It is called Beyond Feast or Famine: Daily affirmations for compulsive eaters.  It is 365 daily readings to help with overcoming the food addiction.  I started reading it with the reading dated January 18, which is the day that the book arrived in my mailbox.  To be honest, I have not been enjoying the book.  Maybe it is me—I am sure the writings are good, but I just don’t feel like they are for me.  Still, I am pushing through, reading one affirmation every day.  Eventually, I am sure I will come across something that hits home with me, something that I can apply to my own life and recovery plan.

Surprisingly, I found something today that hit home with me.  At the end of the reading, I read the words, “My goal is to accept myself.”  Sure there was more to it than just that.  Something about how accepting myself will help me to stop trying to change all of those around me.  But the words “accept myself” really got to me.  I can’t tell you the last time I really felt like I could accept myself for who I am.  And if I can’t accept me, how can I ever expect anyone else to accept me?

Physical, Emotional, Spiritual


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.

Commitments to Myself


My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

I know that is how I start every post, and it might seem sort of annoying to see it each time.  Still, I think it is important for me to do that.  After all, I am keeping this blog more for my own recovery than for any other reason.  And it helps me to put it out there, right at the beginning, that I am a compulsive eater.

As if I could really forget, anyway.

It seems like I have been working at Step One for a very long time.  Over the weekend, I think I figured out why that it.  I’ve been stuck on Step One because I haven’t really given myself permission to go any further.

Being able to admit to my food addiction was a huge step for me.  Allowing myself to “get to the bottom” of my addiction is an even bigger one.  And it is beyond scary to have to do it.  I am comfortable in my own skin right now.  If I look too deeply and am forced to face what is inside, I might not be so comfortable.

And isn’t comfort what we are all looking for?

Well, comfort isn’t enough for me anymore!  Not by a long shot.  Being comfortable allowed me to put on 200 pounds in the last eleven years.  That’s 200 pounds that I don’t want and I am not comfortable carrying around.  Getting that weight off would be awesome, but that isn’t going to solve anything.  If I don’t look deep inside and figure out what it is that makes me want to eat, what makes me think that it is OK to find comfort in food, then nothing will ever change.  Diets, exercise, surgery—they are all useless if I am not willing to face my fears and my triggers and learn how to deal with life without turning to food.

So I have made a commitment this week.  Actually, I have made two.  The first is to give up soda pop.  Something tells me that will be anything but “comfortable”.  I love me some Mountain Dew!  And even though I normally drink diet soda, I have pledged to give it up completely.  I know that I will have to give it up—at least temporarily but most likely permanently—when I have surgery.  My hope is that if I take small steps toward that new diet, if I eliminate or replace one thing at a time, it will be easier than just suddenly changing everything.

The second commitment I made is to complete the questions in my 12 and 12 Workbook for Step One this week.  No more excuses, no more procrastination.  If I want to conquer this—and I so want to conquer this!—I have to put in the work!

Beginning My Inventory


My name is Annie.  I am a compulsive overeater.

In my meeting tonight, one of the women introduced herself as “a recovering compulsive overeater”.  I must say, I like the sound of that.  Yet I don’t think I have yet earned the “honor” of using that description for myself.  I am still struggling too much with the first couple of steps to think that I am in any sort of recovery.

I had a bit of a breakthrough this evening, though.  The others in that meeting have completed Step Four and so we were working on Step Five.  Step Four is to make an inventory of all in the past that has led to the addiction; Step Five is sharing that inventory with someone else.  It is that fifth step that has kept me from doing the fourth one.  I can be honest with myself, but to actually admit to another human being what I have done in the past that led me to where I am now….  Scary.  Very, very frightening to me.  But I thought of someone that would be perfect for the job.  She was a good friend in high school, one who I knew I could tell anything to do and I wouldn’t be judged.  Maybe it was because she had to wear two big hearing aids back then, and I didn’t judge her for that.  But I knew that anything I said to her would stay between us.  I also knew that while she wouldn’t try to force me to change anything, she would tell me her honest opinion (lovingly, if it was something I wouldn’t like to hear!) if I asked for it.  In the 15 or so years since graduation, she and I have stayed in touch.  Maybe we are not as close as we once were, but I still feel like I can trust her with this.  When I got home, one of the first things that I did was email her to see if she would be willing to help me with this.  A part of me was hoping she would say no!  But she didn’t.  She said she would be happy to help and that she is proud of me for facing this head on.  And knowing that she is the one who will have my inventory in her hands makes me feel more confident in being honest about the things I see in myself.

One other thing—I thought about two people who I have held bad feelings about for a long time.  A later step in the program is to make amends to those I have hurt.  These two people may not even know that I have had this anger and resentment toward them.  In all honesty, my feelings may not have hurt them in any way.  But I realized how those feelings have hurt me.  Releasing that anger and resentment to God by asking forgiveness from these people will help in my recovery.  So it looks like I will have a couple of letters to work on soon.

Other Solutions


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.

Right Road!


My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

And tonight, I feel like I am on the right road!

OK, so to be honest I didn’t as well with food choices today as I could have done.  I am going to use my husband as the excuse.  He is a HUGE college football fan, and when he is going to spend the day watching games, he chooses a lot of unhealthy snacks to munch on.  Sure, I could have said no, but I spent quite a bit of time munching long with him. 

Still, I did a lot of walking today.  Started off my day by waking up at 5:30 to meet Betsey at the park.  Her mother-in-law tagged along, which made it somewhat odd to talk to her.  Still, we walked for 1.3 miles.  Took nearly an hour to do it, and I know that Betsey can normally do about three times that distance in that amount of time.  But I did it!  I did stop and rest at one point.  But I did it!  I walked over a mile.  And you know what?  It felt GOOD!

In fact, I felt so good about it that I popped in my Weight Watchers Walk At Home DVD after football and did a 10 minute walk.  My 2 oldest sons cheered me on, motivating me to keep walking.  Hubby wasn’t as into the motivation; he was nursing his pride after seeing his favorite team lose.  But when I was finished, he said he was as proud of me as the boys were.

Not that I am doing this for them.  Not exactly, anyway.  I am determined to beat my food addiction and my exercise avoidance so that I can be healthy and live a longer life.  That will benefit them.  I am doing all of this, though, for me.

Still, hearing them cheer me on does make me want to keep going!