Tag Archives: Overeaters Anonymous

Accountability

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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.

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Happy, Serene, and Sane

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I’m Annie and I’m a compulsive overeater.

There is a small group within the OA group I belong to (is that the right term for it?) that is working on a study of the book Drop The Rock.  This is not specifically an OA book, but it is an in-depth look at steps 6 and 7 in the 12-step program. The section we read last night was on step seven.  One thing that really popped out at me was the author saying something about needing to act as if he wants to be happy, serene, and sane.  He didn’t say that he needs to act as if he already is happy, serene, and sane, but that he has to act as if he wants to be happy, serene, and sane.

That just really stuck in my head.  This whole acting “as if” thing is odd to me.  I’ve been real good at acting “as if” nothing is wrong and hiding my feelings behind food.  So I am not totally convinced that acting “as if” is the right thing to do.  But what really got to me about this issue was the idea of acting as if happiness, serenity, and sanity are things that I want in my life.  Don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t need to act like I want that stuff.  I KNOW that I want it!  It’s the getting it that I am having problems with.

Food certainly hasn’t been the answer.  I might feel happy and serene at the moment I am taking a bite of something.  But as soon as I put down the fork, the feeling I am left with is anything other than sane.  And the surgery that I am planning isn’t going to bring happiness.  Health, now that is what I am shooting for there.  And I suppose I am hoping that being healthy will lead to a happier me.  But I am not expecting surgery to bring the happiness I want.

So I suppose knowing that I want to be happy, I might as well “act as if” I am already happy.  I don’t see that it will hurt.  In a way, it seems like a lie, though, to pretend something I don’t feel.  But if acting happy can “trick” my mind into believing I am happy, I might as well give it a shot.

Less Alone

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Cover of "Idoleyes: My New Perspective on...

Cover via Amazon

My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

And today, I am feeling just a little less alone. There are two things making me feel less alone in my fight against food addiction today. One is abook. The other, a piece of jewelry.

The book is Idoleyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat and Fame. It was written by former American Idol contestant Mandisa. As much as I enjoy reality TV, it was not the American Idol Connection that drew me to this book. I heard about it on Smile FM, my favorite Christian radio station. Right after playing a Mandisa song (My Deliverer, I believe) the DJ mentioned that the singer had written a book about her struggles with food addiction and how her relationship with God help her to deal with it. That really caught my attention! As soon as I got home that day, I search Amazon for the book and placed my order. The book was an eiveeasy read, something I likely could have finished in a day. But I took my time with it, slowly savoring every word. In Mandisa I found something I have yet to find in the members of the OA group I belong to—a woman my age (Mandisa is almost exactly 9 months younger than I am), with a close personal relationship with Christ, who is battling an addiction to food. (Please note, I am not commenting on the relationships the women I have met at OA have with God. That is up to them! I am only commenting on what I see in Mandisa.) Reading through this book, I saw a lot of me and a lot of the woman I would like to be. I could really relate to her in so many ways. What I came away with was HOPE. God can—and will, I am certain—use this addiction to food to bring me closer to Him. I know that He has a reason I am going through this, and if I just listen and follow His leading, I will one day understand that reason.

 

My 12 Step Bracelet

The other thing that has me feeling less alone is a bracelet that I received last week. The ladies in my OA group had a craft day about a month ago that I was not able to attend. One of the crafts they made was a 12 Step Bracelet. Knowing I would not be able to attend the gathering, I paid for a kit and one of the women made the bracelet for me. I’ve been wearing mine on my left wrist ever since it was given to me. Each of the stones represents a different one of the 12 Steps. The stones really remind me of the women I see at meeting each week—different, colorful, something you wouldn’t think would actually belong together, but when placed together they make up something beautiful. Wearing the bracelet reminds me that there are others going through what I am. Not only that, it reminds that there are others who love me enough to really care about my recovery from this disease.

 

February Depression

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My name is Annie and I am compulsive overeater.

And apparently I am depressed. I don’t mean I am hovering on the edge of a depressed episode. No, I mean I am deep down, over my head in a bout of depression. How can I tell? Well, lots of ways. The way that I want to eat everything I see. The way I am so doggoned tired all the time. The way that all four of the males living in my house are getting on my nerves lately. The tears that feel like they will fall for no apparent reason. And most of all, I know I am deep in depression because I haven’t been writing.

It’s not uncommon for me to write something and think, “Gosh, that is crap.” But I still write. Not the last couple of weeks though. Normally, even if the fiction isn’t flowing, I am blogging or journaling. SOMETHING that keeps my creative juices flowing. But no. Not now. For the month of February I’ve looked for any excuse I can to not write anything. I’ve even used the excuse that my Facebook games will wither away and I’ll lose all the progress I’ve made to not write.

It makes no sense that I would be like this. I was forced to go six weeks without much writing because of a dead computer. Now that I have one and I have time to write, I am not doing it.

Why???

Well, actually I know what. It happens in February. And it will likely happen again in October. February marks the anniversary of my miscarriage and October marks the anniversary of a birthday never meant to be. Even when I think I am doing well, it just slams me down. Thoughts of my little girl (or boy, but I prefer to think of her as a girl) and what might have been hit me like a sucker punch. This year, I swore that I would get through without food. Hasn’t happened.

And that makes me MAD. I KNOW this will be a tough time for me. I KNOW that I am an emotional eater and that I tend to force down “negative” feelings with food. I have phone numbers for gals in my OA group. I have a way to contact those gals on Facebook and email. Yet, I choose to go through this alone. How dumb am I?

Affected Relationships

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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.

Acceptance

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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?