Tag Archives: overeating

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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Willingness

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Hi. I am Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

I am also a terrible procrastinator. If you have followed this blog at all, you have probably figured that out. Of course, I have a feeling that most of my followers are no longer following. It has been a while since I’ve updated. Looks like the last update was one month after my gastric sleeve, and that was May 23, 2011. Nearly a year since I have updated. I could tell you why, but honestly no matter what I say will sound like a load of excuses. It’s been an interesting year, to say the least, and my compulsive eating recovery hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind for a while. Thanks to my surgery, I’ve lost nearly 115 pounds. Clothes that I couldn’t fit into last spring are falling off me now. While I am happy with that and happy with the way my body is recovering from all the junk I have put into it over the years, I am not at all happy with the state of my mind. Illness and injury have kept me from regularly attending local OA meetings. It seems that the more meetings I miss, the louder the voices in my head, telling me to eat, get. I want to make those voice SHUT UP already. So I am making it a point to go back to my meetings. Trying very hard to not make excuses to stay home. I figure if I am looking for an excuse to stay home, then I probably REALLY need to be at the meeting.

In meeting Monday night, we talked about Step Ten. The group that meets that night is still working through The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous. One of the questions we discussed was “How willing am I to do a written daily inventory and occasionally share it with another OA member?” I said that I am willing to do that. I even mentioned this blog and said that it shows my willingness—not only am I sharing my recovery with other OA members, I have it out there in cyberspace for the entire world to read. How much more willing can one be than that?

Only the lapse between posts brings that willingness into question. If I am really and truly willing, shouldn’t I be updating a little more often? The question does say “occasionally share.” I don’t think, however, that it means once a year. Occasionally probably means something different to everyone. To me and my recovery, I think it means once a week.

So that is the goal I am setting—to update this blog at least once a week. It has only taken me about 20 minutes to write this post. That is 20 minutes that my fingers have been dancing across the keyboard instead of popping food into my mouth. Small step, perhaps, but it is a step in the right direction.

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.

 

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.

Victory and Embarrassment

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I’m Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

This weekend, I was feeling pretty good.  I had to testify in a custody hearing on Friday, which stressed me out enough to make me want to eat.  Saturday was my 11th wedding anniversary, something that my hubby and I like to celebrate with a big, fancy meal.  Oh, and also on Friday, my second grader brought home a note about the school accepting registrations for preschool starting this week; my youngest son meets the age requirement and is BEGGING to be allowed to go to school.  All of these things were chances for me to indulge the emotional eater in me and scarf down everything in sight.

BUT I DIDN’T!!!!

No, I didn’t starve myself.  And I am sure some of my food choices were not the healthiest.  But I avoided soda pop (except for the last drink in the bottle that my two oldest sons were fighting over) and I avoided overeating.  I ate enough to satisfy me and nothing more.  That is a victory.

But it is a victory that meant very little to me yesterday morning in church.  About three years ago, the church changed from traditional wooden pews to padded pew chairs.  There wasn’t money in the budget for wide, comfortable chairs, but the ones that were purchased were very nice and very deeply padded.  And they don’t have arms, which is a major plus in my eyes.  We choose seats yesterday morning in the center section, second row.  My husband sat on one end, then our 7-year-old, our 9-year-old, and me, with an empty chair beside me.  I like to have an empty chair where I can place my purse and Bible for the praise and worship portion of the service.  It’s easier to grab them off that chair than to bend over and retrieve them from the floor.  My weight just makes that bending difficult.

Well, something even worse happened yesterday.  When the singing ended and I took my seat, I realized I was really taking my seats—my butt was on both chairs.  I don’t know if anyone else noticed it.  Likely they didn’t (at least they didn’t if they were paying attention to the sermon).  But I noticed it.  I felt so humiliated.  Every time the pastor looked in my direction as he spoke (which seemed to happen quite often because my family was sitting so close to the front) I was almost positive that he could see the way I was sitting on two chairs.  I didn’t tell anyone about it, not even my husband.  Yet I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.  When I tried to take a nap after Sunday dinner, I kept thinking about my butt spanning two chairs.  I dreamed that I was too large to fit into my queen size bed and needed to have a second one set up in my room in order for me to sleep.

A Victory

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

Went to a meeting on Monday night.  I really needed that meeting.  Can’t say that I had any big “a-ha” moments from our reading, but it was good to be there.

A subpoena for a custody hearing came in the mail yesterday.  It wasn’t a surprise.  I knew it was coming.  I also know that testifying in this hearing—subpoena or no subpoena—is likely to cause problems within my family.  Before the meeting, I had to pick up a couple of things at Wal-Mart (not that I wanted to wash any laundry).  Hubby called while I was there and asked me to pick up something for him to snack on before bed.  Just being in that snack aisle made me think of all the yummy stuff I could eat.  I even thought I could get an entire box, eat it myself, and throw out the package so that no one would ever know I’d eaten it.  When I left, I grabbed a bottle of water instead of a soda, which was a small victory for me.  And then I thought about the fast food place across the street.  I knew they had a dollar menu and started to think of how much I could order and scarf down in the 20 minutes before meeting.  “Maybe,” I thought with a grin, “I could just pretend to go to a meeting.  I’ll sit in the truck and eat, but tell my family that I was at the OA meeting.”

But I didn’t do it!  I didn’t buy and snack food and I didn’t buy anything from the dollar menu.  I didn’t buy any fast food at all.  In fact, I made sure to pull out of the parking lot on the side street that doesn’t go past the fast food place.  I was so excited about that!

I was stressed, I wanted to eat.  I wanted to use food to forget the subpoena and was even willing to sacrifice long-term recovery to do it.  But I didn’t listen to the voices in my head, begging to be fed! 

That one little moment made me think that I just might be able to beat this after all!!

Food Secret

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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.