Tag Archives: Twelve-step program

Accountability

Standard

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.

Happy, Serene, and Sane

Standard

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

Standard
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.