Monday, September 10, 2012

A Plan of Eating

Today was my 4th week in OA (I didn't make it to a meeting last week though).  I am ready to create a Plan of Eating...not a diet plan, but an actual Plan for eating and regulating my compulsion to overeat.

The Foods, Ingredients, and Behaviors that trigger my compulsion to overeat:

Eating Alone
Eating in my car
Drive-thru Fast Food
Eating food from others' plates
Eating on the couch
Avoiding people, exercise, responsibilities
Cooking excessive quantities  
Dining at restaurants: multiple courses
Single item meals (ie: just spaghetti, no salad or veggie with)

Chips/Salty Snacks
Bread Basket
Baked Goods
Fried Foods
Sugar drinks
Extreme Salty causes Sweet, Extreme Sweet causes Salty

Monday, August 27, 2012

Step Zero Point Five, My first meeting

I went to my first Overeater's Anonymous (OA) meeting on 8/20/12.  I was so eager all day, but as the time of the meeting grew closer, I started to panic.  Doubt began to rise up inside me, a million questions rushed to my head.  Who would be there?  How many?  What would they look like?  Will I be the biggest one?  Will they accept me?  What do they talk about?  Will I have to speak?  I'm a crier, what if I cry in front of strangers?  My mind was reeling and I had to fight back the tears of self pity - how had I ALLOWED myself to get to this point?  How had my disease gotten THIS bad?  I went through my favorite drive-thru on my way to the meeting, I had plenty of time to binge my worries away.  Yes - on my way to an OA meeting I did the very thing I was going to the meeting for!  Insanity!  

The meeting was being held at a member's home and from the moment I stepped out of my car, I knew I was in the right place.  I had no more than shut my car door and already two warm smiles greeted me, eager to welcome a new face.  When I got inside, I was greeted by even more smiles, words of welcome and even a comforting hug from the hostess.  The home was cozy, we sat in a circle around the room, all in various chairs and couches.  I chose a seat closest to the two members who greeted me in the driveway. I took a deep breath and I knew in that moment that my worries and fears were behind me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Step Zero - This shit has GOT to stop

The extent of my disease:  
I will go to my favorite fast food drive-thru, ordering enough food to feed three people then I'll park and sit alone in a secluded section of the parking lot and eat all of the food.  Meanwhile, I'll revisit my plan to tell my husband I'd gotten food for a co-worker too, to justify the large purchase on my debit card.    

Sometimes, if co-workers wanted me to pick up food for them, I will order their meals plus my usual binge amount.  Then I'll sit in a secluded section of the parking lot and eat the excess portions of my order, then take the remaining portion along with their orders in to work, allowing me to appear as though I'd only ordered a 'normal' meal to eat at work with my co-workers.

This behavior goes on 3-5 times a week, every week and I have the body to show for it.  Peaking at 267lbs, my 5'7" frame shows the weight it bears.  Having to take medication for high cholesterol, using a CPAP machine for sleep apnea and dealing with infertility due to whacked out hormone levels are not enough to cause me to seek real help.  

Oh no, the wake up call for me was during a camping trip with some of the most health conscious, physically active people I've ever known - including a couple family members.  I struggled to complete 3mile hikes each day, stopping sporadically because I was  breathing deeper than I had in ten years, my heart beating out of my chest and sweating profusely.  I was a mess! This was the first time I'd truly felt embarrassed and acutely aware of my physical condition and the damage I'd done to myself.  In the next two months, I started speaking out to my family about my situation and the discomfort and unhappiness I was feeling.  

This trip had finally given me a reality check and I started researching what was familiar avenues for weight loss: weight loss surgery, I reached out to those I knew who had taken this route.  I went to the doctor to seek advice or suggestions or answers or HELP for my weight and was met with the same old calories in, calories out attitude.  

I'd failed so many attempts at diets, failed 5 times at Weight Watchers, failed at LA Weightloss, wasted thousands of dollars in exercise equipment, gym memberships, personal training sessions all with no sustainable success.  Often causing a new level of severity in my compulsion to overeat.  All these attempts were made to correct the symptoms, not the disease itself.  I knew I couldn't do it alone and I knew I needed more than just to fix my food.  But WHAT was the answer - the cure all?

Then, one uneventful conversation with my sibling caused a random suggestion for me to try a diet from Overeaters Anonymous. My eyes were opened to a new option - not the simple, obvious diet plan I'd seen so many times before but the origin of the diet.  Overeaters Anonymous?  You mean to tell me there are actually other people out there like me?  That there is even a GROUP of them?  My curiosity compelled me to Google it.  Holy Shit! I actually gasped aloud!  There is such a thing and there are even meetings in my area and they're at a time I can attend! And that is when hope entered my soul.

For so many years I was broken, I was wallowing in self pity, I was depressed, I was withdrawn, I was a poor friend, a poor wife, a poor human being.  But that is my past.  That is who I was.  That was before I knew of OA...