Overeaters Anonymous - Don't know where to start...

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12-27-2008, 05:59 AM
I am thinking of going to an OA meeting but I am scared...really scared. For a long time (my whole life) I never thought I had a problem with food but after reading posts on here it seems obvious to me. Since I was a young girl I have struggled with food and my weight. When I was young I would constantly sneak food. Due to comments by my family I felt like I couldn't really eat in front of them and so when I was alone I would binge like crazy. I remember in high school I was so depressed and felt like I didn't fit in at all. After I came home from school and the house was empty I would eat until I threw up.

In college when I got stressed I would binge on sweets and then make myself throw up. To this day if I am alone and there are sweets around I will eat and eat and eat and then sometimes throw up and eat again. I can't belive I thought this was normal and that I didn't have a problem with food. Food consumes me, esp. in the past 4 years that I have been a SAHM. I am at home all the time and all I can think about is eating. I just hate this. I hate the shame and I hate how my body looks and how I feel.

I even "sleep eat" in the middle of the night. Many nights I have gone to the kitchen half asleep and eaten a ton and then in the morning I barely remember doing it but see the wrappers and feel the heartburn and realize what I have done. I really don't know how to stop. I always thought I couldn't stick to a diet because I was lazy and had no willpower.

I haven't talked about my food issues with anyone...ever. I don't know how I could share all this with strangers. Plus I am not ready at all to share this with my husband. I looked up some groups in my area but I am too chicken to go.

Any words of advice would be very helpful. What can I expect if I go to a meeting? Has what I said sound like OA might be needed and might help me?

12-27-2008, 07:21 AM
In my humble opinion, yes you shouild go to a meeting...I mean what could it hurt...You have to start takeing care of yourself...otherwise how in the world are you going to be there for your family...they need you.

You should not be afraid of going to a meeting...everyone there has the same issues and problems...you need help to get this under control!! No one is an island, we all need help!!!

Yours seems to be a long pattern and it probably won't be easily broken, reach out for the help you need!!! And your husband, you should be able to share anything with...he is the other half of you....he might not understand if he doesn't have a problem, but it might help if you both know, he just might be able to help you...Of course I don't know what he is like, and only you can make that call....At any rate please get the help you need to get your life under control....you'll be a happier person for it...life is to short to waste in an unhappy situation....I'll keep you in my prayers....Pat

12-27-2008, 06:46 PM
Something to know is that at least in every OA meeting I have been to here in Southern California you are never put on the spot and asked to explain your "problem". There is usually a meeting format of either a topic or reading from program literature and discussion very specifically on topic. The one on one sharing of your struggles with food takes place with a sponsor or people you feel comfortable talking to before, after and between meetings. Most people simply say their name and then "compulsive overeater" as they introduce themselves around the room. NO pressure to pour you guts out or anything. Listen to people and if you identify with them or feel comfortable with them, then YOU pick who you want to talk to. You could sit through a whole meeting and just observe. When the sharing comes to you simply say you are new and that you would like to pass and listen. In my experience, you will encounter nothing but people similar to you who want to "stop the insanity" (not to steal Susan Powter's tagline) Please post back with any questions or issues. Doing this alone has not worked for most of us.

12-27-2008, 07:20 PM
Thanks so much. I think I will try going to a meeting. I really think I need it. There is one next Monday I might go to and several through out the week.

How long are the meetings? I have two little ones and I am sure kids are not welcome so I need to figure out the time that works best to have my husband or someone watch the kids. Are there any fees? Is there a time limit to choose a sponsor? Should I call first for info. or just show up at the meeting?

12-27-2008, 09:13 PM
BTW I am not sure what to classify myself as. When I go to a meeting and introduce myself what should I say? I know I am a compulsive overeater but pretty much any time I binge I also make myself purge. I have gotten so "good" at it that I don't even have to use my finger anymore. On a good week I binge and purge maybe once or twice and on a bad week it is multiple times a day.

12-28-2008, 01:40 AM
2ndChance09- that is great that you are willing to try a meeting. An hour would be typical and yes unless specified as providing day-care- kids are not welcome- just too distracting. I think you are worrying too much. You don't need to label ourself. If you are comfortable with "compulsive overeater" just start with that. As you get to know people and feel more comfortable you can discuss the specifics. There are no rules about getting a sponsor- just highly suggested you get one asap so you can start working the steps. It may all seem confusing in the beginning, but you are not "signing up" for anything. You are just entering a room of people who have a similar issue that is severely impacting their lives. The only thing resembling a fee is when they "pass the basket" and most people put in a dollar or two to cover the cost of putting the meeting on and buying literature. We are with you! Report back.

12-28-2008, 01:56 AM
Thanks so much! I prob. am worrying too much. I think once I actually go to a meeting I will feel a lot better. Thanks again!

12-28-2008, 03:39 AM
Well I think I have it sorted out. I am going to go to my first meeting next Sat. at 1:30pm. I have already "come out" to two good friends and they were amazingly supportive. Next Sat. after the meeting I am going to talk to my parents about this and then my husband. I really want to get better and I am hoping this will be what I need. I know it will be hard and I am prepared for that.

12-28-2008, 09:06 AM
You will do just fine at the meetings. Just say you name if you don't want to add anything that will be accepted. That's what I like about any OA meetings I've been too, you are accepted right where you are at and that is so great even when I'm not accepting myself.

I will be anxious to read your report and I wish you recovery one day at a time. You are already making progress by posting here and that's what we aim for progress not perfection.


12-28-2008, 12:35 PM
Thanks so much!

12-28-2008, 03:19 PM
Hi 2ndchance,

I have struggled exactly the same way you have for many many years. It's overwhelming. And this started for me the same way it started with you...

Recently, I went to see a psychiatric nurse practitioner, because I had been reading a great deal about eating disorders, and I've come to understand that they are similar to obsessive compulsive disorders, that they go hand in hand with severe depression, and that some people respond well to SSRIs.

Since I have been suffering with this for so long, I had no point of reference for "normal." I couldn't predict how an SSRI would help me, because I couldn't fathom not having this eating disorder. But, after a long interview -- where I just threw down, and was completely honest about everything, no matter how ashamed I was -- the PNP suggested that I start taking 5 mg of an SSRI.

I was nervous about this, because I had heard so many stories about side effects, about people having to switch medications to get on the right thing... I know that the results I had might not be typical, but I was amazed that after only a couple of days, I was feeling much different.

Here's what it was like: The depression and eating disorder were like a jackhammer in my head, all the time, just pounding out a groove that I couldn't change. This shut it off. You know how sometimes you don't notice how deafening something is until someone shuts it off? That's exactly what I experienced.

My sense is that an eating disorder completely rewires your brain. You lose the ability to read your body's signals ("Am I hungry?" and "Am I full?" don't really mean anything to us. When I would hear people say, "No thanks, I'm not hungry," I always marvelled at that.) I'm finding lately that I can tell when I'm hungry, and don't have a desire to keep eating after I'm full. And I have to tell you, it is very very very weird! Exciting, too!

It's only been a couple of weeks for me so far, but I'm finding that this has popped me out of a groove that I didn't know I was in. It has turned a consuming, unmanageable compulsion into a habit of mind, that I have more control over. You know that completely blind automatic pilot we go on? I have not been on automatic pilot since I started this.

Please note that I am not saying that this will work for you, just because it is helpign me. But, I just wanted to suggest that it is one more option for you to explore in your quest for wellbeing, along with the support group and perhaps one on one couseling with an eating disorder specialist.

I wish you the best and I will be thinking about you. I feel deeply for what you go through. I am 41, and have been living with this for way way too long. It's a lonely thing. Please report back about the OA meeting.

12-28-2008, 03:38 PM
Thanks so much for your post. I have struggled a lot with anxiety and depression and have been on Zoloft off and on since for the past 9 years. It did help me some but I still binged and purged. 2 months ago I got on Paxil and it hasn't really done anything for me. I still feel the bad anxiety and depression and binge and purge a lot. I think I may need a different anti-depressent. I am going to talk to my Dr. about it.

It is so nice to know I am not alone. I hate that other people have to go through this too but at least now I know I am not a freak. I always thought I was the only person in the world that did this. I know that sounds dumb but after years of my family telling me to just use will power I really thought I was just lazy. Who would choose to binge though, to purge, to eat in secret and feel the shame and guilt. I don't think anyone would do that on purpose. For me food has always been like a drug. It is amazing to me to think that some people have a normal relationship with food and never binge. Since I was a young girl I have binged at least once a week.

Anyway I def. will update when I go to the meeting. Last night I ordered the 12 steps and traditions book from amazon, I am looking forward to reading it!

12-28-2008, 06:28 PM
Did you tell your doctor that you also have this eating disorder? That might effect the medication that they try. Also, have you been to see a psychiatrist or a psyciatric nurse practitioner? They probably have more experience with this complex little bundle of neuroses that we carry around: depression, eating disorder, anxiety... My PNP started me on Lexapro.

If you've been checking in with your general practitioner about your depression, I'd really suggest stepping this up a little and going to see someone who specializes in treating psyciatric issues with medication. And be prepared to bite the bullet and talk about about the eating disorder, so they know exactly what they are dealing with.

Aside from just the complete humiliation that goes along with this secret we have carried around, purging also does a number on our brain chemistry -- elevating our endorphins.

I also want to reccommend a book to you, called "Body Betrayed" It's about women and eating disorders, and I have found it incredibly insightful.

Be gentle with yourself, OK? Try not to say anything to yourself that you would not say to a friend you love -- or even a stranger you have compassion for. very best...

12-28-2008, 10:00 PM
Thanks so much for the advice. I have never told anyone about what I do so my Dr. doesn't know. I think I will look into finding a different Dr. and see if I can get some help based on my needs. It sounds dumb but being overweight I always thought I didn't have an eating disorder or otherwise I would be skinny. I didn't realize that if it weren't for all the purging that I have done I would prob. be 300 lbs right now. I have no idea of the internal damage that I have done inside but I know my throat and teeth constantly hurt.

Thanks for the book reccomendation I will check that out.

I am trying to be gentle with myself but I feel like a loser. I feel so out of control and messed up. I wish I could love myself. :(

12-29-2008, 12:59 AM
Well after a really hard day today of binging and purging I decided I needed to tell my husband. I have felt super depressed and down all day. I told my husband I needed to talk to him. It took me about 30 minutes to get the words out. He was very supportive and told me he will be there for me and will do anything to help me get better. I told him about the OA meetings and he said I should go tomorrow and he will watch our girls. He also said he would go to meetings with me but I told him I didn't think family members were allowed to go?! Anyway it has been a very emotional night but I am very glad I told him. I also called my sister and had a long talk with her. She was very supportive as well and told me to call her anytime and to call her tomorrow after the meeting and tell her how it went. I still feel scared and like I have a long road ahead but for the first time since I started binging and purging I feel like there is hope and now that it is out in the open I can hopefully work hard and recover from this.

Thanks everyone for your awesome support. I will make sure to log on after the meeting and tell you all how it went.

12-29-2008, 10:54 AM
Bravo to you 2ndchance. It takes a lot of courage to tell our "secrets" and you have done a great job. I'm very glad your husband and sister are supportive.

I don't know about all OA meetings but ours does allow familie members to come to a few so they can understand a little what the program is about so I would ask at the meetings you attend and see if that is allowed.

We all have a long road to follow and we do this one step at a time so keep coming back and posting when you can and keep going to meetings. Let others love you till you can love yourself.

love in fellowship,

12-29-2008, 02:07 PM
Thanks so much. All the support on this board means a lot to me. Without this board I wouldn't have faced my problem that is for sure. I was so in denial I didn't even think I had a problem and it was a big eye opener, it still is. I have moments when I think I am being crazy, and that there is nothing wrong with me. Last night though after talking to my husband and esp. my sister they both told me that this is def. a big problem that I need help with.

12-30-2008, 12:06 AM
Well shoot I was feeling nervous and frazzled tonight and I had a bad migraine earlier so I was a bit out of it. I left the house and half way to the meeting I realized that I hadn't brought the address but I knew the street it was on and the name of the church. It was really dark and rainy though and I went up and down the street like 3 times and couldn't find it so I came back home upset. Then I proceeded to binge and purge again. :( I really hate myself right now. My husband is being great though and he told me to try to relax and be easy on myself and just go to the next meeting. The next meeting is on Wed. @ noon so I am def. going to that. Hopefully I can make it through tomorrow okay. I am going to try really hard.

12-30-2008, 12:21 AM
I am trying to be gentle with myself but I feel like a loser. I feel so out of control and messed up. I wish I could love myself. :(

I don't have the exact same issues that you do with food, but I'm the child of a recovered alcoholic / recovering sugar-addict myself / and have often felt like a loser. So I just want to say...you're OK. You are loved, and you deserve that love. Also, it's OK to be a "loser," because we really all are; not a single one of us 6 billion human beings is perfect, and most of us are out of control and messed up a lot of the time.

It's wonderful that you're getting the support you need; just keep plugging along and get yourself to a meeting. Love, peace, and hope to you.

12-30-2008, 12:22 AM
Thanks so much, I really appreciate the support.

12-30-2008, 12:28 AM
2ndChance09- Oh dear that was a rough start for you. Just know that you are not a doofus- these meetings by necessity are tucked away in little rooms in churches and can be hard to find. I have driven around and walked around and almost ended up in the car when I finally saw a little sign on a doorknob- but I could easily have left without finding the room despite my best efforts. Just keep coming back here for support. Trying really hard is o.k.- but you have probably been trying that alot- what you may need is a group support and a way to get to your core issues. I truly hope you have a good experience on Wednesday and it is great that your spouse is supportive. Just also remember that the people in the rooms are also struggling so you can't take anything personally- this is an odd wonderful situation where not so well people help to heal each other. The main deal is that you are NOT alone.

12-30-2008, 01:10 AM
Thank you. That is good to remember. I am very much looking forward to the meeting.

12-30-2008, 01:13 AM
BTW does anyone know of any good books that might be helpful with this?

12-30-2008, 10:58 AM
2ndchance, I'm sorry you missed the meeting but so happy to hear that you are willing to go on Wed.
Books I would suggest: 12x12 of OA, the For Today book, and the BB of AA.

In the Big Book of AA just change the words to overeaters where it needs to be. Also they might have some of these books at your OA meeting.
We give out a newcomers packet and I always suggest they read the information in that first so you might receive one of these at your first meeting.
Thanks for keeping us posted and will look forward to reading more.


12-30-2008, 01:56 PM
Thank you so much for posting, this is what I needed to see. These holidays have been terrible on my eating, and I noticed that I can't stop. When I can't eat, I am constantly thinking about what I'll be having next. I eat when I'm not hungry, and I eat way too much. So I visited this board today to get more information on what compulsive overeating is, and I feel like my next step will be doing what you are doing now. Best wishes to you, and it's wonderful to see the support you do have in making this change.

12-30-2008, 02:03 PM
Just wanted to pop in and say I've been following your thread. Hang in there girl, you can overcome this. :hug: Looking forward to hearing about the meeting. :)

12-30-2008, 02:53 PM
Thank you so much for all the wonderful support, it brings tears to my eyes. I called my sister in a panic last night after I purged again and I talked to my hubby. It is very nice to finally have this out in the open where I can talk about it. I am not alone with this anymore...it has been a heavy burden to carry alone.

Last night when I was going to sleep I prayed and asked God to help me. I felt a lot of peace and for the first time felt like I might have a chance to beat this. My goal for today is to not binge or purge.

12-30-2008, 02:55 PM
BTW kellibee I am glad that reading this helped you in some way. I didn't realize I had a problem until I joined this site and started reading this section. I am so thankful that I did. I don't think I ever would have been able to accept I had a problem otherwise and I wouldn't have known about OA. Good luck to you, I know too well how hard this is. Hugs.

12-30-2008, 03:58 PM
Goodmorning, 2ndchance! I'm so so sorry your meeting didn't go as planned. I know from my own experience, that I can carry a problem for a long time, but once I decide to do something about it, everything has to happen right away, right now, this instant, or I go into a very black place. It's like, OK, I'm ready right now, dammit! Now!

So, I can definitely understand your response to not being able to find the meeting. I would have done the exact same thing. Stress is an enormous powerful trigger, and everything that you have been doing: talking to your family, actively looking for treatment, seeking support, is stressful, even if it is something of a relief to get it out in the open. This is huge.

Also, one think I try to keep in mind is that a binge-purge cycle is not an organic thing that must be completed, that must remain whole. It is composed of many many steps, and each step is a crossroads. Suppose you snap to attention after having gone through a pint of ice cream, and you're about to reach for the pizza... there is no law that says that just because you've started this process, you might as well finish it. You can drop the progression of events at any point in the cycle. Even though it's all overwhelming, and we're on automatic pilot, I know that we have those brief windows where we say, "Oh wow... what the **** am I doing?" and then we say, "Well, it's already started so I might as well get in as much as I can..." and we carry on.

The more we practice nipping it at some random place in the process, when possible, the stronger we will become for next time, and maybe better able to nip it sooner. It's just one exercise...

One thing I found is that when I am on a bulimic tear, It's almost as if I cannot breath or like I'm holding my breath, and engaging this behavior allows me to breathe again.

2ndchance, this is a real monster. But it's real. It's not because you have no will power. It's like telling someone with OCD that they have no willpower. You have great will power -- look how hard you're fighting, look at how brave you were for telling your family, taking steps.. this is real strength, and what you are fighting is more than you can do alone. You're a strong, brave, beautiful person.

12-30-2008, 05:10 PM
Wow thank you so much for that. I really needed to hear that and it made me feel a lot better. That is exactly how I felt when I couldn't find the meeting, I was ready to go and then when I knew I would have to wait another few days I almost felt like oh I'd better get in a few more binges and purges before I go on Wednesday. I felt really down last night. I am feeling better today and a little stronger. I haven't binged and although I have felt strong urges to purge anyway I have resisted. I am trying to focus on my beautiful little girls and let them be my reason to be strong.

It is still hard for me to accept I have a problem. I have been in denial for so many years and I still have a lot of moments when I think there is nothing wrong with me. I always saw binging and purging as a way to seek comfort, relief, escape from my problems etc. When I binge I don't think about gaining weight I just am in a trance and can't stop. Afterward is when I feel the guilt and know I must get rid of it. I also used to see it as a way to eat anything I wanted without consequence. Now realizing I have to learn to eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full is scary. I feel like I will never be able to be around a cake and not eat the whole thing, esp. if I am home alone. I have always savored the moment when my husband (or growing up my parents) left the house. The first thing I have ALWAYS done is search the fridge and pantry and settle down in front of the tv with a ton of food. It made purging a lot easier since I didn't have to hide the noise/smell.

I feel so guilty and like such a horrible mother. When I was pregnant my binging and purging was at its worst. I binged literally all day from the time I woke up till the time I went to bed and purged all day long. I blamed it on the morning sickness but most of it was my own doing. I feel so horrible for that. My oldest daughter (who is 4) has also walked in on me while purging and I always blame it on feeling sick. Now when I go into the bathroom the first thing she asks is if I have to throw up. :( It makes me cry to think about it. I do not want to lead my two girls into this disease, that would just kill me.

I will try the exercise you suggested and thanks again for your post. It feels great to hear from someone who knows what I am going through.

12-30-2008, 05:16 PM
BTW have you gone to OA meetings or therapy or are you dealing with this on your own? Are you in recovery now?

I feel like it will take me soo long to get over this. I guess something that I have battled for 10 years won't go away easily and will take a lot of work. I am hoping at some point in my life the thought of binging and purging won't even cross my mind, it is hard to believe that is possible though.

12-30-2008, 07:43 PM
Hi 2ndchance, Oh... boy. Well, I've made some attempts at getting a handle on this thing through counceling, but eating disorder treatment is expensive and consuming. Counseling has helped some, but I realized recently that I should try to step this up, and that's why I went to see the PNP. I have to say that in the three weeks since I started on the SSRI, I have not found myself in that horrible auto-pilot -- where splitting open a bag of chips feels just like coming up for air.

I have not been to OA. I am familiar with the 12 Steps, but not familiar with how it is applied to an actual eating disorder.

Other things I have done that have been helpful include journaling, trying to identify triggers, like stress (even "good stress" can set this off) and coming up with a plan when I know I'm in a danger zone. For instance, journaling here might be a good first step in your plan; if that doesn't work try removing yourself to a peaceful part of your home that doesn't have anything to do with food -- like work on turning your bedroom or your bathroom into a sanctuary, with candles that smell good, low lights, beautiful colors -- things that will engage your other senses. Have a bath or a quiet nap (I know this is not easy when you have kiddos around). Also, I have been doing guided meditations from Belruth Naparsteck. She has one for weight loss that I think is wonderful. It doesn't focus on losing weight as much as it does on learning to love yourself and take care of yourself as you are, on feeling supported, and on filling your heart rather than your tummy.

One thing to keep in mind is that when you start changing your pattern, the pattern will rebel at first by rearing up with enormous force, trying to reesteblish itself, so it might seem that you are not making any headway, when in fact, it's just your disorder trying to protect itself from extinction (if that makes any sense).

Most important is to pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Imagine berating someone in your shoes the way you berate yourself. It's unthinkable. We would never judge someone according the the warped standards we judge ourselves by.

(((2ndchance))) There's a lot to unravel, but you can do this. You are a strong woman, no matter what this monster tries to tell you.

12-31-2008, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the tips and advice. I think I will try journaling today.

I have been crying all morning. I chickened out and didn't go to the meeting. I really want to go to an OA meeting, I don't know why I am so scared to go. There is another meeting on Sat. and then on Monday so I am going to try really hard to get the courage to go to one of those. I know that I need help to overcome this. I have been so depressed for the past few days. I was proud of myself yesterday, I exercised and didn't binge or purge. I had to try really hard though to not do it. Today I am really wanting to do it, hopefully I won't though.

12-31-2008, 03:58 PM
Hello All & Happy New year !!
I am new to the forum and came across your thread and have to say it's been very insightful to see that there is so many others that deal with the same emotions about eating and food that I have dealt with for so long all by meself !! For years I found very little understanding of my "problem" of always leaning on food for comfort even when my own body was telling me to stop. For years I have steadily climbed the scales after many affirmations that I would not allow myself to go up another size, yet here I am a size 22 hoping that this is the bottom of this hole that I have dug for myself.

Funny thing is that I never really thought of myself of being food obsessed until now, but it makes total sense ! Many times I would just eat because it was time to eat, even though I wasn't hungry. Or I would eat way too much and way bwyond when my body was telling me to stop even making myself sick just because the food was there, ending up in feeling guilty :( and chastizing myself for it. I always felt so helpless because all around me I was always given advice from those without a weight problem to "just do it " that I have to try real hard, and I always felt like saying " you have no idea what this is like, the feeling of having absolutely no control over food in your life !!!":mad:

So I want to say THANKYOU for making me realize that 1: I am not alone in this, that they're are others out there that know what is like to be powerless against whats on your plate and 2: that there is help and I will start looking for OA groups here in the city

I would apprecaite any help, guidance and support that I can get since I know that this will be a very difficult uphill battle but I hope 2009 I Will do it !! :carrot:

12-31-2008, 06:25 PM
I am so sorry that you are going through this too. It is very tough. I am so glad though that this thread has helped other people. I was the same way, before I started reading this section it didn't really cross my mind I had problem since I have been this way for so long. It seems so obvious now. I still don't know how I thought constant binging and purging wasn't a problem but I think I have just been in denial for a long time.

We can all get through this together. I will be so glad when the day comes that I can say I am in recovery and am no longer binging or purging.

This morning I broke my promise to myself. I didn't really binge but I did eat too much and then purged. I feel so bad when I do it now and so guilty doing it when my kids are up. I make sure when I do it now there is no way there will hear or see me but still I feel so guilty.

01-02-2009, 06:01 PM
To find oa meetings in your area go to www.oa.org.

Welcome to the group.


01-03-2009, 05:34 AM
Well my parents got into town tonight (they have been gone on vacation) and I picked them up at the airport. When we got back to my house I decided to talk to them before they went home even though it was late. It felt good to talk to them. Now all the most important people in my life know about my ED and it feels like a huge weight has been lifted. They were very supportive and said they will pick up the girls tomorrow morning so I can go to the meeting tomorrow and will keep them for the night so I have some time to come home and rest and reflect. No matter what I am going to the meeting tomorrow. Even though I am really nervous I know going the first time will be the scariest and that I really want to go.

01-03-2009, 06:49 PM
I went to the meeting today!!! I am so proud of myself! I was very very nervous but at soon as the meeting started I felt at home. It was amazing to talk to everyone and listen to their stories and know I am not alone in this!! I am very glad I went. I was one of the last people to leave because I stayed and talked to a few people and they were very helpful. I am looking forward to getting a sponsor and start working the steps!

01-04-2009, 10:06 PM
Oh my goodness 2ndChance09!!! You rock. I am so grateful that you had a good experience. Just remember that the others are suffering too and may be reacting out of their issues- so if someone seems "not so nice or well" - just stick with the folks that you feel are good for you. When is your next meeting? Did you scope out anybody as a potential sponsor?

01-04-2009, 10:42 PM
Thank you and I will remember what you said. There was one lady that talked to me a lot but I don't think I am interested in her as a sponsor. She seems to still be going through a lot and that is understandable but I would rather have someone as a sponsor that is in the later stages of recovery. The lady that ran the meeting seems very nice and was the only one there that was a compulsive overeater and Bulimic. She has been going to OA meetings for 22 years and seems really knowledgeable. I think I will go to a few more meetings before I approach anyone to be my sponsor. I am going again on Sat. and am looking forward to it. There are meetings in my city every single day so I have the option to go more but with two small children and my DH in school full time I just don't think I will be able to go more than once a week. I also bought the 12 steps and traditions and the big book so I am going to start reading those. Since the meeting yesterday I have not binged or purged and feel no desire to! I really feel some hope now! :)

01-04-2009, 11:51 PM
Glad to hear an update, you can do it girl. :hug:

01-04-2009, 11:52 PM
Thanks so much. :)

01-05-2009, 10:30 PM
I have so much respect for the author of this thread, and everyone else. You rock! I wish you all the best in your recovery. Isn't it wonderful that we aren't alone.

I am not in OA. But I feel such a kinship with these people. I enjoy listening to speakers on this website. [I am not allowed to put the link in] OA LAIG dot org.

01-06-2009, 07:46 AM
Thank you. :) I haven't listened to the speakers on the website but I want to! I have so much hope that going to meetings and working the steps is going to help me.

01-06-2009, 12:36 PM
You are awesome! That's great that you made the first step in getting to the meeting!

I'm in the same boat as you. Binger and purger (haven't purged in almost a year though). I have a 3 and 5 year old. My 5 year old had caught me many times purging. It's a horrible feeling.

01-09-2009, 03:51 PM
This week has really been a struggle for me. I started off so optimistic and now I feel sad and like I let myself down. I know I should call someone from OA but it is hard for me to reach out to people that I don't really know. I have struggled a lot with binging and purging this week. I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I started reading the 12 steps and traditions of OA and I am enjoying it. I also started journaling. I am looking forward to the meeting tomorrow and will be glad when I get a sponsor. I know though that even with a sponsor it is going to be up to me to put in the hard work.

01-09-2009, 04:06 PM
BTW I was curious can I ask someone to be my sponsor after 2 or 3 weeks or should I wait longer than that? I already have someone in mind...

Also I know that this differs for everyone but I was just curious how long do the 12 steps generally take? I just wasn't sure if it was a few months, a year...I don't want to rush it or try and get through it too fast.

I noticed at the first meeting that the first 3 meetings you are a newcomer. After that are you just a regular member? Is becoming a sponsor something you choose to do or does everyone do it?

01-10-2009, 10:03 PM
Nevermind! I got all my questions answered at my meeting today. Also I officially have a sponsor now! He is a really nice guy and seems so knowledgeable and has really taken time to talk to me and help me. I think having a sponsor will help me a great deal. He has been through this and knows what I need. He told me for this week to not worry about the steps or abstinence etc. He told me to go through the big book (AA) and change alcohol to food and that my only goal for the week should be to not purge and to not be hard on myself. He said that I don't need to worry about a timeline, that I need to take this slow and that he will guide me through the program. I have to say it feels good right now to just have someone guide me. I feel overwhelmed and like I don't know where to start. He told me to call him if I need any help or want to talk. :) The meeting today went really well. I cried (which is a good thing I only cry in front of people I feel connected to) and I just feel that every meeting I go to the more I will learn and grow and progress.

01-11-2009, 07:36 PM
Yikes well I am still struggling. I made spagetti for dinner and although I didn't binge I did eat too much and whenever I had that too full feeling I feel like purging. I rememberd what my sponsor said though to not purge this week and so I kept true to that and didn't purge. I also put my plate down when I was feeling like I'd had too much and didn't finish the rest. I really need to eat slower, listen to my body and control portion sizes though. It is a battle but I am slowly but surely seeing a bit of progress.

01-11-2009, 11:39 PM
Congrats on getting a sponsor and feeling your feelings as you were eating and thinking about doing the behaviors that did not work for you. Please keep us posted.

01-12-2009, 01:40 PM
Thanks so much.

01-12-2009, 05:04 PM
Just to let you know that I'm reading and following your story and holding your hand along the way, in a virtual sense !!

I think your sponsor was spot on the mark advising you to focus on not purging as your first goal.

Best wishes!

01-13-2009, 04:53 PM
Thank you so much for the support.

So far so good. I have tried really hard this week and have not binged or purged at all and have kept myself busy reading the big book. I can't wait for my next meeting!

01-14-2009, 09:46 PM
I just found this thread! I can't believe I never saw this section of the forums before. I was bulimic when younger, from the time I was about 15 until about 21. I was able to stop the purging part due to God but the binging continued for the next 20 some years. If you have never read a book by Judy Hollis called "Fat is a Family Affair" I highly recommend it. It is coming from the OA point of view and was the major help in my recovery which started in April of '08. I have overeaten but not binged. I was a big sneak eater and still fight the mental battle and probably will for years but it is a lot better than it was. I will be checking back to see how you are doing, it is good to find people who are dealing with the same issues I have been dealing with for a long while.

01-16-2009, 03:35 AM
I def. will buy that book, thank you for recommending it! It is so nice to know I am not alone in this.

I am very much looking forward to my meeting this Sat! It has been tough but I have stuck to what my sponsor told me and I have not purged a single time this week!!! I have been very tempted but somehow I have held out. I keep reading OA literature and trying to keep a positive attitude. I still have tough moments and a long road ahead but I am actually seeing progress. :)

01-16-2009, 08:13 AM
Liz, way to go. See one day at a time really works!


01-16-2009, 01:19 PM
It does. :)

Thank you.

01-16-2009, 02:23 PM
I def. will buy that book, thank you for recommending it! It is so nice to know I am not alone in this.

I am very much looking forward to my meeting this Sat! It has been tough but I have stuck to what my sponsor told me and I have not purged a single time this week!!! I have been very tempted but somehow I have held out. I keep reading OA literature and trying to keep a positive attitude. I still have tough moments and a long road ahead but I am actually seeing progress. :)

You are doing GREAT!! One Day At A Time.

Reading the literature, doing your abstinence (yours is currently abstaining from purging, right?), journalling, reaching out to other OA members, service etc etc all fit together to contribute to our recovery. All of these things are tools of recovery, so keep reading the literature whenever you can.

Enjoy your meeting tomorrow. :)

01-16-2009, 03:35 PM
^I didn't think of it that way but yes right now not purging is my abstinence. It is working too. It is scary but every day I tell myself that just for today I won't binge or purge and that if I do binge or get too full I am not going to purge no matter what. I have been so tempted and it has been really hard but I am proud that I have stuck with it!

01-16-2009, 06:29 PM
Hi Liz,
just wanted to let you know that you're on the right track.
i went through a brief period of binge and purge.

even though i still binge ( which is something i've always done) i knew purging was only compounding the problem and making new problems, so i figured if i binged, too bad, no purge.

i would just have to digest what i ate, and hope to start anew the next day.

it's still a struggle, but one step at a time.
baby steps.

01-16-2009, 09:01 PM
^thank you for that. I am still learning and struggling. Tonight I made the mistake of baking a cake for my family and instead of just serving them and throwing the rest away which is what I should have done I saved it and then gave in to temptation and quickly ate a bunch and then purged. :( I have been trying not to beat myself up. I have done really well this week overall. It was a slip and I have thrown the rest of the cake away and have learned that I really cannot control myself around sweets and so they just can't be in the house. I always feel this compulsion to eat every last bite and sometimes I reason that I don't want to waste it because that is wasting money but there has been many a time that I have thrown away old produce which is more expensive without batting an eye.

Well on the bright side after my cake binge I did not binge again and threw the cake away. Just a few weeks ago I honestly would have kept binging and purging all day until the entire cake was gone. It might not sound like much but for me that in itself is a huge victory. It is a starting point at least!

01-18-2009, 02:57 PM
My meeting yesterday went great. I really like my sponsor. He has me starting on step 1 this week which is exciting! Right now I kind of feel like I am going through the motions but I know as I keep going I will understand what this is all about. For right now I am faking it till I make it and doing what he tells me. It is really helping me to have some support and direction. Whenever I feel like eating or purging I pull out the big book and do some work and it really helps to motivate and distract me!

01-18-2009, 05:10 PM
Good lesson on the cake! So happy to hear you are connecting with your sponsor and are using the tools you have been given so far. Keep posting. We are here for you.

01-18-2009, 06:15 PM
You're still doing so well. How about doing something so you can see your recovery in a 'real' way? I'm thinking of something like, awarding yourself a gold star each day you don't purge. You'll see that the purging is becoming less and less - you've already made terrific progress :)

I think you'll enjoy working Step 1 .

01-18-2009, 08:28 PM
That is a great idea! I think I will try that. :)

01-18-2009, 09:29 PM
Liz, congratulations on that wonderful victory!! Your journey is so inspiring. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. It's this wonderful sharing and support that makes this site so special.

01-18-2009, 10:54 PM
Thank you so much. Sharing here has really been freeing and a learning experience. I am just so grateful that I found this site, otherwise I don't know if I would have faced up to my eating problems and gone to OA. I really needed a kick in the butt and admitting I had a problem and going to OA has been very humbling for me in a good way. :)

01-18-2009, 11:40 PM
The Gold star idea is fantastic! I know in the early days I faced temptation multiple times a day and would have loved to have thought of that. In these early days of yours, a gold star every time you do something else instead of the binge/purge would be even better. I know a whole day is sometimes very long and each victory needs it own merit in my opinion.

01-19-2009, 01:08 AM
I agree. A day can seem like a long time and it would be great to have something to reward myself with and show my progress!

01-19-2009, 02:08 AM
i just wanted to let you know ive been follow your thread for a while now.. . i feel like you are definatly on the right track girl. . its admirable that your doing all of this.. your an inspiration. i cant quite get myself to a meeting yet. nor can i admit i have a problem to anyone other than myself. although, in time. im sure i will...

my point is that through your journey.. you never know the true impact you have on other people by laying it all out there, and i want to thank you for sharing. . BTW i love that gold star idea... it would be cool to put them on the inside cover of the 'big book' ( hee hee) so everytime you open it, you can see your progress and know it works. my mother did something similar to this when she was going through AA..

anyways. sorry for rambling on! keep up the GREAT work!

01-19-2009, 03:59 AM
Thank you so much. It really makes me feel good to hear things like that. When I first came to this site reading posts in this section was the thing that helped me gain the courage to tell my story and start going to OA. I was really scared at first, it is a big step. Telling my family, everyone on this board, talking at OA meetings etc has really helped to open me up and has shown me that I have support and I am not in this alone and that makes a huge difference. Good luck to you btw.

01-21-2009, 02:34 PM
Just wanted to let you know I am still keeping up with how you are doing and gaining my own momentum in the process! There is more to this Food Addiction thing than I ever thought there could be. Seems like everything I do that is weird or compulsive has its roots in Food. Finding new ways to deal with the Sh#t is hard, but So Worth It!

01-21-2009, 09:28 PM
I agree and I am glad you are making progress!

Well along with starting the 12 steps I have decided on my abstinence (for now anyway). I am going to abstain from anything with sugar or flour in it. So I will do that for now and see how it goes. I really cannot control myself around anything sweet so I need to totally avoid it.

I also quit smoking 4 days ago and was going through some nasty withdrawls which I combated with lots of water, gum, carrots and reading OA literature. I want to start getting healthy in every way that I can. I am feeling great now though, the cravings and withdrawls are gone so hopefully I am in the clear! I am going to try and go to an OA meeting tomorrow. My sponsor suggested going to 2 meetings a week if I can.

02-04-2009, 02:04 PM
OA is going really well for me. I love my sponsor, he is really great and so helpful! I just started on step 2 this week! :)

I am trying to go to 2 meetings a week. I would love to go to more but with 2 young kids and a husband that is going to school full time I just can't seem to manage more than two. I have bought a lot of OA literature though so between that and working the steps I have a lot to keep me busy between meetings. I am so glad I found OA, it really is changing my life for the better. The past few weeks I have only binged/purged 2 times which is a huge deal for me. I want to get that number to zero but I am proud of myself.

02-04-2009, 04:32 PM
Good to hear things are going in a positive direction for you 2ndChance.

02-05-2009, 01:16 PM
Thank you. :)