Overeaters Anonymous - spiritual aspect of OA...My part of the process
04-14-2009, 10:41 AM
Hi I've been an OA member off and on for the last 18 or so years. I love all aspects about the program except for one.
At meetings I will relaying to other members what I have to do to be abstinent....ie keeping track of every calorie that goes in my mouth, always keeping the fact that I can't eat anything off my diet plan on my mind, exercising almost every day for an 1 and 1/2hr, changing my whole life style to accommodate these technics(i get pretty intense while talking about how difficult it is..a lot of anger and sometimes crying)
THE PROBLEM - inevitably someone will tell me to let go and let God. They tell me I'm too obsessed over food. They tell me if I just give it up to the lord it'll be sooo easy. Don't get me wrong. God has played a huge role in my recovery. He has created an atmosphere where I have the time to exercise(don't work). Money to buy any kind of crutch I might want..fat burner or diet supplements, prepackaged diet meals if I wanted. But the actual not eating part?? That's all me!
I've lost 90lbs (still 30 to go). took me 40yrs to do it(I'm 48.. yes my mother was giving me Dexitrim when I was 8 to lose weight). But its still so very hard and I constantly just want to give up but I know I can't. It would be nice to talk to someone about the day to day struggles who feel they actually have to do something and don't think that God just takes it ALL away. I don't want to judge but I've known these people for years and they are continually grateful that God has taken away there compulsion to eat yet they remain obese(by their own definition) or worse gain weight(again this is what they tell the group).
Anyway, sorry this was so long and thanks for listening. I could still go on and on and on...
04-14-2009, 03:18 PM
While God is a part of my program all the prayer in the world isn't going to make me thin-my hand is the one that picks up the food. I understand where you are comming from. my program has gotten very sloppy since I let go and let God. I see that after 5 months of no weight loss I need to pick up the tools and work the program.
04-14-2009, 09:01 PM
This is alot tougher to do in OA with respect to food than with alcohol or drugs. I know many women in both AA and OA and though some have many years without booze and do not struggle with that at all anymore, the food compulsion (usually manifested as sugar addiction) remains a struggle. The ones I have seen lose and keep the weight off may still struggle, but they keep coming back and know where the solution is. It is just freaking hard sometimes.
04-14-2009, 09:13 PM
God helps those who help themselves. Your spirituality is clearly important to your success, and this will give you strength to work your program. Don't let go of your spirituality OR your program.
Honestly, does anyone involved with AA or NA ask their members to let go of the program and turn it all over to God? NO! And to suggest to some that this is all you have to do to be successful is absurd and irresponsible, because it puts the guilt back onto you (if it doesn't work, do you not believe enough? have you not "let go" enough?) which is the last thing that you need in your life.
If OA is working for you, you need to stay with it because the overall goal is to manage your addiction. And don't listen to others who might distract you. They should have your success with the program in mind and be supportive.
04-14-2009, 09:29 PM
let go of your worry about the future, your worry about success, your worry about failure, let go of your worries and your stress. Turn all of that over to your trust in God.
But you are still responsible for your own actions and choices.
God heals. God gives peace.
04-15-2009, 08:48 AM
Thank you for the responses.
Yes yes every time I've let go and let god I've gained weight.
I never could understand how every thing is the sameo sameo for OA as it is for AA or NA or GA or whatever A. In all of those you refrain haveing any of the substance to which you are trying to avoid. You wouldn't ask an alcoholic to drink 1 beer every night for the rest of his life and expect him to stop after that one beer day after day!!! Yet that is exactly what OAers are expected do every day...
04-15-2009, 11:45 AM
perhaps we must distinguish between healthy eating and unhealthy eating.
in need of solace
04-15-2009, 01:00 PM
I'm not a member of OA and mainly because of the God aspect I probably never will be. I have successfully maintained a 230 lb weight loss for over 7 years now but the food compulsion remains. I've learned to control it, not 100% of the time but a good 95+%. Please take the following as strictly advice from my experiences and NOT anything dogmatic.
I don't think you need to, as you say "let go and let God." I think you need to focus on the "whys" of losing weight and resisting your compulsion. Ask yourself, "why am I doing this?" Answer that question with your REAL motivation and you have some strength to fall back on. When all I can think about is eating and nothing seems to distract me, I start asking my "whys".
Why should I resist?
Why don't I want my progress destroyed?
Why is my life better when I don't give in?
My answers are my motivation and give me strength.
What I really believe about the God aspect of OA is that it can eliminate the guilt of compulsion. It allows you to forgive yourself and rise out of self-destructive self pity. I prayed to God for years to help me lose weight and gain a normal life. Didn't work. It wasn't until I realized that I had to take control and responsibility for my own actions that I was empowered.
Sure I may have been dealt the "obese" hand in the game of life but I could still play it and NOT just fold or wait for God to change my cards. I stopped dwelling on the excuses of why I was so damn fat and dove head first into solutions. I found out that I was much stronger than I thought I ever was. It would have been nice for the compulsion to magically disappear and the weight vanish without effort but that's not going to happen.
To lose 90 pounds you have found something that is working for you. Don't stop it unless it stops working! Don't rest of your plan though. Always be on the lookout for better ways to exercise, better foods to eat, and better ways to improve your health. Don't stop until you are fit and healthy. Don't quit just because the compulsion won't go away and it's not as easy as you'd like it be. AND certainly don't fail because you can't connect with someone else's idea of God.
Just my two cents (ok, maybe three)
04-15-2009, 07:03 PM
Your 3 cents are greatly appreciated and motivating. Its nice to hear that someone out there besides me had prayed and prayed to no avail.
Congrats on your your weight loss and the fact that you've kept it off for 7 years.
My disease has 3 parts, physical, spiritual,emotional, my recovery also has 3 parts physical, spiritual, emotional. When I don't work all 3 somethings going to give and I'm going to fall over.
My physical part of the program I have a food plan. It's not carved in stone either, it changes as I change. Since left on my own I eat the see food diet I have a sponsor that helps me with this and every part of my program. I also have a doctor that helps me and I have a loving HP that guides me through it all. I pray one day at a time that HP will help me with my food choices, then I tell HP what I've chosen and then I turn it over. If I get any correction on the choices from sponsor or doctor HP and I take a look and I follow what I know I need to do in my heart. None of this results in acting on my disease.
Exercise is dealt with in the same way. Today I'm starting a new exercise which has been prayed about talked about and now is going to be acted on by me. I'm going to a Yoga class. No one else can do this for me they can just guide me. This will be my first time. I have five free classes given to me for my birthday and I will use them and then re-evaluate and see if this is something I will continue.
This is how I do my physical program. I don't do it alone, alone is what got me here today. Have I always done it this way "NO" I did the let go and let God thing and finally decided there was action to be taken on my part, my HP has the ability to snap me thin but apparently that is not what is good for me as it hasn't happened yet. :)
Hope this is of help.
04-16-2009, 08:31 AM
It's sounds like you have a program that works great for you. Keep it up!
Like the OA mantra say's "take what you need and leave the rest". I go to meetings looking to talk about, and listen to, other peoples trials and tribulations in hope to find some connection. I understand for a lot of people that the spirituality part is big, for me it is not. You don't even have to believe in god to go to OA meetings. It's right in their literature that you can use the group as your higher power.
I respect other peoples programs and I would never respond to another member (who I know that the spiritual part is a big part of their program) after relaying to the group how they are frustrated with the fact that they gained 20lbs, that maybe they should stop relying on God so much and try doing it themselves... so why do they feel so free to impose their program on me.
Anyway like I said in my original post my program is working (90lbs gone but 30 to go) I just love the support that OA gives for the most part. Nobody ever comes up to me and tells me I need to eat less or exercise more so why do they feel they need to tell me I need to be more spiritual??