Overeaters Anonymous - New to OA

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04-03-2011, 11:49 AM
Hi all,

After twelve years of trying therapists and psychs of all stripes, meds, groups, etc., I have surrendered to OA.

I am on Day 3 of abstinence, which to me means following a food plan.

The bulimia and bingeing has been ruining my life for too long.

Trying to get to f2f meetings though this is a terrible time for me (studying for the bar exams :judge: ). I don't have a sponsor yet, and am open to finding one through some of the online resourecs but I hope to nail one down (TAKE ME!) at a f2f meeting if possible, so we can meet in person.

This is very exciting. The prospect of peace.

I have about 50 pounds to lose, but that is very much on the back burner.

All I need to do today is be abstinent. There is no need to contemplate the future. That single thought is what's gotten me to 2 1/4 days so far! If I thought about tomorrow I would surely give up today.

Thanks for listening, and I hope this forum magically becomes more active since I've found it!

Cat :cookie:

04-03-2011, 05:20 PM
Hi Cat. I am finishing my 3rd day as well-on a food plan, not eating between meals and avoiding my "red light" behaviors. I hope as well the sight becomes more active-it would be great to hear from people with more experience. If not we can go back and forth-day by day-since we started the same time. I have 25lbs to lose-that would take me a comfortable weight-not a modeling weight or anything like that-but I would be a comfortable 10-12. Best of luck today:D

04-04-2011, 06:49 PM
Hi Amyla,

Checking in daily if possible makes good sense to me.

I'm doing well today, still on plan, despite a number of logistical and emotional struggles.

Had to miss an OA meeting I wanted to go to last night because of a fight with my mother about dinner, of all things (!). She does not know what I'm doing, and keeping it secret is perhaps not going to work well.

I have an ultimate weight goal of 50 less, but 25 less would actually be quite sufficient for aesthetics and comfort.

Still, may main focus is peace. Weight loss is secondary.

Still looking for a sponsor.

Take care,


04-05-2011, 02:08 PM
Hi - I'm Dan (not a chick). Started OA 3 weeks ago. I've been doing on-line meetings through The Recovery Group, which has a pretty good program. I found a sponsor through that. There is also a F2F group that meets once a week in the town where I live. I've been to that meeting twice. In person meetings are really great, but I really like the ability to log onto a meeting when it's convenient.

I define a day of "abstinence" as a day where there is zero compulsive eating and where certain foods are not eaten to excess. I blew it by just a little bit yesterday, so back to day one of abstinence for me.

04-05-2011, 06:56 PM
Hi Danny,

Thanks for joining this thread.

I think I may have found a sponsor. Cross fingers! She lives maybe 30 min away, which will be swell if it works out.

TRG is pretty neat. Maybe I'll see you in a meeting sometime. I've logged into a couple, but I found it too easy to let the chat occur on the sidelines of other online stuff and not be very engaged. F2F are effin' hard to get to, but best for me.

That said, at 12 midnight, the online meetings could be a life saver (literally).

Congrats on your beginnings at abstinence.

My own is going really well. Day 5. Strict meal plan of weighing and measuring. It's harsh, but my eating disorder is so monstrous and ingrained that I need the plan so that I almost *never* have to think about food. Just when I do my prep and minimal cooking.

Every time I've tried to do my own thing (low/no-carb; fat free vegan; calorie counting; and everything in between) I've ended up back where I began: a miserable fat mess with my head over the toilet.

So I am removing myself and my brain from the equation entirely.

And I am thrilled so far!

Good luck to you.


04-06-2011, 08:15 PM
Catherine -

I'm an early riser, so midnight meetings aren't a place you'll likely find me. I try to hit the 6:00 am meetings; sometimes 9:00 pm. I used to log in as RB but now am usually just "Dan". Please say hi if you see me.

Good luck w/ the sponsor! Mine has been incredibly helpful. Whenever I ask her a question or raise some issue, she'll either send me a mini-essay that she'd written on the subject or whip something up fresh for me. She really ought to take what she's assembled and put it into a book.

I'm glad that you're plan of eating is working for you. I'm taking a different approach. I avoid my trigger foods and emphasize the types of foods in a Mediterranean diet, limiting myself to sensible portions at mealtimes and very limited snacks. No tracking, no counting, nothing completely off limits except for the known triggers. My sponsor is very much on board with the approach. I'm trying to get the mental thing down by focusing on mindful eating - kind of the opposite of your approach, I guess. Both approaches will work if we work them right! For me, I've got to master the mental aspect of things and unlearn my old habits, and that is where I'm hoping OA is going to help.

Let's keep it rolling! I'm abstinent 2 days and counting!


04-07-2011, 08:42 AM
Good luck to both of you ! I just ended day 6 of abstinance-oa meal plan, no fast food, very low sugar, no white flour-oh boy

I dont feel any different although its been 6 days since going to bed feeling heartburn reflux and shame for over eating and not having a grip on my food.

My sponser did not show at Tues meeting. I am going to try another meeting to get a feel and look for another sponser at the tues night meeting. I dont think I will be able to do this solo for the long run-I need some guidance.

04-08-2011, 05:56 AM
Hi, Amyla - sounds like you're doing great.

If you need more support, you might check out The Recovery Group (http://recovery.hiwaay.net). I have found that I am much more likely to be abstinent on days that I've attended an on-line meeting. They have amazing resources for newcomers, and they have a sponsor program.

Congrats on 6 days. ODAAT!! :)

04-08-2011, 05:07 PM
Hi guys,

I am so glad you're both doing well.

Day 8 here, going strong.

Still trying to find a sponsor. Danny, I might have to go back to TRG to find one, since the one I thought I'd found (who lives nearish to me and uses a food plan too and has five years of clean abstinence) has not called me as I thought she would. It's good we have that resource.

It definitely seems clear that abstinence has to be a concept applied to an individual's life experience. And that makes a lot of sense.

It's good to check in with you guys.

I will never be at an early morning online meeting, though! OMG! Only if it were the only, and I mean only, form of support. You are on your own with the early birds, Danny!

Amyla, I hear you about not going to be with shame. It is a wonderful thing, too, to wake up without regret and remorse.

Trying not to insert pride in there, though, as that will set me up for self-sabotage (who am I, this pathetic fat girl, to feel pride?).

Instead I'm grateful for a plan of eating, a policy of zero tolerance for food abuse, and a community that will support that.

My surrender made that possible. Admitting defeat made that possible.

Keep well,


04-08-2011, 10:01 PM
Catherine - glad to hear you're still on a roll! Keep it going!

BTW, When you're 25 years past your bar exam, then you may also find it easier to make a 6:00 am meeting than a midnight meeting ;)

Yours in recovery


04-08-2011, 10:43 PM
Hi Danny and Catherine! I just ended day 8-fast week. For today the cravings have seemed to subside. I havent picked off the kids plates or eating while preparing or cleaning up-eating 3 healthy meals a day plus snack-that is brand new for me-its much more clean feeling and clearcut-

So strange-realized how much time I spend thinking/counting/plotting food. Now that is 3 meals its easier-I only need to plan for 3 meals-not a day of grazing.
Be well this weekend-

04-09-2011, 08:37 AM
I went out for dinner with friends last night; I ordered sensibly and abstained after getting back home. I do a weekly weigh-in, and I'm down 2 lbs. I'm curious as to how long I can keep losing without a structured program. I haven't taken this approach before.

Today, I will eat 3 sensible meals and two small snacks plus a small serving of something I permit myself each evening.

Congrats Amyla! Keep it up One Day at a Time!

04-11-2011, 08:07 AM
I'm going to try to check in here most days even if no one else does.

I went to a F2F meeting last night. I've been to this meeting 3 times now, and I plan to try to go to it each week.

The topic and the first couple of shares at this F2F meeting really hit a nerve w/ me. I could feel my emotions churning, and I realized that the confidence that I have felt this past week was still covering up a pretty intense emotional hole that I've been filling with food. So, I put it all out there and discussed the reasons for it and described how I was feeling. I felt better afterwards, and I was able to go back home and avoid compulsive overeating.

How great to be able to face the issues while I'm abstinent and deal with them while staying abstinent! But it was a real wake-up moment for me - perhaps the first time that I clearly understood why I behave the way that I do. It really helped me to understand how badly I need this program.

Be well today!

04-11-2011, 08:51 PM
Hey guys,

Just in the middle of exams so I am trying to limit Internet time. Gosh, I'm so glad I didn't have this distraction when I was a teenager!

Things are going well with my abstinence. These exams are holding me back from really taking the plunge into the program, though. There is someone I have been told would be a good sponsor for me but I haven't called her yet. I am afraid of reaching out, and afraid she'll tell me now or never! I can't really start properly (aside from abstinence) until next Thursday.

Anyway, I find it funny, continually absurd, really, that I have no idea about how to eat (despite all my knowledge).

Sometimes my plan makes me ravenous, sometimes I am overfull. At least, those are things my mind tells me. I am not paying attention to my mind, though, because i know my physical senses are shot, and so is my intuition.

I am so glad you two are still on board and doing well, too.

From my reading so far the big existential meltdown comes later... when we're off the pink cloud... but that's me being bleak.

I'm glad stuff is hitting home with you at meetings, Danny. That's what they're for. Those are the best ones,too; even if they're uncomfortable. It's how you'll know what you need to do.

Amyla, I would have a hard time staying clean if I had to cook for kids and be around food that much. At least with my boyfriend I can weigh and measure and resist without anything but support from him. He's one of those types who does naturally only eat twice a day, and he wants badly to help.
I also suspect he has reservations about a lot of OA, and so do I! But he's wisely held off on judging until I'm ready to talk.

That would be... next week! Or later... or... hmm. I *did* say this was one day at a time. And indeed, I need to stick to that mantra. It got me through Day One and it can get me through any subsequent day.

Thanks for reading, and I'm glad to have a place to check in and keep track of people around the same place in the program as me.


04-12-2011, 06:58 AM
Hi, Catherine. What's this next Thursday talk? You're following a Food plan and you're abstinent for today. Congratulations!

My sponsor tells me not to focus on length of abstinence; she says that's the ego talking and that I should focus on the present moment. But I keep track anyway :). 7 days and counting. This is just one of her departures from OA orthodoxies. I picked her because I have difficulty with the HP concept, and my tentative solution to the HP question is similar to her philosophy. We started the step work this week. Last night I wrote my essay on all the ways my life had become unmanageable and whether I was ready to admit that I had a problem.

Have a great and abstinent day!

04-13-2011, 06:19 AM
I'm grateful for another day of abstinence.

Didn't make a meeting, but I had a LONG exchange with my sponsor on Manageability. Moving on to step 2.

Be well.


04-13-2011, 10:52 PM
Hi Danny. Glad you are doing well! Any words of wisdom about manageablility?

I was disappointed with the room I have been going to the last 3 weeks-cant find a sponser so its time to try somewhere new.

Im doing well so far but still realize this is only the beginning-feeling nervous about the holidays coming up-be well

04-14-2011, 11:14 AM
She writes long essays on various OA topics. This one and my responses centered on differentiating those unmanageable aspects of life are really subject to our control. Putting the serenity prYer into practice.

Tough day for me today - business travel with airport food and corporate box lunches the only options.

Be well and abstinent!

04-15-2011, 07:27 AM
Well, I did great the entire time that I was away. But, it was a very stressful trip. And, I think that I probably didn't eat enough during the day, so when I came home after 11, I was a little hungry. And, I ate a little standing in the kitchen. I caught myself very early, and stopped before any real damage was done. But, that's compulsive eating and outside of my definition of abstinence, so today I look forward to my first day of abstinence with gratitude that I came back to it very quickly and that I was able to limit my compulsion.

04-15-2011, 01:25 PM
It's great you put a limit on that behaviour, Danny.

Travelling can be really stressful with mindful eating, that's for sure. So much seems out out your control.

When you can stop yourself from the behaviour that is only due to your compulsive eating (like the standing thing) that's excellent.

I can so easily take advantage of stressful situations to mess up even the stuff in my control.

Nice to hear your updates. Sorry to be MIA-- exams and papers. Maintaining abstience, though! It makes the whole nightmare of it all way easier to bear.

Exceedingly greatful.

04-15-2011, 04:16 PM
My sponsor thought last night was a great success because I had used the skills appropriately to curb the behavior. I became mindful that I was eating out of compulsion due to being tired and stressed and that enabled me to cut it off early. Over time, the gap between the start of compulsive behavior and your mindfulness of it will shorten. The goal is to be continuously mindful of how you're feeling. So, if I had been in touch with how I was feeling when I first arrived back home, I would have avoided the compulsive eating from the beginning.

It seems obvious, but if I acted that way naturally, I wouldn't need OA!!

04-17-2011, 11:18 AM
Worked w/ a trainer on Sat. morning and, man, was I hungry Sat. afternoon. Next time I'll have to remember to eat something right after the workout. Not too bad a day, though.

Got my weekly F2F tonight. Beautiful day out - looking forward to spending some time outdoors.

04-18-2011, 04:43 PM
How was the meeting?

I need to do a meeting vicariously through you for now!

What do you think you get out of meetings?

I am not sure how much recovery there is in my chosen meeting.

When I'm done exams I'm going to venture further out to more inconvenient meetings to see if things are different there.

There seem to be a couple of hardcore old-timers with tonnes of recovery, and a whole lot of people middling with weeks of abstinence and then setbacks. And always new people (which of course includes me).

Hope you're well.


04-18-2011, 06:51 PM
Meeting was good. I find that speaking out at meetings is a really good way to reinforce my commitment, and doing so in a room of live bodies is a more "real" experience for me than typing something on a computer. And, often times people share thoughts that are very helpful to me. Hearing it in person makes it resonate all that much more.

We read a section from the AA BB about how the alcoholic deludes himself into thinking that it is ok to just take one drink. To me, that means the danger of just one bite. Oh, yeah.

Hang in there!!

(Not sure I knew you were in the TRG FreeThinker Loop; so am I)

05-23-2011, 07:40 PM
Catherine - you still around? How are you doing?

05-23-2011, 11:18 PM
Hi Danny,

Thanks for the check-in. I'm doing fairly well. Going to meetings 2X a week, and am still abstinent according to my plan. That is a miracle.

That said, I'm in a great deal of personal turmoil and feel my recovery keeps getting threatened. One example has been my boyfriend telling me that he'd considered breaking up with me when my bulimia was bad. I'd had no idea... and this makes me feel that I am only loveable when happy, optimistic, abstinent. I have been feeling resentful.

There are some travelling challenges-- visiting family--- I'm facing this week and am not feeling ready to assert myself.

I suppose this sounds bleak... but truly, I am still very glad to be in OA and still believe my surrender to the program is they key to the recovery that has eluded me so long.

How are you doing?

05-25-2011, 06:58 AM
Glad to hear that you're still on track.

I've been doing well and have been abstinent despite some really tough challenges, including dealing w/ some serious health issues involving an immediate family member and some serious emotional fallout involving the rest of the family. Results are definitely showing on the scale as well.

I'm at Step 12, and my sponsor told me that I'm ready to be a sponsor myself, so I've added myself to the TRG sponsor list. No sponsees yet.

I was really skeptical about how helpful some of the steps would relate to my recovery, but they really have.

Good luck w/ travels -


05-28-2011, 01:17 AM
Hello, I thought I would jump in cuz I am on day 5! Yipee! New around here... I am doing the 90 day OA w/ a food plan weighing and measuring. Today I felt A LOT better! Not as tired. Helped that I got 9 hours of sleep last night too! Taking vitamins now too. Hope you are all doing well. Sheila

05-29-2011, 07:31 AM
Hi, Sheila, and welcome!

What's the 90 day OA?

06-08-2011, 01:06 AM
The 90-Day Format meetings are a special focus group of Overeater’s Anonymous. At a 90-day format meeting it is suggested that only those with three or more months of continuous “90-day” format abstinence share their experience, strength and hope. OA as a national organization does not endorse any specific food plan, but many of the members in the focus group practice a particular program of abstinence which is known as the 90-day format.

For most people in the 90-day program, abstinence is defined as three weighted and measured meals a day under the supervision of a qualified sponsor. A sponsor, with at least 6 months of back-to-back “90-Day” abstinence will give each sponsee a food plan and other suggestions for recovery.

My food plan is 3 measured meals a day and nothing in between. No flour, no sugar and no deep fried food.

Heather Delfs
06-08-2011, 01:20 PM