100 lb. Club - Hello, my name is Gina, and I am a compulsive overeater...

02-06-2004, 05:25 PM
Although, I have been delurked for about a month now....and part f this board for a year now....I thought I would give a little background about me and where I am coming from on this weightloss/weightcontrol journey and hopefully where I am going!! ;)

Ya know....I can remember back years ago, when I was "overweight" but not morbidly obese (God, I hate that word) There was a lot of talk in the media, like there is today about "emotional eating" and "eating away the pain" sort of talk. And I always said, that is not why I am overweight....I just like my food too much. I always blamed it on my GENES...and never took real responsibility for being overweight. I really never "got it" until I went through the 12 step program OA. Has anyone ever tried that program? Well, to make a long story short...I lasted about 2 months. In those two months, I lost about 20 pounds, and gained a wealth of knowledge. I am going to share some of that knowledge with you.

Before joining this OA group of compulsive overeaters, I never called my weight issues a disease and an addiction. Heck, I never heard it referred to it as a disease/addiction. When I thought of addictions, I thought of drugs and alcohol and gambling. But in hearing this, I felt this incredible amount of release. Wow...there has to be a cure ...I need to find a cure....but oh no, what about relapse? I took what I wanted from those meetings, and from the success stories. I learned to plan my meals, and committ to my food plan. I was never allowed to say, "what do I feel like having for dinner." or "I don't feel like eating chicken" Eating should not be used to describe an emotional feeling. And what kind of feeling is it when a person is in the mood for let's say for example, chicken. Are you following me...? I was not allowed to eat anything that was not on my eating plan for that day. As difficult as that was for me at the time, it was incredibly freeing, not having to "think" about food all of the time. Seriously, when I wasn't on a program per say, I was constantly thinking about food, constantly. What am I gonna have for breakfast? I WANT another bowl of cereal. Do I really need another bowl, of course not, but I want another bowl. How many calories and fat is in one serving? I should not have 3 servings in one bowlful? I am hungry do I care? Oh no, now that I am finished I do care? Oh no...I did it again. I am hungry again already? Look, some one at work brought in donuts...even though I just had breakfast...I can't not eat one, can I? By thinking I had control of my eating, it was the absolute opposite...I was out of control. By committing my food plan for the day to my sponsor, it gave me incredible strength to make it to the next meal, the next day, the next meeting.

I guess my point to this long winded story is that compulsive overeating is a very real and scary thing just like any other addiction and/or disease. Like most addictions, the abuser has to admit there is a problem, which I never did until recently...please I thought I was over weight because I liked food too much, remember? Not only do they have to admit that they have a problem, but until they want to whole heartedly make a change, they will not. Only the abuser can make that decision. And then, only then, can change take place. Individuals go through some sort of withdrawl process, and hopefully, rid themselves of the root of their addiction. But the hard part for us, is that we need food to literally survive (not survive in the sense of until the next hit, sort of thing), but we need food physically. And once we compulsive overeaters, food addicts whatever you want to call us, finally get to the root of our problem, it will always be a problem. The saddening part of this disease, is that we will always be compulsive overeaters. It will always be a daily struggle. Just like alcoholics claim they will always be alcoholics reguardless if they are sober for so many years. Even when we have our weight under control, we will still be compulsive overeaters. I guess the real issue of control is in controling our emotions, and how we choose to handle them when we feel out of control.

So, if you made it this far in this long winded post....I would like to thank you for helping me deal with the other, possible most important aspect of our disease and/or addiction....the mental part, and not just the diet part and the physical part.

Here is a great article, that I thought you maybe interested in.....http://www.geneenroth.com/quest.html

02-06-2004, 06:02 PM
gina THANK YOU!!!!

02-06-2004, 06:35 PM

I am too a COE and excercise bullemic. I run the EDS board and OA forum. If you ever want to drop in and share your experience strength and hope we would be happy to have you :)

Miss Chris

02-07-2004, 12:59 AM
Thanks for posting this Gina. You are so right. I used to have some OA tapes and articles that I found helpful. I attended a few OA meetings long ago and to be honest, it didn't click for me ... but I've been told that there are many different groups, each with it's own personality. I didn't have the motivation to search beyond the most convenient one.

I am an emotional eater, I am fat, but I am not hiding from life. I'm pretty self-confident. Sadly, that was not the case for the people in my OA group. Some of them seemed to be putting off doing things until after they lost the excess weight. I don't fault them for it, but I couldn't relate. Some there sort of put me on a pedestal (in a nice way) when they found out I was going to grad school part time ... to me my weight had nothing to do w/ my desire or ability to go succeed in school ... So like I said, this group just didn't work for me.

02-07-2004, 11:45 AM
I am currently doing the OA steps, have an OA sponsor, attend online meetings occasionaly, and have been OA abstinent since December 21. I haven't attended a face-to-face meeting yet. Unlike AA, there aren't meetings on every corner 24 hours a day.

I wanted to add to Gina's post and say that OA is not a diet plan. The strict food plan works for Gina. It doesn't work for me because of my history with extreme (i.e. anorexic) restriction. OA is fine with that. As long as you are working the steps and staying "out of the food," they're not going to push a particular program on you.

02-08-2004, 10:42 PM
I think realizing that my feelings *do* have a lot to do w/my eating has made a world of difference. I used to be a person who said, "Come watch what I eat in a day! It's no different from that of a thin person's!" Well, I was in a river in Egypt. (Denial, baby!)

02-09-2004, 06:21 PM
Amen SAPF! Now that I'm really becoming aware of how I eat, I'm realizing that COA is a genuine problem not just bad habits. For example--It turns out that taking food out of the garbage to finish it up isn't something everyone does! I know that sounds gross, but someone admited to doing it at my behavior modification group a couple of weeks ago--some people were shocked at it, but I just asked: Was anything rotten on top of it? You can go an awful long time not realizing you have a problem at all.

02-10-2004, 11:59 PM

I hear eating out of the garbage all the time, its common among COE.

Miss Chris