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Old 01-17-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
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Question How Many Ways to Do This Right?

First, a huge thank you to all the brave ones who share here regularly. I admit to "lurking" more than contributing. You make me feel brave, too, and it's wonderful to hear I'm not alone with this struggle.

I'm trying to honestly look at my 30+ years of starve/binge/diet cycle. I realize that 1) another diet isn't going to solve this, and 2) I need to do something different. Maybe OA is the answer. I don't know yet.

I do know that many have successfully maintained weight loss for years (after lifelong attempts, like me), without using OA. Why do you think it works for them? Apparently, something "clicked" - which is something I keep waiting for. If it can happen for them, is it possible for everyone?

At the same time, why does OA work for some and not others? Why can the same issues (bingeing, food cravings, secretive eating, obsessive dieting) be overcome without OA by some, and yet OA is the only answer for others? Isn't it all "food addiction"? Or maybe not.

Is addiction behavioral? Chemical? Both?

I ask these questions as the daughter of a 25-year recovering alcoholic. Mom started in AA but has maintained sobriety on her own. I remember ALL the slogans to this very day! I'm so afraid that I'll just trade one obsession (OA phone calls, sponsors, literature, slogans, meetings, etc.) for my previous one (dieting). I'm such an obsessive person anyway, I know it'll simply be another "center" in my life! I don't want a new obsession. Sigh.

PLEASE please please forgive me if this sounds offensive in any way (one of the drawbacks of written communication). I have enormous respect for all who have found abstinence through the OA program. It has literally saved lives. I'm just trying to work things out for myself.

Your thoughts? I really appreciate your wisdom. Any feedback is appreciated.

(By the way, I have attended a few meetings some years back, and they didn't click at all with me. But I do read the OA "For Today" devotional, which I love and always go back to.)

PS: I'm a Christian and agree totally that a Higher Power is central to healing this area of our lives.

Last edited by Pinkie; 01-17-2009 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:35 AM   #2
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My thoughts on what you wrote.
I was one of those that quit drinking without AA I just stopped.

Then once again I found myself into the food and gaining weight and being miserable. You see all I did was quit drinking and did nothing about my spiritual or emotional part of the disease, that's called a dry drunk. Since I did nothing I had to have something to fill the hole so I went to eating.

I went to OA and lost weight so I thought I had that licked so I quit OA and went on with life as I knew it all the crazy behavior and "I" can "Control" this attitude.

Well, the weight is back on and I"m back in OA and AA even though I never drank again. This time I'm working the steps and relying on a HP not me. I have a sponsor that's been before me and knows the program, what will work and what won't.

I would go to five or six meetings and then decide if the program is for you and not compare yourself to other people, that's part of the illness in my humble opinion.

How is life now for me? Much more peaceful and grateful for what I have. Have I lost the weight this past hear not on my body but between my ears I have lost a lot. My body will come in God's time not mine. I just stay with my food plan given to me by my doctor and if I'm to lose I will if not I'm happy where I'm at.

I hope some of this has been helpful to you as it has to me. It does help to write our thoughts down in black and white sometimes.

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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I've wondered this before, too. I suppose there are (obviously) many ways of losing weight and getting healthy. I've seen some really unhealthy behaviors leading to weight loss, whether it be starvation or relentless obsession. I think the key is to find what works for you, and what works for you at the time.

The things I liked about OA/HOW was that the Willough plan was nutritionally sound and it made a lot of sense. It's a great place to start, if you really don't know what your daily food intake should look like. I also liked the AA/Alanon/OA daily meditations, and weekly weigh-ins. And it was nearly free.

It sounds like people who succeed at weight loss (with or without OA) are people who have developed a sturdy and sustainable support system.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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I am new to OA (just attented my 3rd meeting) so I don't really know all the ins and outs yet but I really think that different things work for different people. I personally just got to a point where I realized that after 10 years of binging/purging that I need some help and support and I went into OA with no expectations. I can't say that it instantly clicked but I have found that the support, the sharing etc is helping me tremendously to feel like I am not alone. It gives me hope. I am still struggling and don't think OA is by any means a miracle cure or a quick fix but I do think for those (like me) that feel like they can't do it on their own that it really can make a difference.
Getting back on track after a divorce...

Last edited by 2ndChance09; 01-18-2009 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:43 PM   #5
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Thank you Pat, Hyacinth and Liz, for your your thoughtful replies. OA may very well be the place for me, and in time I'll make that decision. The one thing I'm realizing this time is that I'm not in control, and I don't have the answers.

As scary as that is, it's strangely freeing. It has become something for God to work out because I simply can't. And I'm giving it to him.

Right now it's just a time for listening and learning. Thanks again.
And when we finally step out of the boat, we find everything holds us, and everything confirms our courage. And if you wanted to drown you could, but you don't because finally after all this struggle and all these years you don't want to any more. You simply have had enough of drowning, and you want to live and you want to love. ~ David Whyte, from "True Love"

Last edited by Pinkie; 01-18-2009 at 04:47 PM.
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