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Old 07-22-2013, 02:35 AM   #1
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I originally posted this in the "chicks in control" forum before I realized that there was an OA subforum. I will add to my original post that I am curious about online OA meetings, as my schedule doesn't jive up with the local OA meeting times.
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Hey. I'm new here. I guess am a self-diagnosed food addict/compulsive eater. I sort of hit rock bottom in May. I stayed there for about a month. Starting on June 24, I've been on a very strict food plan (low carb & calorie counting) and exercise plan (not so strict, just break a sweat every day). I've actually stuck to it for, wow, almost a month, I just realized that. Anyhow, right now at least, I'm not having a problem with self discipline. I'm sticking to the plan and feel like there is no going back, ever. I've already lost some weight. I'm afraid to weigh myself, so I'm not sure how much I've lost, but my jeans won't stay on any more, so I'm down a size.

Anyhow, here are my problems. 1) I'm feeling a lot of anger and bitterness about my situation. 2) I feel like I have a huge void in my life now that I'm abstaining from my problem food, and nothing is taking its place.

Here's the thing - I would read this and advise myself to get a new hobby or something, but I'm actually an incredibly busy person. I'm a wife, a mom, I'm a research fellow this summer, I'm doing a massive job search, I work out, I garden, I do all the housework and grocery shopping for my family, etc, etc. So there really isn't room to add some hypothetical thing that will rival the joy that my eating habits brought me. I just feel like my life is empty without the food. And then I feel guilty because, um, I have a husband, this beautiful child, a home, my health, etc. But I just feel so empty and blah. I know it's only been a month, but I feel disappointed that these feelings have not gone away. If anything, they have been particularly strong the last few days.

Can anyone offer any advice or words of wisdom?
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
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A huge part of OA is the Higher Power aspect of it. Do you read any of the literature? I would recommend that. I also meditate every day. There are guided meditations on YouTube.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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Thank you. I do think that's what's missing for me. I feel like I need some mantras to repeat and somewhere to turn for good vibes.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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Your experience is very common. Once you aren't obsessing about food, what else is there to do? I'm glad your inner wisdom is telling you that a new hobby isn't the answer, because that really doesn't work. Glad you found some new mantras and "good vibe" stuff. Your full life is just going to get more and more rich if you continue down the path of letting it be so. With kids and a job hunt, you are more likely to find recovery, meaning that you can do these things better. You'll be more available to your kids. You'll be clearer about what jobs are right for you. You'll be a better employee.

If you find that your regimen is taking away from your ability to be present to the wonderful things in your life, you're off track. You've shifted your obsession, not removed it. (Not an accusation, just something I have to remind myself of from time to time.)
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:49 AM   #5
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I completely understand. Part of the "joy" for me was the thinking about, planning, shopping for and even fantasizing about the food I was going to eat. Ironically the actual eating after the first few bites, not so much.

I was never able to make a strict "program" work for me due to the very issues you describe.

My best shot at a working program was one that gave me one meal a week that consisted of what I wanted to eat regardless of what it might be, not to go crazy with but to give myself a break from drudgery and boredom, to have something to look forward to and to allow for social occasions. Maybe incorporating a free meal here and there might help you unless those meals off might cause you to go off on a spree.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:26 PM   #6
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This isn't really OA related, but one thing I've found helpful for me in the past few months is to replace activities that I used to do which felt less fulfilling (and drew me to bad food because of that) to activities that are more fulfilling. For example, I love watching old movies and I got into the habit of watching them every night. Now, I'm working on replacing old movies in the evening with reading. I find that reading is more fulfilling and more challenging for me and I actually enjoy it more because of that. And it doesn't draw me to bad foods like movies do.

That way, you don't have to find extra time to do something but are simply replacing time you spend on other (maybe not so healthy, not only food-wise but also emotional/intellectual-wise) activities with better activities.

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