Great Question, one that I have been struggling with for awhile. I have had to come to the realization that I am totally powerless, no control, over food. Once I start eating things that I know I shouldnt then there is no stopping. When I read the 12 steps and traditions and I read that people have tried diets, pills, formulas, even surgery to lose weight and these things dont work, then we need to know that we have a disease.
I am beginning to realize that no matter what I try to do, I will never be able to eat like a "normal" person. I have tried. It has been through reading and testing myself like the big book says to do to see how out of control my eating can get.
Powerless for me has been a good thing, because it has helped me realize that I have a disease, and there is recovery, I am not hopeless because there are tools that I can use to keep my disease under control. I no longer have to walk around wondering why I am the way I am, now I have a way to keep it under control. I am greatful today because I am powerless because it has led me to where I need to be in my recovery.
Sorry for rambling
I so agree with you Deeby. It is only in surrendering control that we gain control. Sounds backwards but I know that I have everything out there (short of surgery) to control this and nothing has ever worked except this program. I also have done what the big book suggests to go out and try "controlled eating". Time and time again I have been shown that I cannot stop eating certain foods once I start. Gotta go ...at work ...more later
It has been a year since my last OA meeting. I stoped going because I got scared. Scared of my success, scared of the emotions that were being uncovered. So now I'm back at the bottom. Depressed and hopeless. I am still afraid, of failing, of quitting, and off not having the courage to try.
Powerless over food means to me that I am powerless to controll my physical eating. I plan to eat A and end up eating A+B+C. I am also powerless over food thoughts. I find that I can not trust my mind. My thoughts of food tell me I want to eat. That I will feel better if I eat. That I will be happy if I eat. I can feel my stomach is full. Full and uncomfortable, yet my body wants more and my mind says yes.
My thoughts tell me I can learn to eat like a normal person. I see normal eaters all around me. One of these days I will learn the secret, and then I will be like them.
Can I ask, what do you mean by testing yourselves?
I will go to the Sunday night meeting. I will take the first step.
Welcome...Glad you are here! It's so good you are taking the first step and going to a meeting. Most of us on this board are fairly new to OA or coming back and started just where you are. It's been about a week for myself. On Day 4 abstinence.
I'm not sure about testing? But this week as I read through Step 1, I asked for awareness of my own powerlessness over food. Boy did I get awareness of how food rules my life and my thoughts.
Even when I am not physically eating the foods, I feel powerless because I am thinking about them, wanting them. This has been very apparent to me this week. Even still I have stuck to my committment of 3 meals & 1 snack per day. It hasn't been easy but with HP, tools, support, and meetings we all can do it!
I'm so glad that you are here. It takes a lot of courage to post. It takes even more courage to honestly look at ourselves and feel the emotions. I had a very emotional day yesterday. I didn't like it, but I didn't eat over it. I prayed, called my sponsor, read literature, and came here.
You wrote: "My thoughts tell me I can learn to eat like a normal person. I see normal eaters all around me. One of these days I will learn the secret, and then I will be like them."
If you are a compulsive eater, you will never be able to eat like "normal people." I know that's hard to hear-- I don't like hearing it about myself.
Here's what the OA Step One has to say about it: We admitted we were powerless over food-- that our lives had become unmanageable
p.3 "Most of us have tried to deny to ourselves that we have this disease. In OA we are encouraged to take a good look at our compulsive eating, obesity, and the self-destructive things we have done to avoid obesity--the dieting, starving, over exercising, or purging. Once we honestly examine our histories, we can deny it no longer: our eating and our attitudes toward food are not normal; we have this disease."
p.5 "Some of us resisted step one because it seemed like negative thinking. if we tell ourselves we're powerless over food, we reasoned, then we program ourselves to go right on eating compulsively! Later we discovered that, far from being a negative factor, the admission of our powerlessness over food opened the door to an amazing newfound power. For the first time in our lives, we recognized, acknowledged, and accepted the truth about ourselves. We are compulsive overeaters. We do have an incurable disease. Diabetics who need to be on insulin risk blindness and possible death unless they recognize the truth of their diabetic condition, accept it, and take the prescribed medication. So it is with compulsive overeaters. As long as we refuse to recognize that we have this debilitating and ultimately fatal disease, we are not motivated to get the daily treatment for it which brings about our recovery. Denial of the truth leads to destruction. Only an honest admission to ourselves of the reality of our condition can save us from our destructive eating."
Thanks Charlene, I'm glad to hear you are doing well. I spent alot of time thinking last night. Then this morning I made myself breakfast with the plan of having three meals and one snack for today. Next I will go find my journal and my OA books.
I am powerless over food. So I must give up food to my higher power. I must make a commitment, and have faith that the commitment will bring sanity and hope into my life for as long as I am committed.
I think a peice of why I left the program last fall was because I got a feel of sanity and hope. I lost cravings and I lost weight. I had never been able to lose more than 10lbs in my whole life. now here I was loosing 30lbs. Maybe I thought I had it, that I could make food choices on my own and would keep loosing, keep my sanity. It was a slippery slope that lead me no wear good.
If I can do it for four days, others can certainly do it too! That's for darn sure. I was telling Marny that I've had a few experiences this week where I've been around food and the food seems larger than life, bulging out, calling to me. I started to beat myself up for those crazy feelings, but had to stand back and look at it for what it was. I was being shown awareness of my food issues. I could only crack up laughing as it was like a cartoonish bad dream. Giving myself a break about food is a first!
I am sure we will all have moments in our recovery wishing we had made a different food choice.
The saying "Just for Today" is really resonating with me right now. I think and get anxious about tomorrow's, next week's, or holiday food (or my vacation to Mexico in December!) but then bring myself back to just today, just this moment (or meal) if I have to and it all seems so much more managable.
The saying "Living in the Moment" really means something like it never has before.
I am so grateful for that and all of the support here.
Marny I mised your post earlier. Sometimes it takes me so long to type a reply (with 2 kids that always seem to need something when I sit at the computer ) that others post before I hit submit and I miss it.
Boy, you are right. I resist so hard to accepting the disease, that I have this disease. It's like part of me knows so well. Sugar is my stimulant of choice, my drug. But there is also something holding me back from fully accepting. When I think of surrendering to this truth, my chest hurts and I am flooded with anxiety.
I have done a step one history before, but I think I will start there again.
Charlene, I was doing the same thing tonight. I am hosting my first Thanksgiving this year. What about that? What about Christmas? What about our vacation to Disney in march? I also need to learn to think of just today.
"Step one is not merely an intellectual admission of powerlessness. It is an emotional acceptance of our powerlessness made at the gut level. It is surrender.
Some examples of powerlessness are intending to only eat one but having too many instead. Promising yourself that you aren't going to eat something, then deciding to just have one. Swearing that you won't overeat for a week, then doing it before the time is up.
The AA Big Book says, 'All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals-usually brief- were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.'"
This is a great post. Thank you everyone. Wow! What an incredible paradox! How we admit we cannot control ourselves around food and in that admission we get the power. There is really power then in surrender and acceptance.
I keep thinking how can anyone do this forever??? Are these beliefs programming me to have a horrible binge eventually etc.......
I'm letting these thoughts go and just giving them to God. I'm having a day where I deeply care about other people. I'm not in self obcession, eating like a maniac. Truly a miracle today!
Id like to join this group. I actually tried to attend an OA meeting finally but when I got there, it was cancelled. I dont really know what happened but I think I'm going to try this particular group and hope to learn some things here.
I would definitely say I'm powerless over food. I'm not sure when this started happening but I feel like it's been about 9 years. More recently though, this has turned into binge eating and I am now feeling like at least I'm on the road to recovery. About a year ago I started reading a lot, there was another girl in my office who felt the same way and I noticed the books she was reading and she would let me read them after her. It wasnt until I had a name for it that I realized that I was binge eating. Anyway, for this particular topic. I eventually admittted to my family and friends that I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I heard their reactions to how I described what I was going through and it scared me a bit but I didnt try to play it down like I used to. I have a problem and I know it. It is nice to have the secretiveness taken away. I am no longer alone with it.
I too think about food and feel compelled to eat it. It practically calls my name. And other people also will encourage you to eat but now instead of trying to pretend that I just will have one or acting as if it isnt a big deal, I can actually be honest with my friends and family at least and tell them, it isnt healthy for me to eat whatever it is because it will bring on a binge. If there are treats around, I will eat them all- this is what I fight with every day. Lately though I've been doing better. I try to recognize when my mind seems to shut off so that I can ignore my mind telling me not to eat it. I dont know how else to describe it. Then I just go on automatic pilot, not thinking, just eating. It doesnt make me feel any better.
Lately I've been stopping to write in my journal if I feel that shut off coming. It sometiems helps!
It is definitely a bit of a relief to know that the powerlessness is not unique to me and that once recognized, you can take steps to help yourself.