I'm needing some help on getting started please

  • Hi everyone

    I've been reading here, and at the OA site, and the AA site and at the recovery group site and feel that OA really is "home" for me.

    I've been a compulsive overeater for almost 30 years now and I must start to combat this disease as it is ruining my life, my health, my self esteem. It has overtaken everything in my life.

    Just a couple of questions I'd like some help with though. I should add, I dont have a meeting close to me that I can attend, so I may have to attend Open AA meetings for a while until I find an OA meeting...but I have been going to the online meetings.

    So, to my questions. I'm a person who really needs structure, and I am not clear how/where to start on this program. I have read and acknowledged Step 1. I am powerless over food...but what next? Do I form my plan of eating and so work on becoming abstinent, or am I supposed to work the Steps first?
    Would any of you share with me how you got started?

    Second Q is regarding my eating plan. I would like to schedule my eating times (again, I need structure and I dont do well if I dont eat on a regular schedule). I would like to follow WW as my food plan. Will this "fit" ok with OA? I will keep a food journal because as yet I am not too clear what my trigger foods are...

    Ok, well thanks for reading..I look forward to hearing any advice or thoughts about my questions.
  • Hi there-

    This is the structure that I use with my sponsees. It's not the "only" way, but it works for me and for many.

    I highly recommend that you get the books "Twelve Steps and Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous" and the Workbook that goes along with it. Beginning abstinence and beginning working the steps go hand in hand.

    Yes, WW could be your food plan. A lot of people do that, but learn to not include their trigger foods when they plan their points.

    To figure out your trigger foods, try this:
    Make a 3 column chart. Title the first column Green, the second column yellow, and the third column red. In the green column list all the foods that you know without a doubt do not cause you to want to continue eating or make you crazy thinking about eating. In the Red column list all the foods that you know without a doubt DO cause you to want to continue eating or make you crazy. In the yellow column, put the foods that you aren't sure about yet.

    Once you've worked the first step in the workbook, you'll be ready to add some of those red column foods to your abstinence definition.

    I also recommend reading past posts on this forum. Most likely others have asked the same questions that you are wondering about.

    Welcome to OA!
  • Artemis,

    You asked how some of us got started.... Eight months ago I came to this board! Then went to a meeting, got a sponsor and starting working the steps. I kept my food plan very simple in the beginning: three meals and one snack per day at scheduled times.

    I would look for a sponsor; someone who has the recovery that you would like to have. They can walk you through and help you define a plan of abstinence and food.

    The workbook is awesome and that's how I work my steps. It's great that you can go to AA meetings. I went to many online meetings in the beginning but my face to face meetings I get so much more out of. We can help you here until you find a sponsor, if you need it.

    You asked about WW "will it fit with OA?" That's a great thing about OA, each person chooses the best plan for themselves. If you like WW then I would try it. WW has a lot of desserts and snacky type food products, so, like Marny wrote, you may need to decide what foods you'd rather stay away from to avoid triggers.

    Please let us know if you need help

  • OA vs. FA
    Are Overeaters Anonymous and Food Addicts Anonymous the same or no?

    I was involved in FA, but I stopped a few months ago. I miss the structure it brought me, but I had problems with it because I could do everything except attend the meetings. My work schedule and the meeting schedules do not mesh.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thank you!
  • Hi Jess-

    No, OA and FA are not the same. I recommend that you visit the www.oa.org site to find out more.
  • Artemis - it's unbelievable this addiction can take 30 yers out of our lives...gosh. I think it would be so much better if such a thing as food addiction would be commonly considered to exist...more people would get help, instead of feeling guilty and without willpower for years...
  • Charlene and Marny
    Your suggestions are really great. I just registered this evening and have been beginning the Program this past week. I have attened one meeting, however my meeting this evening was canceled. I am looking forward to getting the materials you suggested and the red, yellow and green food lists will be very helpful. I am keeping a food journal and right now Popcorn seems to be a potential problem, or at least the portion of popcorn. Keeping a food diary is very helpful.
  • Artemis, I am using WW right now and it is working out well for me. It has been 14 days so I suppose I shouldn't say "well" until I'm a bit further into this journey, but it helps with portion control and meal planning. I eat every 3 hours or so except for in the evening - after dinner that is it for the night.
  • My favorite is a combination of Medical Wt Loss clinic along with portion control. I am reading more labels to determine what is a "serving". I tend to overestimate a serving so I am counting and measuring portions and determining how many calories are in that portion. It can be pretty surprising, foods you may have thought were pretty much ok are higher in calories and sodium.