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-   -   Daily Progress/Chat thread??? (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/overeaters-anonymous/119856-daily-progress-chat-thread.html)

Ann72 08-07-2007 09:09 AM

Daily Progress/Chat thread???
I feel like I want a place to talk about what I'm going through as I'm progressing through the steps and learning more about the program. Hopefully, this will avoid my many individual question threads. :)

I went to a meeting last night and really enjoyed the speaker. I could relate to almost everything she spoke about, especially her tendency to be a black or white thinker and one who struggles to "live in the gray." I find this so true of my life and of my eating behaviors in the past. I guess it is indicative of an addictive personality.

I also wanted to share that I'm learning a lot through my writing. I hate doing it, but it reveals a lot to me. Right now, I'm working on question #3 from my sponsor. I'm so glad that she gives me questions to do rather than making me write a more open journal. I always had a hard time writing when I wasn't given a prompt.

Today's my 9th day of abstinence. It feels good. My body's getting used to this way of eating. My head feels clearer. I'm crying more. Someone at OA said that once the food stops going in the tears can come out. I'm finding that true for me.

Hope others will share their daily struggles/lessons here...

ODAAT 08-07-2007 10:26 AM

The black and white thinking is something I struggle with. I've always been all or nothing. I did a computer based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy course a few months ago, and one thing it focused on was learning to recognise black/white thinking and to tackle it - it talked about questioning it and realising that it isn't a realisitc way to think.

I've been having a hard week, but thank God I am still absitainant. The depression is getting worse and my medication has increased. Normally I would cope with this by eating, but I don't do that anymore. Some days it feels like my HP has abandoned me, but then I realise that I'm not listening enough. I think sometimes I don't want to hear my HP. I think I'm scared that one time I'll look for him and he isn't there. I think I'm scared of rejection.

Thank you for this opportunity to write today Ann, it has really helped.

charlenej 08-07-2007 11:50 AM

Hi all,

It's been a while since I've been a presence on this board. Thank you for honest sharing. I've enjoyed reading your posts and thank you for posting this daily chat.

I have nine months of OA program and my life is very different than it was last October...in a good way!

I'm working Step Nine right now (making amends). The past two weeks have been emotional for me. I shared at my meeting last night that it's hard for me to admit that I haven't been the mom that I know my nine yr old son deserves- especially the past two years. How could I be when I was in a food fog and depression cloud?

All those days I had headaches and nausea from bingeing on sugar and couldn't get myself out of bed or off the couch and my husband had to take over with the morning or evening routine (when he already works a full time job and I don't). All the times I chose not to go on the hike or the bike ride with them because I just didn't have the energy from overeating. All the times I put on a movie for him because I just couldn't muster any energy for him. All the times I wasn't present because I spent too much time on the computer. All the times I isolated with my food and missed out on life instead of reaching out to friends and family.

It's all very hard to face but on the other hand it's also very freeing to let it out and learn new ways to cope, hold myself accountable and really live my life. I get so excited and grateful for it all.

Now that I'm clear headed I'm learning time management (something I struggle with) and to set priorities to care for myself and my family.

If I ever doubted the program in the past, I certainly do not now as my life is living proof of the progress that can be made one step at a time:)

I'm far from perfect or fully recovered from food and still have my very hard days but now I know those days don't need to send me over the edge in a downward spiral like I did with the food and depression in the past. I don't have to binge and add physical distress to my already hard day.

"This too shall pass" and "Progress not perfection" I really get what those mean now.

Keep sharing!


Magic Flute 08-07-2007 02:09 PM

Hi Ann and Charlene,
Wow both of you could be talking about me, it is amazing how much we all go thru similiar feelings even though our life situations are different. Some days I feel so confident in my food management and working the steps and on other days I feel I am almost in a panic for fear of having a non-program food. My food plan in based on a listing of red, yellow and green foods, portion and serving sizes according to labels. Initially I was counting calories and then the calories started to compete with my Higher Power. I have to program my brain to eat like a normal person... so when I am out and about or with friends I watch what they eat and how they eat. Small servings, little or no carbs and they eat very slowly. I know I will never be normal, I will always have this disease but I want to behave as if I was normal at each meal. Never eat anything you would not eat infront of your Higher Power or Sponsor.

Ann72 08-07-2007 08:32 PM

It's so amazing how similar we are in so many ways. I feel like so many of you are describing my life when you write your posts. While I'm sorry that we share this disease, I'm grateful that we're all here to support one another.

Bumps--I think the struggle you're going through will work out in the end. THe more I think about it, the more I realize that the process of figuring out the food plan thing is so critical. I'm so glad you abandoned the calorie counting (too diet-like for me!) and are tuning in more to your HP.

charlene--I was in tears while reading about your feelings about what type of mom you feel you've been. All I can say is that I relate to it. My child is less than a year old, but I've often not felt fully present. Before finding this program, I would struggle to keep my eyes open (after binges) while she played right next to me. I felt like a crack addict. Instead of spending quality time with her, I would waste so much of our time together physically getting food and bingeing. I'm so grateful that my HP pointed me in the right direction to OA and to this site. My daughter deserves the best mother. She deserves a solid role model. She deserves to see a mother who has a healthier relationship with food and her body. She is the reason why I'm working so hard to tackle this compulsive overeating.

From my point of view, your son is blessed. He has a mother who is willing to take the steps necessary to improve her life. You may not have been the mother that you wanted to be in the past, but you are certainly very present, aware, and focused right now. Your son will benefit tremendously from the work that you're doing now. Your relationship will benefit, and he will look back with pleasure on what a caring, loving mother you were (and are) for him.

ODAAT--You are doing so well at remaining abstinent despite the struggles you've had these past few days. That is a huge accomplishment. That, in itself, is such a big step at overcoming the black/white pattern. Right now, you're living in the gray. Dealing with depression and the ups and downs of life while not turning to food. It's hard, but it's the way it's meant to be. We all have to learn to feel the pains in life without numbing them with food. You are doing so well.

Ann72 08-09-2007 08:12 AM

I finished dinner last night and really wanted something else. Something sweet, perhaps? I found myself rummaging through the cupboards looking for something. My intuitive voice stopped me and reminded me that I had eaten everything from my food plan and that I really wasn't hungry. This voice reminded me to use other tools to deal with this situation.

Here is my inner conversation:

Voice: You really don't need anything else. You are satisfied and fine.
Me: No, I want more.
Voice: Why don't you call someone from OA?
Me: Don't feel like it.
Voice: Why don't you exercise? You haven't done this in ages.
Me: Too lazy.
Voice: Why don't you watch some television.
Me: Nothing on.
Voice: Why Don't you write in your journal.
Me: I hate writing! Don't feel like it.
Voice: Maybe you should read some of your OA literature.
Me: I'm all caught up and where I should be. I don't feel like reading beyond that right now.
Voice: Why dont you post online
Me: I'm sick of the computer.
Voice: You ate a decent dinner. You're just looking for more food to satisfy boredom.
Me: I know, but I don't care.
Voice: Why don't you just close the cupboard and sit down for a few minutes.
Me: OK, I guess.

So, I sat. After 10 minutes I felt like I didn't need anything else. I decided to call two nice ladies from OA. A half hour later I was feeling better.

It pays to listen to that intuitive voice. I'm grateful that my Higher Power uses it to communicate with me. I need to remember that it knows better than I do.

Hope you're all doing well.

sidhe 08-09-2007 09:51 AM

Sounds like that was definitely a success, Ann! Good for you! :)

Magic Flute 08-10-2007 01:41 PM

Hi Ann,
Wow that was amazing. I have had similiar conversations with myself. I always wondered why I wanted, "mmm something sweet". It must satisfy something in the neurons in our brains, however there never is any satisfaction and that why there can't be "something sweet" for me, I don't know when to stop. Then after the something sweet, it would be "something salty". The insanity of it is amazing.

searsha 08-11-2007 04:54 AM

almost lost the plot and the programme
Hi everybody,

I have an extra shot of gratitude this morning, but I’m also more than a little scared because I came so so so close to losing my abstinence last night.

I was in a rocky rocky place to begin with – work had gone ‘nutsy’ the night before and I was sleep deprived, and gone from that to looking after my angelic 3 year old niece who was not in such angelic shape – (and to be honest, that bothered me most of all, because I so wanted to get in her little head and try to ‘heal’ whatever was bothering her, but she did not want to go there, and I’m reminded as I write this that Rachel might be only 3, but she can have her ‘off days’ too and it’s not such a big deal!) Plus I had my Mom to watch out for also, she was a little off colour too. 3 women, 3 generations, all a bit shaky. It was stressful.

I went from that straight to work, no me-time factored in, still tired and I just got walloped by such a desire to binge. Just before I hit work, I actually had gone into a shop – not a great shop, so not much in the line of good fresh veg or fish – and I had to leave without buying anything because all the processed food was almost jumping off the shelves at me. Crinkly paper tempting me so much. It was horrible.

Because the day was so rushed, I was low on supplies, but thank God there was a forgotten brown rice dish lurking at the back of the freezer. I think I was half sorry I found it, because now I had no excuse to try to find something off-plan! But my HP had other ideas.

I was ‘bingy’ in the way I ate my snack earlier than usual, ate more banana than I usually do, more natural yogurt and just felt full of negativity. I was eating it for comfort and went to bed feeling guilty. But I slept like a log, and did a kind of ‘step 10’ this morning, reviewing the whole day, and asking myself had I broken my abstinence.

Here’s why I believe my abstinence is intact.
When I arrive in work, my colleagues go home and I have to hold the fort – can’t leave the building unless it’s an emergency.
This is great for my programme because I can’t run to the corner shop on impulse.

But last night, it struck me forcibly that there is always a way for an ‘addict’. And that all I had to do was put a call out to the transport guys-on-call around the corner, and they’d be here in 10 minutes to hold the fort while I ‘nipped out’. I considered this, how easy it would be, how tired and horrible I felt, and how a couple of bars of chocolate would get me through my shift. Only you guys would know how huge that temptation was.
But to do that just seemed a bridge too far. I’m still so new to all this and so shaky in my newness. But stopping short of calling in the troops means I have a ‘sliver of sanity’ thanks to my time in OA. I had that tiny 'moment of grace' they talk about in the rooms. I made the decision not to call the guys.
And so I thank God I had some nutritious banana and went to bed instead of wreaking havoc on my body and my soul and my mind. Thank God for all you guys and your inspirational posts and your support. Thank God I'm still abstinent, one day at a time.

Ann72 08-12-2007 10:43 PM

Searsha--Sounds like you had a very hectic day, and when you factor in the lack of "me time," I'm sure you were feeling very overwhelmed. I hate those types of days, and I know they are the type that lead me to binge as well. I'm so glad your HP was guiding you on this day by limiting your opportunities to binge. I'm glad you had the strength and the will to resist and remain abstinent.

Just another lesson being thrown your way so that you can learn more about yourself and what leads you to binge. You are stronger for going through it.

kgb 08-13-2007 02:09 AM

Hi ladies
After 3 weeks of abstinence I took back my will. I have been bad, deception got me back to relapse. I have been cutting food from my food plan and not telling my sponsor, (my desire to lose weight took over me, I didn't let go of my will!). Yesterday I was back in the food and the toilet.

I too feel like the worst mother in the world. I took my 3 year old in the other room to watch the Wiggles whilest I had my own party. I was un willing to call someone or use any of the other tools. I just wanted to run away from the world.

I was totally ready to tell my sponsor that I understood if she didn't want to sponsor me anymore and that I was a disappointment to everyone and that I didn't want to waste her time.

My sponsor told me to read chapter 3 of the big book and realized that I am trully a COE. I have been bought back to step one. Thank God for people in program and their total acceptance.


searsha 08-13-2007 05:09 AM

Great to see you back here. Hope you feel better after sharing. You’re very brave to put it all out there so honestly. I’m so sorry you had to go through the misery of relapse, but your story shows me that OA really gives us the kind of gentle non-judgemental support which I believe is utterly essential in helping to heal me, one day at a time.
Like you, I am my own harshest critic.
And I’m reminded of that when I read your post.
When you criticise your parenting role, I want to reach out and say – no, you’re a very good parent, you are willing, despite struggles, to be well for your child. And because I want to say that to you, it reminds me to be gentle with myself too.
I can relate so readily also to your ‘wanting to run away from the world’.
That is the cornerstone of my disease for me.
Simple as that. For so long, I believed food was my friend enabling me to do just that!!
OA is blowing all that untruth away in me by showing me the enormous cost to my physical, mental and emotional well being that food extorted from me.
I’ve given too much of myself to destructive eating. But like my sponsor says, I’m powerless because the level of ‘broken-ness’ – the dark place which makes me want to ‘run away from the world’ is so deep in me that I need help and support to be well.
I’m powerless, but thank God, I’m not helpless. Today I choose to reach out for help so that I can continue to heal.
Keep in touch KGB. Wishing you well,

Ann72 08-13-2007 08:14 AM

kgb--Thank you for sharing your struggle. I know that others will be able to relate. It took us so many years to develop our bad habits and compulsions around food. Maybe we need to realize that it's not always possible to undo it all overnight.

Speaking with others in my OA meetings, I've come to realize that all of the relapses or bumps that people go through are such a necessary part of the journey. They are meant to be learning opportunites for us given to us by our Higher Powers. Some people run away from the program when they happen. Perhaps they're not ready. The people that seem to stick around and "keep coming back" are the ones who seem to get the most out of the program.

Remember that they say it's all about "progress, not perfection." You have made so much progress, and now you've learned a bit more about yourself and you're ready to move forward in the program.

Also, you mentioned going back to Step 1. I'm coming to see that it's normal to keep returning to previous steps. I always thought they were meant to be "conquered" or moved on from, but I'm now seeing that you have to revisit all of them everyday. Truth is that we are powerless over food. We always have been and always will be.

I'm just so glad you got the unconditional support you needed from your sponsor and that you are willing to stick with the program rather than run. I know you will be stronger for this in the end.

Magic Flute 08-13-2007 11:24 AM

Hi kgb,
Thanks for sharing your struggle. That sounded really painful and because of your generous sharing I will be less tempted the next time my will tries to take over my HP's will.
Searsha thank you for Powerless...not Helpless. And also Ann mentioning all the tools available to use.
I love this program!

marny 08-13-2007 11:33 AM

You guys rock.

There is so much experience, strength, and hope in these posts. I love coming here and reading about your journeys.

KGB- You are right where you're supposed to be. You've learned something very powerful through this process. Sometimes folks like you and me have to experience or learn things the hard way. Just reading it in the book doesn't cut it for us.

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