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Doug K 03-02-2012 09:46 AM

OA & other 12-step support thread
 
I began LC in April 2011. In September, down 40 pounds, I began slipping and sliding. I returned to Overeaters Anonymous after a 20-year hiatus. For whatever reason, I wasn't ready to hear the message then, but I am now. OA has been essential to me staying on track these last six months. Often, as I read posts by people who say they've gone off plan and can't get back on "the wagon", I want to tell them to go to OA, but that's not really my place. But I do want a thread where I can share about my program, and the miracles it's brought into my life, and read the good news from others finding relief by working the steps.

By the grace of God, I've been free from binge foods since 10/6/11, and I've turned another 30 pounds over to His care. No human power could have accomplished that. Besides my own will-power, I have tried working with a variety of support groups, diet companies, and counselors, but I've never been able to stay out of the food for a significant length of time before. Currently, I'm working on the first step with my sponsor.

Gibby 03-14-2012 09:59 AM

Doug, thank you for your input.

I have been considering going to OA for help. I went about 6 years ago, but didn't gel with the group - they were so depressing and down I just couldn't relate.

However, I know there has to be a group out there for me and I do need the help.

Doug K 03-15-2012 07:51 AM

It helps to try out different meetings. Look for ones where people talk about the solution more than the problem. Also, let people know that you're looking for a temporary sponsor. The leader may ask available sponsors to raise their hands at the beginning of the meeting, or you can ask during sharing time. That way, you'll be able to start working the program with someone one-on-one.

trvlpk 03-17-2012 04:01 PM

I just want to say THANK YOU, Doug!! Maybe it is an HP moment to find this thread...??!! I am also in the OA program, and have often thought about the "mix" of OA and low carb as a food plan with extra support on this site. In my area not many share about their food plans, and I do not have dieticians available to me that understand OA. So to see that there is someone else out there that has considered this is great! Maybe we could chat more sometime and share our experiences, strengths and hopes. ;-)

Sarah

Doug K 03-18-2012 06:46 AM

Sarah, I am glad to hear from you. We used to have a few other OA-ers around, but the old threads got pruned. Always eager to share ESH.

I am telling my "story" to my home group for the first time tonight - excited about that!

trvlpk 03-26-2012 11:12 AM

Doug, was just wondering how the telling of your story went??

Also, wanted to share that this last weekend I attended an OA conference and WOW - it was an AWESOME weekend! It was like a reunion! So much support. So much ESH to share and be shared! Took lots of notes! Took away with me lots of inspiration and information that I pray will help me to strengthen my program!

Have you ever been to an OA weekend of any kind?

Doug K 03-27-2012 07:29 AM

It went pretty well. I came in 5 minutes under time, which to me is the hallmark of a good speech. ;-) I don't have a lot of spiritual recovery to talk about yet.

I haven't been to a weekend retreat yet. There's one coming up in June that I may go to. I'm glad to hear it inspired you. That gives me more incentive.

Jonahsafta 03-28-2012 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug K (Post 15460742)
I began LC in April 2011. In September, down 40 pounds, I began slipping and sliding. I returned to Overeaters Anonymous after a 20-year hiatus. For whatever reason, I wasn't ready to hear the message then, but I am now. OA has been essential to me staying on track these last six months. Often, as I read posts by people who say they've gone off plan and can't get back on "the wagon", I want to tell them to go to OA, but that's not really my place. But I do want a thread where I can share about my program, and the miracles it's brought into my life, and read the good news from others finding relief by working the steps.

By the grace of God, I've been free from binge foods since 10/6/11, and I've turned another 30 pounds over to His care. No human power could have accomplished that. Besides my own will-power, I have tried working with a variety of support groups, diet companies, and counselors, but I've never been able to stay out of the food for a significant length of time before. Currently, I'm working on the first step with my sponsor.


amen and amen..thank you for this reality check for me..:aprayer::clap::goodpost:

Doug K 03-29-2012 08:23 AM

Deborah - thank you! I always enjoy your posts. At first I thought the praying angel smiley was a busy bee.

I met with my sponsor yesterday, starting to work on the 3rd step. A couple of weeks ago, as part of step 2, she gave me the following three questions, and asked me to write the answers. I'm pasting them in here to remind myself of the truth when I start to think I control my food or my weight.

Quote:

From the Big Book,, bottom of page 42:

"Once more: The [overeater] at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."

1) How do I feel about this truth right now?

It's a relief. I have disappointed myself on this score so many times over the years. Admitting powerlessness over my lust for food, and turning those feelings over to God, has gotten me through some situations where I would have given in to sugar and food in the past. Also, OA has helped me to see my situation more clearly; when I hear those voices outside of me that say, "Everything in moderation...one won't hurt," I can draw on the experience of the Fellowship to know that those voices are wrong, at least for a hard-core sugar addict like me.

2) I'm not able to control my food or my weight. Am I OK with that?

The wording of this irritated me for a couple of weeks. Last week, I had re-runs of an old cop show, "Adam 12", in the background while I did some chores. Hulu lists the run time for each episode. I observed that the shows of "Adam 12"'s vintage lasted about 48 ninutes per episode, where the new ones last about 43 minutes, to leave more time for ads. I thought about this question in that context. I decided that I was resigned to it, in the same sense that I accepted that I have no control over the length of a modern police procedural. I was a little annoyed, but not so much that I was going to stop watching tv.

Over the last week, I've gotten "ok" with the idea. I can accept, from long experience, that I can't control my food. Even now, when I have the freedom to choose what I'm going to eat, and an appropriate kitchen and adequate time to prepare it...I've had those for decades, but that hasn't stopped me from eating compulsively. The part I've had more resistance to is the idea that I can't control my weight. Rationally, I know it's true, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to lose another 20 pounds.

From mid-February to mid-March, whether it was cutting out artificial sweeteners or something else, I lost 10-12 pounds, which was unusual for me. I was down to 155, which I haven't seen since George Bush Sr. was in office. Monday, I was back up to 159, which I thought would bother me, but it didn't, probably because the fact that I'm powerlessness over my weight has been marinating in my consciousness for three weeks now.

3) Can I delude, deny, or deceive myself any longer about my disease, and my powerlessness?

No. That is, I CAN, I have for years. But I'm not willing to any more. Or, at least, I'm more willing to accept the truth than I am to accept the lies, most of the time.

trvlpk 03-29-2012 08:31 AM

Thanks so much Doug for sharing your answers with us. It is definitely something I need a reminder about....not so much today, but when I start to take control back and not let go of things to my HP.

Gibby 03-29-2012 08:42 AM

Thank you all for sharing. You have encouraged and inspired me to start going to OA. There is a meeting in my area on Wednesday evenings. I'll start next week and let you know how it goes.

I am so weary of the battle and I need support to help me along the journey.

trvlpk 03-29-2012 08:50 AM

As and OA'r I would like to say Welcome, Marilee!! I pray that you find experience, strength and hope in that meeting! :-)

Doug K 04-03-2012 11:03 AM

Yesterday, I went to five stores, looking for plain paper coffee cups for my home group. All the stores except the last one had styrofoam cups, and fancy party cups, but no plain paper ones. I snagged the last package on the shelf at the fifth store. What every store had in abundance was a towering wall of holiday sugar by the entrance. By the grace of God, I passed them all by, without picking up. That is a miracle.

I've just started working Step 3 with my sponsor last week. I've also started reading "Voices of Recovery" as my daily reader. Today's reading is especially appropriate to where I am now.

Quote:

"April 3 - 'We were free to set aside theological arguments and examine the idea of spiritual power in light of our own desperate need for help with our lives.' - The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 14

"Before OA, fear, anger, and sorrow filled my life away from the food, while I binged alone inside my house with a driven, trance-like numbness. Two things saved me: I recognized I desperately needed help with my life, and I believed OA would be the answer.

"I channeled all my determination and self-doubt into working this program because I knew my life depended on it. I had to put aside all my agnostic theological arguments and act as if I believed in a power that could help me.

"My desperate need freed me to discover the energy source I now call God; the ultimate source of comfort, acceptance, love, and peace. God is the source of my abstinence and the source of my repose from the trials and tribulations of life on earth. I needed this disease to find this solution."

Jonahsafta 04-11-2012 09:13 AM

From the Big Book,, bottom of page 42:

"Once more: The [overeater] at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."

1) How do I feel about this truth right now?

It's a relief. I have disappointed myself on this score so many times over the years. Admitting powerlessness over my lust for food, and turning those feelings over to God, has gotten me through some situations where I would have given in to sugar and food in the past. Also, OA has helped me to see my situation more clearly; when I hear those voices outside of me that say, "Everything in moderation...one won't hurt," I can draw on the experience of the Fellowship to know that those voices are wrong, at least for a hard-core sugar addict like me.

2) I'm not able to control my food or my weight. Am I OK with that?

The wording of this irritated me for a couple of weeks. Last week, I had re-runs of an old cop show, "Adam 12", in the background while I did some chores. Hulu lists the run time for each episode. I observed that the shows of "Adam 12"'s vintage lasted about 48 ninutes per episode, where the new ones last about 43 minutes, to leave more time for ads. I thought about this question in that context. I decided that I was resigned to it, in the same sense that I accepted that I have no control over the length of a modern police procedural. I was a little annoyed, but not so much that I was going to stop watching tv.

Over the last week, I've gotten "ok" with the idea. I can accept, from long experience, that I can't control my food. Even now, when I have the freedom to choose what I'm going to eat, and an appropriate kitchen and adequate time to prepare it...I've had those for decades, but that hasn't stopped me from eating compulsively. The part I've had more resistance to is the idea that I can't control my weight. Rationally, I know it's true, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to lose another 20 pounds.

From mid-February to mid-March, whether it was cutting out artificial sweeteners or something else, I lost 10-12 pounds, which was unusual for me. I was down to 155, which I haven't seen since George Bush Sr. was in office. Monday, I was back up to 159, which I thought would bother me, but it didn't, probably because the fact that I'm powerlessness over my weight has been marinating in my consciousness for three weeks now.

3) Can I delude, deny, or deceive myself any longer about my disease, and my powerlessness?

No. That is, I CAN, I have for years. But I'm not willing to any more. Or, at least, I'm more willing to accept the truth than I am to accept the lies, most of the time.



this spoke volumes to me..Thank you

Tylar 05-31-2012 02:58 PM

Just giving a *bump* to this thread. Anyone from OA, FAA or other 12-step programs still here? I'm going active with my plan again beginning tomorrow morning. I'd love to share in a lively 12-step support group on this board.

Anyone game?

trvlpk 05-31-2012 05:29 PM

Bring it on! :-) I will do my best to share my ESH!

Doug K 06-01-2012 12:32 AM

I'm glad to see this thread again. I haven't been on the site as much lately. Still in OA, though I realized I haven't been to a meeting in a couple of weeks (though I did go to a 12-steppers' retreat held by the church I attend over the weekend). Working on my fourth step.

Tylar 06-01-2012 05:36 AM

Day One
 
Good morning, everyone. I'm Tylar and I'm a food addict.

::Hello, Tylar!::

I was so glad to open this thread and see your posts this morning. The people on LCF are amazingly friendly and helpful, but I also really need support from others who "get" that this isn't about dieting - it's about managing an addiction. Thank you for being here.

Since childhood I've been obsessed with dieting and food control. I wasn't an overweight kid, but my home life was dangerous and messy; I guess food seemed like something safe I could control. I wanted desperately to be "small" and started starving myself, eventually bingeing on sugars and starches when I couldn't take it anymore. Once I discovered alcohol, it also satisfied my hunger. Eventually I was caught in a cycle I couldn't escape: I spent the next thirty years with a new diet or food plan every Monday morning. Often by Tuesday morning, the plan was out the window and the cupboard was filled with treats.

Over the years I've lost and gained the same weight dozens of times, each time ending up a little heavier than when I started. Today I'm at my heaviest - about 50 pounds overweight. Obviously dieting doesn't work so well for me. :)

About two years ago, I discovered Overeaters Anonymous in a desperate search online. I couldn't put down the food, but I was simply done with with dieting. I found an online OA community (there are none in my area) and dove right in - found a meal plan, got a sponsor, worked the steps, attended online meetings, gave service... Lo & behold, several months into it, the "miracle" started happening! And then I began feeling that famous peace and serenity they all spoke about. It was bizarre. For the first time in my memory, I actually felt free from food. I hadn't even known what a huge monster it was, until it's presence was gone.

So what happened? About a year into OA, the group changed (friction) and many of my support people left - including my sponsor. At the same time, I started a demanding new business. I fell away from the OA fellowship and its principles. I thought I could handle it.

And then, at the urging of "helpful" friends, I took the first bite. After all, I deserved it. No big deal, right? I had the thing under control.

The next day, I took another. And the rest is history.

My experience with OA was invaluable. At the same time, parts of it left a bad taste in my mouth (strictly the personalities involved), and I'm not ready to make it the center of my life right now. Perhaps that will change in the days ahead. And I'm open to that, if that's what it takes.

But for today, I'm ready to be abstinent from my trigger foods. I'll plan my food and follow my plan. I'll read my literature, work my steps and reach out to you here. I want that sanity again. I deserve it, and so do the people around me.

Thanks so much for listening. And thanks again for being here!

trvlpk 06-01-2012 06:34 AM

Thanks for sharing Tylar!

I am Sarah, a compulsive overeater.

Parts of your share I very much relate to and they are things that I NEEDED to hear! I too started out in the online aspect of OA....for about 3 years in fact. But then had some situations crop up that finally pressured me into face to face meetings and I LOVE them! They are so much more effective. I feel myself come away from them with a bit of a spring in my step. However I wish there were more I could access. Right now I only am able to attend one (most of the time) but someone just started a new one about 7 miles from my house so as soon as we get past the end of school stuff with my kids I plan to attend that one as well. Please do not allow a bad experience to sway you from meetings......remember......"take what you need and leave the rest" :-) There are more then one online meeting as well as the phone meetings!

I too also like to find some support here in the LCF site however have not been able to come here as often as I like.

Thanks again all for being here and participating in this thread!

Tylar 06-01-2012 07:27 AM

Sarah, thanks for the feedback! I would absolutely love a face-to-face meeting and have attended a couple, but the nearest one is about 40 miles from me. I'm open to exploring online options, though, in the days ahead.

Doug K 06-01-2012 08:34 AM

Hi, Tylar and Sarah!

I'm fortunate to live in an area with a number of OA meetings. My home group meets on Sunday nights. We usually get around 30-40 people, making it one of the largest OA meetings I've been to. Most of the other meetings I've been to draw 5-10 people.

The aren't as many OA meetings that fit my schedule as I'd like, but I live in an area with lots of AA meetings. There's one that meets about six blocks from me, at 7 am every morning. I try to go once or twice a week, when I have that "need a meeting" feeling. It usually gets 50+ people. I don't share (though I quit drinking last year, because alcohol kept leading to food slips), but I hear a lot of good recovery there.

Tylar 06-02-2012 06:47 AM

Wow, Doug! You're so fortunate to have all those meetings close by. And I'll bet there's some great energy in the size of that group. I've only attended a couple of OA meetings, and there were only 3 people there besides myself. But I've been to large Al-Anon meetings, and they're amazing. (Not that it takes a huge group to work miracles; sometimes "small" is good!)

I made it through yesterday on plan. I did have to modify breakfast with something healthy I had at work, as I rushed my morning to the last minute and didn't leave time to eat. What a perfect reminder the very first meal about needing to change my behavior. Meal planning - and stopping to cook/eat - was the key to success for me last time. Maybe that's why it's one of the eight tools of recovery, huh? Go figure.

Last night was more difficult. I've also chosen to give up alcohol (it's pure sugar and a major trigger for me), and I really missed sharing a couple of Friday night cocktails with my husband. Instead I fixed a delicious, abstinent meal and felt crabby and sorry for myself.

But I didn't go off plan. And this morning I'm awake, abstinent and feeling grateful.

Doug K 06-02-2012 09:44 AM

Quote:

Meal planning - and stopping to cook/eat - was the key to success for me last time.
These were big ones for me. When I went LC last April, I started logging everything I ate by the end of the day, which was a habit I got from a behavioral weight-loss counselor I worked with in 2007 (I was posting my food every day on the Boot Camp Charlie thread for men). But because I wasn't planning in advance, I was still relying on my environment for food that was on my general plan, which is risky. I was eating a lot of snacky things, eg, string cheese, pepperoni, nuts, instead of prepared meals. My sponsor suggested that I start sending her my food plan each morning, or the night before. I don't always stick to the plan, but making one each day has made a big difference. I have to mentally walk through the day ahead, thinking about when I'll eat, where I'll be at meal times, and what food I need to buy and cook in advance so that I'm not caught in hostile food territory without supplies. A side bonus is that I've saved a lot of money, bringing my own lunch instead of ordering a bunless burger and a salad.

Tylar 06-02-2012 03:56 PM

Doug - exactly what you wrote! "The environment" doesn't always offer the best choices. Part of recovery for me is actually preparing meals and sitting down to eat; I DETEST cooking and resent the time it takes. But I find that, if I plan ahead and actually do cook (which is nowhere near the chore I whine about), it's so very easy to stay on plan. The right choices are already there and waiting. And much more satisfying in the long run.

Tylar 06-05-2012 05:35 AM

Hey all - Just checking in. Today is Day 5, and I've managed to stay on plan. It's really helped to plan my meals, as I don't have to struggle with food choices when my stomach is growling. NOT a good plan of attack.

Even though I'm not a fan of cooking, it's much more enjoyable when I'm actually hungry and looking forward to eating. Normally, cooking is simply a chore, because I've already satisfied my cravings with an after-work binge on junk food. So the meal becomes something I do to feed my husband (and of course, which I then eat, even though I'm not hungry and don't need it).

And now that I've been cooking for the past few days, we have enough leftovers that I'm off the hook for a couple more. :) Excuse me while I enjoy a Happy Moment.

Hope everyone has a fantastic and on-plan day!

Tylar 06-07-2012 06:09 AM

So it's been a week of clean eating and no alcohol. Yay me! I've been up & down emotionally, but have stayed with my plan. I started a blog that I've committed to writing in every day, which helps my accountability. I've dusted off and am re-reading my old OA and ACoA (adult children of alcoholics) literature, and I've joined a couple of forums that support my new way of eating. My husband has been especially supportive; after years of watching my unsuccessful yo-yo dieting, he witnessed my success using OA/South Beach a couple of years ago, and he's believer (although doesn't quite understand).

I follow the OA daily reader, "For Today," and I love this in today's message:
Code:

This is not a program of searching after facts, but of looking within, attending to my spiritual needs....The twelve steps open my heart, free my mind and release my God-given potential for the peaceful enjoyment of just being.
The heart of a 12-step program is letting go of the death grip we have on trying to control the world around us. I say "trying," because of course there's no way to really do that. I never thought I was a control freak until I tried to give up obsessive eating and dieting. What an eye-opener! Funny how, when I start to see that nail-digging grip on food, it's becomes so much more apparent in other parts of my life. I've got a lot of work to do.

Here's to another on-plan day, and another day forward.

hani 06-08-2012 12:33 AM

so glad you are all here!!
 
I love LCF; But I love OA, too, and am glad I can share them both with you. if anyone would like to PM me with your email or phone, I am looking for more support.

i have been abst for a month and can't believe it and am sooo happy and grateful. struggle with personalities and will and some big issues, but i am reading the literature and not picking up and for now, that is very good and a blessing.

have a great day!!

Tylar 06-08-2012 05:27 AM

Hello Hani! It's great to see you here.

I know what you mean about those struggles. I have them, too (with my own will & others), but it's so much easier to deal with when not buried in the food. OA is a good wakeup call to see defects I need to work on.

Doug K 06-08-2012 09:07 PM

Hi Tylar and Hani. I saw my sponsor this week, for the first time in a month, as she's been out of town on vacation. Still working slowly on my fourth step. I plan to set aside a block of time for it tomorrow.

hani 06-09-2012 12:15 PM

good for you Doug. i need to write more...thing i will right now!!


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