Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It Is What It Is

Hi, I'm Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

Today is Day Eleven for me, I think, and I'm very grateful for that. I have a sense that this time it's gonna work. Ha! How many times have I said that? A thousand? Two thousand?

And yet...

Something about starting this blog up again, something about having a consistent spiritual practice of reading scriptures, journaling, praying... for more than one day... It's feeling like there is some real surrender happening this time. Some real recovery.

And just today on the scales... a little gift. I think today I was 211.6 pounds. Let's revisit my weight history:

Most of my life I was slightly overweight... In college I probably hovered around 190-200 pounds. When I got married I started to slowly put it on, getting up to around 230 pounds by about 2000. I was 29 years old, had been married 7 years and had 2 kids. My first significant weight loss was right after my twins were born in 2001. I really buckled down and made it happen... Counted calories like a madman - no more than 2000 per day - and worked out about 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And yes, I lost weight. I looked and felt great. I got down to, I think, 185 pounds.

So, victorious over fat, I stopped working out so regularly and started eating more food again. As you know, that didn't work. I got fat again, this time topping out at 236. And more than the fat, I was completely out of control and compulsive in my eating.

My eating got crazy back then - sneaking food, charging food, lots of fast food, eating 5-6 meals a day, making and eating entire boxes of mac-n-cheese in one meal, eating multiple bowls of cereal covered in sugar, late at night... and then, of course, eating sensibly in front of other people.

And I shouldn't talk about this as if it's all SO FAR back in my history. Truth is, I've done some of this in the past couple years as well, on and off.

So then I found OA. In 2006 I went to some meetings and then ended up starting my own group. I found real, true abstinence. God removed my cravings, my obsession around food. I was free from sugar and refined white flour for seven months. I ate only three meals a day and non-caloric drinks. I lost 64 pounds, the most I had ever lost in my life at one time, and finally realized, for the first time since - probably - high school, my goal weight of 172.

And again... I had arrived. It was a wonderful achievement, a banner moment in my life. I really felt serenity and I had experienced a lot of freedom from the physical effects of compulsive overeating. I was actually... skinny! I still had some flab around my waist that I didn't like. I didn't like the shape of me, but I was a shadow of my former self, and I loved it. I relished it. I wore cool shirts that were tight on me. I was wearing some size 34 jeans. Insane.

And then I had a milkshake at Baskin-Robbins. You know, because this time I could handle it.

Here I am again, two years later. Over the last two years I have gained and lost, gained and gained and gained and gained and lost, gained and gained and gained and gained and gained and lost again...

In fact, since I started recording my weight on, back in October '07, I've bounced around from a low of 191.6 on January 22, 2008 to a high of 222.2 on February 8 of this year. My lowest weight in the last year was on July 24, 2008. I weighed in at an astonishing (for me at the time) 195.8. Why did I stop? I was doing pretty well... Lots of reasons. Mostly I think because some compulsive eaters I love a lot came to visit for a week, and I basically got sucked back into their addiction along with them. That's OK. It is what it is. Now we move on. For Today, right?

Here's my Skinnyr chart:

Crazy, huh? But no shame... It is what it is. And there IS a solution. And I'm taking the right steps, one day at a time, to find serenity and freedom and, yes, weight loss.

Like I was saying at the beginning of the post. This morning, I weighed 211.6. That was a gift. It's going to come off. Stay on the plan. Do the right thing. God, remove my excess weight as you remove my character defects and my cravings! Amen...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weight Loss Will Come... Right?

My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm really grateful that I'm still "on plan" today. And that's really all I have, right? Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Today, though, I am abstinent. I'm grateful.

I WISH I could see some quicker results. But it's going to come, in God's time. I need to let go of control. Sunday morning was really hard. I stepped on the scale for the first time in a week, having been abstinent for a full week, and I weighed 215 pounds. That sucked. I was hoping for 210. But I know that my expectations are unrealistic. I put this weight back on over two years. To think it's gonna all come off in a really short time is unrealistic. Seems like it did last time, though. Of course, this time I'm two years older. 37 is not 35, as I am well aware.

Sometime I think my body is saying "We'll see... Show me you're actually serious this time. Show me that you can get past a week... Then we might talk about weight loss." :)

Now I need to go practice my faith... This *is* a spiritual program after all. I need to read the scriptures, to pray and to journal. That's what I need. Now. Here I go.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spiraling Into... Surrender?

My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm listening to the innocence mission, a favorite band of mine. Their sound could adequately be descibed as "serene." And since that's what we as addicts in recovery are constantly asking God for, it's a good thing to listen to.

Today is Day Six for me. It's been quite a while since I had this much continual abstinence... probably since the summer.

I have a little bit of a predicament coming tomorrow night. You know, it's not. Now that I "hear" myself talking about it, it's not a problem at all. I am meeting a friend and going to a concert, and I want to drink a beer. Beer is not a problem for me as far as the alcohol goes. It's just that it's not on the plan. And EVERY TIME I go off the plan, even a little bit, I spiral out of control.

I SHOULD say I spiral INTO control. I try to control it. "OK, a little alcohol is fine. I'll eat less tomorrow..." quickly becomes "Maybe one cookie won't hurt this one time," which - for me - leads to sneaky McDonald's drive-thru trips.

So I need to let go, to surrender control to God. No drinking for me. It's Diet Coke. No problem. Should be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Used To Be Famous...

My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

How funny... Doing a search for OA bloggers, I stumbled upon this. I had forgotten that the original incarnation of my blog actually got a little attention! Wish I hadn't deleted it. There was a lot of great stuff there.

Diary of a Mad Overeater 3.0?

My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm blogging anonymously, and I like it because I can say whatever the hell I want! I just went back and read through the posts from the last six months. Sheesh. I can read denial, control, fear... in every line!

I surrender to you, God. I am at the end of my rope. I don't even know what I weigh right now, and I'm not worried about it. I will weigh again on Sunday morning and record it on Skinnyr.

Today is my fourth day of continuous abstinence on the HOW plan: three pre-planned meals a day. No sugar. No refined white flour.

Annie Dillard wrote, "How we live our days is, of course, how we live our lives." Wow. That is a challenging and powerful quote for me today. So For Today, I surrender. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (my weight, my history, my past successes and failures, my debts), the courage to change the things I can (the way I spend TODAY - both money and time, the food I put into my mouth today, the way I attack the jobs that are laid out in front of me) and the wisdom to know the difference.

I hope some of my old blogging friends will find me again. Dodi, are you out there? I am feeling pretty alone in this. I made this a private blog for too long. I'm gonna come looking for some of you.