Thursday, September 17, 2009

Willingness and Conscious Contact with God

I'm Charlie, a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm willing today. Yesterday too. I can't imagine why. My circumstances haven't changed. I'm still stressed. I still am a new guy in a new job in a new state and a new house. I'm still buying that house, a first for me... We close Monday. Stressful. I still have a big family that I love but who drive me crazy sometimes!

So my circumstances haven't really changed, but the way I'm approaching them has. I'm a man of faith... always have been. And yet I often forget to give God my life... to place Him right in the center of all I am and all I do. I easily neglect daily time alone with God.

As part of my new life here, I decided that I needed to add structure. I can't do all I need or want to do in my life if I don't plan my life. So I sat down and created a schedule. Now this is often a recipe for failure for me. Being a perfectionist, the first time I deviate from the plan even a little, I often use that as an excuse to just say "Screw it!" and give up.

Not this time. I have actually been living on my schedule for 4 days now, and I haven't done it all perfectly, but I've stayed pretty close. And I'm actually 2 days abstinent now. Yesterday I actually ate abstinently through not one, but TWO buffet lines where I was a guest. Thank You, God!

I attribute this to one part of my daily schedule. At 8:30am, for four days now, I have spent time ALONE with God... reading scripture, reading a devotional book, journaling, praying, meditating.

And I'm growing stronger as I surrender. It's amazing. I'm grateful.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Off the Wagon, and Back On

Charlie, compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

Last night, binge. Today, back on the wagon.

God is good.

More tomorrow. I'm going to bed on time tonight. Gotta start treating this body like the Temple that it is.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Keep Coming Back

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

I just went to my first meeting in months and months. I'm so glad I did. And the cool thing was, I did it while I was sitting here in my PJs... It was an online meeting. You can check it out here.

I can't seem to even get a day of abstinence put together here, but for some reason I have hope today. I got to a meeting! Miracles happen. And I actually stayed present for most of it, not surfing the net or playing with iTunes. There was a lot of people and a lot of recovery. I shared, just my discouragement and struggle, and I felt welcomed. I remembered that I have a home in OA.

I woke up on Sunday to excruciating pain in my left foot. I finally went to the doctor today and had it diagnosed as gout. I didn't know anything about gout before, but man, I do now. It is not cool. But he gave me some pretty strong drugs (I feel totally stoned right now), and my foot is starting to feel better.

Now. Tomorrow is a new day. God, help me, one day at a time, to find you in the abstinence.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back in Business

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

I know it's been a while, and I'm not sure I can even begin to cover what I've been up to in the past month. In many ways, I have a new life. I am overwhelmed with blessing. I have a new job, a new house (that I'm BUYING... a first for me and my family) and a brand-new part of the country to live in. It's so beautiful here. For the past 10 years I've lived in HUGE metro areas - millions of people. Now I live in a small town of 15,000 within a larger metro area of half a million people. It's perfect. Arts, great food, an international airport, parks and museums, a good downtown... but so easy to get around! People so friendly and welcoming! And our house it almost in the country! There are horses and cows and forest and fields... It's really wonderful. My wife and my kids are really loving it.

And then there's the pressure of a new job, new expectations, new situations, new people. I'm a music minister (Have I ever told you that?), so my role is very public... and people's first impressions are strong. In some ways, it's all about image and performance... That can be tough. I really want people to focus on GOD in our worship gatherings, but sometimes people can focus on the leaders on the platform... like it's a show or a concert. And I want to be a PASTOR first, not a performer... to love and serve people.

Food has been so bad, so rough, for so long. Relapse is a bitch. I've been reading the OA book, "A New Beginning: Stories of Recovery from Relapse". Some of it is uplifting and some discouraging, but for the most part I think I feel hopeful. I am settling into a routine. Oh my gosh, check this-- I have actually worked out for 4 nights in a row! My wife and I got a gym membership at this little local 24/7 gym, and I go in there and do 30 minutes on an elliptical machine while I watch TV. It feels great to be active. And I am not going to set myself up to fail again (I always say "I'm going to go EVERY night!" and then I miss one and basically give up.)

It's been hard because we've been on the road. My family and I have driven approximately 3,000 miles this past summer, first to live with my in-laws while I was unemployed, then to move here to our new home. I CAN choose to stay on my food plan on the road, to make healthy choices, but it's tough. And the lure of sugar and sweet coffee drinks and ice cream and McDonald's (Damn McDonald's!) was just too powerful. And then we got here and people have been SO great... bringing over meals, taking us out, all kinds of things. It's amazing. And so hard.

So, for today, I'm back on the plan. I have so far been unwilling to give up entirely, to surrender Starbucks drinks to God. The last few days, even though I'm calling them "abstinent," have contained sweet lattes. When will I be willing to give those up? Maybe tomorrow I'll be ready for that. I honestly don't know. I DO know that my Program will not be solid until I do... I swear, a chai latte is my gateway drug.

But what a relief to be here, to be settling in, to be receiving a PAYCHECK! (I got one yesterday for the first time since the beginning of May. It was awesome...)

And to be buying a house? (Thank you, $8,000 tax credit for first-time homeowners!) What a joy.

I'm off to Whole Foods to buy Stevia. I think maybe tomorrow I WILL be willing to lose the 'bucks.

Thanks for reading. One Day at a Time, let's surrender to God and let Him heal us!