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!


Planet Caroline said...

I've been reading your story for the past year & I support your efforts. I was in OA off and on for a few years and then in April 2008 I went into outpatient eating disorder treatment. They did not believe in the abstinence model and taught us to consider all foods to be okay. It was a radical shift and I resisted. But in the past 18 months, I have lost almost 30 pounds (I'm 142 lbs now) and I don't beat myself up anymore for eating too much. Now that my life doesn't revolve around good and bad days, I can focus on my friendships and my life more. Somehow sugar isn't such a big deal anymore. But I admit it took time to get better. This might not work for you, but there are other treatments out there. Like binge eating disorder treatment & nutritionists. Just sharing my story. Good luck and keep writing.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you writing this. It helps me to read your blog. Thank you! Sending positive thoughts your way.

wombat125 said...

I've just started following your blog. I'm in OA and can relate to the difficulties in surrendering some things. There is a chain called Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf that has awesome sugar free chai lattes. They also sell a powdered mix if you don't have one near you. I know it isn't really about the food, but sometimes it's helpful to find a substitute! Good luck on your journey!

Charlie O. Edinburgh said...

Thank you - all three of you - for your comments and support. I am grateful to be "back" For Today.