Friday, February 19, 2010


Charlie here, compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I need:
  • To focus. I am so ADD. I flit from one thing to the next. I have multiple windows open on my computer at all times. I'm always in the middle of ten things and I don't do any of them well. I feel frantic and unfocused.
  • To rest. I have been surviving on 5-6 hours of sleep a night. I can hardly get out of bed in the mornings.
  • To connect with God. I'm reading through the bible in a year. It's amazing that I've made it to February 19 without skipping one single day. But you should see how I read... skimming, rushed, not allowing the text to speak to me.
  • To connect with my wife. I miss her.
  • To get to a meeting. I'm going tomorrow morning.
  • A sponsor. I have never had one, officially, in OA.
  • A reasonable plan of eating.
  • To stay off my scale. I weighed this morning, and I'm going to stay off of it now until March 19.
  • To figure out a way to focus more on my studies and less on distractions.
To start, tonight I will do homework and try to be to sleep at a reasonable time, then tomorrow morning I'll go to the meeting and we'll go from there. One day at a time.

For now, my food plan is just this: Only eat three meals a day. No snacks. That's all I am willing to do for now. I'll discuss with my sponsor and hopefully have a plan in the next two days.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Wounds from a Friend"

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

Well. It's been a while, huh? If you've read this blog at all or followed me on Twitter, you know that I've had my ups and downs (literally), and that I've been in relapse now for several weeks. My weight has soared again, and I have just basically given up. I hate myself and my body and at the same time I just stuff and stuff. I "get on plan" for half a day here or there, but I don't go to meetings, I don't have a sponsor, I don't blog every day, I don't work the 12 Steps.

I got a comment yesterday I'd like to share. Since it's in the comments already, I assume it's OK to share "publicly." Here it is, in its entirety:
Okay, I'm gonna be brutal here, since your sponsor isn't doing it.

Your current food plan isn't working. Only you know if it's too restrictive or too loose, but it has to change to something that's a sturdy handrail to abstinence, not a prison and not a flimsy rope.

Weighing yourself daily isn't working. Even the OA literature admits once a month is probably best. And, as a compulsive weigher, myself, my day can be amazing or ruined depending on what my scale tells me. Just like I have to put my scale away, you need to, also.

Skipping meetings isn't working. We're addicts, just like alcoholics and just like drug addicts. We use food to numb and soothe ourselves, to medicate ourselves. People who I've met who step multiple groups say that OA is the hardest because they don't have a "drug plan" or "alcohol plan" to contend with. We need the input of others to help us figure out what works for us. And, food addiction has a horrible side effect--isolation. Isolation is death, because when we isolate, we aren't accountable to anyone. Plus, the people in that room empathize. They know what it's like to feel the siren song from the refrigerator or the bakery or the fast food joint.

Charlie, you're worth it. You're worth the footwork to heal the whole kit and caboodle. Diets don't work, but recovery does. I mean, if it didn't, why would every diet plan out there be offering support to "change the way you eat".

You're the first OA blogger I ever found. You inspired me to know I could do this. Because of you, I'm getting an OA 4 month coin tonight (okay, it's an AA coin with the serenity prayer on the back, but it's still a milestone). You gave me hope that I could find not only a body I could like but recovery of my spirit, heart, mind, and soul. You can do this, Charlie. I have as much faith in that fact as I do in the program. I promise you that you are worth it.
Jess, I almost cried when I read that. Thank you for continuing to check in. Thank you for caring enough to write and challenge me. Thank you for being "brutal." I need it. Proverbs 27:6 says that "wounds from a friend can be trusted."

I commit to going to the OA meeting Saturday morning. I commit to asking someone to sponsor me, if not forever, at least temporarily. I commit to working the steps. I commit to posting here and checking in more regularly. I commit to (gulp) putting away the scale and only weighing once a month.

Honestly, this feels pretty miserable, but I suspect that these commitments will be my salvation.