Monday, March 29, 2010

A New Willingness

Hi Friends. I'm Charlie, a recovering compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

It's been a long time since I've posted anything new here. I'm OK... Hanging in there, one day at a time, on my "relaxed" food plan.

Busy: It's Holy Week, and I'm a minister of music. Rehearsals tonight, Wednesday and Saturday. Services Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday morning.

Busy: I'm a seminary student, eight weeks into a fifteen-week-long three-credit-hour course. Papers, reading, tests, quizzes, interacting with others on a message board. It's relentless.

Busy: I'm working with a sponsor in OA and doing a weekly food group with some colleagues from church. I try to get to one OA meeting a week as well.

Busy: I'm married with 4 kids! Soccer, music lessons, church programming...

Serenity is not something I understand right now. I'm cranky and harried. My wife got a speeding ticket today. We cannot afford that. And then I took one of our cars in to get a screw removed from a tire. It couldn't be repaired, so $116 later, I have a new tire. Our youngest son was sick today, so we had to shuffle him around between us. And his prescription cost $40.

Money is a concern all the time. We are grateful to have steady income, but it's never enough, especially when unexpected expenses come along. Sometimes (now) I feel overwhelmed and hopeless about money. Like we'll never get ahead. Like we'll never get out of debt.

So I guess I'm OK. I'm not well, but I'm OK, and I'm not bingeing constantly. (Is it "bingeing" or "binging"?)

Funny, when I started to write this post, I was not intending to complain about all of this. I even titled it "A New Willingness." I was intending to write about my food plan and how today I feel willing - a gift from God, no doubt - to eat in a healthy way, to make my three meals small and healthy. I had fruit, coffee and cottage cheese for breakfast. I had a salad for lunch. Tonight I will eat chicken and salad. I have willingness, and I'm grateful.

Now, God, get me through this week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Sunny Self

Hi, I'm Charlie, a happy recovering compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm just messing around... I realize my last few posts have been rather "dark." I am doing well, though. Look at that, I weighed in today (for the first time since February 19!) and I'm actually down a few. That's good news, right? I've put together some abstinence! That's good news!

I think I'll be grateful today.

My wife is a delightful woman who has put up with me for 16 years now. I am truly blessed to share my life with someone so patient, kind, strong and beautiful.

My kids are so awesome. How could a dad ask for more? Four smart, strong, funny, thoughtful, active, crazy kiddos!

After two years of uncertainty, I have a steady, solid, fulfilling job doing what I love.

I live in a house that I own for the first time in my life!

It's sunny, breezy and 68 degrees outside!

I'm recovering from compulsive overeating, one day at a time.

God made me. God loves me. God has a plan for me. God will help me.

It's a good day, and it's a good life. Thank You, God.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Checking In Again

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm going to check in today in bullet points. I honestly don't even feel disciplined enough to write in paragraphs.
  • I'm still abstinent on my "loose" plan: 3 meals a day, no snacks, no sugar.
  • I've started calling that sugar part "intentional acts of sugar." I like that. "No intentional acts of sugar." So that means if there's sugar in a spaghetti sauce or something, that's OK. I don't have to stress about that, but I can't dump sugar on cereal or eat ice cream.
  • I'm tired and listless today.
  • But I've slept a lot lately.
  • Because I was sick as a dog Sunday and Monday. Diarrhea. I know, too much information.
  • It's Spring Break. My wife works full-time. My job is flexible. Thus, I am home and dragging kids around with me when I have to go in to work.
  • I have no willingness to work on recovery. But I think I still want it.
  • I'm scared of my weigh-in on the 19th.
  • I have to lead choir tonight at church and I don't want to.
  • I'm taking a seminary class online, and I feel like I'm falling behind, but I'm not doing much about it.
  • I'm such a food addict that even when I was sick and dehydrated, even when I didn't feel like eating, I still managed to eat something, even though it made me feel worse.
  • And now that I'm "better" (even though my stomach is still sensitive), I am eating stuff that's greasy and not necessarily good for me. Still abstinent, not wise though.
  • OK, thanks for reading.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Reprieve

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

I'm feeling good about my food plan and my abstinence today. I am not feeling all obsessive about what and when I get to eat. Somehow this "looser" plan feels right. I'm grateful.

Busy. God, grant me serenity. Amen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Look

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm grateful that I had the willingness to remove the weight tracker from the top of my blog tonight. (You can still see it at the bottom if you really want to.)

I've been compulsive about my weight. Now I'm only weighing once a month. As they say in OA, it's none of my business how much I weigh.

Abstinent Today

Charlie here, a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I have had a rough time of it lately, seemingly unable to stay abstinent. I emailed my sponsor last night, feeling very defeated. Here's what I wrote:
Hi _____,

I feel really hopeless about food right now. I just have no willingness to NOT eat. And I never want to call you or anyone else... I'm not sure why. I'm sorry I haven't done what I said I would do.


I wake up every morning, determined to eat well. This morning was no exception. I ate my normal cottage cheese with fruit, 2 pieces of whole-grain toast and coffee. Then I went to work and got a lot accomplished. I even asked some people at work if they would like to start a weekly support group for eating issues (I sent an email) and I got 5 responses!

Then I came home for a late lunch and ate a can of chili with cheese and sour cream. I don't know, somewhere along the way I decided that chili fit my food plan. Then I got a craving for cereal with sugar, so I just did it. It wasn't even really a big "will I or won't I" moment... I just did it. It's like I've given up. I have no resistance.

I suppose this is relapse. I'm "sick and tired of being sick and tired." I guess all I can do is pray...

GOD, please give me willingness to turn my life and my will over to you. Please help me to say yes to life and no to choices that lead to death. Please give me serenity and hope. Amen.

I guess I am starting again now. Do you think my food plan is too strict? Sometimes I think I would do better with just a 3-meal plan but don't restrict it. Maybe I could start with 3 meals a day, no sugar and no snacks. What do you think of that?

She wrote back this morning and encouraged me to remember that I'm not doing this to lose weight, I'm doing it to be healthy and to stop my compulsive behavior. She wrote, "I have found for myself that a 'loose' food plan that you stick to is far better than a 'strict' one that you don't stick to. Be willing to be grateful when you follow that 'loose' plan and to count yourself abstinent. Then see how many others of the OA tools and steps you are willing to make a regular part of your life. "

I'm so grateful to have a sponsor. She is a wise lady who cares and who has a lot of great abstinence...

I'm about to go to bed, but I wanted to take this time to think about my abstinence and be grateful. I always find this time of night to be the toughest. How I long to grab a bowl of cereal or a bagel! But I don't need that. I've eaten plenty of food tonight. I will not starve. I will wake up in the morning and have my breakfast. I will eat lunch and dinner. There is no shortage of food in my life. No need to panic.

Thanks to all of you who commented on my last post. I'm humbled and grateful for the community of support that I have in OA and on this blog.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Progress, Not Perfection?

Charlie, compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I struggle with black/white thinking. I don't want to do it unless it's perfect. That's why I slip again and again and then say "what the hell" and dive into relapse.

Yesterday I ate a "perfect" breakfast and a "perfect" lunch. Then I worked out... met a friend for racquetball. Good, good...

Then, my family went out to Outback Steakhouse. First I had bread. Then bacon cheese fries. Then a beer.

Now, is that a slip? Do I start over? Normally I would say YES and dive into dessert. Last night I said NO and didn't have any dessert even though my family had cheesecake and brownies and ice cream. Then this morning I had a great breakfast and went to an OA meeting. Then I had a great lunch, and now I'm drinking black coffee and writing this post.

That's not perfection, but it is progress.

What do you think? Am I still abstinent? Do I "start over" on my days or what?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Keep Coming Back

I'm Charlie, a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I don't know what else to do except to keep coming back, to keep trying to work this out... I need to email my sponsor, and I commit to doing that as soon as I publish this post. I am not able to stop eating compulsively. Day after day I am proving my powerlessness.

I know this, I must stop now. I have to turn this over now. Not tomorrow. I have to be abstinent starting now. Even though that's messy and not perfect.

I emailed my sponsor my food plan a few days ago, and she agrees it's a good start.

3 meals a day - no snacks.
No sugar
No refined white flour
Only non-caloric beverages

That's it! I want to surrender to that plan.

The one thing I have stuck to (Jess, you'll be glad to hear this, I think.) is that I have not weighed myself since 2/19. And I won't until 3/19.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Checking In

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

Whew... I'm still here. Not well, but here. I have a sponsor. That's good. I have a food plan for now, but I'm not following it.

I feel a little hopeless, but I know God loves me and is with me.