And I'm totally avoiding this.
I have an OA workbook, and I want to blog my way through it. I've been telling myself that I would do it later... you know, after my seminary class is over, after Easter, after things "settle down." And that would be when?
So, since there will never be a good time to do this, I'm going to start now. It won't be perfect. I can't manage everything. But I will just type and try to answer the damn questions.
STEP ONE We admitted that we were powerless over food - that our lives had become unmanageable.
1. "In OA we were encouraged to take a good look at our compulsive eating, obesity, and the self-destructive things we have done to avoid obesity - the dieting, starving, over-exercising, or purging." Here is a first-step inventory of my compulsive eating history.
I'm having trouble writing this in a history... I think I'll just bullet point some highlights from my illustrious career.
- All the times I tried to "start over" tomorrow, or Sunday, or Monday, or the first of the month, or on my birthday, or on such-and-such a holiday, or on New Year's Day. Some of those "do-overs" are documented on this blog or were documented on its previous incarnation. And, huh... Look at that, I'm still here, with only one day of abstinence.
- All the times I took out cash so my wife wouldn't know I was going to McDonald's or other drive-thrus on my way to or from work.
- All the times I ate fast food right before I got home, trying to cram it all in, and then hid the bag under the seat, went in, and ate dinner with my family. I could barely eat because I was so miserable. But that never stopped me. I did it again and again.
- Staying up late to eat after everyone else is asleep. Eating 2-3 bowls of cereal, sometimes with sugar dumped on top of it. Eating until I felt like I would burst. Eating while a voice in my head kept saying, "Just stop, dammit!"
- The insanity of having to eat another kind of food in order to make up for the food I just ate. Binge on ice cream, now I need something salty. Now something sweet again.
- Fast food. Oh my. I remember one specific time I started at McDonald's (my all-time drug of choice), got a big meal there, and then went right across the street to Burger King because I wanted a chicken sandwich with cheese and onion rings. I already had the Diet Coke from McDonald's (always a diet), so I got a shake at BK. I had a three-hour trip ahead of me, I reasoned. I could eat it all. And I did, but I was miserable.
- I remember the insanity of thinking I could just have one milk shake after 7 months of abstinence. That was the beginning of a relapse that, really, continues to this day.
- Yes, I've done the whole "eat out of the trash" thing. Not often, but really, isn't once enough to qualify me as a compulsive overeater?
- At restaurants I often make sure my kids' plates are clean. By eating their food myself. Sometimes I even hang back as everyone's leaving to make sure I can grab a last fry or half a cheeseburger.
- I don't know halfway or moderation. For me, there is no "just a little bit" of sugar. For me, it seems to be all or nothing. Either I'm "on plan" or I'm not. And when I'm not, I'm NOT... I'm totally binging.