Thursday, May 20, 2010

Step One, Question One

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

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.
That's it for tonight. More to come.


The Binge Diary said...

It sounds like we are doing the exact same work! Check out my blog:!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it. After reading your blog, I yelled out in shock! I do THE SAME exact things everyday. I shy away for a little while to drive through McDonalds. I secretly eat before a meal so I can eat a "normal" amount at dinner. I really need help... any recommendations?

Food Addict said...

wow - exact thing I'm going through. The amazing thing is that I've felt so alone for so many years... and then I read a blog like yours and realize I'm not alone. Not only am I not alone - there is a reason we're doing this.

My husband recently began his pain killer addiction recovery through NA and that's when I realized I had a serious problem. I am going to look into OA, it sounds similar.

By the way, check out my blog:

Will60657 said...

Keep working the steps...keep working the steps...keep working the are so much further than you were a week ago, a day ago, heck even an hour ago...we have a spiritual malady and even in our Big Book, it states plainly "When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically." - page 64.)---not when our food is clean or we keep in bounds with out WW points or our calories burned at the gym---it says when teh spiritual malady is overcome...we work a spiritual program to deal with a physical problem that is in our emotional mind...keep on brother!