Monday, June 28, 2010

The HOW Plan

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

It's been a crazy couple of years. Lots of ups and downs. Unemployment. Five cross-country moves in two years. I've never been able to get back to where I was the FIRST time I tried OA and got on the HOW plan.

Well, one day at a time, I'm on Day Nine. And for some reason, this time it feels like a big deal. There's something about the stability I feel in my new job and city... We've been here 10 months now. I love my work, my home, my city. I'm feeling content.

Every time I've tried the HOW plan, I have a period of withdrawal. This time is no different, but I think I'm almost through... One day at a time, I'm going to make it.

People have been asking about the HOW plan. I'll try to explain. And I should say from the beginning that this is MODIFIED from the original "Greysheet" plan. HOW stands for honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. As most of you know, OA doesn't have an official food plan. It is up to each member, with the help of his/her sponsor and the group, to create a food plan for him/herself. I don't know all the history, but this was not always the case. There was a food plan called the "Grey Sheet" plan that was later abandoned. But there are special OA groups that use the plan. I suspect that they look down on "regular" OA groups, especially when they see no physical recovery happening. But whatever.

I tried this plan - pretty hardcore - 3-4 years ago now when I originally entered OA. And it worked. Beyond my wildest dreams. I lost 65 pounds rapidly. I lost all cravings for sugar and refined white flour. I felt great.

Until I had That Damn Milkshake.

But I digress. Every since then I've been trying to get back into this plan. Or a variation of it. My plan is just about the same, but I do allow moderate amounts of alcohol (not at home, but if I'm out with friends or someone offers it in their home) and my portions are sometimes a little bigger than the original plan allows.

So for now, I'm not having any grains at all. Just meat and veggies. That's it. And "plan-approved" salad dressing. (No sugar of any kind in the first five listed ingredients.)

I'm gonna post the Grey Sheet as a PDF in the sidebar in case anyone wants to download it and check it out!

Day Nine! Can you believe it?


Anonymous said...

Hi Charlie, I'm a COE and this is day 9 of abstinence too! :-).
let's stick to it and keep strong!!


Templeton's fury said...

Thank you for your honesty, Charlie!

Kim said...

I'm on day 7 of sugar/carb detox. I am...well, whatever you want to call it...COE, BED, food addict. All of the above. Thanks for sharing.

Charlie O. Edinburgh said...

I took down the PDF, by the way. Since I'm doing the REAL H.O.W. program now, we expect newcomers to get the plan from their sponsors. I'm happy to share it in that way if I ever get one of you for a sponsee, OR I'm happy to try to connect you with a sponsor if you want me to. :)