Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Plan of Eating

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

I have the privilege of reading and "pitching" on A Plan of Eating tonight on the phone meeting. It starts in about 30 minutes, so this will give me some time to process what I'm going to say and a chance to write a new blog entry at the same time!

The reading starts by saying "A food plan is a commitment to recovery." I like that, and I've found it to be true in my life. My commitment to recovery began the moment I became willing to lay down the food, to trust that someone else was going to be in charge from now on... I turned my life and my will over to the care of my Higher Power by turning my food decisions over to the care of my sponsor and a medical professional.

I love this sentence: "Food is written down, called in to our sponsor, and committed, so that we can get on with our recovery and out of the food." In the 5-1/2 months I've been abstinent, I've found this to be true in so many ways... For the first time in my adult life, I feel wholly at peace about my life.

The 9th Step Promises say, in part, "...Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change... We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."

I honestly think that's exactly what I'm experiencing... I'm already beginning to experience these incredible promises! The more I work this program, the more purposeful I become, the more disciplined, the better able to deal with life on life's terms. And it all starts with the Plan of Eating.

I have a conference coming up next week. I will be in a hotel and conference center in Chicago for a week. It's my 11th year going to this particular conference, and I look forward to it every year. I get to see dear friends and colleages that I respect so much. Most of the time, our free time revolves around hanging out in restaurants and bars, talking and laughing deep into the night. I've been worried about how I would follow my Plan of Eating in Chicago. I knew I would stay abstinent. I'm committed to abstinence, and I've already received such gifts as a result... I just didn't know exactly how I would stay abstinent.

I finally reached a decision last weekend. Simple is best. I typically eat very simply, even repetitively. I often commit the same foods to my sponsor day after day. Why change anything in Chicago? It's not that I'm unwilling to weigh and measure in restaurants. I do that whenever I choose to go out. But for the sake of peace and simplicity, I decided to eat in my room or to pack my meals and take them with me. My wife found an online grocery delivery service, and we ordered a week's worth of groceries, to be delivered the day I arrive. I stocked up on non perishables wherever possible, and I even ordered plasticware, a can opener and plates! I called the hotel and ordered a refrigerator for my room, and I'm all set. The total cost was less than half what I would normally spend in a week of eating in restaurants, so my employer was more than happy to pay for everything.

I'm excited about next week now. As the reading says, now I can get on with my recovery and out of the food. My choices are already made. I feel great peace about next week, and I can enjoy my friends and all the benefits of the conference without getting bogged down in food obsession.

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