Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let White Flags Fly... I Surrender

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

I've been trying to convince myself that I could do this on my own. That I just needed to exercise some self-discipline, work out a few more times each week, talk things over with my wife or my weight-loss buddy. Those things are good, but they're not Program. And I'm a sick man. Somewhere along the way, I contracted a disease

For about 5 months now, I've been back in the insanity, back in the disease of compulsive overeating. I've been counting calories like a madman. Using my iPhone app to track food and exercise. But then you know what I did? I worked out SO THAT I could eat more. I would be in my pantry late at night going, "I still have 27 calories left for today. What can I eat?" I would eat very little all day so that I could binge on chips and peanuts and beer while I watched TV. And those were the days when I actually stuck to the plan. On many other days, I would have that "oh, screw this" moment when I just decided to "start over tomorrow." My weight has gone up and up and up and my sanity and serenity has been further and further away from my daily life.

I have to be honest. I haven't been miserable. You know those people who say "My worst day in recovery is better than my best day before recovery"? I have not experienced that to be true in my life. I had many, many wonderful days both in and out of recovery. I love my life.

Even through this 5-month... "break," I was in touch with some of my OA friends, and even some of my OA-HOW friends. No one judged me. All I got was love. And I was ashamed that I was so unwilling to call them back, to surrender again. I'm grateful for them.

What happened? I wish I knew. God works in me like that sometimes. It was this past Sunday. I had committed my "plan" to a (non-OA) friend and I was all ready to go. And I slipped again. I threw it all out the window. My family went to a Mexican restaurant and I binged on chips and salsa, queso, enchilados, beans, Margaritas... And then, later that night, ice cream. And I knew, in my soul, that I was destined to kill myself with this sickness. I would never be free until I surrendered.

Monday morning I called my sponsor, whom I had not spoken to in months. He was so cool... He told me that it was a God-thing that I had called. The previous day, Sunday, he had told an OA friend of his that he always kept a spot open for his sponsees who had kind of fallen away, because he wanted to be available if they ever called back. The friend thought he was crazy. And then, the very next morning, I called. Wow.

And all day, God kept revealing truth about recovery to me. And I surrendered again. And again. And that day, as I stood in my kitchen measuring and weighing food... I just had to grin because it felt like I was at home. So comfortable and free. And I wasn't counting calories. I had no idea how many calories I was consuming. I wasn't craving things. I wasn't plotting and planning and scheming. I was free.

And last night, as I went for (what turned out to be my fastest-ever) 5K run, I did it NOT so that I could eat more when I got home, but because I want to run again. Because I ran a 9.3-mile race back in October, dammit, and I am not willing to just throw that away! I am sore and tired today, but in a good way.

My sponsor and I talked again, late on Monday night, and I told him my plan. I'm calling him every day. I'm eating on the plan that was given to me by my OA-HOW sponsor 18 months or so ago. I'm not eating sugar or white flour. I'm free from that. It doesn't bring me joy or peace or health. I'm working the Steps, starting with a 4th Step on the last 5 months outside of Program.

On Sunday, I weighed in at 184.4 pounds, up from my low of 160 last August and still down from my high of 240. I'll weigh once a week. It's not about the weight, but it sure is a red flag for me. If my weight is going up all the time, and I can't get it down, then I'm eating compulsively and I need help. I need intervention.

My gratitude to all who've emailed, Tweeted, commented. Your concern for me is awesome, and I'm blown away by the love. I can't promise forever, but I'm here today, and I'm grateful to be in fellowship with you again.


Ellie said...

I'm proud of you. Good to hear from you.

Colleen said...

Hi Charlie, I just found your blog, and enjoyed reading it. I joined OA 4 days ago, and am 4 days into being abstinent from sugar and high fat foods. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know you encouraged me and ask how things are going these days.

John said...

I was also looking for help on addiction. I found an anorexia treatment programs center that really helped me out.

compulsive eating said...

I agree with your overeater 2.0

Ms.Newton said...

My prayers are with you!