(This was a response to an email to someone who had just white-knuckled their first day of abstinence and wasn't feeling particularly happy about it. We had been talking about food not being an option.)
>Well, a VERY BIG voice came back to me from inside of me that Food certainly IS an option!!!!! That was surprising!
This Disease is not gonna give up easy, IT will try to force, connive, whatever it can do to get you to give it what it wants.... it will get easier in time to resist it.. it may never go away, if fact, count on it not to, but it will get easier to say no to it...
I remember how insane I was when I was still into the food, constantly thinking about it, obsessing about where the next binge was coming from, what I was gonna eat today to make me feel better, and thinking about how miserable I'd be afterward, but still wanting to do it anyway for that brief respite from my life. At that time eating was still worth it because I was afraid of what would replace it if it was gone, I was fearful that whatever it was wouldn't be enough for me to cope with my life. How totally wrong I was... I know you've heard it said in OA rooms, "Nothing tastes as good as Abstinence feels!" It took me a long time to get to where I believed it, and the challenge is that I only half-heartedly believed it when I finally had had enough of the pain that the food was causing and didn't have anywhere else to turn if I was going to survive. I was down, being stomped on, and finally got to the point where ANYTHING was better than where I was, so I Surrendered my Will, and like a child resigned to doing what it was told, DID what I was told. I was broken, but had a very faint, small, glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe it could get better. That hope came from the promises of the Big Book, it said if I followed the plan, I could have these things: a new freedom and a new happiness, to not regret the past , that I would comprehend the word serenity and know peace.
I WANTED that, I couldn't swear it was going to happen, but I hoped it would be true.
so you asked how I cope with it, I just remember where it's gonna lead me, and I don't want to go there anymore.
>But another part feels happy and successful -
and that will overshadow the other in time.
>So, remind me - what IS the option??
:-) you answered you own question... the option is to use the tools of the program, if you can't make a phone call, read some of our literature, journal, go for a walk, take a shower, write an email, figure out the deeper desire behind wanting to eat... look for the deeper reasons to why you are discontent, go out and look at the stars, clean your ears, pick your nose, DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, EXCEPT EAT!!
Unless it's on the food plan, It is NOT AN OPTION!!
Tell yourself this everyday.
Look in the mirror and tell yourself that because you love yourself you are going to be good to yourself today and NOT eat for any other reason than for nourishment. Today I will follow my food plan. Substituting when "necessary", but remembering that "extra portions" is not substituting, it's extra! and today, if it's not on my plan it's not going in my mouth.
I go through this, I'll weigh out my portion, and it might me over, and I'll try to find a reason to just go ahead and eat it.... it's not enough to put back in the frig., it's no big deal, it'll be ok just this once..... etc. ad nauseam.
I KNOW when I am looking for justification, I'm wrong!
My food plan has plenty of food on it, I am not hungry after eating, I am sometimes not satisfied, but I know I've had enough nourishment, so it MUST be something else that is challenging me at those times. I just tell myself again that whatever it is, Food is not going to fix it.. it just is not an option for me anymore....
I hope you can find enough strength to celebrate your success, It's just for today, but those days add up and become habits, routines, and routines are what we fall back on in times of stress.... build good routines!
love and hugs,
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