The Recovery Group

A Personal Recovery


Hi all,

It's raining here this morning, a very gray day, so the walk is cancelled. Part of me is overjoyed, part of me is sad, because I actually look forward to my walk, I always feel better afterwards, always invigorated, and yet that part of me that just wants to sit and do nothing is very pleased this morning, so I get to sit and write a bit more than usual, and I miss that also.

Last night's f2f meeting proved a real source of some new thinking.. lots of new people, a few old timers that hadn't been to this meeting for a while, it was wonderful. One of the "oldtime" people shared a bit about her nutritionist and how the concept has changed a bit over time (the last four years).. they seem more intent now on behavioral conditions and seem to be moving away from the "disease" part of this (my perception). Asking the participants to try to judge for themselves their levels of "hunger" and therefore their needs at each meal. The food plan was a list of ranges of foods instead of measured amounts. We spoke after the meeting a bit and it helped me (and her) solidify our thoughts about this disease and the actions we take to begin to live in recovery.

I speak of course only for me, and how this works in MY life.

It is my opinion that this is a disease, it is not "entirely" a behavioral condition, it is the two fold condition of the mind and body described in the Big Book, and those that don't accept or understand this see this disease as simply a "mind over matter" thing, and if we change our behaviors and consistently continue to do that, then we are cured.. but the fact is for me that I will always be a compulsive overeater, I will never be normal when it comes to food even though it may appear that way to others on some level. I can follow my food plan religiously, lose all the weight I need to, and begin to function more fully in my life than before, so that it may appear that certainly I have it all together now, and am back to mainstream living, BUT, my thought process and my allergies to certain substances remains with me, in remission perhaps, but it's always there, and I have to be aware of that. When I get lax in my thinking because things are going so well for me, that's when I am in danger of returning to that cycle of destruction.

When I first began my recovery, that thought would make me very despondent, knowing that I would NEVER be cured, it went against my 20th century thinking, diseases are suppose to be cured, we just have to find the right pill or the right surgery, or .... something.. that could "fix" it. Living with a terminal illness can incapacitate us, or set us free. This is a terminal illness. I will have it until I leave this existence, and then I'll just have the remnants of the spiritual deficiencies that I failed to develop on my human journey, but that's a whole nother thing.. ;)

Back to food plans - for me the food plan has to be black and white, the gray areas are in the living of my life... my food has to be certain, has to be repeatable, has to be nutritious, has to be for the maintenance of my body and not my emotional crutch. Hunger for me is irrelevant, being able to feel the difference between actual physical hunger and emotional need is beyond me I think, to try to force me to decide these things would make me crazy. The result of my food plan is simple, at the "end of the day" (an expression) it matters only if I maintained, gained, or lost weight - THAT is the measure of my food plan being correct for me not, and not how I "felt" about it.

I believe there is some mechanism that is missing in me, as a compulsive overeater, that allows me to distinguish between the physical and emotional triggers in me related to eating. If I eat a set food plan, then in my mind, it doesn't matter, and I don't have to drive myself nuts trying to figure it out.. it is just a waste of my energy. I follow my food plan, and at set intervals I see what the measure is on my scale. For me, it's once every 90 days, and that is enough for me at this point. When I get down to goal weight I may shorten that interval to once a month, but for now, it's just fine where it is. I still have about 150 lbs. to release, so a minor fluctuation isn't going to make a bit of difference to me right now. It would serve to only frustrate me I think, or have me altering things too soon in order to "force" a change.

I plateau'd in my weight for almost a year, following my food plan the entire time, feeling the changes in my body as it re-sculpted itself, but the weight would just not move. Back in "diet mode" I would have given up long before that year was up. But living now for sanity and not that number on the scale, I just continued, trusting that whatever needed to happen would, and it did. During that year through continuing to work the steps, thoughts and urges began to have new affects on me, new willingness to change, new results from old situations as my personality allowed me to see alternatives in all aspects of my life, in my personal relationships, in my business, in my ability to take part in more and more of this thing called living.

My life is a miracle, and I am profoundly grateful for the gift of desperation that brought me here. I used to look at my past and wish it could be different, and today, I am changing my past everyday, by making today a good day. I used to look at this disease and wish I didn't have it, today I am grateful for it, because of where it's brought me. I remember thinking people who said they were grateful for this disease were just nuts, but today I understand it and appreciate it so much.

I feel like I've come through the fire most days, and having been reborn into this new life, what joy I feel today! What anticipation of what's next.

Stay Strong!

love and hugs,

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