I have been in the program since October 1997. My abstinence date is 11/14/2009. I am at a healthy body size. However, my experience has been that thin is not well. I have to work my program harder than ever, if I am impressed with what I see in the mirror.
My eating history began as a young child. Eating to deal with boredom and isolation. I was born with a disability. I remember feeling that we were a poor fit in our neighborhood. These were both profound factors in a sense of loneliness and boredom, eating in the after school hours while watching TV.
This is a progressive disease, which has been a current through my life since then. College was difficult (Freshman 50). I met God at College. That changed everything. I was also unhappy, without the skills to tell my parents that I needed to transfer. Spent some time overseas as a young adult, and was introduced (not understanding) to a rice based diet. Marriage arrived shortly after my return. (My T is a normal eater. We are still married and going on strong.)
There has been much happiness, but I was always aware of the food. One incident that jumps out at me was in 1994. I was moderately obese when I conceived my daughter. I developed health problems during the pregnancy, including gestational hypertension. I remember eating a lot of frozen dinners, not knowing how to eat. Home alone with my baby, I was bored and lonely and really struggled with the food. The summer of 1997 I hit a kind of bottom. I discovered that I had lost my ability to lose weight.
I entered program when our daughter was 2 years old. It changed everything. I think the health of my whole family has been improved by program. I am a food addict. I am allergic to flour, sugar, and caffeine. I also have an aversion to artificial sweeteners.
This Fall I wil be in program 20 years. I know that in the early years I went to 1 meeting a week and used a food plan. It took me a long time to discover that I needed to turn over my food. I came close to leaving program at one point, because my 1 meeting was having a hard time. It took me a long time to go through the steps for the first time. My loss of abstinence in 2009 was about not staying spitirually fit. Today I work a hugely active program. I write daily, and share it. I make 3 meetings a week. I turn over my food and a writing to my sponsor daily. God is in charge.
I want to stress that if you put program first in your life, everything that you put second will more than prosper. My career has thrived, mostly because of what I have learned from studying the Big Book about how to treat people. Our daughter is an emotionally healthy 20 something. I am the adored wife of a good man. I have everything I could possibly want, because I was willing to put down the food and work a program. The promises have come true for me.
What are the essentials of working the steps, using a loop, for the next 12 weeks?
Please read the literature each week. I am preparing for each week by reading the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traiditions of Overeaters Anonymous" and the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous." I will also be suggesting readings in the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Please work the steps with a sponsor. If you don't have one, a sponsor directory is available from The Recovery Group. You need someone who you can share with, one on one.
Share with the loop. We get better together. There will be questions each week that I hope will begin to build community.
Often we were lonely children, for whatever reason. Can you relate to this issue?
When do you eat? Are there any emotions that jump out at you?
Please introduce yourself to the group
Do you have a sponsor?
What do you hope to gain from working the steps?
The Twelve Steps