Twelve Step Program (Overeaters Anonymous)

by Christine on August 20th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Thank you everyone for your insightful comments on my post yesterday. Who would have guessed that a post about sex would bring out so many comments? Ha! I have some follow-up thoughts and comments about the sex-topic, but I think those will wait for another day.  I will say this: you are all absolutely right that talking about it with my husband is the mature thing to do! Oh, we’ve had PLENTY of talks about sex; however, now that I think about it, it’s been a while since we talked about it. I think this weekend I’ll broach the topic and see how he’s feeling, just to make sure that we’re on the same page.

Yesterday I got bad news: one of the two jobs I’m applying for sent me an email that I was not selected as a candidate. It really got me down because I was actually really excited about the possibility of that job! Immediately after receiving the email, my urge was once again to dive into a pile of chocolate and a pint of beer.  I keep telling myself that it’s “their loss” and that “this didn’t work out for some divine reason,” but I’ll be damned if I can really believe that in my heart. I have an interview with Job #2 next week, the government job. They’ve called me several times to re-arrange the interview time, and they finally asked if I would like to forgo the formal interview with an informal interview over lunch. Hell yes I would, but then I realized: holy crap! I’ve got a lapband! I can’t exactly jump up and run to the bathroom to have a puke session if something gets stuck, eh? I’ll definitely stick to a “safe” food — soup and salad. No meat or pasta for me. I’m not too stressed out about eating at the interview. This is something that I’ve already worked out over the course of time. It would have me really freaked out if it were happening a year ago!

After the bad news yesterday, I had to run after work to meet my friends for a drink at Chilis. Stacy is getting married this weekend, and she had a total meltdown this week. Poor thing! She’s a bundle of stress and nerves. Her fiance’s bachelor party was a wreck, and the bachelor took it out on Stacy, and she melted down, left the house, and didn’t come home! Yikes! They’ve talked since, worked it out (their communication really sucks) and they’re going through with the wedding, but I suspect that Stacy is so stressed out that she’s just praying for the event to be over at this point.  Yesterday my job was to listen to her, gush a lot, and try to get her excited and happy about her big day! Saturday is the wedding; I’ll be sure to post lots of pictures!

So I arrive at Chilis. I get a Blue Moon, and of course it’s 2-for-one, so they bring me two. I drink both beers, naturally. When Stacy and Danielle arrived, they wanted an appetizer. So they ordered chips & salsa, chips & queso, and fries covered in cheese. SeriouslyI dived into that Queso like it was a freaking swimming pool. Yes, I did.  Beer and queso. Really Christine?

We were then supposed to go to the orchestra in the evening, but hubby had to work late. So I went home filled with the urge to eat more crap food. Instead I threw gym clothes on and went to the gym. A SUPER easy workout. I felt disgusting and nauseous as it was; it was way more important that I just get out of the house. I sat on the stationary bike for an hour and a half and read my bike. I don’t know how many calories I burned and I don’t care. I wasn’t home; I didn’t eat. That’s what matters.

I’m disturbed that I keep having the reaction to stress to medicate with food. Oh, I’ve gotten pretty good at distracting myself (eating tunafish instead; having a chocolate protein shake that won’t break the calorie bank; going to the gym;  and so on). But I’m increasingly aware that I’m not solving the knee-jerk reaction. I’m not solving the underlying problem, only putting temporary band-aids on the wounds, if you will.

After my last emotional want-to-binge session the other day, I was telling my friend about my urge for chocolate and beer. He has a friend that recently went through Alcoholics Anonymous, and he thought the friend might be able to offer some advice. Here is what the friend-of-a-friend had to say:

On the compulsion/addiction thing, any 12-step book will work and I am sure Over-eaters anonymous has one.  I would highly recommend her going to some meetings.  The twelve steps are a means of cleaning up and letting go of all the crap we hols on to, mostly resentments, fears, anger, etc.  I guarantee that if someone works the steps seriously their life will improve immensely.  It doesn’t matter what the substance is, that is just the way we deal with the crap inside.  Step 4 is an inventory of all our resentments, just listing them is an amazing way to purge and in doing so you actually loose some of them.  Then you focus on looking at your own part of each resentmnet and owning it.  When you can do this, the resentment goes away. and you are on the road to recovery.  Find a step program for eating and listen and do what they say even if you think its bullshit.  In time she will loose that feeling as see she’s her own progress.  I wish her well and am sending love and compassion for her work ahead.  It is the best thing I ever did and my life, even with all the crap, is better than it ever was vefore.

I think I will look online to see if there are any resources out there (perhaps from Overeaters Anonymous) for someone dealing with the struggles like I am.  I may also look into attending a local OA group. I know there are MANY OA groups around here. The question is whether I think the group can really help and if I have the courage to go to a meeting.

FYI, here are the 12 OA steps:

The Twelve Steps

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
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  • Allanmklein

    In response to yesterday’s sex post, and today’s post about stress, let’s go with the world’s greatest stress reliever. You don’t need your husband, you don’t need any food (although I have heard that Cucumbers and some Zuchinni are helpful). Get comfy, and…… Just my two cents, better than eating…

  • islandbandit

    hey lady – i think you’ve come leaps and bounds because you’ve a) recognised your behaviour and b) figured out how to ward off the evil thoughts. I wonder if we’ll ever change our thought pattern and get rid of those natural instincts and instead should focus on combatting them. which you are doing wonderfully!
    I found the 12 step OA programme interesting….. never imagined it would be so religious in nature.

  • tessierose

    I love the little book they have at OA called “Just for Today.” Each page is from someone’s struggle and then a meditation phrase for the day, it’s really helpful.

  • http://www.phoenixrevolution.net Christine

    I haven’t heard of that book, “Just for today.” Have you been to OA before? I’m wondering if you could share your thoughts and impressions on the group, whether you found it helpful to you, etc?

  • http://www.phoenixrevolution.net Christine

    Erm, thanks Allan.

  • http://www.phoenixrevolution.net Christine

    Well, I’m getting there anyway. Thank you IslandBandido. I never realized that the twelve steps were so religious, too!!! I am not religious at all, so I found it…surprising and perhaps a little offputting and intimidating. Most of the OA meetings are located in local churches, which is fine, but it made me go, “ah ha, maybe that’s why.” Well, I’ve got an open mind, so I don’t mind hearing what they’re all about…

  • Dr. Fatty

    Sorry to hear about the disappointment on the job. You never know why these things happen, but in my experience, it’s always for a reason. When you find a good book, let me know I’d be interested. I can only say that de-programming the emotional responses to these situations takes a lot more time that de-programming the behavioral ones. Ask any ex-smoker. At least you’ve got plans in place for when they hit and you are implementing them. I’m proud of you for that trip to the gym. After 2 beers and chips and salsa, I’d probably have dragged my big bloated butt back home to bed. Great job!

  • Amandakiska

    I have attended OA in the past. It is a good program, but I don’t know if anything other than WLS would have worked for me. My will power and good intentions will only take me so far. I needed a physiological barrier to overeating that the gastric band provides.

    Sorry about the job. Clearly they are a bunch of idiot monkey-heads for not hiring you. You didn’t want to work with idiot monkey-heads, right?

  • Freckle on the Nose

    Sorry about the job not working out. :( You must have impressed them though, because it’s so uncommon these days for companies to let you know they’ve selected another candidate.

    Hope you had a good weekend anyway!

  • Russell Ham

    If I am 44 and 420 pounds do I need Overeaters Anny?