18 days of abstinence

I’m coming up on 3 weeks of abstinence. I’m currently on Day 18. I’ve had a couple of slips, but I’m not going to let them stop me.

In these few days, I’ve started to identify my triggers. They include being alone at home and chocolate. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to eat chocolate again. I just can’t control it when I do. I used to joke that chocolate was one of the five food groups for me. It was pretty true. I think more of my calories came from chocolate than fruit and vegetables, at any rate.

Today has been a good day again so far. I’ve had a bowl of oats and one toasted cheese and sweet corn sandwich. Oh, and a chai latte. I’m content.

As time goes on, I’m finding myself thinking less and less about food. I’m even going the whole morning or afternoon without thinking about food sometimes. Maybe I do stand a chance of making this work.

I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Going to meetings, keeping this blog and maintaining abstinence.

I’m feeling positive 😁

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Step 1: Powerless over food

Step 1 says “We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Step 1 wasn’t as difficult for me to understand as you would imagine. I’ve known for a long time that I’m powerless over food. When someone asks “Would you like..?” my answer is invariably “Yes please!”

I felt like I couldn’t say no, and my husband (who is also battling a weight problem) and I were culprits for feeding each other, undermining each other’s resolve to eat sensibly and generally being each other’s worst enemies.

However, knowing you’re powerless over food and accepting you’re powerless over food are two very different things.

I always thought I could manage it, that it was just a matter of finding the right diet, and that all I needed was more willpower. Lurking at the back of all this was the suspicion that I was powerless, but I never accepted it. Surely a capable person such as me could get a handle on my eating! Other people did! Why not me?

I realize now that I was never going to get a handle on it by myself. I needed help. OA is that help.

I can be healed, but I can’t be cured.

The acceptance is coming. I’m on my way now.

Lockdown!

New Zealand is in lockdown again.

Naturally with the current government it’s a shambles. People got no warning of it, and consequently we have staff stuck all over the place away from home, and suddenly having to rush back.

The stress puppies are all loving this, of course. Nothing better than a good old “emergency” after all!

The “emergency” causing this lockdown is exactly one case of covid. In the north island (I’m in the south island). So it ain’t going to crop up here I don’t think.

Anyway, I went to my OA meeting last night. Just two of us there, but I’m still glad I went. It provides structure and helps me keep on track.

That’s about all for now. I’m working from home this three days of lockdown, but it’s very quiet. So basically it’s a long weekend.

Another week down…

I’ve got OA again tonight. I’m happy about that, as I really enjoy the meetings. I feel like actually talking about our issues, rather than stewing on them, is healthy and a positive move.

I’m also starting to deal with my behavior. Since being at OA I’ve had precisely one slip. I didn’t think I’d be able to ever get control of my eating, but I’m feeling good about my chances of recovery from this.

I can also feel my jeans are getting looser. That’s a good thing.

I’ve decided to aim at losing 3 kgs a month. If I don’t that’s fine, but that’s my goal.

I’m also sorting other aspects of my life out. It feels good to start getting things together.

The only thing I’m really not enjoying is work. Mainly because one person is a massive roadblock to my learning, and I don’t seem able to get ahead on it. It’s almost leaving-worthy but not quite, as I have hopes this person will retire and then I can move forwards. But at the moment, that’s looking unlikely, so I’ll start looking for other positions and see what’s available. It may be time to move and just cut my losses.

Anyway, tonight should be good at OA. I’m going to ask about sponsors, and see where that takes me.

How I joined OA

Truth is, I can’t remember how I came to join OA.

I think the catalyst was an acquaintance of mine who started losing weight. She’s lost 20 kgs (about 50 pounds) so far this year.

I learned she had lost the weight through one of those food delivery companies. She’s buying the keto meal version.

I thought that sounded great (well, losing 20 kgs sure did anyway) so I looked her meal plan up online.

$26 per meal!!!!!

Yikes!!!

I might have wanted her weight loss, but there was no way I can afford that – that’s $182 for seven meals, as that price didn’t include lunches or breakfasts. Just dinners.

So I guess I started looking for alternatives that were more realistic. And somehow I came across an OA podcast.

I knew, from hard experience, that I didn’t want a diet. If I went on a diet I’d just yo-yo again. When I lose weight, I don’t want it back again. Any change I was going to make had to be permanent.

I’ve been battling my weight all my adult life. Although I’m about the heaviest I’ve ever been right now, I’ve rarely been a healthy weight. I’ve shuffled around in the “overweight” BMI range for most of my life, sometimes closer to a healthy weight than not, but never lean. I’d lose a fair bit with whatever diet I was on, only to regain again. Over and over and over again.

This all tells me that I’m the one with the problem.

No diet can help me if I don’t fit the Me part of the equation.

So this time I’m not here to lose weight. I’m here to fix me. Overeating is a symptom, not the cause, of my weight problem. I need to fix the cause.

I’ve been going to meetings regularly since July 31st 2021. That’s the date I admitted I had a problem openly, and the date I’ll take as my first day of abstinence. I’ve had two slips since then, but I’m definitely already doing better than I was. That consoles me.

I feel like I’m starting to get my life together. I’m feeling happier. I’m not yet feeling in control of my food, but I know that will come.

But I also know that this is an incurable disease. That’s what I didn’t understand before: I thought I could be cured. So I’d lose weight, stop doing whatever diet I’d done to lose the weight, then I’d tell myself I was cured and didn’t need the diet any more.

Then the weight – plus its friends – would come back.

I don’t want the weight back when I lose it this time. I don’t want to do this again. I know I can’t be cured but I do know I can be healed. I believe I can find my way out of this chaos. I believe I can get better.

I believe I will get better.

August 16th, 2021… finding a Sponsor

I’ve decided it’s time for me to find a Sponsor for OA.

I’m not really sure how to go about it. So I’ll ask. At least three of the members at my group have been doing OA for a long time, so hopefully one of them should be able to help me.

I know I’ve got a long way to go. I also know that while changes may happen fast or slow, I have a lot of progress in front of me, so to get to my goal weight will take time. My BMI is just over 33, so I’ve got a lot to lose.

I’m starting to see OA as a lifetime part of my life. I’m likely to be a member for the rest of my life. I’ll need it. I figure with a decent plan and a Sponsor I should be able to get to my goal weight within a couple of years.

However, getting to my goal weight will be just the beginning. Then I need to maintain it. That’s the thing I never managed to do before. I could always lose weight. But then I’d find it again in pretty short order! I’m great at finding weight!

So here’s my plan: I’ll work the steps. I’ll organise accountability with a Sponsor and a good, maintainable food plan.

I’ll also find other things in my life to look forward to, besides food. I can see now that for a long time I’ve been looking forward to food and not much else. My life has been anything but rich and fulfilling. I’ve been lonely, and tired, and not enjoying life much at all.

So I’m going to start looking forward to non food things in my life. I’ll make a list of things I look forward to. I’ll reclaim my life, and build it.

Sunday 15th August…not-so-good day

I wasn’t great today.

I ate: 4 toasted cheese sandwiches with sweet corn, a huge bowl of ice cream and cream, two lamingtons, a bowl of stew and some homemade bread. Finished up with some sake and some O’Mara cream liqueur. And a muesli bar. And a chai latte.

I’m thinking dairy may have to go on my “no go” list. I can’t control myself with it.

Or with muesli bars, for that matter.

I guess I’ll chalk it up to experience. No more dairy for me.

Tomorrow is another day. I’ll stick tightly to my plan.

I am learning. I’m just not as good at learning as I’d like to think.

Another Saturday meeting at OA…

I just got back from my Saturday meeting. We had a newcomer, so we went back to the first step, which is admitting we are powerless over food.

It was good to talk about this admission and how it affects your mindset. It’s only once you admit you have a problem that you can start to fix it, after all.

I also weighed in for the first time in months. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it wasn’t good. I’m in the obese range, which I knew. So my goal to start with – one day at a time – is to get back down out of the obese range to start with. I’ll worry about getting to my goal weight later. One step at a time.

Hmm…I’m starting to see how OA works.

The thing I like about OA is I’m not alone. When I share I can be honest, because others are being honest. I can face reality head on at meetings, which is what I need to do. I can ask for help, because it’s okay to do that.

I think I’ll keep going to OA.

A not-so-bad day

Today wasn’t great, but it wasn’t exactly terrible. It could have been worse.

Food: A chai latte, KFC for lunch (2 pieces chicken, snack burger, chips, drink), a cookie, two lamingtons, steak and some rice, and a muesli bar.

Actually, looking at the list above, today wasn’t great, was it!

Normally I have oats for lunch, but my husband took me out as he had the day off. Hence the KFC. The lamingtons I brought home as a school fundraiser for the kids…hmmm. And the muesli bar was just because I felt “snackish” this evening.

However, despite it being a bigger than normal list, I didn’t binge. I ate reasonably thoughtfully. There was no gorging. So I’ll call it a win, because a few weeks ago that list would have been lots worse.

In other words, I feel like I’m improving.

I’ve had my share of lamingtons now. The rest are for the kids. And tomorrow I have OA, where I can talk this stuff over if I need to.

I’m feeling positive.

Small wins

One of the staff was offering out muffins at the end of the day.

I took three…and took them home to my kids.

This may not sound like much of a win, but normally I would have grabbed one for myself and not even thought about my kids.

It’s a small win, but I’ll take it.

Then tonight I just had a couple of toasted sandwiches. I could have had rice or a steak with them, but decided against that as the sandwiches filled me up.

Another small win.

It’s been a good day, and I feel more positive about weighing in on Saturday morning, which I have decided I will do.

I think I can do this… just a day at a time. For now.

One thing at a time

The first thing I’m working on is to stop snacking. Yesterday wasn’t a great day, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, so I’m content to just learn from it.

I’ve started to notice that my servings are too big at meals. But despite that, I think I’m losing weight. Certainly my jeans are looser.

I’ve decided I’m going to weigh in this Saturday morning. It’s time. I know it will not be good, but I need the accountability.

I discovered that my oats for lunch work out to about 250 calories. I’m happy with that. They fill me up, they’re cheap and they’re hot. Plus, quick and easy! It’s nice to know that I’m eating well at lunch, and I’ve at least got that sorted.

I’m actually saving quite a bit of money – and time – with my oats. They work for me, and I’ll stick with them.

I’m also thinking I’ll start walking home in the evenings on good weather days. I’ll make sure I have the workplace alarm details at home in case we get a sudden lockdown and I have to work from home. If I do that, I won’t have to lug my computer back and forth every night, which is doable on the bus but not if I’m walking up a great big hill.

Small steps, as they say.

I realize this has been a bitsy post, but that’s okay – I’m really writing for myself more than anyone else.

Something to look forward to…

You know, I’ve realized something.

The only thing I used to look forward to was food.

I didn’t have any hobbies.

No travel, because of covid.

I wasn’t looking forward to shopping, because I couldn’t fit into anything.

I didn’t look forward to work (although I did look forward to the end of the day!)

In short, my life was lacking joy.

Does that seem old-fashioned? To think we humans would need something to look forward to in our lives?

I’ve realized I need a fuller life. No busier; fuller. Richer with people and friends and events and hobbies.

My life had become solitary, apart from my friends. I thought I needed space away from people, but maybe there’s some such thing as too much space.

I need things to look forward to.

I need change.