Life isn’t perfect

Life isn’t perfect, and neither is my eating.

That’s okay.

Overeaters Anonymous is about “progress, not perfection” and while I’m nowhere near perfect, I definitely am progressing.

Overeating is becoming less common, and binging is very unusual these days. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but it is happening less and less.

I’m doing okay. I’m continuing working the steps (I’m on Step 4) and I’m attending two meetings every week. They help a lot.

When I look at how I am these days versus how I used to act around food, I can see things are getting so much better.



The mind games of weight loss

“It’s all in your head, it was never about the weight” – quote from successful OA member.

That’s so true. When I first joined OA, I was desperate to lose weight. I thought OA might provide an easy answer.

But the longer I’ve been in OA, the more I’ve learned there are no easy answers. You can’t just sign up to something and magically, suddenly lose heaps of weight.

Life doesn’t work like that.

What I have learned is success follows action. You won’t lose weight until you perform the actions that result in weight loss.

Those actions are different for everyone, but for me that’s 2-3 meals and no snacks. Sometimes I have breakfast, sometimes I don’t. I also incorporate regular fasting and exercise into my plan. But the big thing is no snacking.

When I think back to how things were when I was a kid in the 1970s and pretty much everyone was lean, I remember how snacking was frowned upon.

We’ve got fatter as a society because 3 regular meals have become 6, or 8, or just one long meal that lasts all day.

The other difference is people eating out a lot more. These days it’s a regular hobby for many.

I was nine years old before I went to my first restaurant for dinner. I remember it clearly. And my experience was typical of our generation.

These days there are many people who don’t ever eat at home! I know some of them, and being overweight is the norm.

I don’t eat out very often, so that hasn’t been a huge problem for me. My problem is snacking. But for many people, the eating out incessantly is a huge part of their weight problem.

But yes, I’ve learned that my biggest mind game has been recognising that snacking causes weight gain. And some of the so-called ” healthy” snacks – often found in the “health food” section of the supermarket – are the worst offenders. The advertising is so slick they convince you a 500 calorie snack is “healthy”. It’s not, not for me.

When I stick to a regular plan of 3 meals a day, nothing in between, a daily walk and occasional fasting, I lose weight. When I don’t, I gain.

The mind game of this simple realisation is accepting the truth that restraint in my life – a balance with commonsense – is getting me closer to my goal.

Day zero – Abstaining

While I fast, I will abstain from all solid foods.

I will drink only the following: water, soda water, unsweetened teas.

I will abstain from: all news, all social media (excluding this blog). This should be easy, as I’ve been off social media now for the best part of the year. I’ve been off Facebook and Twitter even longer – I think it’s been three years for both, and I don’t miss them.

I will abstain from all unnecessary shopping.

I’ll try to walk at least an hour daily.

I’m scared of fasting for this long, but I’m also looking forward to it.

Now I’ve decided to fast, I want to just get on with it! and start.

I’ll wait. I start tomorrow.

Still losing weight…still doing OA

Here I am again, about 15 pounds lighter than when I started late last year.

OA works. However, what also works is OA with a combination of meal prepping and portion control.

Portion control is that butt-ugly phrase that nobody likes to use. All the diets keep on claiming eat as much as you want and lose weight!

It’s not true. What is true is that modern-day portions are mindbogglingly huge in comparison to what people ate in the past, and that’s a big part of why we’re all getting fatter.

I’ve had a big wake up call recently because I bought a meal prep book that provides easy keto recipes in controlled portions. The book is Easy Keto Meal Prep by Aaron Day. It not only makes meal prep easy, but it takes the guesswork out of the big question: how much should I be eating?

(I’m not getting a kickback for mentioning the book…it’s just an awesome resource that deserves to be shared.)

At first I was stunned when I saw the size of the portions. I thought, “That’ll NEVER keep me full!” And I was right. At first it didn’t. But now I’m adjusting to smaller portions and it’s enough. Adjustment took a couple of weeks, but I’m doing fine now. And my weight is dropping fast.

So that’s where I’m at. OA is providing the emotional and spiritual support I needed, while meal prepping is giving me a common sense path to eating well.

Life is good ☺️

Still doing OA – And it’s working!

I’ve been in Overeaters Anonymous for about 8 months…and it’s really starting to work.

I’ve lost a fair amount of weight, and am feeling a lot better and a lot happier.

I’m starting to nail down the Elephant In The Room – portion control.

I’ve started really weighing, measuring and tracking what I eat, and I realized my portions were WAY outsized – much bigger than I thought.

So I’ve dialed them right down.

I’ve also been doing a lot of meal prep – bringing my lunches and preparing my dinners in advance. Occasionally I’ve been eating pre-prepared boxed meals too, when I wasn’t organized enough. Having them in the freezer has meant I’m less likely to go for junk if I don’t have dinner sorted.

So it’s all starting to work for me.

I’ve been going to my meetings religiously, and getting my exercise in with lots of walking nearly every day.

I can’t even begin to explain how much better I feel.

So that’s where I’m at 🙂

What’s wrong with me?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve completely lost the cravings for sweet stuff and junk food.

This is very different for me.

Overeaters Anonymous said that if I kept working at it, the “miracle” would happen, but I never really believed it.

I figured the miracle would happen for everyone except me.

But, somehow, I’ve lost the desire to eat rubbish. I’ve been wary about posting about this, as I thought the moment I write anything, it’ll disappear and I’ll be back to urgency cramming my face with garbage.

However, I can’t deny that OA is working for me.

I’m slowly losing weight, I’m starting to feel better, and I’m not obsessed with food.

I started OA last July, so this has not been quick. But I have hope and faith it will be permanent.

Fitness, food and fasting

My weight is coming down nicely, and I’m starting to feel way better since fine-tuning my food plan.

This is what I do:

  • Low carb / no carb diet. I eat foods such as steak, salmon, eggs, roast chicken (from the supermarket), rabbit (we grow our own) with lots of salad and green leafy vegetables. I try to keep everything as simple as possible, and cook my meat in butter.
  • Intermittent fasting. I alternate days of fasting through to lunch and fasting through to dinner. So my week looks like Monday fast to dinner, Tuesday fast until lunch, Wednesday fast until dinner and so on. This means I eat 3 meals every 2 days.
  • Blood glucose monitoring. I’m currently wearing a Freestyle libre blood glucose monitor. I find the instant feedback enlightening and encouraging.
  • Fitness. My regime is just walking – I try to get in an hour a day.
  • Podcasts / videos. I listen to OA podcasts and watch videos by Dr Sten Ekberg as often as I can. The reinforcement of my food plan and the success of others motivates me.

I’m feeling better too, since I started eating really well. The low carb diet really helps keep my appetite under control, and the food tastes better anyway.

My jeans are getting bigger..

Either my jeans are getting bigger, or… 😁

When I started OA I could barely get into my jeans. Today I pulled them off without even undoing the buttons.

What I’m doing is working. I’m nowhere near perfect with my food plan, but I’m definitely improving, and the weight is coming off as a result.

Now I’m starting to imagine how much weight I could lose – and how fast – if I actually did everything I’m supposed to.

Imagine if:

  • I ate what I say I will eat, and nothing else
  • I listened to a podcast or attended a meeting every day
  • I did 1 hour exercise every day.

The results would be incredible, instead of just good.

I’m doing okay. I am attending a meeting or listening to a podcast pretty much every day now, and I read OA literature pretty much every day too. My food is improving and I’m not bingeing nearly so much. I generally manage to avoid my trigger foods.

But I’m still eating things I shouldn’t eat. I’m still eating a bit of chocolate, and still having some dairy.

When I compare myself now to how I was before OA, pretty much everything was different.

And the proof is in the pudding… Or in the jeans 👖😁

I hope and I think the next time I buy jeans I’ll be a size down. Certainly some of my tops are starting to look a bit too big on me. I’ll keep wearing them until they look positively sack-like. Then I’ll buy new.

I’m feeling positive and happy today. Maybe I can do this!

Losing weight

I’m losing weight. Excellent!

It’s been a long slow crawl so far to get my eating improved, but I’m getting there. I can feel, sitting here, that my jeans are much looser – I’m going to need a belt soon!

I’m sticking to all aspects of my plan these days (mostly!) with the exception of exercise. I need to get that sorted. Finding time is hard. Theoretically I could go for a walk at lunchtime, but I never seem to have the inclination. Instead, I usually sit in the green space of my office, and just relax or listen to podcasts.

So my next job – get exercise sorted!

I don’t understand myself

I’ve just had my sandwich (curried egg – yum) and a banana for lunch. But I’m thinking about going and getting something else, maybe Chinese.

Why? Don’t know. I’m not actually hungry. I just kinda want something else. It’s on my mind, and now I’m not satisfied by my sandwich. I’m still not hungry, but I feel emotionally empty.

I want something I cannot and should not have.

So here I am, writing about it. Trying to figure out the why.

This craving thing is what I’m fighting against. It’s insidious. It’s not hunger, it’s something else, and it just lurks in my mind, causing unease and dissatisfaction at the bottom of everything.

I also know it will eventually go away. I just have to give it a firm NO.

I need to get on top of this thing, and to stop it happening.

My sponsor says the less you feed a craving, the less control it will have over you.

That’s true. I know that giving in to a craving just creates another craving coming right on behind it.

I don’t know whether or how this might be emotionally related. I just know I have to get past it.

Thing is, I’m not alone. A majority of adults in the western world are overeaters of one kind or another. When I look around my office I don’t see a whole lot of people who are a healthy weight and who clearly have healthy eating habits. Instead, I see a lot of overweight, unhealthy looking people, none of whom look like they’ll reach 90.

I want to reach 90.

So I’m not giving in to this craving today. Just for today, I win.

I’m not on a diet any more!

Overeaters Anonymous is not a diet. It’s a way of recovering from the disease of compulsive overeating.

I used to think If only I can find the right diet, then I will lose weight! But for me, diets don’t work. The problem with diets is they are temporary. Temporary change will not help me for lifelong health.

I need something permanent. I don’t want to lose 70 pounds, just to regain it all a year or two later. Been there, done that. The changes I make today are lifelong, because lifelong is what I need. Nothing less is good enough for me. I want – and deserve – permanent change.

I firmly believe that the weight I lose today I will not regain. I believe the changes I make are permanent. I’m an OA “lifer”. I’m not in this for the short term.

You know, when I first joined OA I was surprised it wasn’t full of huge fatties. I expected everyone there to be much, much bigger than me.

So it was a shock to find myself one of the larger people in the room. Most were a healthy, lean weight. Most were thinner than me. Most looked like a weight I’d be very happy to be.

I also didn’t expect to get the amazing support that I get. I thought they’d be friendly but distant. Instead I found everyone really welcoming and happy to share their experience and to help a newbie like me. They all firmly believe in service, and that they themselves benefit from helping and supporting newbies. They walk the walk. I fit in now, and they help me when I need it. I’m not alone in my food problems any more. I have a group of friends who understand because they’ve been where I am now. Seeing them succeed makes me believe I can succeed too.

So no, I’m not on a diet. I have a food plan that works for me, and a path forward that can help and heal me, as I help and heal others.

Having a plan makes things easier

I have an eating plan these days that works for me. Knowing what I will and will not eat really helps in getting on top of the overeating.

My plan is usually something like this:

BREAKFAST: Two eggs (if I feel like it, often I don’t), and I’ll have a piece of fruit mid-morning instead

LUNCH: A sandwich and a piece of fruit.

DINNER: Meat and vegetables or salad. Tonight I’m having 2 pork riblets and some mixed vegetables.

As well as my food plan, I try to do a reading, and an hour exercise. I’m doing well with the readings – they’re happening virtually every day now – but the exercise is a work in progress.

Finally, I try to listen to a podcast or attend a meeting every day.

Every week I feel like I’m getting a little bit better at all this. Change is hard. But knowing what I should be doing and eating really helps control my behavior.

Having a plan makes me happier too, because my life is more organized. I have a path forward. I feel like I may even succeed! My weight is going down, too, about a pound a week, but what makes the bigger difference is learning that this is not about my weight. This is about my mind, my behavior, and my spiritual wellness.

I’m starting to believe that I will recover from this thing called overeating, and I believe my weight loss will follow as I gain control of my behavior.