Thursday, January 29, 2009

In which God's in His heaven and all's right with the world

Hello if anyone is still out there. Here is an update:
  • I have over 80 lbs of physical recovery
  • I am working with a quote-unquote strict sponsor and my program is more structured than it has ever been. At some point I just got tired of chronic slips and relapses and got someone to kick my ass
  • I have over 100 days of back-to-back abstinence; I just got my 90 day chip
  • I am starting my 4th step inventory
  • I will start sponsoring in February
  • I feel kind of pink-cloudy because it's going really effortlessly
  • My husband came to the meeting where I got my 90 day chip, because he rocks
  • I work my program every day
  • I make alot of calls but not alot of people call me back
  • I don't write enough -- that would be a good thing to start doing more of
  • I commit my food Every.Single.Day. no matter what. Even if I have to call 4 times in a day (once for each meal)
  • I don't email my food or email my sponsor because she has no home computer. As a result, the "real time" phone and face to face contact is helping me more than the email contact did with previous sponsors
  • I completed a 90 in 90
  • I started going to AlAnon
  • I feel happier than I've ever felt in my life
  • I know what serenity is
  • I know what miracles are
  • I am working on giving it away, so that I can keep it

Monday, October 20, 2008

In which the work is hard but the miracles are many

Hello, anyone who still checks this blog. I thought I'd provide an update. After my major relapse in 2006, where I thought I wasn't overeating, just eating what I wanted, and wound up gaining all my weight back and getting a fatty liver to boot -- I got a new sponsor and then got back on my food plan. I went through three sponsors in about a year because none of them were able to adequately help me work my program. I may own something in why these relationships didn't work, but I can't quite put my finger on it right now. Maybe I didn't make clear enough my expectations or ask enough questions about these people's sponsoring styles.

Anyway this strange thing happened, I shared in a meeting that my last sponsor could not take my food, but would still work the steps with me, and someone volunteered to take it. "Take my food" means that they would take a phone call or an email in the morning which stated what and how much food I was going to eat that day. So this person offers to take my food, and then the sponsor says she can't sponsor any more. On the same week, the other person lost a sponsee, so we agree that she's going to sponsor me. So this relationship fell in my lap.

I have to tell you this is really an exercise in "principles before personalities." She wasn't my closest friend in program or anything like that, in fact, often she rubs me the wrong way. But I have always respected her honesty and her strong recovery.

So, I wanted structure and I got it in spades. I had to attend 90 meetings in 90 days, which I just completed on Saturday. I have to make 3 phone calls per day. People in program who call me don't count! I have to commit my food, weigh and measure, and had to make some minor but important changes in my food plan. This is done by telephone because she doesn't have a computer at home. I have to meet with her every week to do step work. Again th is is person usually, not by phone or email. I find that all of this "real time" and "face to face" contact helps me immeasurably.

I was abstinent with frequent slips since 2006, and since July when I started working with this sponsor, I have had only one or two slips. Since 2006, I have lost 70 pounds. I feel I have another 30 to go, but that is really not up to me, it is up to HP.

Now that I am done with my 90 in 90, I am still being asked to go to 5 meetings per week. I am a little afraid of this, I was really looking forward to having some free time! I will do my best, and if it's not working for me, I will ask to change this. I am in full agreement though that working my program this hard is helping me stay abstinent.

Although I feel I have a relationship with my HP, I feel I need to work on this more and find ways to be in touch with it during the day, not just at my morning and evening prayers. I am so grateful for all of the changes that have taken place. People actually want to hang out with me now! I am thriving at work, and taking care of things around the house. I feel this is one of the "promises": "Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us."

Yesterday my husband was gone all day and I cleaned out my dresser and closet, getting rid of all the size 20s 18s and 16s. (I am wearing 10s and 12s right now, but kept the 14s anyway -- they don't look too baggy yet). I am very happy, I have a very full life, and I understand the importance of gratitude and handing my problems and difficulties over to a power greater than myself.

Thanks, HP and thanks OA!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just in case you were wondering....

For a long time --years-- I blogged about my weight loss struggle. I read and "blogrolled" many other weight loss bloggers, and found a lot of support, advice, and definitely an online community of like minded individuals.

Then I went back to OA, and tried to refocus a blog on recovery, instead of weight loss. I looked for a community of OA peeps online, and there were a few, but not many. I also got busy -- it became impossible to blog from work (which is what I had done previously), I got married, and my online community was replaced by my real-life OA community.

I worked the steps; I did not get abstinent. I had a meltdown in a meeting last fall and was going to leave OA. The next day someone from program came into my workplace. I was helping her find what she needed and she says to me, "Are you going to the meeting tonight?" It was a Monday night, and I had never been to the Monday night meeting. I should mention this woman was not at my weekend meeting where I had the meltdown; she had no idea I was fed up with OA. She had also never appeared at my workplace before -- and she hasn't come by since.

I went to the meeting. Someone I hadn't seen in a while was there and I asked her to be my new sponsor.

I now know I am in OA for good. I don't give a day to day blow by blow rundown of my eating follies and foibles on the blog. I don't chatter on to co-workers about what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. I talk about OA stuff with my sponsor, my hub and other OA people. A couple of close friends might hear a little now and then, but mostly I do not talk about my recovery with "civilians."

My food isn't perfect; I still pick up refined carbs and sometimes deep fried food. But I haven't had a binge in a year. I've lost 50 ponds. 99% of food -related drama has been removed from my life.

I'm working my program to the best of my ability, and, as they say, "it works if you work it."

I'm not sure what I am going to do with this blog. I kind of want to keep it, rework it, but ... I dunno. And I don't have to decide today. I can wait until my HP makes it clear to me one way or the other. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 14, 2007

In which we find our heroine somewhere in the middle of a new begining...

The best of intentions.... I was suprised to see that the last time I posted was August 2. Where has the time gone? Late summer/early fall is a busy time of year for me.... and now September is halfway over. Things are settling down some, which is good.

I am still feeling pretty good, although having ups and downs. But the big news, is that I went out and got myself a new sponsor. I had finished step 12 with my old sponsor, and since step 9 had still been in the food. I looked to an online e-mail list for a sponsor, and I found one that is in a time zone an hour earlier than mine. In working with this sponsor, I have been abstinent since 9/5/07 -- thats 10 days! Woo hoo! This is a risky time for me, I am always a chronic relapser around 2 weeks. One day at a time, one day at a time....

I had a food dream last night. I dreamt that I went to a carnival and ate all that carnival food -- candy apples, fried dough, etc. etc. and then at the end of the day at the carnival, I realized that I had wanted to try to stick to a food plan, and forgot about it, and had broken my abstinence. I woke up in the morning feeling as guilty as if I had actually eaten the food.

Soon I will start working on Step 1 with my new sponsor. I'll try not to be so much of a stranger...

P.S. If you are a COE or Food Addict with a blog, let me know and I will post the link in the sidebar.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

In which our heroine takes a break from travelling to blog

I've been very busy in and out of town for the past few weeks. There was camping, and reclining by a pool, and next week will be more camping.

The reclining by the pool took place at a conference for my husband's work. His employer likes to have a 3-4 day getaway in some picturesque spot every summer, and they make the employees attend conference presentations all morning and schedule family events for the whole group in the afternoon and evening. So, mornings I got up with my hub -- i talked him into sunrise yoga that was being offered-- and then after breakfast did some work for my jobs and then when that was taken care of, I lounged by the pool until hub was ready.

I did not realize how well that recharged my batteries until I realized driving into work this morning I felt happy and relaxed for the first time in about a year. It just goes to show, I don't improve in my time -- I don't always know what it is that I need. But HP knows, and if I am surrendered, I will receive it when that HP ( I call my HP God sometimes, sometimes the Universe) feels that I am ready.

Now, my abstinence did suffer at this work conference. I did make some effort to stay on my food plan, but by the third buffet dinner I just caved. I could have made some calls or posted to my e-mail recovery list.

But I came back from the trip willing to go to the grocery store and stock up on the veggies and natural meats I need for my food plan. This morning, I got up early again and took a walk with my hub before work. If I get up tomorrow and exercise, that will make every day this week that I did some physical activity.

Next on my list: Get to a freaking MEETING!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In which all is quiet on the western front

Denial is very sneaky. I convinced myself yesterday that a handful of potato chips eaten 1/2 hour after lunch was still a continuation of lunch (convinced isnt the right word. That implies some kind of effort undertaken for me to believe it -- which there wasn't. Rationalized maybe?). Then about an hour later when I was getting some ice tea, I saw some candy my hub had brought home from work, and since most of it was gone, I rationalized finishing it off. When my husband became hungry for dinner at a normal time, I wondered where the time had gone -- I had been updating my antivirus on my computer and the ridiculous process took about 3 - 4 hours. Boo says, "you're not hungry because you've been eating all afternoon!" I was very defensive and minimized what I had eaten. After all, the eating disorder scientists define a binge as 1,500 calories or more, and I probably had about 500 calories. Later that night, I realized this was denial. But I also realized something that an OA had said on an e-mail list I subscribe to... something to the effect of "We moved beyond the drama to a solution." So, today, I acknowledge that I overate. I do not get defensive. I acknowledge that the symptom of denial was manifest, making me think the snacks were harmless. Today, I move on. I go to a meeting, I talk to others, share my ups and downs, and commit to the next meal being abstinent.
There doesn't need to be histrionics, hand wringing or panic. Of course I overate; I am a compulsive overeater. What am I going to do today so that I don't step in that hole again?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

In which distorted thinking is examined

One of my three jobs is teaching a Library Science class at a nearby university. Every year, the students are able to submit course evaluations towards the end of the class. The instructor receives the results of those evaluations months and months later.

Monday, I received a printout of the evaluation responses from last spring's class. It had rows for the questions: 1 - 11. Just the numbers. It had columns for the answers: A-E. Just the letters. The sheet explaining what the questions were and how the rating scale was set up was not included. All of the responses I got, however, were D's and E's. I immediately assumed that the A thru E responses were like grades, with A being the highest and E being failing (i believe this campus uses E's instead of F's).

So, for about an hour on Monday I was kind of flipping out. I thought, "Dammit I work so hard on that class, this class seemed positive and responsive to my instruction style, I am *not* doing this again even if they ask me, which they won't because I got D's and E's..." etc.

I recognized what I was doing. I was immediatley going into "I suck" mode based on a guess of what the answers meant. I soon saw that I was getting ahead of myself --I needed to see the evaluation questions before I knew the characteristics of the evaluations; but I wasn't able to stop the monkey chatter in my head.

Program teaches me not to sit in an isolated pool of worry and self doubt. Instead, we are to reach out, ask for help, and extend help to others. I called my friend who works at the University who is also an OA. She is an administrator, but she knows the drill. She gave me feedback that those evaluation forms don't usually come back all unsatisfactory. They come back with responses either all over the map (polarized) or all consistently good or pretty good. Last summer when I taught, I got one of those polarized evaluations. When I was done venting, she shared some of the b.s. that she is dealing with in her life. I gave her my perspective. She too was in "i suck" mode. We were able to support each other and mollify each other's anxieties.
Asked for help? Check. Extended help to others? Check. HP speaking to me through my administrator friend? Check. HP showing me I am not a complete fuckup by being able to offer her advice as well? Check.

Finally, today, I received the questions. The answers were a scale with "A" being "Strongly Disagree" and "E" being "Strongly Agree" . The questiosn were all things you would want people to agree with, like: "Professor is consistently prepared for class." "Professor has command of the subject matter." So my students (granted, only 5 students), all either agreed or strongly agreed with positive comments about my instruction capabilities.

Today I ask HP to help me recognize my thinking that is a distorted self image manifesting itself, and run those distortions by others to gain outside perspective.