One of the things I came to understand and accept after the workshop March 19th is that Steps 1 = 3 are decisions, not actions. I was trying to figure out how to do them but it turns out, it was a little like the ruby slippers – I just had to click my heels together and believe.
Step One says “We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.”
I I struggled with that because powerless meant helpless to me. I am not helpless. I am strong. I can and have done so many things. It helped to hear others that said the same thing – that they had to just admit that this was one area where steamrolling ahead just didn’t work.
I also really struggled with feeling that my life was not that unmanageable. I have a family, friends, a job and a house. I’m very fortunate that all of those are pretty top notch. So what is so unmanageable?
What I learned in the last month was that food was the oil that made my life manageable and when I was trying to get “on plan” or falling off my plan, then I was often impatient, inattentive or just plain mean. If I was stressed about family or friends or work or money or ANYTHING, I had food as a crutch. Credit card bills too high? Have a cookie. Crazy day at work? Where’s the ice cream? No retirement plan? Bring on the fried chicken.
Sounds funny, doesn’t it?
For the last few months I would get so angry with people who kept saying they had to reach rock bottom before OA worked for them. I’m not at rock bottom. I’ve seen rock bottom and this ain’t it. It’s far from rock bottom. So OA won’t work for me? I have to keep suffering and hating myself. No. That was just my compulsive brain finding one more excuse not to jump on board.
Finally I could admit that I WAS at the end of my willingness to accept that that’s just the way my life was always going to be. That I was tired of the same yo-yo life of working to remake myself and my body, then sinking (or diving head first) back into the abyss.
I actually wrote this down on a sticky and taped it to my computer at work: “If I am feeling overwhelming emotions of any kind and I turn to food instead of allowing myself to feel those emotions, that is INSANITY.”
It seems to help. All the tools help. Having a sponsor. Going to meetings. Writing. Making phone calls.
Laying off my “alcoholic foods” helps the most, but the exercise helps a LOT. I’ve been taking brisk walks around the building when I feel like hitting the donuts or candy that lies around every freaking office in the world. I walk inside when the weather isn’t good, but try to get outside if the sidewalks are at all clear and I don’t think I’m going to bust my butt on the ice. This helps keep the stress to a minimum.
I’m also trying to be more of a listener instead of a talker. Ask, not tell is my new motto. What do you guys think? I say that so much I should have a sign printed up. Maybe a t-shirt.