Wednesday, May 23, 2018


I’ve been reading Overeaters Anonymous lately. If you know me at all, or have been following me online, you know some things about me. One, I’m fat. Have been pretty much all of my life. If you’ve had the good fortune to hang out with me, you know I’m ridiculously picky about what I eat. To the point that a few people - though they’ve been polite enough not to say it but I’ve gotten pretty good at reading minds - have wondered how I can be fat when I don’t seem to enjoy food much.

Well, it’s the emotions, stupid, as the saying goes. Somewhere along the way, a long long time ago, I learned food made the feelings disappear for a while. The problem is that the effects wouldn’t last long but for the brief moment when I was eating whatever tasty thing I had gotten my hands on, I could focus on that. On the tiny moment of feeling happy, in control. But the mind is a weird, curious thing, you know. Because pretty much the second I was done eating, the feelings of disgust, embarrassment, self-hate would kick in. So why, why, why have I spent decades doing this to myself?

i often say that we work our habits for a reason, good or bad, they do something for us. Human beings are creatures of habit, of selfishness. We like doing things that get us something, even the bad things. I’m a reasonably smart person but despite the time I’ve put into thinking about this problem ... of all the bad moments, the humiliations, the loneliness, disappointments - really any negative emotion fits here - that being fat has caused me, I can’t think of any positives that warrant decades of working such bad habits.

I read a book a few weeks ago, Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen, where the author writes about her epic binges.
Cover of Feast by Hanna Howard

In her bingeing habits, I saw parts of myself. From that book, I can’t remember why now, but I went online to look at the Overeaters Anonymous program. I even looked to see if there are meetings in the area. I need to do something; I’m unsure of what I need, so I thought maybe this would be something. But, and I know I’m not the first person to go down this rabbit hole, all of the mentions of God in the steps are just such a deterrent. I have a problem with food. I don’t have a problem saying that. I’ve been saying that for a while now. But to start reaching out to god for help, when for all intents and purposes I’ve been an atheist since my pre-teens, man, that’s a hard pill to swallow. And I know, I’ve seen enough TV shows and movies that it’s supposed to be god as I understand him, but even that little disclaimer or workaround does nothing for me.

So I don’t know where that leaves me. I’m working through the OA books, I’m writing this which isn’t all that fun but I figure it might be something. I’m sharing with a couple of friends the stuff I’m eating and feeling in an attempt to stop hiding from myself. In terms of the theory of change, I’m probably solidly in the contemplation phase. Well, maybe moving more towards determination.

Stages of Change model

I like routine, I like habits. So creating structure and setting up my environment to facilitate the implementation of these new habits seems like a good place to start. The rest, well, who knows. One day at a time, right? Isn’t that the way this is supposed to work?