I seem to have quite a need to connect with you here lately… which might have to do with the fact that my boss is out and work is going s-l-o-w. So, here I am again – still a compulsive overeater but abstinent today as I weigh my 3 meals off the CGS, write them down, commit them to my sponsor, and eat nothing uncommitted no matter what. I’m making that my #1 priority for today.
Looking at my consistent weight gain over the past year, which has been slow but steady, I am now finally at a point where I have to take a serious look at my intake of soy. My sponsor keeps advising me that many long-timers have found it to prevent weight loss or even make them gain weight. Considering that I have already given up almost all dairy, chewing gum, and processed foods in general, I find it interesting just how hard everything within me wants to fight this and keep the soy. I like the way it fills me up and keeps me full for a long time – what others would probably describe to be “sitting in their stomach like a rock” is to me actually a pleasant sensation I can’t seem to get from other foods.
So I have committed to giving it up, but I haven’t done it yet. Just the commitment. I still have a supply of it at home and the plan is to use that up, and buy no more. I am both frightened to get to the end of my supply and wishing it to go quicker. Wanting to eat nothing else until it’s all gone (no, I won’t do that!), wanting to be rid of it already even as I fear the loss. I can be compulsive about anything. I had already limited my use of soy to one day a week, but that may still be too much and I am told it would be better to just clean it out entirely.
But what next…? What if I find that it doesn’t make a difference – what else can I give up? And, can I take it back in that case? Why can’t I eat like other Greysheeters? These are some of the questions swirling around in my head. I’m not happy.
But, come what may, I will remain abstinent – no matter what.
I am just so incredibly grateful for this program. The concept of “no matter what” is the one key that was missing in whatever I did before. NMW is freeing, not restricting, because I don’t have to think.
That sounds funny, but the thing is, if it’s not NMW I always have to negotiate. That’s exactly what is stealing the peace around food I have now; the moment I start negotiating, my head begins to fill with arguments, and I’m right back to obsession about food. If nothing at all is a reason to eat, well then, I don’t have to wonder.
Over time I’ve found just how simple it is to take food for travel, for various situations, for occasions… no elaborate preparation is needed most of the time, and again, my head is free from the back-and-forth pull I lived under for most of my life. It’s not a question of if, but of how, and that means that I can employ my best thinking to come up with a problem solution (i.e., how) and not drive myself mad by arguing this way or that (i.e. if). I’m a practical person, and if presented with a problem (“how will I be abstinent through this?”) I can usually come up with a pretty good answer – and if not, there are plenty of people available to ask who have done it before.
I love this community, my abstinence is not on my own but because WE DENMW.
Kneeling is a subject that’s been on my mind for a long time. It’s a profound thing. God doesn’t need me to be on my knees to speak to me, but I do think that I listen better when I’m there. It is a single-purpose position. I mean, I can pray while sitting but I do lots of other things sitting. Or standing, or lying down. But the only reason I kneel is because I’m connecting with God. That alone, that exclusivity, probably has a big part to play in why kneeling is profound.
And I don’t do it often. I don’t do it as a “default”. My Catholic baggage rejects the idea of ritual, and I don’t want prayer and anything connected with it to be mere ritual. When I pray, I want to open up to God and if I’m drawn to doing it, I will kneel. Other times, I’ll stand. Or lift my hands. Or move. I want to be natural before my dad, in what I say as well as in how I behave.
Possibly, another reason why kneeling is a good prayer posture for me is that it’s a physical reminder that I can’t run away, it’s a choice that I’m getting into a position where I can’t run. Not sure if that makes any sense to you, but if I kneel down, I feel grounded much more than when I sit or stand.
I don’t have anything specific to share, but I want to connect and be part of the group whether times are good or bad (or indifferent)… so, a little update on what abstinent life for this compulsive overeater looks like right now…
- Freedom! I’ve finished studies for my postgrad diploma. I was really beginning to crack toward the end. Now, with a big white space of empty time on my hands, I have to consciously choose not to fill it like that again. I promised myself I would slow down, and I’m working to stick with that promise. I was able to do this diploma only because I am abstinent, which kept me (marginally) sane through the process, and abstinence is my bedrock now as I learn how to live with less structure.
- Over-freedom! – that is, the lack of discipline is something I’m becoming quite concerned about. Again, abstinence is my bedrock and I won’t shake that, but I have found myself swinging into the opposite emphasis after the strong grip of discipline I had while studying. Now, I can’t seem to get out of bed like I used to… I’m not exercising… I’m not spending time meditating… it seems like every helpful discipline I’ve established is now thrown out with the studies, like the baby with the bathwater. It’s incredibly hard to get any of that back, and any suggestions and/or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
- Apprehension – my doctor put me on the pill due to hormonal issues, and the last time I was on it started an upward climb of my weight – slow, but consistent – that hasn’t stopped even after I quit taking it after six months. Now I’m having to take it again, and although I eat extremely simple & wholesome foods, I’m apprehensive of the next weigh-in.
- Direction – I’m at a crossroads regarding my job, which I love but which is very far away from where I live. I am taking proactive action a day at a time, being very open and transparent at work, which is a big break through for me. I also credit the GS programme for my ability to handle this. I’m not sneaky, I’m not playing politics, I’m not running away from the situation. I just lay it out as it is and letting God take care of it, which I trust he will do.
I think the more I try to define spirituality for myself, the harder it is to define. It has to do with surrender, I’ve got that much… surrender to a programme (GSA), surrender to the things I cannot change, surrender to life on life’s terms. The end of strife.
Another thing I’ve learned about it is that it’s not always pleasant, or comfortable. I think spirituality can be terribly uncomfortable. In the past I would think of spirituality and expect, or look for, warm fuzzy feelings. When they weren’t there, I would doubt. Does God really exist when I feel like I’m talking into a brass ceiling? What does feeling really have to do with it?
But as Eileen said, spiritual and physical experience are totally linked. Just not in the way I thought they were. I surrender to the programme of GSA and the process is very physical. Or take prayer, if I get on my knees then that’s physical (whether or not emotions follow). Or when I feel the Spirit touch me in every way – emotional, physical, and spiritual – that kind of combined experience is the most profound there is.
We really are a unit, body / mind / soul. It’s such a deep, confusing and unsearchable mystery. I think the more I learn the less I see that I know!
For the last few weeks I’ve been absolutely and totally immersed in exam preparations. It’s incredible how that takes up every waking moment – not the studies themselves, but the worry about it and just constantly thinking about it. Like a weight over everything. I had my final exams last week and now I’m trying to re-adjust to life without this… it’s a really strange feeling. Something is missing.
Toward the end I have to admit I really could tell I was beginning to crack, as it wasn’t just the studying and that pressure but work was incredibly hectic as well… abstinence is what kept me sane, keeps me sane!
So now I’m just in a really strange place, a big emptiness in me coupled with intense relief, as well… I have to be really disciplined now and resist the temptation to get stuck into the next thing. I need to let go now, relax, but I don’t know how – it’s such an alien thing to me. But I’ll just commit to take it a day at a time, and do what I’d promised myself a few weeks ago when the pressure seemed too much: not to overload myself like that again.
Thanks to abstinence I get to have a full life, but I’ve got to learn how not to overfill it! 🙂