What I do to stay abstinent

Not all of us have access to live meetings.  They are wonderful if you can get to them – I would go as far as to say they are essential if there is any way you can get to them – but some of us are outposts.  Live meetings support abstinence, no question, but they are not required to be, or become, abstinent.

When I first found Greysheet back in March 2004, I lived in New York City and had plenty of live meetings to go to.  And I did: for all of 18 days, after which I decided that Greysheet wasn’t for me because I wasn’t as bad as all these people.  A year later, I lived in MD without access to meetings, but I finally despaired of my own efforts and got abstinent, my only support being the Greynet and phone meetings.  I remained abstinent for about 15 months, through an intercontinental move and lots of other NMW’s, all without live meetings (except for Roundups when I could make it there).

I have now been abstinent since October 2006 and, again, haven’t had access to live meetings most of that time.

So, as an outpost, what do I do to stay abstinent?  I’ll try to come up with 10 things:

  1. I write down my food, commit it to my sponsor, weigh it, and eat nothing else, no matter what.  Duh.
  2. I read the Greynet daily and post when I can.
  3. I make it to phone meetings whenever I can (the time difference often being an issue).
  4. I participate in a weekly AWOL.
  5. I am completely honest about my food with my sponsor, and I share what is happening in my life with my sponsor as well, asking for her perspective on everything (not just food).  She knows what’s going on in my life and provides a helpful, abstinent point of view.
  6. I eat the best food I can afford.
  7. I mostly stick to foods I know and enjoy, but I do try different recipes occasionally to expand my choices.
  8. All my acquaintances and friends know about my food and respect it, because I make sure they respect it.  In other words, although there are no Greysheeters around, everyone knows about my food and would be very concerned if I changed what I do.  So I am accountable.
  9. If I get hungry or covet others’ food in social situations, I deliberately change my focus by either engaging in interesting conversation or leaving the situation.  I do not romance the food.
  10. I remember to thank God (my Higher Power) whenever people around me, work colleagues etc., discuss their latest dieting attempts… whenever I see an obese person… whenever I see others lose control (and I can tell from a mile away).  Because here, but for the grace of God, go I.
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