Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 142 An inquiry into food sanity

Last night I went to my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting in probably a decade. Years ago I went to 90 OA meetings in 90 days. That seemed a good way to give it a real shot at assisting me. But it never clicked with me. I tried a dozen different meetings and it all seemed to be a pale shadow of AA. There wasn't the life and death intensity of AA (no one ever spoke of it anyway although most likely some people felt it) and there was a tremendous amount of talk of relapse, people confessing what they'd eaten, their obsessions with bread or butter. I got the feeling it didn't really work.

Now I suspect that it was my own listening that didn't work. I wasn't ready to be there, to accept that it could work for me. I'm not sure I'm there yet, but last night's meeting was very useful for me. The chair person was celebrating 26 years of abstinence from unhealthy eating (anorexia mostly) and her topic was about being restored to sanity, a key component of the 12 Steps.

People went around the circle and shared insane experiences with food: bulimia and anorexia, of course, and massive overeating, and I could identify when I thought of eating a gallon of ice cream in an evening, or 18 Dove bars in a day, or 6 candy bars over an afternoon. Those extremes were easy to connect with. But I don't do that now.

And there was no talk of normal eating and that's a question I have. What is it? What is it for me? Or are two other questions that got posed last night more to the point:  Is my way of eating livable? Is it sane?


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