The Twelve Step program of Overeaters Anonymous tells me that my compulsion will be removed if I work the Steps and have a spiritual awakening which is sufficient to change me so that I no longer crave foods which are not good for me. I have experienced this removal of the compulsion. And the last several holiday seasons I have had no compulsions and no temptations. Of course, over the years I have trained my family, so they don’t expect me to eat those things and they don’t push them on me. I am grateful.
However, the first few holiday seasons I was in Overeaters Anonymous I was not free of the compulsion. And sometimes it was very hard to stay out of the food. I have found several things that work for me to help me keep my abstinence.
First, I try to remember that my abstinence and my OA program are the things that help me have sanity and peace in my life. I remind myself that really spending time with the people I love is much more important than the temporary high I get from the food. I discovered that when I tell people I am allergic to certain foods, they want to know more about that and try to help by offering solutions to those things. They keep asking questions and trying to talk me into things I know don’t work for me to eat. I finally decided that simply saying one thing over and over works as well as anything. I say “No, thank you” and indicate that I am full. I can just keep saying “no thank you” over and over.
Sometimes I just find some little kids and play with them; I can go for a walk and invite others to go; I can call someone (from the bathroom works well). Sometimes I just pray or help with the dishes. Another great trick is to help by passing out plates of the dessert--no one notices that I didn’t eat any when they see me with a plate of it in my hands.
I read something this week that made lots of sense to me. Someone shared that she tells people that she doesn’t eat foods that cause her to feel bad physically. And she has found no one urging her to eat foods which make her feel sick. (Those aren’t exactly the words she used but that was the idea).
I need to remember how important my abstinence and sanity are to me every day one day at a time.
Happy Holidays to all,
Margie - Region 1