GreySheeters Anonymous

Name, Rank, and Serial Number

Hello, This is [Anonymous]  from the Cincinnati Greysheet community.  I am abstinent & grateful today by the grace of God and the support of the Greysheet community.

I weigh and measure three meals a day from the Greysheet, write them down, commit them to my sponsor, and I don't eat between meals no matter what.  I have 134 pounds of physical recovery and 34 months of back-to-back abstinence.  Abstinence is the most important thing I do for myself today. A new Greysheeter recently asked for advice on handling eating out at a business meeting.  He is afraid of relapse and is not yet confident of his weighing and measuring abilities in a public setting.  He was considering not eating during the meal and wanted ESH on how to handle that  I, too, often choose not to eat.

I fully support those Greysheeters who choose to weigh and measure at a meal hosted by civilians, but I often find that I am still too overwhelmed by fear of making a mistake to do it in a business setting.  My choice not to eat gives me serenity.  Since this Greysheeter seemed to want the same serenity, I offered him the following advice.  I thought it might also be helpful to others. Choosing Not to Eat Considering your state of mind, I highly recommend eating your abstinent meal alone in your room prior to the business meal.  You can then sit and socialize with your colleagues during the business meal.  If you are going to use that technique, you should be prepared to: a) Quietly and unobtrusively drink an abstinent beverage while others are eating.  If the conversation is focused on how good the food tastes, you can comment on how good your beverage is.  Discuss how much you like herbal tea, African coffee, or Smart Water.  Talk about the best tea and coffee shops in your town.  Move the conversation away from food and toward the beverage.  Then, if people ask what you like to eat, and they are asking out of a genuine desire to include you in the conversation as a friend, you could discuss your food choices if you want.  Discussing your food choices should depend on your level of comfort.  I never discuss my food with people who are hostile and disdainful of my food choices.  They don't deserve the honor.  I don't cast pearls before swine. b) Learn to serenely answer questions about why you are choosing not to eat.  People will ask why you are not eating and many of them will continue asking until their curiosity is exhausted.  You should say, "I have a severe sensitivity to any form of sugar.  I have to be absolutely certain that my food is prepared in accordance with my dietary needs.  Therefore, I find it much easier to prepare my own food.  I wasn't sure if I could bring my food here (i.e., to whatever restaurant they are in), so I decided to eat my meal prior to coming."  Let people know you are not hungry, not uncomfortable, not unhappy, not dying to eat, not envious of their food, etc., etc.  People put so much emphasis on this, sometimes they won't let it go and they go on and on about how bad they feel that you're not eating.  Practice deflecting their emotions.  They will flood you with emotion if you choose to participate in their emotion.  Be polite (because it will make you feel good about yourself), but firm (because it will make you feel good about yourself). c) Before they can make you feel bad about your choice of not eating, take control.  Before they even ask, use some of the following example statements: "This is the right way for me to eat and I'm so happy I've found it." "I'm so glad I found this way of eating.  Before I found this way of eating, I was sick all the time." "I am so much healthier and happier now that I can eat this way.  It's very good for me." If you are afraid to make these statements or can't imagine yourself saying them, stand in front of the mirror and say these statements out loud several times a day prior to your business trip.  Look yourself in the eye and say them out loud 10 times. Obviously, the techniques I described here are similar to being in combat, being captured, and learning to provide just your name, rank, and serial number.  I highly recommend taking on that mindset and using it to its full advantage. We have to be fully convinced that we deserve to keep our disease in remission.

Civilians don't understand, and that's ok.  They have a right to their own lives.  But we can live the way we need to live if we stand our ground. No Matter What.
Anonymous, March 9, 2005