GreySheeters Anonymous

Over A Quarter Century In Cambridge

Dear GS friends,

[Anonymous] here, abstinent as WE define it in Cambridge Massachusetts, and thrilled to have weighed and measure my food off the Cambridge GreySheet for the last 27 years and 7.5 months, back-to-back.

Thank you for asking me to reflect upon the blessings of abstinence and the incredible fringe benefits of long-term abstinence. First among these, for me, are my loss of illusions about returning to the food, the lack of longing to be "normal" (read, return to my crazy days, as that would be the only choice for me), my contentment with meals, and the "trickle down" effect of contentment with my significant other (a kind, brilliant, funny man), our beautiful new home, my furry friends Wolfie and Foxie, a really classy health club that has the nicest indoor pool I have ever swum in, my snazzy new computer, a wonderful, feisty, tell-it-like-it-is sponsor with over a quarter of a century of back-to-back GS abstinence, a wonderful circle of GS friends, the recent return of my dearest GS friend to the program after a decade long relapse, another small circle of wonderful "normie" friends and the list goes on.

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Abstinent Despite the Turbulence

Fellow GreySheeters: I've been putting this off, and without even the excuse someone else has of being sick of her own story.  It's not as if I get a chance to qualify very often.  Anyway, without further ado, here it is.  My name is [Anonymous] and I'm a food addict and compulsive overeater.  (Hi.)  I weigh and measure three meals off the GreySheet without exception, write them down, turn them over to my sponsor, don't eat between meals no matter what.  Abstinence is the most important thing in my life, and a day at a time I work to put my program first.  (Deep Breath)

There are a lot of you out there in cyberspace who haven't heard my story, so I'll start at the beginning.  I'm pretty sure I was a food addict in the womb.  Compulsive eating and other addictions run in my family.  My father is dangerously obese; my mother's mother is now in a wheelchair because of a stroke brought on by obesity; my not-so-little brother, who was always the skinny kid when we were growing up, now checks in at 300 lbs.  And is larger every time I see him.  I don't come from high numbers myself, but as someone once said in a meeting, you don't have to go all the way to the dump to know where the garbage truck is headed.  I'm told that when I was a baby I loved the starch paste which is fed to infants shortly before weaning.  I believe it.  My mother had a no-sweets rule when I was very young, but there was plenty of starch around.  I remember both being encouraged to eat and threatened with being fat.  There was "can you eat as much steak as Daddy?" at the dinner table - yet I also remember sitting down to dinner at the age of, oh, five or six, and lifting my thighs off the bench because if I let them rest on it they looked too fat.  So I started thinking of myself as fat when I was very young.  I knew that my grandmother was fat, because my mother said so - and I loved this grandmother because she would bake sugar-items and send them to us.  Since becoming abstinent I've gone back and looked at photos of myself as a child.  I was a cute kid, and not at all fat.  I didn't start to be overweight until adolescence caught me.  But I was lethargic and not very athletic and had a lot of shame about my body.  Gym classes at school were mortifying.  I believe now that the reason I lacked speed and energy was that my body was depressed by the carbohydrates.  I tried to work as hard and run as fast as everyone else, but it never seemed to happen.

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Made A Decision

Hello Community, I'm [Anonymous], a CO, abstinent and grateful.  I w&m 3 meals a day from the Cambridge Greysheet, write them down, commit them to my sponsor, don't eat between meals, do eat every meal, and I've done this daily for 6 years today, June 20th, 2002.  And I'm writing this post with tears of gratitude, humility and disbelief running down my cheeks.

When I began this trek 6 years ago I was at a place of total despair regarding my weight and food in my life.  I'd dieted for over 25 years - dieted my way to 268 pounds, a stay in the hospital on the verge of a stroke from high blood pressure, and a pretty miserable existence.  I wanted things to be different, I'd bargained with God, I had truly tried to eat sanely.  But I got worse and worse over the years until I was totally hopeless.  I remember thinking, "I might live 30 more years.  Damn."

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Safety At The Far Shore

My name is [Anonymous] and I am a CO.  I will be happy to qualify since I have a couple of minutes of free time before my nose goes back to the grindstone here in Extension Horticulture.  I have 131 days of abstinence on GreySheet by the grace of God.  My sponsor, who found GreySheet in New York, brought GreySheet to College Station, Texas.  She had been my oldest sponsor here in College Station OA when I first came in 1981.  She has definitely been an angelic being in my life, and I am grateful for the activity of God in her life as well as mine.

She was also instrumental in leading me to AA, where I should have gone in the first place (I knew I had a bad drinking problem, so I joined OA!)  Anyway, I entered the fellowship of AA on March 25, 1981, and have stayed sober, by the grace of God, since that time.  I got abstinence, that I was able to stay on a few months later, and managed to stay abstinent for the next 5-6 years.  My sponsor moved away, I got a divorce and moved, and when this all happened, I decided to eat "normally" again.  When I took back the food, I told myself that I would NEVER let this wonderful stuff go again.  I knew that I had been insane to let it go, and I would keep this lovely delicious food all my days.  About 5 years of hell later, I tried to get back to OA.  Another 3 years of misery in the pits passed before I crawled onto my knees and asked God to please, please, please take away my craving for food that made me crazy and fat (about 200 lbs. on a 5'3" frame).  A couple of days later, (God acted swiftly!), I heard that my old sponsor was moving back to College Station.  I cried out to God that this was NOT the solution I wanted.  I bitched and moaned and ranted and raved, but when she did come, I approached her about started a GreySheet meeting, and I have been abstinent since July 27,1995.

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