GreySheeters Anonymous

Finding A Real Definition of Abstinence

I'll tell you a little about myself.

I'm originally from Chicago - was born there and grew up in the suburbs - Arlington Heights, as a matter of fact.  I went to nursing school at Augustana Hospital, which was near Lincoln Park Zoo.  Now there are condominiums there.  It's kind of sad, but that neighborhood was my haunt many years ago.  This was the famed "Old Town" area in Chicago, in its heyday with the folk music and the hippies.  I graduated from nursing school in 1963.  That makes me 59 years old, something I find hard to believe myself.  Anyway, I'm still a nurse, retired at the present time.  I was an occupational health nurse working in a metal manufacturing plant.  I am married to a retired printing press mechanic.  We lived in a townhouse in Streamwood, a western suburb of Chicago, until last October when we moved to the northeast corner of Tennessee.

This is my second marriage.  I have no children; My husband has three married children.  We've been married for 12 years.  I have a twin sister who lived in Denver and moved to Tennessee when we did.  Also, we have a cat named Greysee.  She's all grey, hence the name.  We have another one named Millie Vanillie.  I have collections:  Russian nesting dolls, snowmen, Fiesta Ware dishes, kaleidoscopes, and lighthouses.  I collect other things too, but I don't want to dwell on it too much...my husband says one more collection, and he's out of here!  So, that's kinda what my life has been like.  I am truly blessed.

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Resigned From the Debating Society

Hi everyone.  My name is [Anonymous] and I am a food addict and compulsive overeater.  I weigh and measure three meals a day from the GreySheet.  I don't eat between meals no matter what and abstinence is the most important thing in my life today.

Food has always been very important to me.  One of my childhood memories was of saying, "No, thank you," to xxx from one of my friends' mother because I thought she would be impressed by my manners and would certainly offer them again.  When she didn't I was devastated!  I went home and told my mother the story expecting an outpouring of sympathy but she didn't seem concerned at all.  It was incidents like that that made me realize that I felt differently about food than anybody I knew.  I also stole food at home all the time and could never figure out how my mother always knew it was me.  I realized only last year that it was simply because nobody else behaved that way in our house.  I thought everybody was doing the same thing!  It didn't seem to matter how much trouble I knew I would get in, I couldn't stop myself from stealing food.  We only had exactly enough for each of the four daughters and my parents each week and when I ate two xxx one day, it meant somebody else wouldn't get one.  My mother occasionally got boxes of xxx from my father's friends.  She would hide them in a closet and eat one a week.  I couldn't understand how she could do that.  Anyway, I couldn't resist stealing them.  They haunted me.  I knew she would kill me when she eventually found out but I always rationalized as I did it, that I could effectively disguise the missing xxx!  I was always so ashamed when I was confronted with my stealing and the accusation that I was so selfish because I didn't care how my behavior affected anybody else.

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Willingness To Surrender

Hi my name is [Anonymous] and I have this disease of Compulsive Overeating who gratefully weighs 3 meals off the Cambridge Greysheet and I am proud to say I belong to GSA!

My eating history is probably not a lot different from yours.  I ate and I ate and I ate!  I lied for food!  I stole for food!  I compromised my morals and values for food!  I lost a job to food!  I was willing to compromise my health by stretching my body beyond its normal limits!  I was a slave to food and I can go back into that mode if I take my abstinence away!

My first greysheet meeting was in 1990, I went to that one meeting and wasn't ready and I wasn't desperate enough (quite belligerent in my disease) as I look back.

I re-entered the rooms in 1991 and I was enticed by someone (back door style) who seemed to eat like I did but I was not desperate enough still!  I did start to weigh and measure but I kept taking my will back and doing very diseased things!  I weighed foods that we do not eat on the greysheet, I subtracted proteins from other meals and tacked it onto my dinner meals!  My surrender was not quite complete!  I did lose a lot of weight during this period of insanity and I started to get panicked!  At that time the fear got so bad I wanted my obese body back I didn't know what to do with myself!  I was feeling feelings that this disease wouldn't allow me to feel!  I was a mess!  I continued to weigh and measure but not Camb. GS style!

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Without Exception, At All Times

Hi everyone,

My name is [Anonymous], and I weigh and measure 3 meals a day off the grey sheet, call it in to my sponsor, don't eat in-between no matter what, and abstinence is the most important thing in the world to me.  I do this without exception, and have been since July 17, 1995, in Cambridge, MA, where I first got abstinent.

I wish I could say it's been easy.  It hasn't.  But my life has improved, changed, and grown dramatically in every possible way.  I'm so grateful for the gift of abstinence, for the desire to remain abstinent, for the people I've met who really 'get' my disease and what it takes to recover one meal at a time.

I've had several sponsors in this program.  Several of them relapsed.  When I came into grey sheet 9+ years ago, I was desperate, I wanted to die, but I wanted to live more, I guess.  I had been abstinent with the gs food plan for 4 months in 1987, lost 40 pounds in regular OA, but had a taste of what it meant to live without sugar, to call my food in, and to weigh my food.  They just didn't do it without exception.  They didn't do it in restaurants, or when they went out to eat at people's parties or homes or weddings...I lost the weight, did it as a diet, and left as soon as I started to look thin again.

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