Things I Do with Free Time

Hi, I'm [Anonymous], a Co, and I W&M 3 meals a day from the GS, DENMW in between, write my food down, commit it to my wonderful sponsor, and Abstinence is the MOst important thing in my life today, because without it I don't have a life. I was really touched by the person who said she had time on her hands didn't know what to do with it and not eat. I still have those times, I'm a stay-at-home mom and although that gives me plenty to do, I still find those times when my soul is bored and my mind is stretched, and the food begins to call to me. Here are some of the things I do instead of eating:

  • First, I call other GSers.  I find that what I'm doing is feeling some feeling I can't identify.  In the beginning of abstinence, it was often grief over letting go of the food.  Not an easy feeling to sit with.  Really powerful, and it's good to talk to someone who understands the feeling.  If anyone needs a copy of the GS Phone List, you can email to request a copy.
  • Read or listen to the GS shares on the website:  Written/Audio Qualifications.
  • GET TO A MEETING.  I don't have any GS meetings here in MN, so I attend LOTS of GS Phone Bridge Meetings.  There are phone bridge meetings every night at 9pm EST and three times a week at other times.  I get to most of them, to build the defense against the first bite.  When I lived in a face-to-face GS community, I went to almost daily (if not more) meetings.  I need the "brain washing" that I get at meetings.  Gratitude flows when I'm in a meeting.  Meetings are NOT just for newbies.  The oldtimers I know still go to many meetings a week.  As I've always been told "Meeting Makers Make It."
  • Write to the GreyNet and share where I am.
  • Call my sponsor.  I always encourage my sponsees (or any other GSer) to call me when feeling 'discombobulated'.  We don't have to do this alone.  It's a "WE" program.
  • Take a bubble bath (sometimes accompanied by two kids and wandering cats, sometimes blissfully alone). I take a nice book and a cold drink in to the bathroom and I soak and read and dream.
  • Give myself a pedicure. There's nothing I love better than a pedicure, so it's really very special to give myself one.  If I can go out and have someone else do it, all the BETTER!
  • Give myself a facial (see above).
  • Go to a movie. During the day there isn't so much munching, and if I need to, or can, I bring my lunch and munch to my heart's content.
  • Bring a movie in. Can't do that anymore, since I gave away my TV and VCR 18 months ago, but I used to do that and it was a nice alternative.
  • Clean out the fridge. If that is too close to the food, I don't.
  • Declutter or clean out some other room/'hot spot'. For some reason this helps me declutter my mind, too.
  • Fix and pack extra meals. If that is too close to the food, I don't.
  • Get out my drawing supplies and play.
  • Get out my handcraft supplies and play.
  • Get out my tape player and headphones, a book on tape, and listen to it while doing some of the above activities. It drowns out the "Committee" in my head and I find some peace that way, strange as it may sound.
  • Read the Big Book and the Twelve and Twelve and the 12-Step meditation books. Sometimes I hear just what I'm supposed to hear.
  • I'm not a journal-writer, but sometimes if I just can't get what I need I pick up a pen and I find my beautiful journal (a gift) and I do stream-of-consciousness writing.  It's remarkable what I connect with when I do this. Why don't I do it frequently? Maybe some day I'll find out grin.
  • I go for a walk. I frequently feel much better after taking a walk. I hate to exercise (isn't it enough that I have to do GS???) but it's another of those things that almost always makes me feel better.
  • I put on a favorite tape or a cd and sing&dance with my kids. See above re: walking.
  • The thing I've learned is that feelings pass. Abstinence is worth hanging around for. When I first came back this time around, I had no earthly idea what I liked to do, what would make me feel better, what would help me pass time until the next meal.  I just sat on my hands a lot and waited. Now I have a few options I hadn't thought of then, and it's a wonderful thing to them share with all of you. I have come a long way in the last year and a half, plus.
  • Just Don't Eat No Matter What, and it will get easier, I Promise. If you don't believe me, read the promises in the Big Book (p. 83).

One last comment. 
I have been trained to Love My Food. I am a Compulsive Overeater. That means I am NOT normal around food. I will never consider in my heart that food is fuel. Therefore, if I want to stay abstinent, I have to LOVE my Food. The GS lets me have safety around loving my food. If I eat foods from the GS, Without Exception, committed,and W&M'd, then I get to enjoy every morsel. I HAVE to LOVE my food.  If I don't, I WILL eat again. This is not a diet.  All diets fail, and if I use GS as a diet, it will fail, too.  I can't wait until I have time or energy to do the work to find #10 meals. I have to have them every single meal (with those rare exceptions when circumstances call for a quick and easy meal, but notice I say RARE). If I am bored with my food, I have to take action to find foods on the GS which make me look forward to each meal and which give me orgasms during each meal. This is difficult to 'get' until you do it. It IS safe. It IS surrender to the GS. Don't look at recipes, call other GSers and ask what they love. Find what you love, and give yourself the gift of #10 meals and abstinence. You deserve it! Abstinent and Grateful, 
Anonymous in MN, USA

What Do I Do to Stay Abstinent?
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