Without Exception, At All Times
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.
I tried to find an easier softer way. Eight years later, EIGHT YEARS of trying to define abstinence that includes carbs, that lets me have my 'dignity' (which meant not having to bring my scale out in public), and I'm here to say, none of it worked. AT ALL. I gained all the weight back, and by this time, I was hopeless about finding a solution.
In my other program, I did the steps out of the book. That helped me get closer to the truth, closer to my HP, and what did I see? That I'm a compulsive overeater, that I wanted to die.
So, at that point, I was ready to surrender, and when I did, all kinds of miracles happened. I got a sponsor at my first GS meeting in Cambridge, went to meetings every day, was gifted with willingness, and took all the suggestions, every one.
I have weighed and measured at weddings, on first dinner dates, at a business interview breakfast, traveling in Europe, as well as through job losses, the death of my mother, break-ups, moving to another part of the country, buying a house, being without a job for a few weeks, and all I can say is, it's doable, no matter what. One meal at a time, I can stay abstinent.
I am so grateful for the grey sheet, for the community, for the people who listened to me cry at meetings over everything, because my feelings came up with a vengeance when I put down the food. Of course they would!!
I see my scale as the sign of my disease, but also as the sign of my healing. When I take it out, I admit to myself and everyone else, I'm not perfect, I need to do this very strange thing at my mealtime, no matter who I am sitting with, because without it, I am doomed to the hell of compulsive eating, to hating my body, to feeling guilty no matter what I put in my mouth, to endless obsession. With the scale, I know what is enough; I know I've eaten enough when the meal is finished, and that I am fine, no matter how I feel.
I choose foods that I love because I can't do this program feeling deprived and as if I am dieting. Diets end. Abstinence never has to. I have too much to lose now--and it's not the weight anymore, it's good things, good people, life in between my meals--my contact with HP, my real connections with people and myself...
I don't want to lose any of these gifts of abstinence, and all I have to do to keep them is weigh and measure my food and stay in the middle of this miraculous safety net of the GS community.
I wish you all the blessings of abstinence...nmw,