As a compulsive overeater, I have been food sober since December 20, 2015. Today, what that means for me is I am eating three meals per day, one snack sort of thing in the evening, and fruit and vegetables during the day if biking/hiking and a commitment to no refined sugar. I have relayed in the past how I have come to understand that I used sugar to escape long before I picked up my first drink and was off on my active career as an alcoholic.
Over the past several weeks, I had several “aha” experiences with foods I have eaten and not eaten:
- I have been a bit nervous about the long-term abstinence from sugar. But one day at a time, I have not had a craving for the substance in the past few weeks. In fact, I am surprised at the incredible natural sweetness of other foods, like mangos. When eating boiled yucca the other night, I had a similar experience. I am pleased that to the extent “sweet” is a taste I am after, I can get it from something other than refined sugar. In the same way, “thirst” can be addressed with liquids other than beer.
- In general, over the past several weeks I have enjoyed the taste of foods like never before. I attribute this largely to not simply eating till the food was gone. I have enjoyed cooking and have taken care to do it right, and not just get the food cooked or fixed so I could eat.
- For the first time in I don’t know when, at supper last night, despite being very intentional about the amount of food I was putting on my plate, I was struck that the amount was perhaps too much. When in restaurants of late, I have not judged the wisdom of my order based on the volume on my plate compared to others at the table.
Here are a couple of other changes in the past few weeks:
- In attending OA meetings online or listening to speaker podcasts, when folks qualify as “compulsive overeaters” there is a more visceral or gut recognition on my part – that yes, I am too. I am not just a recovering alcoholic with food issues. In fact, the overeating as early as I can remember came before my first experience with getting an alcoholic high at the age of 10.
- Perhaps most significantly, although I would certainly describe myself as an adherent/member of Alcoholics Anonymous in the past 30 plus years of continuous sobriety, the Twelve-Step program have taken on a more profound and heartfelt meaning for me in recovery from my compulsive overeating. A point of departure for me is moving from the intellectual to the visceral.