I started out being a good-sized baby. I went upward from there. I came by my flour and sugar addiction by example and maybe genetics. For instance, my dad would put sugar on things one usually doesn’t put sugar on. Then, when my brother and I cleaned out the family house (after he and my mom moved into assisted living) we found chairs around the house where he would clearly stop, sit, and rest. By each chair was a convenient sugar stash. I also learned early that sugar and flour was a good way to stuff my feelings, often a necessary strategy around the house.
I was a chubby boy, eating sugar whenever I could get my hands on it. I stayed that way until high school when some friends of mine got into running. Because they were into it, I got into it too. So I got thin, ran cross-country and track thru HS, but then slowly stopped running some time after college. I continued being very physically active, but still stuffing with food. Rather than deal with my emotions about my marriage which lasted 28 years, I ate.
I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009 at 300 pounds. My weight began to go down slowly and then in 2012 I was struck vegan by a message from my daughter. I was finding ways to use vegan eating (which does not preclude sugar and flour) to justify eating compulsively.
I came into OA because a friend of mine and I had in common that we ate weird: she ate OA and I ate vegan. I went to a few meetings in 2013/2014, and thought I belong here but I wasn’t ready. I hit rock bottom in July 2014, got a sponsor on August 9, 2014, and have been eating with imperfect abstinence since. I very quickly dropped to almost high school weight, 188. My sponsor was not vegan and gave me a food plan and there was something in the vegan food plan that we did not know should be counted as fat and not protein.
As I had done throughout my life, I figured out how to stuff with food. I gradually added more of that foodstuff to my committed food, and my weight crept up. Changing amounts of food didn’t seem to help. Then a sponsor suggested getting an OA aware nutritionist so I did and I found out that a bunch of foods that we thought were one thing should be counted as another. For example, some vegetables I was eating were starchy, therefore should be counted as grain. The main mind blowing discovery was those things which I was eating up to a pound a day of as protein should be counted as fat, not protein. I went down to an ounce or less a day of those.
Recently during the pandemic, I had incredible digestive problems, and while sitting on the toilet, miserable, I had a thought (which was clearly HP) which said, “What if those things that you are eating a lot less of are causing this? I stopped eating all of those things altogether and within days I was perfectly normal and fine digestively speaking. My intestine is allergic to them. I went to the OAMBI Retreat this past weekend and there was recovery gold there, in all attendees. The phrase that hit me right upside my face was a recounting of a sponsor telling a sponsee this:
“You can face your stuff or you can stuff your face.” I needed to hear that. I can eat abstinently and still stuff and that truth became vividly clear to me. I’ve tightened up my program considerably and I’m facing my stuff more than ever, including upping my BBSS work. In OA, my diabetes is and has been under excellent control. My weight is 230 and dropping. This fellowship has saved my life quite literally in several ways.
Bless you all!