Home Abstinence Six Courses of Abstinence

Six Courses of Abstinence

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The first thing I did as a member of Overeaters Anonymous on a path to abstinent eating was to divide all foods into two groups: foods I would eat and foods I would not eat. Thirty years later, I still have not eaten any of the foods in the second group, just as I would not eat a pencil or a book.

Then, for the first two months, I dieted, just like the writer of “The Minister’s Daughter” (pp. 136–139 in the first edition of Overeaters Anonymous), which was one of the first stories I read in OA. I also wrote down everything I ate, along with approximate calorie counts, and that continued for the first year. That seemed to enable me to control my food intake. I also had a food sponsor for the first several months. Each morning, I called and shared with her what I planned to eat that day. Each evening, I called and shared what I had actually eaten. Knowing I had to call and share assisted me in conforming to my plan of eating.

Every morning, I have prayed to my Higher Power to help me to stay abstinent throughout the day. At the end of each day, I have expressed appreciation for my abstinence by writing in my gratitude log. (I’m presently writing in the sixty-seventh volume of that log.)

I’ve found that I don’t miss the foods I used to binge on before becoming a part of this program. There are sufficient good-tasting options on the list of foods I do eat. I eat a six-course dinner—small portions, of course—and enjoy the taste of each dish. I eat at home far more than at restaurants. Since I live alone, I’m able to eat slowly and take a full hour for dinner. I’m presently a schoolteacher, and every weekend I prepare abstinent lunches for the week ahead. I make sure I have the foods I need at home, so I need never diverge from my personal plan of eating. I also subscribe to publications that educate and remind me about healthy food choices and foods to avoid.

I turned 76 in August. Other than Type 1 diabetes, which I take good care of, I have no health issues. I’ve easily maintained a weight loss of 60 pounds (27 kgs), going down from 196 pounds (90 kg) to 136 pounds (62 kg). I have an active social life, enjoy my work, and exercise daily. I attend meetings regularly, and I love my life because I am abstinent.

— Dave E., Las Vegas, Nevada USA

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