Home How OA Changed My Life Orderly Direction

Orderly Direction

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I couldn’t believe it. I found myself bottomed out with a binge eating disorder. Calling it BED for short is appropriate, since I often took food to bed with me. I was a binge-eater, a grazer, and a midnight muncher. I ate mindlessly, grazing; my meals had fuzzy beginnings and no clear end.

It was my not-so-little secret that I ate so much and so often. I got high on food, numb, foggy-headed, and buzzed; I lied about it, hid it, overate it, and obsessed about it. When no one was around, I binged on the fast food I claimed to detest, spending time in my car with this secret friend. It was my sick way of coping. Giving in only made me feel worse.

I needed real help. For a month, I attended OA meetings every day, like attending an outpatient treatment program. I saw people getting well. The first week of my new eating structure was torture— three distinct, planned meals a day with nothing in between. In OA we say, “three meals with life in between.”

Quantity reduction and my new three-meal-a-day regimen created precise order where there had been none, so my undisciplined eating behaviors had to change. I made myself sit down at the dining room table, put everything aside, and eat mindfully, with gratitude. Previously, I’d eaten while I multi-tasked. Now I ate my balanced, measured, sit-down meals like a civilized guest.

I got a normal rhythm going with mealtimes and felt so much better. My body got exactly what it needed nutritionally— like premium fuel. As a “health-etarian,” I said goodbye to recreational sugar and white flour. I embraced fresh fruit as my daily dessert.

When my feelings intensified, I had tea with them, wrote in my journal, called recovery friends, and shared my struggles at meetings with people who understood. I worked all the Tools OA offered and took all Twelve Steps as they suggested. As each pound melted off, so did another layer of sadness, revealing a more serene me. Surrendered and humbled, my big ego shrank. I became a vulnerable human being who needed to be fed by my Higher Power and by caring people.

I reached my goal weight in about eighty days without exercise. I felt balanced, satisfied, sane . . . dare I say, ordered?

Sluggish and bloated, I was 175 pounds (79 kg) when I started my abstinence. I surpassed my goal weight of 150 pounds (68 kg) to reach an unbelievable 140 pounds (63 kg)—I actually weigh less than the fib on my driver’s license. Even better, I’m staying within a two-pound (1-kg) range every month.

Today, I slide easily into my size-eight jeans, but more than that, I have order and peace. I value my body, offering it fresh produce and proper nutrition. With health and a closer spiritual connection, my life has improved in every way. Fulfillment comes from being of service, and order is a wonderful thing.

— Carolyn J., San Diego, California USA

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