Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm putting myself way "out there".......the day I "got" OA (overeaters anonymous)

This past year I've had questions about my "purpose", still not knowing what it is, but knowing I have one. Frustrated that people don't really "get me"....most people that is. When I feel that frustration, I remind myself that God, The Universe, will allow the people that need to, hear what I have to say, hear what I'm sharing, see the way I have changed my life and my body, and know the power, will, discipline, hope, belief, strength, desire, faith and trust, is inside all us, no matter what our bodyweight is.

I hope God gives me the motivation to keep writing about this, because this is just the beginning.......I can't possibly write all I have to say about this subject in one blogpost, so I thought I would start here..... I wrote these thoughts last year around this exact time, but never shared them before.

March 2008

I started the day out feeling fine until lunch time came. I had been looking forward to lunch all morning, I was having a favorite soup meal to which I added a mountain of greens, creating quite a sizeable bowl of soup. After I finished the soup I was feeling like I needed more. A little something sweet….I knew what was coming…I knew without a doubt what was going to happen next….it was just the beginning. I knew once I started eating, and I knew that I was starting, I wasn’t going to stop until I physically had to stop. Until I couldn’t physically eat anymore.

I started out with some dry cereal (Oat Squares), and lucky for me, I thought, there was only about 1 ½ serving of cereal left in the box, at this point I was hoping I could stop myself…hoping to stop this feeling of hunger, but I knew it was only the beginning. At this point I found myself standing in the doorway between my kitchen and dining room looking at a glass front cabinet that had a small stack of books in it. The book that stood out amongst the others was called, “Overeaters Anonymous”. It was a book I had picked up at a garage sale during the previous summer along with the book, “Binge No More”, I had read Binge No More, but this Overeaters Anonymous book did not appeal to me, at the time.….or I wasn’t ready to receive it’s message at the time….I chose to believe the latter, because that’s the way I think!

As I stood there eating cereal out of the box, with my hands, I stared at this book. And my inner dialogue sounded like this,

“Tracy, you are seeing that book for a reason. Don’t you think there is a reason why you’re standing here knowing your in the middle of a binge and looking straight at an Overeaters Anonymous book? You know you have to pick it up. You know you have to pick it up and start reading it. You know it’s time….there’s a message in that book and you know it, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking at it….pick it up.......fine. But I’m not going to stop eating. I don’t want to stop eating. I’ll pick up the book and start reading it as long as I can keep eating.......fine. You can keep eating, but start reading that book. OK, but I’m going to eat until I can’t eat anymore, I’ll sit at the dining room table, eat and read.”

And that’s what I did.

This particular Overeaters Anonymous book was just chapter after chapter of different peoples stories of how they came to recognize that they were compulsive overeaters and how OA was the solution that worked for them. Now, I don’t know if this 12 step program is for me, but what I do know is that I read a couple of things that made such perfect sense to me that I felt a tremendous sense of relief, a sense of liberation.

The first was the description of that “first compulsive bite” Hmmn….the "first compulsive bite". Hey, I know what that is. I know what that feels like. I never thought of it in that way, but I know that feeling, I know when it starts. And if I know when it starts and I can recognize it for what it is, and I can stop it. You mean I can stop it? Wow! I can stop it!

The second was that my habit of overeating was not about the food, which I knew, but about the “eating”. That had never occurred to me. I knew I was in the habit of giving into compulsive overeatering, I recognize that on my blog, but I didn’t know it was more of a clinical diagnosis. Compulsive overeating was a disease, and I had it. But I also had the medication to treat it, abstinence.

This was the first time I saw a direct paralell to other addictive habits like alcoholism.....I was like an

It would be months before I went to my 1st OA meeting, and I although I only attended about 4-6 meetings (I honestly don't remember), the experience was a positive one. The subject of OA came up again during a conversation before a yoga class last week, and again the next day with someone that overheard part of the first conversation, so I took it as a "sign", lol! (I'm crazy that way) Why was OA brought back into my life?

I never take for granted that anyone reads my blogs, and it doesn't matter, but like I mentioned earlier, if God, The Universe, wants someone to see it, to read it, to get something from my experience then so be it.

God give me the motivation to continue what I'm starting........what I've started.


Elizabeth said...

Bless you. I've considered OA for awhile. I too know what it feels like to start eating and know that I will not stop until I run out of food or until I'm in pain.

Something for me to consider. Congratulations to you for what you've started.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Hopefully my "writers block" has lifted, so stay with me, as I hope to write about this part of my journey daily until I get the important bits out!

Diana said...

At least you "felt" that there was a connection between the fact you were eating the cereal and staring at the book at the same time-love the thought process on that. Most people haven't felt that, how to say it, connection? to themselves yet and some never do. I found my "connection" a while ago and it's been a BLAST to KICKS IT'S ASS!!! With your help of course-because I like the way you kick whatever ass needs to be kicked! ;-)
Thanks for a great post.

bardogirl said...

"if God, The Universe, wants someone to see it, to read it, to get something from my experience then so be it."

I am that someone. Or one of those someones. Thank you for the post, and thank you for all your posts! They are a touchstone for me that reminds me frequently to love myself, to be honest with myself, and to never give up.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm always looking for the answers.....maybe too much, lol!

One of the things I always liked about OA's philosophy was "take what you need and leave the rest", and I did!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you so much for leaving your comment because it does help me feel good about the time I take to write some of this stuff down.

Everyday, twice a day, I could write about something I thought about, something someone said, something I read (etc) that touches on these subjects how we think about food, eating, our bodyweight, our health, our thought processes, our identity, our worth, our purpose......

How do we experience, learn, move forward? That's what I'm doing.....I can' beat myself up for mistakes, or setbacks, I can only learn to chose to remove the anxiety that causes them, and then chose better.