A Plan of Eating
As a newcomer, I often confused a “plan of eating” with abstinence so I decided to write out what a plan of eating is, based on several different writings from the OA literature.
Abstinence is the action of refraining from compulsive eating. A plan of eating is one of the ways in which I as an OA member chose to be abstinent. Developing a healthy plan of eating is one of the first tools of the program I used. Using a plan of eating as a tool allows me to deal with food in a calm, rational and balanced way. A plan of eating gives me a tool for living one day at a time. A daily plan helps separate my eating from my emotions and relieves me of making snap food decisions. A plan of eating puts food in the proper perspective, so I can devote clear headed energies to working with my Higher Power. A plan of eating also allows me to minimize the time in the day that I have to think about my food.
In OA I believe in abstaining from compulsive eating, every day, one day at a time. I am free to determine my own way of achieving abstinence according to personal needs and preferences. A plan of eating includes a guide to the food I choose to eat each day. It simplifies my daily life and frees me from on-the-spot decision making. Using a plan of eating is the beginning of freedom from compulsive overeating. Instead of depending upon willpower to help me make good decisions, I develop a sensible plan of eating in advance.
To develop a plan of eating, I reviewed my eating patterns with my sponsor in order to learn which foods and/or eating behaviors create cravings for me. To use the plan of eating tool I have to be willing to accept that the disease of compulsive overeating is stronger than my willpower. I must be willing to try a way other than my own. I must remember, however, that if I focus only on my eating behavior to the exclusion of the rest of my program, I am only using OA as a diet program.
A plan of eating is the beginning of learning a new, healthier way of eating. It is a way of life, not a temporary solution. A plan of eating is not about deprivation – it is about making a positive choice for life. Excess food keeps me from “feeling and dealing” and I must put the food down before I get the full benefits of the program. Abstinence is a state of mind characterized by freedom from food obsession. This comes as a result of working the steps and surrendering to a Higher Power. I follow my plan one meal at a time, one day at a time. This is the beginning of learning to eat according to my physical needs rather than my emotional cravings. One of the results of working the steps is that my obsession with food is lifted. I learn to live without eating compulsively. The basis for stopping my compulsive eating behaviors – and staying stopped – is personal inner change. I need to remember that compulsive overeating and bingeing has outlived its usefulness to me.
I deny myself the full potential of the program when I perceive weight loss as my primary goal and resort to self- will in order to achieve that goal. When I really work the program, I find that I am on God’s timetable, not on some superficially imposed weight loss timetable. When I think of this process not as deprivation but as a positive act and an ongoing spiritual discipline, I begin to find freedom from the food obsession.
Looking Up DEC 2014
The primary purpose of Tri-County Intergroup is to aid those with the problem of compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous, and to serve and represent the OA groups from which the Intergroup is formed.
Tri-County Intergroup generally meets at 10:30 A.M. on the first Saturday of each month.