Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day #1 Again???

Famous last words...
Have guest = eat more, richer foods. Travel = eat more, get hungrier. Stress = eat more. That's the surface challenge about the week ahead. I know how to deal with that type of challenge... I have my plan and my talisman!
... written in my previous post.

It almost makes me smile to realize I thought the challenge of having J here would be dealing with my old addiction and long-past behaviors. I thought maintaining sobriety about food would be a piece of cake.

Actually, the reverse was true. As you can see on the side bar, I set my Abstinence date back to zero yesterday as I began again to follow my food plan... to abstain from eating certain foods, to eat only three meals per day, to avoid trigger foods and to not eat between meals.

Actually I didn't do too badly during this past week.
  1. I did not eat any of my currently listed abstinence foods, not one bite
  2. I did not binge
  3. I remained fairly faithful to my three-meal-a-day plan
  4. I ate a single-scoop ice cream cone between meals... one time
  5. I ate a cup or so of trail mix (fruit and nuts) between meals... one time
  6. I ate more than a single plate of food at a meal... two times
  7. I ate beyond the point of feeling satisfied... three times
  8. I ate bread and butter (trigger foods) more times than I consider safe
The boundaries of abstinence are more difficult, I think, with food than with alcohol. If you are an AA member and you have one drink of alcohol, you broke your abstinence. But what about a small sip, a taste, say of a special brew of beer made by a friend? Would that be considered a brake in abstinence? What about a piece of beer-batter fish? Where does one draw the line? It's a little tricky with alcohol and even more difficult with food.

Originally, I did not put ice cream on my abstinence list. It's not even on my trigger food list. However, it should be on one of the lists because it has occasionally been a binge food (when I was eating chocolate) and eating it does make me crave chocolate and other abstinence foods. The good news here is that having ice cream did not cause a downward spiral... this time. In the next days after eating it, I sat with J and my husband while they ate delicious bakery treats one day and apple pie with ice cream the next day. It was not unbearable to abstain.

So yesterday, with J gone home to Europe and me comfortable again in my normal routines, I thought about whether to set the counter back to zero or not. It would have been day 77 of abstinence. I'm proud of that and thankful for all the help I've received along the way. Will I start over... day zero? Or will I say my eating this past week was borderline but acceptable?

I discussed the question with somebody who has had 16 years of sobriety in AA. She suggested we must each decide for ourselves where the line is and when we have crossed it. She also thinks my plan may be a bit too strict. She said many in AA have to start over.

In my mind, eating an ice cream cone crossed the line, even though I had not listed ice cream as either a binge or trigger food. That it wasn't listed is merely a technicality. It is a binge food for me and I know it; I knew when I decided to have it that it didn't fit my plan. I forgive myself for crossing the line. I do not have to be perfect. Yet, I decided to start again.

Yesterday was day 1; today will be day 2. And, with the help of my (as yet not fully understood) higher power, my fellow OA members and everyone who wishes me well on this journey, I will celebrate day 77 on September 18... not so far down the road.


  1. Wow, you are honest to a fault! Doesn't sound like you went too crazy, but it's your call what sets the counter back.

    I think you did very well to last 77 days; you can do it again. Go PB!

  2. I think you should be congratulated on not just throwing the plan aside after your (minor) transgressions, as many might have. There's that very faulty logic that says, "Well, I'm over the line now, might as well just go for it all the way!" I agree with your friend that you may be a little too strict with your plan, but only you know what's best. So, okay, you're starting over. Please give yourself a big gold star and lots of credit for doing so, AND for racking up those 77 days before. That's no a small achievement!

  3. I think you're doing great! An inspiration and you'e only human. you're allowed little slip ups every now and again. I wont forget your date for 77 days as it's my birthday so we can both celebrate the day :)

  4. Thank you for your lovely words on my blog. Thank you.

    I'm glad you have the advice of a seasoned AA member in your life. The program is the program and in some ways it seems even stronger at some of the AA meetings I've gone to(when I couldn't find an Oa meeting).

    I don't want to question someone else's choice of abstinance-it's almost as individual and personal as religion. But it is intersting that she questioned that it was too strict. I've always wondered if only the 3 meals and no snacks is too restrictive, since a person could be literally out of fuel in between meals.

    I wouldn't see it as a failure . You chose to set the count back to 0. Your went through something that could have thrown you off track for weeks or even months. You are wiser for it and have wiped the slate clean.

  5. The eason a 12 step program works as well as it does is that old slogan "One Day at a Time"...

  6. I started formulated my comment to you in my mind and then got started reading those that came before me and saw they said much of what I would. My immediate thought was how I was in awe of your honesty - not with us here - but with yourself.

  7. This was a toe stub on the pebbly road as you continue the journey to your life goal. Did you notice all the pebbles you missed along the way? Good for you! I'm proud and very happy for you that you're on a journey that means so much to you. Those pebbles will always be there and you're doing a great job negotiating around them.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it very much.