Overeaters' Anonymous (OA)?

  • underbearboy

    Posts: 74

    Apr 14, 2009 2:16 PM GMT
    I went to a 'gay' meeting of OA at our local LGBT Center two weeks ago... I thought it was 'ok' but I had difficulty feeling comfortable there. The people were nice enough... and truly supportive of each other in a 'real-time' way that, say RJ, can't be. [Though I've met many good and helpful guys here.]But I had trouble with the story-telling aspect for some reason... I dunno maybe I would find that easier to do online, here, than in person, there. Certainly, my story wasn't as 'bad' as those told there... but I had a problem relating. Is OA just something that 'grows on you' after attending awhile? Maybe it is not for everyone? I did sorta feel that given a choice between being 'forced' to go there... or 'forced' to go a gym, I would probably choose the latter (even though I seem to be shedding the pounds pretty well w/o cardio done there. (I'm not sure that even when I become slimmer, I'd feel comfortable in a public gym setting... no doubt related to not-so-good experiences as a teenager in the gym class then.)

    Anyway I did a search here about Overeater's Anonymous but didn't find much feedback... so I thought I'd raise the topic and see what others' experiences/thoughts were?

    Seem to have (possibly) lost a pound according to the scale... down to 224 (today).

    Thanks for listening.
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    Apr 14, 2009 4:36 PM GMT
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  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Apr 14, 2009 5:42 PM GMT
    Hey, if it works for you great, if it doesn't, try another group. I'm assuming that you are going to help control/lose weight. They are a tremendous number of ways to get control of your dieting. While some are more effective than others, for most people it hast o be an individual determination.

    My suggestion is go a few times, and see if it's worth your time, great.
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    Apr 14, 2009 5:58 PM GMT

    You cant be living your life worrying about what other people are thinking about you. When you are lying there taking your last breath, it's not them who are going to be having the regrets because you allowed them to constrain your life. Until they can guarantee you a second life on earth, dont let them run your first (and only) life here now.

    If you feel that going to the gym is going to get you to your goals...whatever they are....then go to the gym. Let any fucker there think what he wants to think. That's not your problem. And probably they arent thinking all that much about you anyway cuz they are in their own little worlds.

    You probably know plenty about dieting, but I am going to recommend this book anyway. What I like about it is that it explains what the body does with food, digestion, and metabolism so that I could make my own decisions about my diet and not have to eat what someone else told me. ... icon_biggrin.gif


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    Apr 15, 2009 12:38 AM GMT
    There are many devices and crutches that will work for you, and many that won't.

    If I look at myself, groups like OA don't help me, because first I'm mildly antisocial, and second, I don't want to commiserate about being fat and unhealthy, I want to take steps, here and now, and not be reminded of how good bad food tastes. Talking about being fat (to me, while working terrifically for others) feels lazy and a waste of time. You've already been losing weight, so you don't need "permission" or "enablement" to continue to do so (probably).

    On the flip side, reward-based goals work for me, like getting an Apple Shuffle after I stayed in the gym for a month. Again, this may or may not work with you.

    Your mileage will vary, but don't doubt yourself. If you try something, and it's not clicking, pass on it. You'll know when something clicks for you. Don't wait for it to grow on you, read a self-help book, or find a workout partner, or start up a calorie counter, or one of a hundred other mechanisms you haven't tried yet. Eventually, you'll be doing one of them and say "Hey, this is kinda cool because it's working".

    If you feel like you can go to the gym, I would recommend it because going to the gym will definitely help you achieve your goals, whether it's fat loss, muscle gain, or an increase in overall health.
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    Apr 15, 2009 1:44 AM GMT

    It's a support group, noone wants to be there, but they go because they need help coping with or beating an addiction/problem. You think people at a support group for children killed by drunkdrivers or domestic violence, etc:, want to be there? I'm sure they could think of places they'd rather be just like you. First and foremost, I'm sure they'd like to be with the child they lost and realize they were having a nightmare and the kid is still with them. Ofcourse that's not reality. Assuming that they have delt with the reality, they could go work on living life despite the grief they feel, right....wrong. They aren't there just because they lost someone, just like you aren't at OA because you love to eat. You are there because you have a problem that has caused major disruptions in your life.

    Going to the gym may help diminish, the damage you did to your body and maybe mend some aspects of your social life, but it does notthing to get to the root of the problem. Which is that you have been an overeater before and it caused a problem. I have gorged myself before, I drink socially, I've lost love ones, but I've never experienced a serious disruption in my life because of any of these, thus, i've never needed support coping/beating them.

    However, I am a child abuse survivor (my mother, brother, and stepfather). I've done counseling and that did help a lot, just being able to talk the stuff out helped. However, in the future, I may need a support group just to keep the corrective work I've done from being in vain and keeping the problem at bay, because it is a problem. Sometimes, when I try to do something normal like: give a speech, make a friend, or answer a question, take on a challenge, I hear the voices of my past abusers (like they are in the room) putting me down again and making me feel like an ant who is helpless. This is despite all of the strenght I've built up mentally and physically since I saw any of them. I used to have vivid nightmares, but those have subsided. My point is, i'll always be working against this. Their favorite thing to say was: you are sorry and weak. I can dominate in the gym, but I still let those phantom mental put downs get to me sometime. My point is, there is nothing more external I can really do: they called me stupid - I completed university. They called me weak - I'm an athlete. They called me pitiful - most people I meet would disagree. I've proven them wrong, but I still hear them sometimes.

    I'm getting to the point that I know I need to talk to people that have gone through it. Not sure I want to because I've done so much to try and win over this already. There is no enough when it comes to your life and well being. Why just throw eating better and physical fitness at this problem when you can add support and counseling. You can attack the problem internally and externally that way. WHY NOT!? Believe me, all that gym can do is make you a big quivering mass of unresolved past issues as opposed to the adorable fuzzy quivering mass of unresolved past issues you are now.

  • underbearboy

    Posts: 74

    Apr 15, 2009 1:25 PM GMT
    Aquanerd: Yeah, I really wasn't at that time sure WHY I went to OA - it seemed like the 'right' thing to do - be in a supportive environment for staying on a diet. Perhaps after 2 1/2 months of dieting and losing 21 lbs and getting more into a lifestyle/eating change, perhaps OA isn't for me.

    Caslon: You really know how to cut through the bull... and make me laugh. You're right... if I go to a gym local to me (outside of Manhattan, and not 'gay') no one is going to be looking at me, and I don't give a damn what 'straight' folks think about me as gay (and I'm certainly NOT going to be wearing rainbow-colored shorts to any place I go to! LOL. Local to me I've found 2 gyms online... one the pretty spa overlooking the Hudson, the other a supermarket-size 'working-class' joint open 24/7. So I plan to check them out... once I look over any RJ forums on 'Choosing a Gym'... what to look for, what to ask about, what to figure out what I need in a gym.

    I know the basics of dieting... I know the foods that are bad. I need to craft good daily menus, and that is what I'm bad at. Since I work out of my home, I can do the 5-6 mini-meals (and so I can get all the proper food groups in). I did start calorie-counting on Monday, and as I guessed, I'm under-eating what I should be, which is not a good thing. Psychologically, food is interesting me less and less (and my stomach doesn't growl), and so I don't want to go in the opposite direction with my (non)eating (for obvious reasons). I guess shedding pounds has inspired me more than a large bag of potato chips or 6 donuts at one time. Anyways, thanks for the book recommendation... Actually, I could use a good basic one on exercise as well, if you know of any?

    Ruggie: And I quote him "If I look at myself, groups like OA don't help me, because first I'm mildly antisocial, and second, I don't want to commiserate about being fat and unhealthy, I want to take steps, here and now, and not be reminded of how good bad food tastes. Talking about being fat (to me, while working terrifically for others) feels lazy and a waste of time. You've already been losing weight, so you don't need "permission" or "enablement" to continue to do so (probably)."

    Ahhh, I think you hit the nail on the head of why I was uncomfortable there. Those reasons you give are true for me also... and I also have a limited amount of free time, so I COULD spend it at the gym or walking or bicycling, and not shlepping into Manhattan, when I can get support from RJ folks here, or my friends who are supportive of my losing weight (fortunately I don't have family pushing rich food down my throat!). Almost any one of the guys I met at OA, I'd be willing to chat with on the phone or online... but all together it just wasn't happening... and that does stem from being a very one-on-one person... I don't like groups, UNLESS I'm put in the position of host and then I become very gracious, outgoing and friendly.

    GuiltyGear: You raised interesting points, and yes, I am trying to deal with 'unresolved issues'... like many I've been blessed in my life, and I've had my share of tragedy. After my first partner died I did individual therapy for a year... but my therapist never even hinted about my weight, or had me explore it... and clearly it was increasing due to grief issues. And after my second partner died (suddenly after 6 months) I decided to do GROUP therapy, and again weight issues never came up (and certainly I was dealing with grief and guilt issues over his death). Maybe they didn't bring it up because they expected me too, I dunno... really not sure how much therapy of either kind helped me... only time and one good friend have seemed to help me sort shit out.

    I'm am/was an overeater because of how I was raised by my family to eat and enjoy good, rich food AND disinterest in sports with a real klutz factor (always falling and breaking a bone here, or spraining an ankle there) AND that my peers and coaches in middle- / high school were insensitive homophobic jerks AND I became lazy in not doing enough physical activity (other than walking, hiking and bicycling back then). Actually, if the school had had weight machines and a supportive teacher, I (and I'm sure many other 'fatties') wouldn't be in this predicament. But I now know 30 years later, that all I have to blame is ME for staying in the predicament... I had certain priorities in my life in my 20's to 40's and now a new one for my 50's (which is attempting to live life longer... I guess I thought being gay I might not live this long with AIDS all around me... now that doesn't scare me as much as heart disease, as that is what my partners both succumbed to.

    Sorry for the long post... maybe I should blog... though I think I've gotten out all I need on this topic.

    Thanks for all your thoughts, guys... I appreciated your time in posting them.

    Peace, Brian

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    Apr 15, 2009 1:53 PM GMT
    A site I like for nutrition information is The World's Healthiest Foods

    Check out this page on the site to get a week of recipes.

    Feeling Great Menu - Your Guide to a Healthier Way of Eating
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    For some reason, you enter this page in the middle. If you scroll down you will see lists of recipes. If you scroll up, you will be able to search for recipes that either include or exclude certain foods.

    This is one of my favorite recipes...

    15-Minute Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Mustard, Tarragon

    Here is another...

    15 Minute Salmon with Mustard, Dill Sauce