Alcoholics Anonymous and my overeating

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    Oct 18, 2009 2:54 AM GMT
    Hey guys,

    About 10 days ago I was drinking at the local gay bar. Decided after a couple of drinks it was time to go home. Got in my car, drove up the road, got pulled over, and got charged with a DUI. I wont make excuses about how I wasnt drunk or I was this or that. The facts are I would not take the road sobriety or the breathylizer therefore I was charged and brought to jail.

    I spent 4 nites in jail. I had a fuck of a lot of time to contemplate my life and how Im wasting it as well as what role alcohol has been playing in it. I have been using alcohol as a numbing agent for losing a 1/4 century marriage, losing my mortgage business and a strained relationship with my kids during and since my divorce.

    On Monday when I was released I told myself that I needed to cut back on my drinking and that I would only drink at nite after my roommate got home and not during the day. Well I bought 2 bottles of red wine and a 1.75 of Vodka. When my roommate got home. He made a drink and I opened a bottle of wine. Well by midnite I had drank both bottles of wine alone and decided to go to bed. I still have the untouched bottle of vodka.

    On Tuesday, the 31st anniversary of getting my drivers license and smashing up my car drunk at 16 years old. I decided to make a life change. I woke up realizing that I could no longer drink. PERIOD.

    I called a friend who's in AA and he of course was glad to take me to a meeting. It is now day 5 and I have been to 5 meetings. Tonite I went to a gay AA meeting. Okay it was me and 3 bull dikes. These three women ( I think they were women) looked like they fell out of the ugly tree and hit all the branches on their way down.

    I have felt more clarity and focus in the past 5 days than I have felt in years. My only problem thus far is that I am fucking hungry for sweets all the fucking time. I have spent two years losing 80 lbs and I dont want to put it back on in thirty days because I cant control my sugar cravings. For the record, I have never much liked sweets. Yet last nite I went over to the grocery store to buy ice cream, two kinds of cookies, popcorn, chips, salsa, queso and bean dip. OMG WTF am I doing?

    I am hungry all the fucking time, please help. All suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks again.
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    Oct 18, 2009 3:02 AM GMT
    DUDE...........Congrats on the wake up call! I'm not sure what to tell you except I wish you much success in this chapter of your life.
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    Oct 18, 2009 3:32 AM GMT

    We're in your corner, BeachBiMan.

    We think food gives you a comforting sensation that counteracts not drinking, and probably really takes the edge off. So yes, be a little wary; treat yourself to good junk! (some frozen yogurts are way out there, lol). Buy some organic brownie mix (or a bakery that makes them) and relax. You can be good to yourself without going all-out.

    Congrats, by the way!

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    Oct 18, 2009 3:49 AM GMT

    You are trading addictions. If you give in to this new addiction, it will leave the door open for a relapse into the old one. Bring this topic up at your AA meeting, you couldn't have been the only one to deal with it. I struggled briefly with a drinking problem and I did binge eat for several days after I quite drinking cold turkey. 10 pounds of potatoes I cut into french fries one night. It took an entire bottle of ketchup to dress them. All gone by dawn.



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    Oct 18, 2009 4:11 AM GMT
    Thanks for sharing your story so honestly and candidly.

    Ok, most people aren't going to like to think of their martini this way, but here goes. Alcohol is a poison and your liver treats it as such by metabolizing it into something which your body can handle. That would be sugar. That's why so many heavy drinkers crave sweets after quitting. It doesn't matter if the beverage is advertised as low carb, or it's a clear liquor (zero calories in vodka is a complete myth). The alcohol that goes through the liquor is going to come out the other side as sugar. Your body tries to get rid of alcohol other ways as well, it comes out your breath and through the skins pores. That's where people wreaking of booze comes from...it's not their breath it's their skin excreting it.

    My advice, eat sweets if you have to, it's better than drinking. Usually a sweet fruit like an apple, and an orange can do the trick quite nicely.
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    Oct 18, 2009 5:33 AM GMT
    BeachBiMan saidHey guys,

    About 10 days ago I was drinking at the local gay bar. Decided after a couple of drinks it was time to go home. Got in my car, drove up the road, got pulled over, and got charged with a DUI. I wont make excuses about how I wasnt drunk or I was this or that. The facts are I would not take the road sobriety or the breathylizer therefore I was charged and brought to jail.

    I spent 4 nites in jail. I had a fuck of a lot of time to contemplate my life and how Im wasting it as well as what role alcohol has been playing in it. I have been using alcohol as a numbing agent for losing a 1/4 century marriage, losing my mortgage business and a strained relationship with my kids during and since my divorce.

    On Monday when I was released I told myself that I needed to cut back on my drinking and that I would only drink at nite after my roommate got home and not during the day. Well I bought 2 bottles of red wine and a 1.75 of Vodka. When my roommate got home. He made a drink and I opened a bottle of wine. Well by midnite I had drank both bottles of wine alone and decided to go to bed. I still have the untouched bottle of vodka.

    On Tuesday, the 31st anniversary of getting my drivers license and smashing up my car drunk at 16 years old. I decided to make a life change. I woke up realizing that I could no longer drink. PERIOD.

    I called a friend who's in AA and he of course was glad to take me to a meeting. It is now day 5 and I have been to 5 meetings. Tonite I went to a gay AA meeting. Okay it was me and 3 bull dikes. These three women ( I think they were women) looked like they fell out of the ugly tree and hit all the branches on their way down.

    I have felt more clarity and focus in the past 5 days than I have felt in years. My only problem thus far is that I am fucking hungry for sweets all the fucking time. I have spent two years losing 80 lbs and I dont want to put it back on in thirty days because I cant control my sugar cravings. For the record, I have never much liked sweets. Yet last nite I went over to the grocery store to buy ice cream, two kinds of cookies, popcorn, chips, salsa, queso and bean dip. OMG WTF am I doing?

    I am hungry all the fucking time, please help. All suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks again.



    alcohol slows the metabolism.

    if you were constantly drinking while you lost the 80 pounds, imagine how much you're gonna lose now.

    Just eat things that aren't too bad for you and keep yourself full with hi protein/fiber meals.


    yeah and also all that stuff that runnin said.....
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    Oct 18, 2009 9:38 AM GMT
    GuiltyGear said
    You are trading addictions. If you give in to this new addiction, it will leave the door open for a relapse into the old one. Bring this topic up at your AA meeting, you couldn't have been the only one to deal with it. I struggled briefly with a drinking problem and I did binge eat for several days after I quite drinking cold turkey. 10 pounds of potatoes I cut into french fries one night. It took an entire bottle of ketchup to dress them. All gone by dawn.


    I neglected to mention that my mom has been AA for 35 years, no relapses even with the tragic death of a son and blindness.

    Anyway, IMHO the people who quit drinking that I have run into in AA are no longer practicing drinking alcoholics but they are everything-else-aholics. They give up their addiction to alcohol and swap it to be a coffee-holic, cigarette-aholic, choco-holic, food-aholic, lottery-aholic, sex-aholic and sweets-aholic.

    I am not knocking these people, they have given up the worst of the evils to remain sober. I applaude that. I am merely making an observation. Some of their stories are absolutely heart wrenching.

    I have talked to a number of them about my sugar binging and they have told me that this will pass soon enough, just not to fight it too hard since it is my body craving the sugar from any source it can find.
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    Oct 18, 2009 11:27 AM GMT
    Two points:
    When you quit drinking alcohol after drinking significantly and regularly, your body will naturally crave sweets because part of the metabolizing process of alcohol in your body creates a similar condition to metabolizing sugar. When you remove the alcohol from your intake, the change makes your body think that it needs sugar. This usually lasts a few months. Ideally, you want to resist that craving but it won't cause you any real harm to have some sugar. Fruits are a good source because they are at least healthy. Those craving will go away, but it will take some time. Often a diabetic diet is a good way to deal with it. The important thing is to not drink alcohol.
    Your body responded to alcohol as if it were a nutrient. When you stopped, your body reacts as if it were starving and that's why you feel hungry all the time. The best thing here is to plan your food for the day. It isn't unlike dieting for workouts. You need to be strict about it. The issue to address is the same as a bodybuilder routine. 6 smaller meals about 3 hours apart and water inbetween.

    Secondly, SOME alcoholics, though not all, switch addictions to other things. It's a way of coping with the repetitve behavior of drinking. In this case it's less about addiction and more about associative behavior. Often these addictive behaviors (not true addiction) are ways of dealing with the psychological aspects of recovery. They often mask issues that must be dealt with and are avoided via the habitual behavior.

    Hang in there. The outcome is worth it.
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    Oct 18, 2009 11:57 AM GMT
    Congrats on kicking the alcohol. Don't give up on the AA, even if it is with 3 lesbulldoggas. It can work wonders, trust me.

    As for the sugar cravings. I don't know what that's all about. It could be that because you're not taking in anymore alcohol, your body is craving something else. I'd recommend some sugar-free sweets, if anything.

    Good luck.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 18, 2009 1:29 PM GMT
    I echo the sentiments of a lot of the guys before me in saying Congratulations on your sobriety
    ... and everything right now has to come secondary to that
    If you've had years of binge drinking your body is going to do many tricks on you to get a hold of the comfort that it has needed
    and if that's switching addictions to such as food that's what it's going to do
    You need to be smarter than that and head it off at the pass
    If you're hungry all the time eat some nutritious calorie light foods ... fruits and veggies
    get yourself into the gym more often to burn the calories that you're taking in

    and RUN don't walk to a therapist to Number One help you through this and to get to the bottom of why these addictions have plagued you for so long
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    Oct 18, 2009 1:55 PM GMT
    I'm not that knowledgeable about the whole food problem.... but I am knowledgeable about addiction and psychology (see profile)...

    with that being said... please continue going to meetings! Other people on this thread have said that you are trading addictions... I believe that they are right. There is a lot of research now on the 'addictive' personality, and its roots not only in the persons's upbringing ("nurture") but also in the functioning of the brain, brain structures and neurotransmitters.

    Addictions call for multiple methods of attack. The best way to overcome an addiction is to get drug counseling and or see a psychologist. You might also want to have a psychiatric consult (with a psychiatrist) to see if you have been showing signs of depression or anxiety that you might be self-medicating with alcohol and food etc. Perhaps if you work on the underlying issues at hand, your need for feeling satisfied yet numbed by alcohol etc., will decrease.

    Kudos to you for getting your stuff together and going to meetings. That's the first step towards recovery.
  • Celticmusl

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    Oct 18, 2009 3:14 PM GMT
    Runninchlt saidThanks for sharing your story so honestly and candidly.

    Ok, most people aren't going to like to think of their martini this way, but here goes. Alcohol is a poison and your liver treats it as such by metabolizing it into something which your body can handle. That would be sugar. That's why so many heavy drinkers crave sweets after quitting. It doesn't matter if the beverage is advertised as low carb, or it's a clear liquor (zero calories in vodka is a complete myth). The alcohol that goes through the liquor is going to come out the other side as sugar. Your body tries to get rid of alcohol other ways as well, it comes out your breath and through the skins pores. That's where people wreaking of booze comes from...it's not their breath it's their skin excreting it.

    My advice, eat sweets if you have to, it's better than drinking. Usually a sweet fruit like an apple, and an orange can do the trick quite nicely.


    I agree, Alcohol is sugar eventually....That's where the craving comes in. I know a lot of people who gave up drinking, or just beer, and lost a lot of weight over the years. I'm not sure if they gained any weight at the beginning but eventually it might actually be a good thing for your waistline.
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    Oct 18, 2009 3:21 PM GMT
    It's a transference of your addiction.

    When I quit smoking, I had gum in my mouth and a water bottle in my hand for over a year. Any time that I didn't have that, I was stuffing any food I could get into my mouth.
  • yoyoboy

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    Oct 18, 2009 3:25 PM GMT


    Well Congrats! I have been clean and sober for just over 20 years. I remember being in rehab and craving anything sweet. Its normal.... give yourself a break, have something sweet! But try and keep up an exercise regimen. The same reaction that you used to receive from alcohol (and drugs) can be accomplished with strenuous exercise.....be good to yourself, its not easy! Hate to say it ---- one day at a time!

    Good Luck and there are str8 meetings too where you are more than welcome!!
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    Oct 18, 2009 8:26 PM GMT
    Well now that I am stuffing myself like a pothead stealing ring-dings and yodels from the 7-11. I will be on my bike first thing in the morning peddling my soon to be fat ass on a 17 mile round trip ride.

    Damn I cant stop eating lol.

    Also, going shopping tomorrow for some fruits hoping the fruit sugars will help my cravings for junk carbs and sugars.

    Thanks for the support and advice
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    Oct 18, 2009 9:27 PM GMT


    Unlike drinking, eating sweets is not an immediate threat to your life. And it is likely the same calories you were ingesting from alcohol anyway. It's ok!


    The best advise I can give you is to add fitness to the other obsessions you may find yourself acquiring right now and you should do ok, both mentally and physically.

    Thank you for contributing such an important topic.
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    Oct 18, 2009 9:43 PM GMT
    WOW, such great advice from super guys like jprichva, the meninlove duo, GuiltyGear, and others. Listen to them, and you can't go wrong. After them I have nothing to add, except my strong endorsement of what they've said. My best to you!
  • leixguy

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    Oct 18, 2009 11:53 PM GMT
    four days in gaol for drink driving wtf?
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    Oct 19, 2009 12:22 AM GMT
    Congrats! I too am sober, and in program. Before I address your comment or issue, let me make one suggestion. Find someone in the program you can talk too, preferably getting a sponsor.

    I think your sugar question has been answered, but it simple terms, your body is craving sugar because you are detoxing from alcoho, which is full of sugar. One thing at a time. I realize you worked hard at this, but if eating a candy bar sometimes helps... eat it. This craving for sugar wont last long.. promise! Think of it this way.... if your dead, or in jail, it wont matter what you look like right? Eat the candy bar!

    Or better yet... make a protien shake! At night, I cannot say no to sugar. So, I make myself a shake. It fills me up with something good for me, and it cures my sweet tooth.


    Your sobriety should come first over everything, as without it you have nothing. How much weight did not booze keep on you? My guess is a couple candy bars are much less than the quanity of booze you drank.. if you drank like I did that is.

    Good luck my friend. If I can help, please let me know.

    Dave
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    Oct 19, 2009 2:15 AM GMT
    leixguy saidfour days in gaol for drink driving wtf?


    I could have been released the next day but I didnt have anyones land line in order to call collect which is a requirement. Other than my mother and I really didnt want ot call her. lol.
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    Oct 19, 2009 2:25 AM GMT
    LuvMuscle99 saidCongrats! I too am sober, and in program. Before I address your comment or issue, let me make one suggestion. Find someone in the program you can talk too, preferably getting a sponsor.

    I think your sugar question has been answered, but it simple terms, your body is craving sugar because you are detoxing from alcoho, which is full of sugar. One thing at a time. I realize you worked hard at this, but if eating a candy bar sometimes helps... eat it. This craving for sugar wont last long.. promise! Think of it this way.... if your dead, or in jail, it wont matter what you look like right? Eat the candy bar!

    Or better yet... make a protien shake! At night, I cannot say no to sugar. So, I make myself a shake. It fills me up with something good for me, and it cures my sweet tooth.


    Your sobriety should come first over everything, as without it you have nothing. How much weight did not booze keep on you? My guess is a couple candy bars are much less than the quanity of booze you drank.. if you drank like I did that is.

    Good luck my friend. If I can help, please let me know.

    Dave


    I couldn't agree more about the candy bar or sweets thing. I know Ill regain control soon and Im not gonna let that rule my life right now.
    Thanks for the offer for help.
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    Oct 19, 2009 2:52 AM GMT
    One Sam Adams Boston Ale has 160 calories, so a sixpack of Sam Adams has almost a thousand calories. "Light" beers have somewhat less, but a sixpack of light beer will still pack 600-700 calories, minimum.
    Red wine has about 80 calories in a 4 oz serving, so two bottles of red wine also have about 1000 calories.

    This is what you're not getting anymore while you're sober that your body is craving.

    This article is pretty interesing about how the body processes alcohol calories, which is chemically different from how it processes carbohydrate calories:
    http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/alcohol.htm

    Staying sober is MUCH more important than gaining a few pounds. I know this from my own experience and that of many of my friends. After all, nobody ever totaled a car causing fatalities after eating a Snickers, that I know of. Nobody ever assaulted a police officer after eating a piece of cheesecake. Nobody ever rolled down a flight of stairs and died with a broken neck from eating a Ben & Jerry's, that I know of. Nobody ever beat their kid so hard that he had permanent brain damage because he ate a bag of chips. But I personally know/knew people who did all those things when they got drunk. You've got to keep your priorities straight. Once you've got a few weeks or months sobriety under your belt, there will be plenty of time for upping your cardio routine.

    Another good thing to do in the early days of sobriety is to stay really busy, especially with other people from A.A. Volunteer to do some of the set-up work at the meetings, get there early and stay a little later. Ask some of the people at the meeting if they would like to go out for coffee afterwards. Get phone numbers.

    Good luck.
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    Oct 19, 2009 11:25 AM GMT
    I have been getting some great advice and support online, private emails and offline. And I thank you all.

    I got this one piece of advice that I thought was pretty funny.

    I was whining that I was horny as fuck and this one guy said to me "remember the three M's. Meetings, Meditation and Masturbation"

    Well so far I have two out of three working for me, but I much prefer someone else doing my masturbation lol.

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    Oct 19, 2009 11:37 AM GMT
    TAPEWORM!!!!
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    Oct 19, 2009 3:12 PM GMT
    BeachBiMan saidI have been getting some great advice and support online, private emails and offline. And I think you all.

    I got this one piece of advice that I thought was pretty funny.

    I was whining that I was horny as fuck and this one guy said to me "remember the three M's. Meetings, Meditation and Masturbation"

    Well so far I have two out of three working for me, but I much prefer someone else doing my masturbation lol.



    Yep! I was given the same advice. It works. I've been sober 23 years now.