August 2008


As indicated in my most recent journal entry, One Bite Fellowship (OBF) has a new website address. My hope is that the the new name and (future) content I’m currently working on for www.MaleFoodAddicts.com will help to sharpen the focus for my Internet-based support network for male food addicts. As mentioned previously, OBF began as One BYte At A Time (OBAAT), an e-mail group, in the fall of 1996.
MaleFoodAddicts.com Is The *NEW* Online Address For One Bite Fellowship

MaleFoodAddicts.com Is The *NEW* Online Address For One Bite Fellowship

I know that many men (and women) identify themselves as “compulsive overeaters” or “compulsive eaters”, in the tradition begun by Overeaters Anonymous and duplicated by at least one other 12 Step fellowship. I find these labels to be too blurry, indeed too touchy-feely, to adequately describe my INsane relationship with food.

While “food addiction” surely involves “compulisve” behaviors, but it doesn’t name the issue at hand: addiction. I’m an addict and my drug of choice is (excessive) food intake. Along with food, I’m equally addicted to avoiding physical exercise. So my recovery journey requires that I face the double-sided addiction of food addiction and exercise avoidance. This is my perspective, yours may be different.

For the purposes of One Bite Fellowship, our primary focus is food addiction and (as each member chooses) can focus on other lifestlye issues (including the role of physical exercise in recovery).

Lots of new content will be added to MaleFoodAddicts.com by early next week (Monday, 8/25/08).

Please excuse me while I bore you with a little personal recovery history (STOP YAWNING ALREADY!!!) 🙂

Connecting Male Food Addicts Via The Internet

One Byte At A Time & One Bite Fellowship: Connecting Male Food Addicts Worldwide Via The Internet

Because of my frustration (and maybe just a little bit of resentment?) that came from having survived a male-bashing, hospital-based eating disorder treatment program, back in the fall of 1996 I established what was probably the first e-mail-based community exclusively for MALE food addicts. Known as One BYte At A Time (a/k/a OBAAT) — yeah, “BYte” spelled with a “Y”. Within a few years OBAAT had nearly 50 members and in 1999 we “gave birth” (in a male-sort-of-way) to our first website for our Internet-based support network, known as One Bite Fellowship (a/k/a OBF) — this time “BIte” was spelled with an “I”.

OBAAT still exists with a Google Groups address, but has been largely inactive for the past few years. My understanding is that most e-mail groups don’t remain terribly active without newcomers joining on a fairly regular basis. This is because “oldtimers” (by the time they become “oldtimers”) are either burned out or have shared all they needed or wanted to share. So with not haven’t tried to spread the word about OBAAT for just over three years, it is more than understable why the group is no longer active (e.g., no newcomers + burned out oldtimers = inactive e-mail group).

Instead of promoting OBAAT, over the past three years I’ve been working at reinvigorating an inactive One Bite Fellowship. While the One Bite website has generated lots of e-mail messages from visitors over the years, the problem is that hardly any of the men who write want to help start a face-to-face One Bite Fellowship group in their corner of the world. I get lots of one word and one sentence messages from guys saying “Help!!!” or “I need help!!!”, yet they don’t usually want to do anything suggested by the OBF concept of recovery. So for the time being OBF exsits only as an online entity with few (maybe two of us?) actual members.

I recently decided to not renew the OBF domain name that we used for several years. As of Monday, August 18, 2008 our website address is www.malefoodaddicts.com. A totally new look and feel for our website will be coming soon.

In the meantime, I know that I *NEED* (and even *WANT*) the support of other MALE food addicts interested in pursuing recovery from their addiction. I’m glad some addicts can recover while playing the role of Lone Ranger, but that approach has never — and will never — work for me. Food addiction is far too cunning, baffling and powerful for me to fight it alone and expect to experience any significant success in overcoming it.

Of course I’ve TRIED MANY TIMES to “go it alone” over the years. Then again, throughout the history of my addiction I’ve PROVEN time and again the 12 Step definition of insanity: “Doing the SAME thing over and over while expecting DIFFERENT results.” This definition reminds me that THERE IS A SOLUTION, which I’ve seen paraphrased over the years by Portia Nelson’s brilliant piece, An Autobiography In Five Short Chapters that goes like this…

Chapter 1:
I walk down the street.
There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…..I am helpless……it isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
   
Chapter 2:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place; but it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
   
Chapter 3:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in….it’s a habit.
My eyes are open…..I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
   
Chapter 4:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5:
I walk down a different street.

Amen! May all of us addicts take a journey down “Recovery Street”! It sures beats all of the other paths that I’ve tried to take over the years! Recovery Street is a journey that in many ways we must walk with others. Recovery Street doesn’t always look familiar. The pain of traveling down Recovery Street is never as bad as the agony experienced by taken the “Easier, Softer Way”!