Wow…It doesn’t seem possible that I haven’t updated OveractiveFork since August 8, 2010! But alas, ’tis true.

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if my critics (a/k/a Carbohydrate Phobics) assumed that I had gone into a major relapse into active food addiction. Thanfully those who would make such a terrible assumption are 100% WRONG! In fact, my weight has continued to slowly (read: safely) drop during the time I stopped posting regularly to this blog. I don’t take credit for my success — as always I’ll give God the credit and also salute fellow addicts and others who have provided me with support that has helped me continue “to do just the next write thing” — One Day At A Time!

So what did I do while “vacationing” from OveractiveFork?  It was hardly a vacation! As I”ve written previously, my addiction never takes a vacation, so neither am I allowed to slack off on my recovery efforts. Indeed the result of slacking off would undoubtedly be relapse!

Over the past year and four months I’ve made a subtle but important shift in the approach I’m using to work my program of recovery from food addiction. I have shifted away from attendance at face-to-face Weight Watchers meetings and am relying more on support from Overeaters Anonymous members and other 12 Step fellowship’s members to help me.

Please note: I am NOT anti-Weight Watchers! Back in November 2010 W.W. introduced the newest version of their POINTS food plan that included several changes I’m not comfortable with. Thankfully with the approval and support of my dietitian/diabetes educator, I continue to follow the previous version of the W.W food plan. My motto is “If it works, don’t fix it!” and in this case that means “If it works, don’t change it!” The previous food plan IS still working just fine, so I have NO need to fix it.

I still respect and incorporate into my recovery effort lots of ideas I learned from my many years of attending face-to-face W.W. meetings. But the overall underlying philosophy that guides my recovery comes from the 12 Steps that are the basis of the Overeaters Anonymous program of recovery AND the understanding of the “disease concept” and how 12 Step recovery is supposed to work as found in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. N.A. literature continues to provide me with the core of how I work and live the 12 Steps, one day at a time.

In addition to walking, I still exercise with the help of Richard Simmons’ videos (Sweatin’ To The Oldies and other ones he’s produced).

But above and beyond organizations and individuals, my recovery is guided by my Christian faith. I’m not saying that you have to be a Christian in order to recover from food (or any other sort of) addiction. I just don’t know of any better source for help to recover than I find in my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I’ve also started a Facebook-based group for both men and women who follow the Weight Watchers food plan (whichever version of it they choose to follow). Believing in the importance of providing a safe emotional space for MEN who struggle with food addiction, I’m also in the process of rolling out a new 12 Step fellowship known as Male Food Addicts Anonymous, which takes the place of the One Bite Fellowship.

Other than that, I’ve not been busy at all!  LOL!  😀

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Dave\'s Recovery Journal

As part of my ongoing recovery effort most days (if I were “perfect”– which I ain’t — it would be EVERY day), I fill out a form that I refer to as Dave’s Recovery Journal (Yes, if we haven’t yet met, my name is Dave!). The form contains three main sections: Sane Thinking, Food Intake and Physical Movement.

Allow me to clarify the phrase “physical movement”. Since I detest the word “exercise” I use the word “movement”.  In the same I detest the word “diet” and therefore refer to the boundaries that guide my food intake as a “food plan” or “plan of eating”.

The SANE THINKING portion of my journal sheet contains thoughts and concepts that either I’ve heard over the years in various 12 Step fellowships or that I’ve read (perhaps something that I’ve read on the particular day that I’m journaling) in a 12 Step-focused daily meditation book. My favorite meditation books these days is titled Just For Today and is published by Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office (www.na.org).

Yesterday’s reading in Just For Today dealt with the topic of change (and this isn’t the kind of “change” you carry around in your pocket, if you know what I mean!).

Here’s a synopsis of my “one liners” on the topic of change as an essential element of my recovery process…

— Change is an essential element of authentic 12 Step recovery.
— It takes courage to change.
— God is the source of all the courage that I will ever need in order to change.
— Fear = addiction, while courage = recovery.
— Who is it that I should seek change for?  Change needs to take place in me much more than it does in other people, places and situations (in terms of what it takes to stay in recovery)!
— Change can certainly be painful (DUH!!!), but the pain produced by change is almost always LESS than the pain I feel when I stubbornly refuse to change.
— Change takes place one moment, one hour and definitely no more than One Day At A Time.

Speaking of “change”, you might have heard John Mayer’s popular song Waiting On The World To Change, which includes a chorus that goes,

“So we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change…
We keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change.”

While I like this song, me thinks that the lyrics pretty much have it BACKWARDS — as an addict I’ve learned the hard way (and on more than one occasion) that my job is to work on change INSIDE of me. I’ve learned the importance of NOT waiting, expecting or manipulating the OUTSIDE world to change.

As far as “waiting” for the “world to change”? I know that I would LOVE to see LOTS of people, places and instututions CHANGE NOW. But while “waiting” for them to change, I need to be careful to NOT lose my focus on what is an ESSENTIAL element of my recovery process, namely to seeking God’s stength to make changes in MY life.

In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, one recovering alcoholic wisely states that his recovery works best when he concentrates “not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”

Do I still want OTHER people, places and institutions to change? YOU BET — and “early and often” for that matter! But recovery keeps gently (and sometimes NOT-so-gently) reminding that it ain’t my job to try and change others. When I get wrapped up in forcing my solutions on others, then I lose my ability to take the best possible care of myself.

Taking care of MYself? I do that dute best when I seek God’sr help in 1) figuring out what I need to do to take care of myself and 2) giving me the ability to do what I can not do for myself without His grace.

When I think that something OUTSIDE of me needs changing, I’ve found that the BEST thing I can do (if I really can’t stop obsessing about the need for something OUTside of my control to change) is to PRAY about it. God surely knows better than I do whether or not someone or something REALLY needs to change. And He knows far better than I do exactly HOW something or someone else needs to change.