Posted by: innerpilgrimage | January 11, 2012

A Lesson in All-or-Nothing Thinking

      I’ve been abstinent, but I’ve been gaining weight because I’ve been eating closer to my food plan and perhaps have been moving more than usual and building muscle. It’s hard to surrender to it, but this isn’t a problem. OA isn’t a diet plan after all, and I am still healthy and have more energy than I have in months.
      In other words, I think this is my first real step-up to working recovery on the crash-and-burn diet-minded paranoia of anorexia–which has plagued me for decades, as well.

      Firstly, I want to state I’m still the same size clothing, though it’s not loose like it got when I slid down below 155 and was gaunt to a point that people pointed out some weight gain might be a good idea. This isn’t a considerable weight gain, but I have broken 165 after a year. I’m still at 100 lbs. of weight loss in program, which is something I am still deeply and humbly grateful for. Secondly, I’ve also got water-weight gain because of circumstances of nature. Thirdly, my scale has been odd recently, so it might be running high–like it has for my husband a few times. However, the important things I am observing are that (1) I have energy I didn’t have at this time last year and (2) I am feeling healthy, still. The point of program was to be healthy–mind, body, soul.
      The weak links, right now, are mind and soul. I do get gratitude work in daily, but I’m not praying as much as I should. I have recently returned to surrendering to the intuitive feelings my body brings up (gut pulls that I feel). I’ve also gotten some serenity in over the last few days, and the headiness of that connection to the spiritual is like it was when I started. I am working on some serious body image issues brought up by the SLAA stuff. What’s stranger is that, as I gain weight, I’m getting more notice. My body is gaining the curves again of femininity I abandon when I’m under 155 lbs.–something which is painfully obvious as a longing to have thin-ness over my natural form.
      Now, I will admit completely that keeping in my food plan hasn’t been easy. I have been challenged by the desire to eat, but that simply takes prayer, mindfulness, and respect of my body’s messages. Getting the triangle-connection between mind-body-soul is part of program for me, and it’s time to take on the challenge to find what works well to connect that up and get me going. The change of working the day-to-day toward a H.O.W. lifestyle that is forward-thinking. After all, working the solution involves accepting alternatives to addict thinking and making choices from the freedom from food obsession.
      Am I nearing relapse? It looks like it. However, this is an opportunity to take on program with vigor. Clearly, I’ve been working from a dieting place. I’ve been trying to take control of it, but I am deeply grateful for the awareness in program to recognize the powerlessness and futility of trying to control it. I feel the unmanageability and I turn toward the serenity of recovery with little problem. When tense, I know the first thing to do is to get connected to my Higher Power pronto. A quick gratitude list helps. I have so much to be grateful for, and I am deeply grateful for the abundance in my life. Yes, I have stresses, but the small things don’t get me fretting so wildly I jump into the food. And I am seeing I have a list of trigger foods to revise. I am pleased to say my social responsibility is keeping me out of some serious issues (I don’t eat chocolate which isn’t fair trade because of slavery practices, so I very rarely indulge in it), and I have limits on sweets after dealing with the holiday season. My food plan is evolving, and I am grateful for its evolution. This, after all, is practice for learning to be comfortable with change in a small scale so I can be comfortable with change when it’s on a grander scale.
      Not really sure what else to say, except that I’m in a great place in recovery because I am facing challenges. Every opportunity to challenge myself is a chance to grow, and every time I grow, I am able to handle more and more. I’m not sure what the lesson is in all of these challenges, but I think I am getting that all-or-nothing stuff worked right now. I started the day looking at is as, “Am I failing at recovery from binge-eating, or am I succeeding at recovery from anorexia?” That’s pretty black-and-white there, a judgment. There is another option: I am still in abstinence and I am being challenged to take what is being given and what is being taken away and what is being left behind in order to surrender to the reality that my Higher Power is placing me at the weight I am supposed to be today for the lesson I am working through right now.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food binge-arexic, a toxic love addict, and a love avoidant. I have deep faith I am supposed to be learning what I’m learning, and since I’m close to the edge of my food plan, I’m not eating more tonight because I want to stay in abstinence just for today. I could have a jolly binge, but I value abstinence more than that. And that’s the point, isn’t it? A little weight gain because I’m actually eating to the edge of my plan is not a problem. It is what it is, and I have the energy to start walking daily or get on a treadmill or an elliptical trainer again. Does it matter that I gained weight? I’m not particularly sure. However, I did learn enough to understand that I can think beyond “binge or restrict” and get into the surrender that it’s not about numbers–it’s about how I feel. And I feel energetic and healthy enough to actually work an action plan into my life. That’s pretty exciting, to be challenged by the gift of a lesson from that power greater than myself.



  1. Hey, Jess. Great blog you have. Will you add a link to my blog? http://www.promiseof Thank you! Sometimes letting go and letting God is one of the hardest things we are asked to do to remain abstinent. The good news is that we don’t have to like something to accept it. The bad news is that we still have to accept it. Let me know if you ever want to talk. You’re my sister in recovery; we are cut from the same fabric.

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