A Publication of The ODAT Group

August 2002, Volume 1, Issue 1



The prevalence of being overweight or obese has increased dramatically, now affecting 97 million Americans, almost 60% of the adult population. One in ten children are overweight and research shows that obesity in adolescents is likely to continue into adulthood. With the associated cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory and orthopaedic health risks, obesity is one of the fastest growing concerns for health professionals. Prevention and treatment of excess weight is one of the nation's top health goals for the next decade.

There is a general lack of understanding among the public about the management of obesity and when news like this reaches society, all the pill makers, diet gurus, book writers and others go to work. Some are dedicated and mean well; others are out for the almighty dollar.

So many professionals in our life think understanding weight gain is simple. When someone puts on weight they increase the size of their fat cells, and when they reach a critical point, the body sends out a signal to produce more fat cells. Any chemical treatment, diet or exercise can only help you reduce the size of those cells. So why shouldn't weight loss be just as simple? It is. You simply reduce the size of the fat cells. Those who practice without the knowledge of the whole person, especially those of us who have a disorder or are compulsive eaters make it far more difficult for us and because of their narrow focus, we are still in the dark ages where this very serious disease is concerned.


"It has been said that we need
just three things in life:
Something to do,
Something to look forward to,
And someone to love."


Dr. Bob's Nightmare

Dr. Bob was born in Akron, Ohio. He was co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The birth of the AA Society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety, June 10, 1935. To 1950, the year of his death, he carried the A.A. message to more than 5,000 alcoholic men and women, and to all these he gave his medical services without thought of charge. Dr. Bob met Bill Wilson and stopped drinking on Mother's Day, May 12th.

Serenely remarking to his attendant, "I think this is it," Dr. Bob died on November 16, 1950. The funeral service was held at the old Episcopal Church by Dr. Walter Tunks, whose answer to a telephone call fifteen years earlier had led to the meeting between Bob and Bill. He was buried at Mt. Peace Cemetery, next to Anne.

There is no large monument on his grave. Doctor Bob, who always admonished A.A. to "keep it simple," when he heard that friends were planning a monument, remarked "Annie and I plan to be buried just like other folks." Alcoholics Anonymous itself is Dr. Bob's monument.<


When I first joined OA and heard the word "abstinence" I was puzzled. Actually I was annoyed. It bothered me that people were using that word for food. How can one be abstinent from food? Alcohol? Yes. Sex? Yes. But food? I quickly learned that to an OA member, the word "abstinence" is the most beautiful word in the English language. It means to "abstain from compulsive overeating."

These are just about the truest words ever spoken. As a compulsive overeater, there is no way that I can just have one binge. To stay away completely from a trigger food is far, far easier than to try to eat just a little bit of something I like. Or to say .... "I'll go ahead and eat this today ... and tomorrow I won't." For addicts like us, that just is not going to work.

There will be food mentioned in the next part of what I write. If this can trigger you to begin a binge, I urge you to stop reading this now, put it away and go about your day. If not ..... read on.

One of the sayings that has helped me the most was one I heard the very first week I came to OA. There was a time I ate doughnuts. Those yeast, sugary, soft, melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts. I was talking about those ... and how easy it was to eat an entire box of them. One of the first members I ever met on AOL in the meeting room was a man called Richard. An old-timer in OA, he said to me ... "That's someone else's food." Those words had a huge impact on me and I quickly learned which foods to say that about.

It wasn't just the doughnuts. It was chocolate chip cookies that I would binge on. Peanut butter and Ritz crackers. Ice cream. Pizza. Potato Chips. Fast Food hamburgers. French fries. All of these "trigger" foods became "Someone else's food." To this day they are that. I can no longer eat them. It is not worth it to me to eat them. And if I succumb and DO eat them, I pay for it dearly.

I am an addict. You've heard it said that "One drink is too many and a thousand is not enough." It's the same way with certain foods. One of those doughnuts is too many .... and the whole box is never enough. The binge doesn't stop with just that one binge. It carries over until the next day .... and the day after that ... and the day after that. It sets up a craving for more. More of those trigger foods. More of those foods that caused the weight that caused the pain that caused the quality of a lot of my life less to be less than it could have been.

There is nothing in the world that tastes as good as abstinence feels. To awaken in the morning knowing that one has the entire new day to continue abstinence is the greatest feeling in the world. And to go to bed each night after having a day of abstinence makes one sleep better.

At least it does me.

A lot better.

Thanks for letting me share with you.


Living In Never-Never Land

At a recent OA meeting, a friend mentioned the word “footprints.” My compulsive overeater mind heard her say “food prince.” This made me realize that a food prince was exactly what I once had. Being terminally unique, I always wanted to be a princess, and a princess needs a prince, right? Food had been my prince for many years, so why not a food prince (FP)? FP was always there for me. FP took care of me and made me happy. FP fulfilled me when I was lonely and soothed me when I was sad. FP rejoiced with me when I was happy and became my best friend. I loved FP. Food was my purpose in life; I lived to eat!

Sadly, the story does not have a fairy-tale ending. A time came when FP did not make me happy. The results of eating extra food made me unhappy. I was fat. I wanted to be the princess, have a fairy-tale life and do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I wanted the world to be just the way I wanted it to be. I did not think the laws of the universe should apply to me. I should be able to indulge my fantasies and not be responsible for the consequences.

Finally, I reached a point when I hated the effect of the extra food on my body. I could not fit into my size 18 jeans. I could not cross my legs. I couldn’t walk up or down stairs without getting exhausted. I wore only loose and shapeless clothes. I was very uncomfortable in my body.

That was why I came to OA—because I had a little (60-pound-plus) weight problem, and I wasn’t happy. That was when food started to become less of a prince to me. I no longer thought of food as a lover and friend, but as sustenance to my body. I no longer expected food to take care of my every need, and I began to take care of my own needs. I sought professional therapy and worked the Twelve Steps to find out who I was. Sure enough, I am not a princess, and food is not a prince.

The journey that is my program is much better than a fairy tale. It has not always been smooth sailing and happy times, but it has been reality. It has given me my life and shown me sanity. I don’t have a food prince today. I have a Higher Power that is much better than FP ever was. I have the Fellowship of OA to support me, and I have my sponsor to guide me. I no longer live in a make-believe world because my world is much better than I could have imagined.

I’m maintaining a 65-pound weight loss, and I’m comfortable with my body for the first time. This didn’t happen magically or overnight, but it is a miracle. I have been working this program for 11 years, and I know that I will continue for the rest of my life—if I want to keep my recovery. With the help of my Higher Power, I am abstinent today. OA has no fairy tales, but amazing miracles. I am eternally grateful that I found my miracle in OA.

P.T., Bartlesville, Oklahoma USA
...From OA's "Lifeline"


The ODAT Group has no official meetings at this point; however, the Recovery Group has a meeting each night at 9:30 in #Recovery. In addition, there is a room open 24 hours a day for informal discussion called #RecoveryTalk. The links for attending these meetings are:

If you would like to volunteer to lead a regular meeting for ODAT members in the #ODATGroup room, please write to Since some of our loops are not 12-Step loops, the meeting can be either a general support meeting or a 12 Step meeting.


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"Claire de Lune ~ Debussy"
© Copyright 2002 THE ODAT GROUP All rights reserved