Q: I attended a couple of OA meetings a few years ago. At the time, I decided it wasn’t for me; but the fact is I cannot control my eating. I had a heart attack in 2008, but still I am unable to execute any control. I don’t understand how someone can be addicted to food! Everyone has to eat! Because I am diabetic and insulin dependent, I cannot abstain from carbohydrates. What if I become hypoglycemic? But I have an idea. Can I get a meal plan from my doctor and have abstinence by sticking to that plan?
A: Your insight to get a food plan from your doctor is right on. We recommend members with a medical condition consult a medical professional for a plan of eating that can work.
A plan of eating is one of nine Tools in OA to help us to recover from compulsive eating one day at a time. It is not the same as abstinence, but a Tool to help us be abstinent. See the pamphlets A Plan of Eating and The Tools of Recovery, which are available at some meetings and at bookstore.oa.org.
In OA, “Abstinence is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional, and physical recovery is the result of working the Twelve Step program of OA” [Business Conference Policy Manual, 1988b (amended 2002, 2009, and 2011)].
When I first came to OA, I was hypoglycemic, so I couldn’t do what seemed to be the norm at that time: three meals a day with nothing in between. I also couldn’t diet, because I was a yo-yo dieter who lost weight only to gain it back plus more. So instead I asked my medical professional’s advice for a plan of eating, which I could follow only with the help of OA meetings, other members, my sponsor, and my Higher Power. Working the Steps helped me to be abstinent and live well one day at a time. As it
is stated in Our Invitation to You: “We have found that the reasons for the illness are unimportant. What deserves the attention of the still-suffering compulsive overeater is this: there is a proven, workable method by which we can arrest our illness.”
I hope you read our literature and keep coming back to meetings. There is nothing like another compulsive eater to understand what you are going through. Together we can do what we could never do alone.
— Members of the Board of Trustees provide answers to Ask-It Basket questions
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Click on the link below to see an archive of previous Ask-It Basket questions and answers. Remember that these answers are the opinions of individual members of the Board of Trustees and others may have different opinions. It’s a good idea to read other OA materials that address an issue and ask around in meetings for more opinions. Also keep in mind that circumstances change and opinions are refined over time. Ask-It Basket Archive