12/19/2014

Twelve Step Meditations for Atheists

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

Twelve Step Meditations for Atheists by Laura M. at Amazon.comFor the past four months, I have been working on a meditation book for atheists. The twelve step programs are so god-heavy that it’s really hard for atheists to recover. I wrote this book to help others through this process. You can see it here:

I am so grateful to Overeater’s Anonymous and I truly believe they saved my life, but at the same time, I wasted ten years trying to solve my eating problems on my own all because I knew that twelve step programs are very god-oriented. I am here to tell you that it is possible to find recovery without losing your atheism. If you are avoiding going to OA, AA or any other twelve step program because you don’t believe in god, stop it. Go right now. Find a meeting and get yourself the recovery you deserve.

No god required.


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

12/17/2014

Acceptance Is Not Submission

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

This quote really helped me when I was accepting the fact that my eating is disordered.

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it. Kathleen Casey Theisen from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you’re going to do about it.

  • Kathleen Casey Theisen

Last year in October, I came to the stark realization that my brain was BROKEN and there was never going to be a cure for this hunger I have all the time. When I watched The Skinny on Obesity, I realized that I have ZERO control over my eating. Here are those videos from the University of California here:

These videos left me in a pretty hopeless state. I realized that I was going to be hungry all the time and that there was nothing I could do to fix my brain.

After a year and 59 pounds lost, I am no longer hopeless. My brain is still broken and my unnatural hunger kicks in at times, but my life is much more calm now because of Overeater’s Anonymous. They also believe that disordered eating is a disease that is currently incurable. This acceptance of my problem has helped me so much over the last year.

For so long, I refused to accept that I had a disease. I refused to accept that I couldn’t control my eating. Somehow, that made me feel like I was giving up. I thought acceptance was a cop-out. It was a way to pass off the blame on my broken brain.

Instead, it has freed me to take action that has worked when everything else did not. My brain is broken. I’m going to be hungry and want to eat at times when I just don’t need food. In fact, I can’t trust my hunger signals at all because they are almost always wrong. Accepting this helps me devise ways to work around it, with methods like Re-feeding.

Accepting that I am sick and will probably never see a physical cure in my lifetime has helped me get 59 pounds closer to a healthy weight. It has done what nothing else has been able to do for me for the last ten years.

If you are feeling like you just have NO control over your eating, then get yourself to Overeater’s Anonymous and get a sponsor. That simple statement has literally saved my life this year and it can save yours as well.


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

12/10/2014

Please Do Not Mention Specific Foods

By Laura Moncur @ 3:11 pm — Filed under:

In the Overeater’s Anonymous group that I attend, we have a sentence in the meeting format that says, “Please do not mention specific foods in this meeting. If you are having trouble with specific foods, please discuss them with your sponsor.”

Please Do Not Mention Specific Foods from Starling Fitness

I have heard this phrase in many meetings, so it’s not that unique, but I really don’t know how I feel about it. I have so many conflicted feelings.

I am no one else’s Higher Power

I don’t think we should be bossing other people around. I don’t think we should be telling people what they can and cannot share. We are so isolated in this disease that when we tell others what they can share, it puts up a wall that I really think shouldn’t be there.

I don’t want to hurt anyone

At the same time, I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to trigger them. I don’t want to make my friends in my meeting uncomfortable. If I mention food that is on my plan, it might not be on someone else’s plan. In fact, it might be a former binge food. I don’t want to cause anyone any pain.

I can’t shield you from temptation.

Then again, ANYTHING I say could be a temptation for you. It doesn’t matter WHAT I say, whether I’m talking about healthy food, exercise or other behaviors. There is nothing I can do to prevent you from being tempted.

I was reading in Alcoholic’s Anonymous (the Big Book) in Chapter 7 Working With Others and it said:

In our belief any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.

So many people have tried to control my eating, now they want to even control my talking about eating.

A big part of my disease stemmed from the fact that I was starved by my grandmother as a child. When people try to control what I can say about my food, it kind of reminds me of that. In fact, you could say that it triggers me.

The Big Book talks about that, too. (Chapter 7 Working With Others)

We are careful never to show intolerance or hatred of drinking as an institution. Experience shows that such an attitude is not helpful to anyone. Every new alcoholic looks for this spirit among us and is immensely relieved when he finds we are not witch-burners. A spirit of intolerance might repel alcoholics whose lives could have been saved, had it not been for such stupidity. We would not even do the cause of temperate drinking any good, for not one drinker in a thousand likes to be told anything about alcohol by one who hates it.

It’s NEVER about the food.

Just like my sponsor says every time, it’s never about the food. If you want to eat something just because I mentioned it in my share, that has NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with you.

This is what it says about that in the Big Book Chapter 7 Working With Others:

Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so. We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status.

Romancing the Food

Then again, if someone is going on and on about a specific food, it’s an indication that they aren’t spiritually fit. It’s called, “Romancing the Food,” and it means that you’re just setting yourself up for a binge. Limiting shares to focus on the positive and not the specific foods, might actually be helpful.

Control is one of my character defects

I have a BIG problem with control. The desire to control myself, others and my environment is one of my biggest character defects, so I have to be on the lookout for anything that feeds it. Telling other OA members what they can and cannot say is something that my desire for control likes very much, so it can’t be good for me, even if it prevents me from being triggered.

Principles Before Personalities

It seemed like our Twelfth Tradition might have been the answer to this question. It reads:

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

If we place principles (what is right) before personalities (people’s feelings), then it seems like we shouldn’t be limiting what our members can share. Then again, if we place principles (the desire to stop compulsive eating behaviors) over personalities (what people want to share), then we should limit their ability to mention specific foods. And I’m right back where I started.

I Don’t Know What’s Right

After all this research and thought about this issue, I don’t know what is right. I don’t want to hurt someone else. I don’t want us to control what people can and cannot share. If I was asked what I thought our group should do, I literally wouldn’t know how to answer.


Original Image Via: Disease Proof – The anatomy of a binge


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

12/8/2014

Sophrosyne

By Laura Moncur @ 7:45 am — Filed under:

Sophrosyne: It’s a word I’ve never heard of before. In fact, it’s a word that my spell-check has never heard of before. It was never taught me in school or religious classes, despite being the one thing that would have helped me most in life.

Sophrosyne from Starling Fitness

The definition of Sophrosyne is:

A healthy state of mind, characterized by self-control, moderation, and a deep awareness of one’s true self, and resulting in true happiness.

We all know the word hedonism (a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the primary or most important intrinsic good), which is the OPPOSITE of sophrosyne. My spell check believes that it is a real word, but sophrosyne has a red line underneath it, denying its existence.

Is it no wonder that our society is spending too much, eating too much, exercising too little and mired in addictions? The basic concept of self-control and moderation isn’t taught in schools. It is so unknown that the word describing it isn’t even in our vernacular.

It’s not like the ancients weren’t trying to tell us about it. Just look at this Goethe quote:

Out of moderation a pure happiness springs from Starling Fitness

Out of moderation a pure happiness springs.

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The more I try to be ordinary, the better my life becomes. The more I try to be boring, the happier I am. I don’t exercise like a crazy woman anymore. I don’t binge like a glutton anymore. When I’m moderate with my exercise AND my eating, I lose weight, feel better and am happier. When I try to exercise and restrict my eating, I end up bingeing. Staying away from the extremes has literally saved my life. Sophrosyne is my new catchphrase.

Images via:

Sophrosyne definition: Wanderlust

Goethe Quote: 3 steps for achieving sophrosyne – positively present

11/30/2014

Become A Priority in Your Life

By Laura Moncur @ 9:03 am — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on Positive Life Tips and it reminded me of the difference of my life before and now my life after.

Become A Priority in Your Life by Starling Fitness

It reads:

Become a priority in your life.

This means a lot of things that I didn’t know it would mean.

  • Setting appointments for things like meditation and exercise that are ESSENTIAL for my mental and physical health.
  • Making up food and snacks ahead of time so that I’m not starving and choosing the wrong foods.
  • DOING what my sponsor tells me to do.
  • NOT doing what my sponsor tells me not to do.
  • Putting my needs ahead of the needs of those who don’t matter.

It’s HARD to do these things, but the pay offs are great. Instead of excuses and exhaustion, I am healthy and happy right now. The next time you catch yourself skipping workouts or saying yes to someone who isn’t worth it, remember to make yourself a priority.

11/20/2014

Gentleness and Time

By Laura Moncur @ 9:47 am — Filed under:

I saw this quote today and it shocked me at how BAD I am at this:

When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time. Saint Francis de Sales from The Quotations Page

It reads:

When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.

  • Saint Francis de Sales

Whenever things have gotten harder in my weight loss journey, I have attacked things with stricter eating and more intense exercise. That has always led to a binge for me. I have never just tried to be gentle with myself and give myself time. I’ve done the polar opposite and gotten horrible results.

If you run into problems, try this radical idea. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. You are at a plateau? Just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t increase your workouts. Don’t change up your food. Just keep eating the calories you’re supposed to eat to lose weight safely. Just keep doing moderate workouts.

Give yourself gentleness and time.

11/17/2014

Everybody Here Is A Friend of Mine

By Laura Moncur @ 9:51 am — Filed under:

Usually when I have a migraine, I hide in a dark room, hoping to sleep it off, but last month, we were traveling to see family and I couldn’t hide. I took my two naproxen sodium pills and the pain lulled to a dull thud. Mike was going to drive and we stopped to get gas in town before leaving.

That’s when it happened… (more…)

11/16/2014

Contraints of the Space-Time Continuum

By Laura Moncur @ 12:45 pm — Filed under:

Just yesterday, I was talking about how I need to live in The Here and Now. Then this gorgeous quote from Hank Green shows up in my feed.

Constraints of the Space-Time Continuum

It reads:

I live in the present due to the constraints of the Space-Time Continuum.

It’s true. We MUST live in the present. We can’t do anything else. We can’t change the past. We can’t foresee the future. Any time spent trying to do either is WASTED time.

Every time I think about eating this way for the rest of my life, the REASON I feel panicky and unable to complete the task is because of the sheer complexity of fathoming the rest of my life. I’m not panicked about eating this way for the rest of my life. I’m just panicked about the rest of my life.

As long as I focus on TODAY, THIS MINUTE, I can do it. I am like the proverbial Verizon Guy. Can I eat healthy now? YES! Can I eat healthy NOW? YES! Can I eat healthy next year? We do NOT know! You have to wait until the Verizon Guy WALKS there, step by step, to get there. THEN, you can ask me. Can I eat healthy now? YES!

Image via: The Benevolent Slice

11/15/2014

The Here and Now

By Laura Moncur @ 2:11 pm — Filed under:

I saw this quote today and it helped me be happier with living in the now.

The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right it's all we'll need. Ann Richards from The Quotations Page

It reads:

The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right it’s all we’ll need.

  • Ann Richards

I have a hard time living in the now. I am always thinking about the future or ruminating about the past. Something about the Overeater’s Anonymous program helps us put that aside and live in the now. The idea of living just ONE day at a time sounds simplistic to me, but it has helped me.

The thought of writing down every single bit of food I eat every day for the rest of my life sounds INCREDIBLY restrictive to me. I cannot even think of doing it. Can I write down every single bit of food I eat today? Oh, yeah. That’s totally easy. I can do that.

And I have been doing that for over eleven months now.

Somehow, just focusing on ONE day at a time is easy. Can I eat healthy today? Yes. Can I eat healthy for the rest of my life? I’m not even going to think about that. All I’m going to think about is The Here and Now. I’ll make that awesome and forget about everything else.


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

11/14/2014

Fail Thrice

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I saw this quote and it made me feel better about my weight loss failures.

Three failures denote uncommon strength. A weakling has not enough grit to fail thrice. Minna Thomas Antrim from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Three failures denote uncommon strength. A weakling has not enough grit to fail thrice.

  • Minna Thomas Antrim

I’ve been really beating myself up lately about the fact that it took me TEN years to get my butt to Overeater’s Anonymous. I heard about it, dismissed it and then suffered for ten more years. During that time, I failed at Weight Watchers two more times.

So I have failed thrice, which means, if Minna Thomas Antrim is to be believed, that I have uncommon strength.

I have to admit that it DID take strength to pick myself up again and try again, especially when I felt so defeated and lost. Back in October of last year, I lost ALL hope. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was powerless over food. I was going to be hungry ALL the time for the rest of my life. My only hope was to white-knuckle it between my feedings. I talked about it here:

Back then, I said:

After months of not being able to follow my plan for more than an hour each morning, I finally have a tiny modicum of success. It appears that refeeding works for anorexics and binge eaters alike.

It is over a year later, and I STILL have those alarms that go off every two and a half hours. Without questioning it, I eat when they go off and DON’T eat between times. I can ALWAYS wait a couple of hours to eat when I feel hungry. After so much failure, finding something that works is a precious jewel that I have clung to it in near desperation.

I am so grateful I was able to pick myself up and try again, even though I had failed thrice.


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

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