My Food History – Chapter Two
According to the 3rd tradition of Overeaters Anonymous, “The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.”
Having previously made a confession that I was a compulsive overeater, I now realised that I had an actual desire to stop eating compulsively. How did this desire develop?
Firstly, coming to realise that I was a compulsive overeater was accompanied with the admission that I was powerless over food and that my life had become unmanageable. This is the first of the 12 steps in the OA program of recovery. Unless I was powerless over food, then my overeating would not be compulsive, and I would not be a compulsive overeater. If I had power over food, then there would not have been any time at which I ate more than what was necessary for my nutritional needs or eat in a manner that could at all be described as problematic. My previous entry on this subject surely shows that my relationship with food has, historically, been anything but healthy or normal. Therefore, I had an abnormal and an unhealthy relationship with food.
Secondly, step 1 naturally leads one on to the second step which summarises a coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves which can restore us to sanity. Coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves that can lead us to sanity must imply some degree of insanity, and this in relation to our relationship with food. Again, if my own food history is anything to go by, there had always been something at least mildly insane about me and the food. Becoming a member of Overeaters Anonymous, the simply entry requirement being a desire to stop eating compulsively, thus implied a degree of insanity relating to food.
Entry requirement basically stated: A desire to stop eating compulsively.
Entry requirement unpacked: An admission of powerlessness and insanity.
Thus, with my new found appreciation of powerlessness and insanity in relation to food, came the desire to stop eating compulsively coupled with the reality that I did not have what it took to see that desire become a reality. Therefore, if I was going to stay in the program, remain a member of Overeaters Anonymous, I would of necessity need all that the program required.
I would need the other 10 steps.
I would need the fellowship of other compulsive overeaters.
I would need the tools of recovery.
I would need to really start believing that a power greater than myself could and would need to restore me to sanity.