For us compulsive eaters, “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” can have very different meanings than for everyone else. One that we don’t like, and one that can really help us.
Thanksgiving might be better termed Amateur Day. All those normal eaters out there have their big turkey feast then fall asleep on the couch while watching the Lions or Cowboys. These normal eaters have seconds and feel as stuffed as the bird they were just consuming. Meanwhile, we compulsive eaters are just getting started. Actually, we probably primed the pump well before company arrived or before we got to our feast destination. Once there, we graze on appetizers, pick at the turkey to get the choicest pieces of skin, take extra helpings of everything, then pile in the pie. By 5:00 while everyone else is groaning about their bloated bellies, we’re thinking about turkey sandwiches.
Then comes our Black Friday. It might begin in the wee hours of the morning, with a sudden awakening to acid reflux. Or maybe we’re so full we never got to sleep in the first place and stayed up berating ourselves for gluttony once again. We get up in the morning feeling lethargic, burping, and wondering whether we’ll ever be able to control our eating. All the while, we know deep inside that we’ll never gain control, but our pride tells us to fight anyway. In this way, Thanksgiving is no different than many other days except in the volume of food at the dining room table.
Over the rest of the weekend we might tell a spouse or friend that we’re going on a diet on Monday. Or maybe after Christmas. Or in the New Year. We just need to get through the holidays. As Friday, Saturday, and Sunday roll by, we feel that familiar sense of failure and remorse, and our misery continues. Thanksgiving dinner didn’t fix it.
Luckily for us, however, we can interpret Cyber Monday in a different way as well. We can see it as an opportunity to look for the solution. We can go online to locate all kinds of OA resources that will guide us toward recovery from compulsive eating! Here’s a few examples for people in different parts of their OA journey.
- Not sure if you’re a compulsive eater? Take this quiz and find out.
- Visit this page for newcomers at OA.org to see what happens at meetings and hear podcasts of member’s experiences.
- Read OA’s FAQ to learn the answers to questions commonly asked by newcomers.
Newcomers and returning members
- Download our meeting list to locate a meeting and read a getting-started guide that’s written just for you.
- Read the getting-started guide on the second page of our meeting list—it’s written just for you!
- Shop at the online OA Bookstore where you can purchase approved OA literature, including popular and helpful resources such as The Big Book, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, and For Today.
Members who struggled on Thanksgiving
- Download the “Been Slipping and Sliding” worksheet to help pinpoint what may have motivated your compulsive eating.
- Grab the Strong Abstinence Checklist to help you shore up your food.
- Get out your headphones and listen the stories of dozens of members on official OA podcasts.