Sunday, November 5, 2017

My Last Binge

     I had my last binge with food Friday night.   An impulsive stop by Whole Foods to return some reading glasses led to a $25.00 refund.   What would I spend it on?  Hmmm, the organic tortillas display in front of me looked tempting, especially with the free samples.  Gluten free, grain free, sounded pretty healthy.  But what did they substitute for the grain?  Heaven knows.  I was hungry so I grabbed a few.  Then a package.  The plan was to go home, have a small plate, and chill.

     But first I went over to the mall to see what movies were playing.  I'd been wanting to see The Battle of the Sexes, and yes, it was playing at the Silverspot.  It was past five but I decided to catch the last half of it.  I'd watched a documentary on Billie Jean King and was impressed.  Plus, the tennis match between her and Bobby Riggs was hot ticket in 1973.  The match was held in Houston at the Super Dome.  I saw the whole thing on TV, along with 90 million other viewers around the globe.

     There were only two other people in the movie theatre as I settled down to watch the film.  And eat and eat and eat.  Finished off the bag of organic tortilla chips, along with a small container of hummus.  These foods are slippery for me and I should avoid them entirely.  Bad impulse to go to a movie on an empty stomach.  But heck, in the dark theatre, no one could see me stuff myself with all the food.

     By the time the movie was over, I looked down to see the remnants of the chips scattered all over the floor.  Shame set in because two women had just entered to sweep and clean. We exchanged smiles, but I was afraid they would discover my secret.  I slipped quietly out of the theatre and drove home.

     Compulsive overeating is a serious illness.  I'm forced to look at the consequences and feel the effects, which are horrible.  I prayed that "just this once," I can recover from another binge.

     Thankfully, I didn't use laxatives, tho I thought about it.  The past two days have had me making numerous trips to the bathroom, feeling awful, and feeling angry.  Everything made me angry:  my demanding cat, the pile of dishes, the laundry to be done, food plans to be made.  I hate planning meals, but they sure do keep me clean, and keeps the obsession at bay.

     I did come crawling back to OA, and calling people.  Calling people eases the craving.  So does taking things one day at a day.  I returned to Step One earlier this year and just stayed stuck on it.  For months.  All through my surgery and recovery.  I was using food to comfort myself.

     Back to the steps, starting with Step one:

Step one Questions and Answers
1.     Write a history of your compulsive eating beginning with the first time you can remember food related events. Discuss how much weight you’ve gained and lost, what medical attention you’ve sought for the problem and your attempts at maintaining your weight losses.
My compulsive overeating began when I was about 5.  My dad had been an alcoholic  tho I never saw him drink.   My parents would fight a lot or maybe it was just my mother fighting.  She ridiculed him constantly; they didnt  sleep together.  I would go in the closet in my bedroom ( I shared my mothers  room).   There was a play kitchen in the closet and I would go in there and drown my sorrows with peanut butter crackers.  I never had a weight problem tho until my pregnancy. My marriage fell apart and we divorced in the first year we were married.  I overate a lot and put on too much weight.
I  was always thin and called the bottomless pit because I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight.  However,  I put on 40 pounds in my pregnancy and it took a year to use 10 pounds.  I was 130 after I gave birth and used Herbalife to lose the 10 pounds.  Which came  back while I was in grad school and then I tried Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and fen fen, a diet pill.  Got down to 115, my ideal weightput it back on tho. 
Discovered OA in Tarboro thru Greenville meetings in 2002.  Tho I kept on eating sugar and drinking caffeine up until I met you in 2011.  I began in earnest to lose weigh, down to 115 by 2012got abstinent from sugar.  Ive lost 40 to 50 lbs. in OA.
Medical attention:  ruptured diverticula in 1994, life threatening.  Id  been binging on junk food the night before.
Georgia doctor who gave me phen phen around 1995.
But the overeating kept coming back, so that I was about 157 pounds when my son was a h.s. senior in 2002.
Went to the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in 2002 and lost 10 pounds, down to 130. Funny, they didnt even mention the addictive nature of overeating or 12 step programs. I had tried some crazy diets too.
Im truly done with overeating.

2) Read Step One in the OA 12 Steps. Discuss and reflect upon the effect food has had upon you over the years. Do you truly see yourself as a “compulsive overeater”?   
“Do I really see myself as a compulsive overeater?”
Amnesia sets in, especially at night.  It’s been my “annus horribilus.”  Horrible year.  Pain, surgery, frustration with a missed diagnosis.  Certain feelings/situations create the urge to eat more – this was a real problem during my recent hospitalization/rehab.  Food – ice cream at rehab, chocolate, provided some sort of sustenance for me, so I thought.  I felt like I needed something,  sweet perhaps.  But the better choice would be discipline, honesty, God, meetings, the tools.

Actions of overeating harm me, I can see that.  I overeat, feel terrible about it, guilty. So I’m back to honesty, acceptance.  Yes, I;m a compulsive overeater but not a bad person. 

Third day of not eating compulsively. Planning my meals, emailing them to my sponsor.  Today,Wed., Nov. 7th, 2017. I had my "gruel" :  oatmeal  drowned in soy milk, small chopped apple on top, mint tea.   I feel achy everywhere:  knees, fingers, toes, shoulders.  Will do my Qui Qong now for 20 min.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Immigration and Naturalization Services

     Last night, i watched a documentary, Elian, on Elian Gonzales' ordeal during his time in the U.S.  A Cuban boy of 5, his mother and a number of relatives. escaped Cuba.   Sadly, Elian's mother and a number of others on the boat, also perished.

     Elian's father wanted his son back in Cube.  The incident caused an outcry among Cuban Americans who wanted the boy to stay in America.

     In 2000, the Oregonian won a Pulitzer  for investigative journalsi

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"Old Blood and Guts"

A piece I did for the Daily Southerner several years back from an oral history of a World War Two veteran I interviewed.

Remembering “‘Ole Blood n’ Guts”
by Dana Lee Stone
     “It was his blood, and our guts.”  George Osborne of Tarboro laughed as he recalled his experiences in Patton’s Army during World War II.  “He was the greatest general and his men loved him.  They respected him, and he respected them.  He wouldn’t ask his men to do anything he wouln’t do.  He was our greatest leader, and had no fear.  I saw him three times up at the front.  At the Rhine River, he led his men across, wading in front of them.”
     George Osborne is 94 now.  Originally from Wallace, North Carolina, Mr. Osborne was drafted (“my wife wouldn’t let me volunteer”) into the Army during World War II.  He served in France, Germany, and Austria, part of the 65th Division, 565 Signal Corps.
     During his first days in boot camp, Osborne said there was a particular sergeant who came into the barracks to give the men a little advice.  “Boys,” he said, “there are three things to do in the Army, and if you do ‘em, you’ll get along fine.  Keep your bowels open, your mouths shut, and don’t volunteer for a damn thing.”  Osborne earnestly admitted, “I’ve stuck to that pretty well.”
     He continued, “they sent me to Camp Shelby in Mississippi where I had basic training, then to New York to get ready to go overseas.  They put me on KP.  I noticed they had some hams hanging up and I asked, ‘what’s that, horse meat?’ 
     “They said, ‘no, that’s beef.’ And I said, ‘no cow ever grew that big!’ 
     He was warned not to say anything about the horsemeat, because “the boys wouldn’t eat it.”  Osborne recalled how he looked over to see a soldier eating it: “hey, buddy, that’s pretty good horse meat, isn’t it? Someone in the background neighed like a horse, and don’t you know that boy put his plate down, and wouldn’t eat anymore.”
     Osborne continued his story by describing his deployment.  “We got shipped to la Havre, in France.  They had supplies for 3,000 men and here 30,000 came in on this convoy.  They put us in these tent camps.  For the first two weeks, the only things we got to eat were a spoonful of powdered eggs, a half a canteen of coffee, and a piece of bread.  They had garbage cans for the trash, but no garbage ever went in them.”
     As a driver, Osborne covered a lot of territory during the war, covering most of France, Germany, and Austria.  He told me about on his most memorable experience in Germany, when he encountered German SS troops.  “We were out in the woods and they asked for volunteers.  Me like a crazy fool, I volunteered…We were out crawling through the woods when a shot came through.  BLAM!  I felt the heat when it went across the back of my neck.  I looked around from where I saw the flash, and I didn’t even take aim.  I shot.  The bullet hit him in the head…This experience broke me from volunteering.  I don’t volunteer for anything anymore.”
     Osborne elaborated on one of the most controversial incidents of the War, the famous “slapping incident” that involved General Patton.  “I didn’t see it,” he explained, but this boy was laying out and Patton slapped him.  I think the boy was scared, mostly.  Patton slapped him in the face with his glove.”
     The incident led to Patton being reprimanded.  Osborne offered, “a lot of people think it was the worst thing Patton could have done, to slap that boy, but I don’t think so.  I think it brought the boy to his senses.”
     Recalling the death of General Patton, Osborne reflected:  “he was killed in a wreck.  He wanted to go into Russia and we all thought that the CIA was behind the accident.  That was really a sad time, when Patton died.”
   Osborne is obviously proud of his experiences during World War II, even though he claims not to have done “very much.” 
     “Our Division went the furthest and the fastest of any Division over there,” he said.  Surely these memories went with him on a trip several years ago to West Point for a reunion of the 65th Division.  “You know,” he said, “I may be the oldest one in it now.  I was 92 then, and I’m 94 now.”
    Nowadays, George Osborne can often be found at the Roberson Senior Center in Tarboro, where he goes for lunch and to socialize with his many friends.    

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Happiest Moment of My Life


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Message from the President of the University of Virginia

Dear alumni and friends of the University,

Last night about forty students held a demonstration on the north side of the Rotunda and as part of this demonstration, they shrouded the Jefferson statue, desecrating ground that many of us consider sacred. I strongly disagree with the protestors’ decision to cover the Jefferson statue. University personnel removed the shroud. One person was arrested for public intoxication. These are the facts of the situation, regardless of what you may read in media accounts of those who have their own agenda.

Coming just one month after the August 11 torchlight march by 300 racist and anti-Semitic protesters, a march that became violent, this event has reminded us that there are critical and sometimes divisive issues related to the exercise of free expression in an inclusive community.

I would like to frame this issue somewhat differently. Thomas Jefferson was an ardent believer in freedom of expression, and he experienced plenty of abusive treatment from the newspapers of his day. He would likely not be surprised to find that when there are critical disagreements in the polity, those disagreements will find expression at his University. UVA's importance as a university is underscored by the fact that arguments about free expression, hate speech, and similar issues occur here. Sometimes these arguments are noisy.

In your own college days, many of you experienced protests and activism at UVA. The war in Vietnam, Watergate, 9/11, and many other issues have been discussed, debated, and protested at UVA. We are at another such point.  I prefer the process of discussion and debate, and the debate is happening here at UVA with a wide variety of guest speakers, panels, and other opportunities to look at underlying issues. That there is also activism should not be a surprise to any of us.

With my best wishes,

Teresa A. Sullivan

Office of the President
P.O. Box 400224
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4224

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Beaten Up, Kicked Out, Bitten and Chewed

"Beaten Up, Kicked Out, Bitten, and Chewed"

It was my "annus horriblous"  -- Ending a friendship over the Christmas holiday, bedridden by the flu at the beginning of 2017, then sideswiped at the NC Poets' Society in mid january by a sudden trip to the emergency room.

The emergency room visit was preceded by a swollen foot and ankle.  A quick call to Nurse Line told me I needed to get to an emergency room.