My Experience in OA: A Male Perspective

I knew for sure that I was a compulsive overeater when I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease while training for a half marathon. I am also sober from alcohol. I am in the Army and fitness is important in my job. So I just accepted that I loved eating and to just work out a lot to be able to try to be thin.   There have been times on courses where I ate as much as I wanted and lost weight. I got tired of doing 3 hours at the boxing gym plus physical training at work just to try to look fit. I would train 2-4 hours a day but have insomnia, depression and was fat. People judged me as being lazy although I worked so hard.

I couldn’t see myself living without the food. It gave me comfort when living away from home and being alone. It was also a source of celebration and happiness. I don’t drink or do drugs as I am an addict in recovery and food was all I thought I had left. I heard my AA sponsor’s daughter speak at an AA roundup about losing weight and keeping it off. This got me to contact her to take me to a OA meeting.

I had taken sports nutrition courses, and been best friends with a dietician. I was full of valuable information and knowledge, but I could never follow what they taught and sometimes it would be too perfect of a nutrition plan. So I suffered from body image issues and would bounce back and forth between perfect diet plans and eating whatever I wanted.   I could never go more than a couple days or a week without eating certain things.   I had tried fasting earlier in life and it worked. But I was always tired and hungry from the new diet I started after. Eventually after marital issues and stress I was back full bore to compulsively eating.

My policy in NA or AA is men sponsor men and woman sponsor woman. When I got to OA I had to break that rule for a while until I followed my sister’s recommendation and I found a male sponsor 2.5 hours away.   That was when my recovery really started. Although my wife supported me, she was not be happy with my friendship with other woman in the program. I believe it’s a dangerous position to be in, to be vulnerable and building intimacy with other woman.   It wasn’t just my wife that wasn’t ok with it; it was me. My choices were don’t do OA or get help from a woman.   So my temporary sponsor was female and like I said when I found a male sponsor who was abstinent for ten years and proficient in the steps.

I got abstinent. I did struggle at first with feeling boredom of not being able to relate to other members.   When I was into weight training I was always comparing myself to my thinner coworkers who could run way faster than me and were praised. I struggled with BMI so now I don’t follow it. I was 238lbs when I got abstinent and lost about 4 lbs. a month to bring me to 222lbs. The 1 lb. a week average is a healthy weight loss and I haven’t gained since.

I am now 13% body fat and knowing my body fat percentage is helpful because I lift weights don’t believe in losing muscle mass to lose weight. I eat 3 meals a day, abstain from red light foods and behaviours and weigh myself once per month. I have found much spiritual and mental growth in this program. It was hard to do three meals a day because it goes against all my knowledge about eating healthy but three meals a day helps me keep it very simple. I need my abstinence to be black and white so I can enjoy the grey between meals and have a break from obsessing over food, weight, looks and nutrition.

~ Anonymous



Do you have any male members in your group?

Are you prepared if you receive male newcomers?

Are you a male in OA looking for some support?

Talk to your Literature Rep about ordering this pamphlet SKU: 290.