Monday, February 28, 2011

For Today: February 28th

It is in our faults and failings, not in our virtues, that we touch one another and find sympathy.
Jerome K. Jerome

In my search for a cure for my illness, I encountered many fine doctors & others who were sincerely interested in helping me. And they did help: I lost weight. But when I regained the weight, I could only see my former helpers as superior beings with no discernible human failings to compare to mine.

In OA, my would-be helpers were, by their own admission, overeaters. In unmistakable terms, they described the compulsion, the fat, the shame, the despair—and the spiritual recovery. My own recovery began that day.

Today I know that I must give to another compulsive overeater in the same way that others gave to me: by first revealing my own failings.

For Today: In sponsoring and twelfth step work, I remember to talk about some of the defects I still have, as well as those that have been removed. A sponsor with no apparent faults needs help.

Oh, the drastic measures I undertook to find a ‘cure’ for my obesity! And every time I regained my weight, I felt like a bigger failure. My self-esteem took hit after hit after hit, time and time again. Why did other people always seem better than me? Thinner.  More at ease, better able to deal with life’s problems? Thinner. I only knew how I FELT and how others LOOKED. It always always ALWAYS boiled down to the fat/thin comparisons. If she was thin, she was better than me, period. She had more willpower, more self-control, more guts, more EVERYTHING. Why couldn’t I handle my weight?

Because I am a compulsive overeater & no diet on earth is going to ‘cure’ me. Until I recognized that fact, I was doomed to repeat my dieting failures till the end of time. 

For today, I don’t need to starve myself on one crazy diet scheme or another.

 For today, I can be satisfied with my Food Plan & I can stay abstinent from eating to excess.

 For today, I pray that I may follow God’s guidance, so that spiritual success shall be mine. I pray that I may never doubt the power of God and so take things into my own hands.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

For Today, February 27th

For Today: February 27th
To persevere, trusting in what hopes one has, is courage. The coward despairs.

There is a time for sadness and regrets, but it is one thing to mourn and quite another to refuse to go on. Before the program of OA I had no path to follow. There was no end of misery in sight. Today I have a way to go, people to be with, a sponsor to guide me. I may not feel like doing anything, but I know now that the answer is action, just as it was when I walked into my first meeting. God gives me the courage to trust, to take that first step, to reach out to a friend.

For Today: With abstinence, and the support of OA, I have the courage to live.


This reading puts me in mind of that old saying, about Once you Learn Something, you can’t ‘unlearn’ it. For me, this is the case with OA & the 12 Steps. How can I ever go back to the way things once were, now that I KNOW there is a better path to follow? OA gives me a blueprint, a prescription for happiness, an answer to situations I once felt hopeless to get a handle on. I thought I’d ‘have to’ spend my life obese & bingeing. I felt like a coward indeed. I didn’t realize that restricting my food intake was Courage. Courage to LIVE! I thought a restricted food intake would make me miserable & sad, but instead, restricting my food intake  has allowed me to feel Peace, Happiness  & Courage, all at the same time!  I now have the Courage to be ME; to accept myself without glossing over the truth.  If I behave in a way that isn’t in line with God’s path for me, I can do  4th & 5th step work , ask God to remove  me of the defect, make amends to those I have hurt by my actions, and move forward without guilt or feeling like a failure. I don’t have to hoard the guilt, or live with big secrets anymore….I have a solid plan to follow that allows me to live with Truth instead of Denial.

For today, I am grateful to know the truth about myself, and still be able to love myself in spite of it!

For today, I pray that the fever of resentment, worry & fear may melt into nothingness. I pray that health, joy, peace & serenity may take its place.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

For Today: February 26th

For Today: February 26th

Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don’t set any conditions.
Artur Rubinstein

As a compulsive overeater, I know that making conditions for happiness doesn’t work. I thought I could only be happy if I was thin. So I dieted and lost weight. I went out and had a lot of fun and excitement. That was happiness, wasn’t it? It wasn’t.

Happiness is freedom from compulsive overeating---and that freedom does not come until I give up the conditions, the “Yes, buts” and the “If onlys.” How enslaving conditions are, and how fearful it is to let them go, to lose control. Life doesn’t come made to order. It comes as it comes, on its own terms, whether or not I accept it.

For Today: Setting conditions is putting myself back in the driver’s seat. I can have the courage to trust, to let go and know that the ability to do this is a great blessing.

This passage from Step One says it all:

“We sometimes recognized we had living problems, but felt that life would be manageable if only we could stop the compulsive overeating. Whenever we did stop, however, we found life without excess food unbearable. Even getting to our desired weight didn’t cure our unhappiness.”

I too thought that being thin would cure me of all my problems, that it would lead me to feel true ‘happiness’, which it never did. I’d get thin, then wake up one day & say Now What? I did not know how to live as a normal weight individual. I hadn’t developed new techniques for handling my disease; I hadn’t developed new hobbies, new friends, or, more importantly, a relationship with God. I didn’t feel that He could help me with a ‘silly thing’ like compulsive overeating!

Boy was I wrong.

When I lost weight this time, I surrendered myself, my life & my disease over to God & I haven’t looked back.

Nowadays, I consciously have to tell myself to STOP setting conditions to my happiness. “When my daughter feels healthy, THEN I will be happy.”  “When I have X amount of money saved up, THEN I will be happy.”

NO. For today I will be happy, NO MATTER WHAT! If I live my life waiting for perfect conditions to exist in order to be happy, I will be waiting forever.

I have to sometimes remind myself it’s  OK to be happy, that I am ALLOWED to feel that way, in spite of everything.

For today, I choose to be happy. For today, I choose to let go & let God. For today, I choose to be adherent to my Food Plan.

For today, I choose to LIVE

Friday, February 25, 2011

For Today: February 25th

We are apt to be very pert at censuring others, where we will not endure advice ourselves.
William Penn

Recognition of my faults does not always save me from them. I find myself slipping into advice-giving, despite my distaste for someone else’s advice and my conviction that we are not here to advise anyone.

When I make that mistake, I ask forgiveness of the person I tried to advise. That is the first step toward removal of this defect; and if I confess it to my group, I am even closer to attaining a measure of humility.

For Today: People may seem to want my advice, but that is no reason for me to give it. In OA, I am just another member, not a counselor.

I am very prone to giving ‘free advice’, even when it isn’t asked of me. That’s been an ongoing problem for me on the Medifast website where I’ve been active for so long. The program has a set of solid rules to follow, so nobody really needs ‘advice’……but, in a board format, it’s hard NOT to give advice when it is sought ALL over the place. This is why I have ventured out to Blogspot……I cannot continue giving out advice AND saying I’m an OAer…..that is Talking the Talk but not Walking the Walk. Here at Blogspot, I am free to say what I want & interpret these For Today readings as I see fit, and from my own perspective. I am not advising anyone, I am simply speaking from my own experience with the program.   I can revisit these blogs  when I need to re-think some of my ideas, when they tend to get warped or when I start trying to work the program my way. If I use this as a journal/diary, I can get out some of my own thoughts without having it sound as if I am ‘passing judgment’ on someone else. That is in direct violation of the 12 Step principles & not something I want to continue doing.  I detest being given advice myself, as this reading discusses, so who am I to pass out advice? I think I may wind up hurting some feelings when I do so, and, that is NEVER my intent.
For today, I am grateful for this place to vent & to discuss my feelings & thoughts.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For Today, February 24th

When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too.
Anne Morrow Lindberg

The knowledge that I could not stop my self-destructive eating made me a stranger to myself. Is it any wonder that I felt isolated and apart, that my relationships were seldom what I thought they should be?

I may have made some progress in self-knowledge before, but only the OA program fills in ALL the gaps. It goes far beyond merely enabling me to see and accept myself as I am. The key—the real magic---of the 12 steps is that they replace my shabby independence with dependence on a strength that never fails me, my self-destructiveness with sane & healthful living.

Today, there is no split between what I want to do and what I actually do. I am abstinent. I am in touch with my feelings and with reality. I can reach out to others and be what I would want in a friend, spouse, sister, mother or coworker.

For Today: To keep growing in self-awareness, awareness of others and of God is my highest priority. For this, I am willing to abstain and follow the directions in the steps.


When I was in the midst of a binge was when I was most estranged from myself; scared, frightened, not knowing WHO I was or WHAT I was doing. What scary times those were. Being abstinent puts me in touch with who I really AM, and who God intended me to BE.

As Marianne Williamson so inspirationally writes:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented & fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Only through abstinence & the 12 Steps was I able to see myself for who I really am. When I am numbing myself with excess food, how can I truly be free & able to let my own light shine? I cannot DO that….my inner light is turned off. If I want my own light to shine, I will be Abstinent.

When I am practicing Abstinence & making it my number one priority, I don't have to worry about what I look like in the mirror; what size jeans I am wearing, or what number appears on the scale. When I am Abstinent I have inner peace which allows me to live my life fully, as I was intended to, without the burdens of excess food & the diet mentality weighing me down.

This is the definition of Abstinence!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For Today: February 23rd

For Today: February 23rd
Nothing is to be had for nothing.

Why is it so much harder for me? I go to meetings, but I still don’t have what attracted me in the first place. Let me look honestly at what I’m doing and failing to do:
~Do I have a sponsor—one who has what I want?
~Do I really listen at meetings, and try to contribute?
~Am I working the program beyond Step Three?
~Am I trying to practice the principles of the program at home and at work as well as in OA?
~Do I have a personal concept of a Higher Power that works for me?
~Am I still trying to diet, ie.e. manipulate and control my food intake and my weight?
~Do I follow suggestions such as “weigh only once a month”?
~Have I ever called a newcomer, or another OA member?
~Do I give some form of service?
~Do I ever express gratitude for having come this far?

For Today: I can begin now to follow those directions that seem to work for others and that I have been resisting.

Most of my trouble revolves around Resistance. Oh, I can do it My Way…or can I? When I surrender MY 
will & accept God’s will for me is when I truly give up My Way. That’s when I can settle into my abstinent lifestyle without feeling deprived or like I’m making a sacrifice. The “poor me” soapbox will only perpetuate the very misery I’m trying to eliminate from my life! There is no room for self-pity in Recovery.

And gratitude… I express gratitude for coming this far? Hell YES I do! If I cannot appreciate & be grateful for all the blessings in my life, how can I expect to be happy? A thin body will not make me happy without feeling good about Who I Am. I cannot feel good about Who I Am without following the 12 Steps; living an Abstinent lifestyle, apologizing for my mistakes, making amends to those I have harmed with my words or deeds; and practicing Integrity & Self- Respect in all of my daily actions.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For Today, February 22nd

For Today: February 22nd

The maxim, “Nothing avails but perfection,” may be spelled “Paralysis.”
Sir Winston Churchill

How long will the wallpaper in the bedroom hang down like lopping tongues? Why don’t I fix it—or have it fixed?

Because I want to do the job perfectly. I want the best, the prettiest, the most elegant wallpaper in the world. But where am I going to find it? Just thinking about looking through stacks and stacks of patterns for the perfect one stops me in my tracks. Which is why the wallpaper stays as it is and I keep the bedroom door closed.

Where does the need to be perfect come from? It’s true that if I don’t do anything, no one can criticize my lack of taste or whatever it is I think I ought to have. But the harshest and most unrelenting critic of all is me; I see that wallpaper every day and I hate the slob who forces me to live that way.

For Today: Perfectionism is another obsession, and I pray to be relieved of it. I do the necessary footwork by taking one small step toward a project or activity I have been putting off.
Perfectionsim=Paralysis. Who said I had to be perfect? I guess I did. But what is Perfection? An impossible quest is what it is. When I tell myself I have to do something Perfectly, I set myself up to fail before I even start! I am able to stay committed to my Food Plan without being perfect.

For most of my life, I’ve hated the slob who forced me to live  as a Perfectionist. I put off doing everything that need to GET done because of my Perfectionism. I had closets that needed cleaning, drawers that needed organizing, a life that was in chaos because I had to do everything Perfectly or not at all.
Perfectionism is another way to describe the All Or Nothing Mentality that keeps most overweight people in its grip. If I eat a cookie, I feel I have given myself permission to eat a whole bag of cookies. Since I’ve already ‘blown my diet’, why not blow it all the way?
Through the teachings of OA, I have been able to give up my perfectionist ways; I’ve been able to ditch my All-Or-Nothing mentality & free myself of those burdens of Extreme.
I can live my life in 24 hour segments. During that 24 hour segment, I can take on a small project & put a plan of action into place. Whether it be cleaning out a section of my closet, or creating a menu for dinner the next evening. I can stop looking at tomorrow & appreciate today for what it is.

One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows.

Monday, February 21, 2011

For Today: February 21st

For Today: February 21st

The faultfinder will find faults even in Paradise
Henry David Thoreau

Do I recognize myself in that bleak portrait? Finding fault is a habit, like having to be right, or telling people what to do. It's possible to find fault even if the object of my displeasure were to become the exact opposite of what it is. As a faultfinder, I can be on the offensive and no one has a chance to criticize me. Finding fault is easy; a child can do it, particularly a tired, cross, frustrated child.

Chronic faultfinding is a flaw in my own makeup, and has nothing to do with people and things outside myself. It is a habit that needs the scrutiny of a personal inventory and a good step-five airing.

For Today: Growth in the OA program allows me to see with new eyes; feeling good about myself makes me less critical of myself and others.

If I am busy finding fault with everyone & everything, how can I focus on what I need to do to stay the course with my Food Plan? Finding fault is just a cover-up for avoidance of my own issues. I was trained at an early age to never trust, to never allow others into my life; to be fearful of everyone & everything & to find fault everywhere I went. Yes, it has been a habit but one that I can break! One that I am conscious of & one that I am changing. If I expect to stay thin & maintain a state of serenity, I cannot find fault; I must find causes to celebrate & character traits in others to admire, not disapprove of. One day at a time, I am working on breaking this terrible habit.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For Today: February 20th

For Today: February 20th

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
Helen Keller

When I am troubled, I think my pain will last forever. Peace of mind appears to be gone for good, and the fact that I have faced and conquered problems in the past is forgotten.

Although yesterday's suffering may have little bearing on the present, I know that overcoming it gave me strength. My burdens today might seem greater than any I've ever had, but so is my ability to deal with them. I am not where I once was. I have learned in OA that when I can do nothing more to improve a situation, there is a process in which I can trust absolutely: let go and let God.

For Today: Pain often comes from non-acceptance. If I find that I can neither change nor accept a certain reality, I let it go for now, knowing that it is the first step in overcoming my misery.
How easy it is to think my misery will never end, when I'm stuck in the middle of it. The Never & Forever mentality has been part of my life for so long, and only recently have I been able to discard a lot of that negative thinking. Because nothing will get me FAT faster than a negative, miserable outlook. When I do not accept the terms of my Life, that is when I turn to food for comfort. In reality, my TRUE comfort comes from my family; my husband, my children, my folks & my friends. When I accept myself for who I am, I can accept everyone in my life for who THEY are. And then, I can accept my entire life for what IT is.

One Day At a Time: A Weight Loss Journey

On June 11, 2008, I started a weight loss journey. I weighed 225 lbs & I was miserable. I went on to lose 92 lbs & I've kept it off for 26 months now.

The journey is about so much more that losing weight, though. I have been an avid blogger on the Medifast website I'm affiliated with, but now I want to branch out to new venues. Blogspot is my first attempt at doing so.

In my upcoming blogs, I will talk about weight loss, emotional struggles, maintenance,,,,,,everything involved with the journey at hand.  I will post a daily motivational reading from For Today, an Overeaters Anonymous *OA* publication, along with my comments to follow. I will stay committed to blogging for one year: 365 For Today readings.  Although I used Medifast to lose the weight, my entire journey has been OA based & that's the perspective I'm going to focus on here at Blogspot.

If a person doesn't change his outlook on life, he will not make the internal changes necessary to lose weight & keep it off. He will stay stuck in the cycle of yo yo dieting, as I have done, for years & years. I have only been able to change internally through the teachings of OA & the 12 Steps. If I blog every day, I can stay on track & perhaps motivate someone else to stay on track.

And ain't that what Life is all about? Giving back.

Together, we can travel the road to good Emotional, Spiritual & Physical health. We can learn from one another as we share our experience, strength & hope. One day at a time, we can do ANYTHING!