Thursday, March 31, 2011

For Today: March 31st

For Today: March 31st

The only way to predict the future is to have the power to shape the future.
Eric Hoffer

In the days when I was a practicing compulsive overeater, I could not predict my behavior. I went through life a sliver, slice and slab at a time, thinking, this time I will control it. But it is not controllable, not predictable. That is the disease of compulsive overeating. Powerless to carry out my good intentions to eat only certain amounts, I found myself unable to manage other aspects of my life as well.

Through I have come a long way, I am not cured. I have a daily reprieve that, by enabling me to abstain today, restores to me the power to become the person I want to be.

For today: I turn my life over to my Higher Power and in return I receive the full use of my God-given potential.

I really don’t have the power to control my eating when I get started with trigger foods or extras of any kind. The only time I have control is when I’m sticking to my food plan 100% with no deviations.
But, occasionally, I forget. I start thinking I can control the bites, the extra, the ‘just this once’ moments.
I can’t.

Only God can help me lay my compulsion to rest.

I’ve given up my abstinence several times over the past 2 months; every time  I let it out, it hits me harder than last time, and, it’s harder to get abstinent once again.

I’ve gone back to the MF program for the time being. Sometimes I feel like the only way I know how to eat is from little white packets.

Dieting is a direct violation of the OA way & I know that.  But, I need to get my head back in line so I’ll be clear minded enough to work the steps fully & properly.

I get lost sometimes. I forget who’s in charge & I think it’s ME.  That skewed logic gets me in trouble every time.

For today, I pray to remember that God is in charge of my life, not me. I pray to achieve total abstinence once again & to ask God to help me hang onto it for dear life.

Struggling is part of living. Struggling with food is a choice I consciously make when I allow myself to eat trigger foods. For today, I pray to remember that when the going gets tough.

And it will get tough; it always does. Only when I give in do I struggle.

I need to REMEMBER that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For Today: March 30th

For Today: March 30th

Anger is a short madness

I have to be careful about my attitude toward anger. I know that it is healthy to “own” my feelings---to admit to myself that I’m angry as a first step in dealing with that powerful and destructive emotion.  It takes time to find balance, however, and sometimes I swing wildly between extremes. When I explode at someone, I feel out of control, but the program gives me a path to follow: I can make amends. When I lack the courage to express my anger, I can write about it or talk it over with someone, and then forgive myself.

The amazing thing is that, as I grow in this program, I find less and less to be angry about.

For Today: Sanity is not how well I can hide my anger; it is having no need to react to people, places and things by becoming angry.

Anger is a big trigger for me…  soon as I feel that emotion welling up, I also feel like overeating.

There was a time I thought  I had no choice BUT to be angry all the time…..that life was unfair.  Well, maybe life IS unfair, but that doesn’t ‘entitle’ me to be angry.  Anger entitles me to be fat & miserable. What I AM entitled to is living my life as God would like me to; happy, joyous & free. Anger only interferes with that plan.

How does a person rid himself of anger so he CAN live happy, joyous & free?

For me, after working a 4th step & identifying all my character defects that LEAD me to feeling angry, I can ask God to remove them. Then, as soon as I start feeling angry, I can identify what’s driving me to feel that way & say it out loud.  Then I can speak my mind to the person who angered me, in a kind & loving way, and get it OUT onto the table. Once I do that, I can get RID of the anger, move past it and go on with my day. I don’t ‘have to’ eat over it, internalize it, blame someone else or allow all that anger to build up inside ME and cause ME misery.

Sometimes, I get angry in a justifiable way, not because of a character defect of my own. I realize that anger is still a toxic emotion, though, and whether it's justifiable or not, it can STILL lead me to overeat if I don't get rid of it.

For today, I pray for the ability to recognize my emotions & deal with them accordingly, withOUT resorting to excess food to stuff them back.

For today, I am grateful for the knowledge that I have no need to react to people, places and things by becoming angry.

For today, I am grateful for the serenity that comes about by working the steps & staying abstinent. I am grateful that anger doesn’t drive my whole LIFE anymore.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

For Today: March 29th

For Today: March 29th

It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.

An OA member gave away a fifth step to her group one day. She told about secretly rejecting the idea that she, a deeply religious person and longtime churchgoer, could learn anything about spirituality in OA. She felt the steps said nothing she did not already know about maintaining a relationship with God. After a brief period of abstinence, she began overeating again, blamed the program and left. She returned almost a year later feeling utterly defeated, and found her attitude had changed. It was as though she was seeing the first three steps for the first time.

“When I put aside what I knew,” she said, “I suddenly saw what I had missed by closing my mind.”

For Today: Do I take advantage of opportunities to learn, even though I may know a good deal about a subject?

An open mind is the key to recovery. I was held captive by my disease until I was ready to open my mind to a new & better way, the OA way.  Sometimes, I think, a person has to hit rock bottom before they’re able TO open their minds to new ideas.

  I grew up in the Catholic church & had a very strong belief system intact before I abandoned the teachings; they weren’t for me.  By the time I decided to find my spirituality, I had been through other religions as well, none of them were what I was looking for.  When I was able to tap into my spirituality, that is when I found a close personal relationship with God, which was what I’d wanted all along!

God can be found under a rock or in a rainbow just as easily as He can be found behind a wooden pew or in the stained glass of a church window.  God isn’t found in a collection plate; He isn’t found through fear or worry, He is found through love & faith in a power greater than myself.

For today, I pray to forget everything I know about diets & controlling my weight, and to rely on God to keep me on track, one day at a time

Monday, March 28, 2011

For Today: March 28th

For Today: March 28th

On action alone be thy interest, never on its fruits.
Bhagavad Gita

Why am I still obsessed with weight? I’m abstaining, I’m trying to work the steps; but I can’t give up the scale. I’m terrified to stop the constant monitoring of my weight. What if I gain? How will I know it if I don’t weigh?

The problem is, I’m trying to work this program without giving up control. But is that possible? The first three steps make it clear that those who wrote them, and millions who followed, proved they could only recover by letting a Power outside themselves regulate their unmanageable lives.

If I say I have faith in a Higher Power, I can take the next step and turn my weight over to that Power. I can concentrate on taking the action-----abstaining and working the steps-----and leave the results to God.

For Today: If I stop ‘supervising’ my weight loss, it will be taken care of-----in God’s time. I pray for the willingness to do that.


One thing I have been very diligent about is NOT allowing the scale to interfere with my Program, thank God.  While I was losing weight, I only weighed in once a week and never, ever more often. 

Nowadays in maintenance, I tend to weigh in once every other week just to make sure I’m on track with my food intake.  I’ve recently considered weighing in only once a month. Or maybe not at all.

I have been a slave to the scale for way, way too long, and I’ve allowed it to dictate my mood and to gauge my progress. In reality, my mood AND my progress needs to be dictated by my Abstinence. If I am eating & behaving within the parameters of the OA program, I do NOT need a food scale or a bathroom scale.   If I am behaving within the parameters of OA, I am a happy person & not dwelling on the appearance of my body; I am focused on the condition of my soul instead.

THAT is where peace lies; inside my soul. If peace & serenity lie inside my soul, my body looks slim & health radiates from every pore of my skin.

For today, I pray to keep Abstinence my #1 priority & to rely on IT instead of electronic devices to keep me balanced.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

For Today: March 27th

For Today: March 27th

We feel and weigh soon enough what we suffer from others; but how much others suffer from us, of this we take no heed.
Thomas a Kempis

Do I have two sets of rules: one for me, another for you? A double standard allows me to rationalize and excuse my behavior. Other people’s rules---well, they ought to know better. People know how sensitive I am, how hurt I’ll be.

When I use others to vent my misery, I am acting in the same sick way I did when I was practicing my compulsion. Those who love me unconditionally will forgive me, but I do myself no favors by whitewashing the matter and letting the real problem go unattended. The outlook for recovery begins to brighten when I can say, “If I make allowances for myself, I will also make allowances for you.” With progress toward sanity and balance, each of us can treat the other as we want to be treated.

For Today: When I start to rationalize some shady behavior, I ask myself, “If someone else did this, would I make the same excuse?”


Total honesty is at the core of my problems; am I willing to be honest at all times? It’s so easy to justify my own behaviors….and to condemn others for exhibiting the very behavior I dislike in myself!

This is a character defect I can work on daily.  I deserve no better treatment from others than I display towards them.

To judge others, even silently, is to take a step back in my own program. I ask God to show me the innocence in others rather than the ugliness. I can say I don’t like someone’s behavior, but that doesn’t mean they are ‘bad’ people. Just like I’ve always told my children: “I love YOU, it’s your behavior I’m not crazy about.”  That is separating the person from the behavior & recognizing the difference.

Being quick to judge, quick to complain, and quick to condemn is the part of my make-up I work to change. I strive to dwell in the positive; to find things to enjoy about others rather than to condemn; to use praise instead of scorn; to find things to SING about instead of to mourn.

For today, I ask God’s help & guidance in working an effective Step 6: 
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

I cannot expect God to remove these defects of character if I MYSELF do not want them removed or I am honestly unwilling to ditch the behaviors. I have to WANT it, and only THEN can God see fit to remove my defects.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

For Today: March 26th

For Today: March 26th

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.
Mark Twain

As a small child I was afraid of the dark. I outgrew that particular fear, but not the underlying reason for it: fear of the unknown. As exciting as new ideas, new challenges may be, there’s always that hesitation to jump in.

Sometimes it’s very hard to overcome the fear. It takes courage to do a fourth step inventory, to look at and admit my worst faults, to confide in another human being, to make amends. I stall for time, putting aside what I’m afraid to do, trying to muster my courage.

But in the end, I do it. I dare to push past the fear because I want what the AA founders promise, and because I believe them when they say that “half measures availed us nothing.”

For Today: There are things I’m still afraid of and perhaps will always be afraid of, but I have overcome fear before and will again.

Fear knocked at the door;
Faith answered;
No one was there.

I was able to dramatically reduce my fears by having faith in God & by putting my life into His hands.  Where once upon a time, fear led me around by a leash & paralyzed me, now I have the willingness to get out there and DO things; put my fear on the back burner & go forward ANYWAY.

I was fearful of being thin…what would it mean? How would my life change? How would I cope without excess food? How would I survive? Those fears trapped me inside an obese body frame for most of my life.
But then I realized something. My quest to escape fear was the factor that was ruining my life!
My quest to escape pain by eating to excess was CAUSING me more pain than it was curing!

That’s when I knew the  excess food could no longer soothe me. I had to find comfort elsewhere, and I had to learn to deal with discomfort as well. My feelings WON’T kill me, but excess food WILL.
By eating to excess to prevent myself from feeling pain, I also prevented myself from feeling joy.
I prevented myself from FEELING.

I was eating to excess to Numb myself from  a Life I didn’t know how to LIVE.

I was so wrapped up in being a Foodie, I neglected to learn how to live a normal lifestyle.

My addiction had turned against me, as all addictions eventually DO, and I knew it was time for a big change.
Nowadays, I don’t have to control the world. I can let go & let God direct my life and as a result, my life is SO rich, SO full, and SO beautiful.

One day at a time, I strive to keep fear away by having Faith.

Friday, March 25, 2011

For Today: March 25th

For Today: March 25th

We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.

An OA saying that cautions against foolish and excessive desires is: “Be careful what you pray for, you may get it.”

A woman who shares that view told of needing plastic surgery after losing more than 200 pounds. In arranging for a face lift, she decided to go for a perfect nose while she was at it, even though she had always been pleased with her nose. To her complete horror, the new nose turned out to be a disaster---a far cry from the “perfect” nose she had envisioned and decidedly worse than the old nose.

There is little this OA would not give to have had her wish for a new nose rejected.

For Today: Thought my wants far outstrip my needs, I know that sanity and balance for me is to bring them even.

For most of my life, my wants outweighed my needs. And, as a result, my body outweighed ITS needs. I ate more than I needed to eat to live a healthy lifestyle; I used food for comfort, entertainment & free therapy.

But how ‘free’ is  it to use excessive food as a form of therapy? It’s laughable, really, how expensive the price truly IS!

For the luxury of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to,  I gave up many freedoms. I gave up my sense of self-respect; I gave up my freedom to move around unencumbered; I gave up  the desire to play with my kids, to go to events…..I was too preoccupied worrying about what to eat to have time for fun activities. I gave up the right to wear fun, cute clothing….I took on the burden, instead, of wearing 2x’s and tent-like mumus. That was only part of the price I paid for the ‘freedom’ to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to.

For today, my fondest wish is that I hold onto my abstinence & that I reap the benefits that result from my restricted food intake. Because, when I am abstinent, I am a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better employee, a better listener, a better person in every regard.
And what is THAT worth? There is no amount of deliciousness on earth worth giving up my abstinence for!