Saturday, April 30, 2011

For Today: April 30th

For Today: April 30th
Either the human being must suffer and struggle as the price of a more searching vision, or his gaze must be shallow and without intellectual revelation.
Thomas de Quincey

From the pain of compulsive overeating came abstinence; from turmoil, serenity. When I am hurting,  I need to hear the words, “This too shall pass.” I remember other struggles and the rewards that came out of them. As Bill W. writes, “Our better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies…..In God’s economy, nothing is wasted.”

Pain persists until I give up trying to do things my way. I am grateful for the suffering and struggling that brought me to this understanding. “Let go and let God” is an idea I could never have accepted had I not paid the price exacted by my illness.

For Today: I am thankful that the pain of compulsive overeating gave me the vision not to try to change the world or other people or situations or even myself, but to do the footwork and leave change up to my Higher Power.

When I was in back labor for 27 hours with my daughter 18 years ago, my mom was with me and crying as she watched me suffer.   I told her then, nothing worth having comes easy.   Had I not been willing to suffer the agony of labor, I wouldn’t have 2 beautiful children. Had I not suffered the excruciating pain of obesity & its related illnesses, I wouldn’t have been brought to my knees in search of a better way.

I AM grateful to be a compulsive overeater, even though I despise the disease.  Had I not been saddled with this incurable disease, I don’t think I would have found the peace & serenity I’d been seeking for so long. I may never have reconnected with God & enjoyed a spiritual reawakening. For that I am eternally grateful, because my life Is SO much better now that I am abstinent, than it EVER was when I was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to.  Acting like an intolerant & pouting child kept me in a childlike state, preventing me from assuming the role of the adult I truly AM.

In God’s economy, nothing IS wasted. Elisabeth Kubler Ross says, “There are no mistakes; no coincidences. All events are given to us as blessings to learn from.” 

When something bad happens, I can either choose to accept it and learn from it, or, I can choose to fall apart in fear, abandon my Faith and shut down, choosing my addiction over my serenity. If I choose to look at every event in my life as a blessing, I will learn acceptance and perseverance.  While I stay abstinent throughout life’s crises, I come out stronger and more empowered with greater Faith than ever before!

For today, I am grateful to be a recovering compulsive overeater; it is who I am. And through that knowledge, I am grateful to accept myself for who I am, and willing to accept life on life’s terms.

For today, I am grateful for my Faith & grateful to God for opening my mind to a whole new set of ideas and a whole new lifestyle, filled with hope, wonder & gratitude

Friday, April 29, 2011

For Today: April 29th

For Today: April 29th

And do not say, regarding anything, “I am going to do that tomorrow,” but only, “if God will.”
The Koran

It is not easy to put down that insistent self-will. Am I not the captain of my soul, the master of my fate? Yes, certainly; that is one view of it. I “captained” myself right into an obsession with food that wrecked most of my hopes and plans.

Having surrendered that obsession to God, I became free to live as I had hoped and dreamed. That is what “God’s will, not mine” means to me. God’s will frees me from my self-destructive willfulness; it takes nothing good away from me.

For Today: I gladly seek God’s will for me, in place of that blind self-will which can so easily lead me to the brink of disaster.

This particular reading always makes me laugh….”Captained myself right into an obsession with food.” That says it all!

I like to say that When I Was In Charge of the World……nothing worked properly! I had corralled all of my attempts at Perfection into a gigantic heap of half-finished projects, cluttered closets, and an overwhelming sense of Imperfection. 

Compulsive overeating is self-will gone berserk…..another OAism that makes me chuckle. I have to laugh at myself and my misguided attempts to control everybody & everything.  Nowadays, I can let go & let God and be frankly RELIEVED to do so! 

Besides, everything in my life works out SO much better when I do that! God is a lot better at directing my life than I am, that’s for SURE!

For today, I will make no plans for tomorrow. I will take tomorrow as it comes & know that the outcome of the day is in God’s hands.

For today, I will keep in mind that I’m a fatalist. Man plans & God laughs. So what’s the point in planning out my life anyway;, strategizing it, charting graphing and spelling it all out?  God is in charge & I’m eager to see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

For Today: April 28th

For Today: April 28th

The first test of a truly great man is his humility.
John Ruskin

Great people do not brag about their successes and possessions, call presidents by their first names or make it known that they live in the best part of town. On the contrary, they often drive small cars, make just enough money to live on and prefer listening to talking. Great individuals are in a state of complete freedom from themselves; their character defects do not control them. They seem to live entirely in the now, giving full attention and energy to the present moment.

For Today: Humility is trying to do God’s will as I see it, to the best of my ability, at all times, in all places.

Being compulsive by nature, my character defects DO have a tendency to control me! I never really thought about that before!  I can get SO caught up in MYSELF, that I believe the world revolves around ME. If I make a mistake, it MUST be the end of the world!  If something doesn’t go my way, I tend to think THAT is the end of the world! Extreme thinking at its finest, that is compulsive behavior. Black & white, all or nothing, no gray areas at all, PERIOD!

To be humble is to be modest. The opposite of humility is Pride. And nothing will sink me faster than a pair of cement shoes in the ocean is PRIDE. When I think I have all the answers, when I know best, when it’s My Way or the Highway, then it’s time for a Humility check. 

Although I’ve never felt prideful enough to brag or boast, or show off a fancy home or car, I sometimes DO feel prideful enough to want the last word. Or worse yet, to be Right. What drives me to want that? There is no real joy In being right…’s kind of a hollow victory to say I Told You So.

For today, I pray to put aside my Pride & replace it with Humility. To surrender MY will for God's will is to stay Humble & open.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For Today: April 27th

For Today: April 27th

The foundations which we would dig about and find are within us, like the Kingdom of Heaven, rather than without.
Samuel Butler

My resources are within. If I stand and don’t panic, they will come to me. Terror may strike and I can live with it, going on about what I am doing. I do not have to act on every thought; feelings need not paralyze me. Each time I do what I have to do, I become stronger. When I face indecision, I ask God for an intuitive thought, a direction.

It is inspiring to realize that, apart from nature, all that is good and beautiful in this world has come from human inventions and discoveries.

What solutions are within me?

For Today: To find my own strengths, I put aside the rigid ideas and prejudices that limit my thinking.


“I don’t have to act on every thought.” What a crazy thought for a compulsive person! I lived my life insisting I DID have to act on every thought and make it a reality. Today I know that thoughts are just fleeting….they pass in time and I do NOT have to act on them. If I have a craving for sugar, it WILL pass over if I allow it to.  If I say the Serenity Prayer & the 3rd Step Prayer, that craving will usually let up quite fast.

God, I offer myself to Thee
To build with me
And to do with me as Thou Wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power,
Thy love,
And Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always.

That is a powerful prayer, especially when I recite it on my knees.  Repeating that prayer reminds me to STOP thinking about myself….and to think in a ‘greater good’ capacity. What I want isn’t nearly as important as what I need to consider as a human being who is part of a much larger picture.
The bondage of self is indeed bondage!

When I ask myself, What is the Right thing to do? An answer always comes. It may not be the answer I’m looking for at the time…..but that lets me know it’s DEFINITELY the Right thing to do!

For Today, I pray to put aside my old, worn out and slanted views, and to accept a new way of thinking and doing, all inspired by my Higher Power. When I allow Him in, I make amazing & miraculous discoveries.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For Today: April 26th

Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.
Isaac Bashevis Singer

Sometimes I have trouble believing what is in front of my eyes, let alone what I can’t see. Though I no longer doubt my Higher Power, I have periods when I feel its remoteness. Through the pain and fear of these episodes, my faith in the reality of God in my life has grown stronger. However bleak the “dry spell” I am passing through, I know that I have not been abandoned. The grace that saved me before is still there and will be revealed in God’s time, not as a result of anything I do or fail to do.

For Today: As always, I remain abstinent, accepting things as they are and reaffirming that I have placed my life in God’s hands.


Part of my compulsive nature is to doubt….to want things NOW, to expect everything to turn out how I’d like it to.  During the weight loss phase of my journey, I frequently felt in a rush to reach goal. I wanted to hurry the process along and ‘be done with it.’  It took several months before I realized that the journey never ends, it just changes face a little. Everything comes in God’s time, or, it doesn’t come at all in certain instances.  My commitment is Abstinence, and to go about my daily activities doing the best job I can do. The rest I leave up to God. Even during the ‘dry spells’, when I wonder if He is listening to me, I still maintain my faith, even though I can’t see ‘proof’ of His existence. I can FEEL God in my life, directing me and guiding me, and for that I am grateful.

When I feel at a loss over what to do, I do nothing. I pray and ask for help and it always comes. While I don’t hear God’s voice loud and clear, I feel His answers come to me.

What an infinitely better way to live, with faith and grace, than to anesthetize myself with food.

Even when I feel that God may not be as close as I’d like Him to be, I can have patience and KNOW that my feelings will change soon enough, and I’ll witness another small miracle, or read a God-shot that’s directed right AT me, and then I KNOW….He’s been there all along. It is I who was doubtful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

For Today: April 25th

For Today: April 25th

We honor ourselves and our friends when we can tell them how we feel.
Theodore Isaac Rubin

Expressing my feelings, especially the negative ones, does not come easily. I want people to like me. I prefer to please rather than anger or upset a friend. There are some things, however, that are not worth the price I have to pay for them.

Like all progress, willingness is all it takes to learn how to deal with emotions, such as anger in a way that harms neither me nor others. By consciously feeling my anger, rather than acting as if it isn’t there, I am actually expressing it, even if only to myself. From this beginning, I can go on to learn how to express my true feelings to others.

For Today: Being honest and open with friends & family is a sign of growth.

Being open & honest with my feelings does not come naturally to me. At work on Friday, I spent 2 hours working on  4 documents. After I’d finished, I was asked to delete those documents & condense them into 2, because my fellow co-worker did not ‘feel like’ taking an extra 5 minutes to do HIS work properly.

Ordinarily, I would have complied with this request. This time, I decided to stand up for myself, politely of course, and call him in on his laziness.  I asked him why I should have to spend another hour to re-do something in order to save HIM 5 minutes.  He backed off right away & agreed to doing things the right way.

If I had stuffed down MY feelings of frustration & anger, I may have eaten over it. Instead, I faced the truth & SPOKE it, and guess what? I came out better FOR it, and empowered to know my voice was heard.

It's never easy to stop the people pleasing & risk rejection. When I am confident enough in myself is when I am able to take that risk without fearing the outcome. I will not be a doormat for anyone; I am a child of God and as such, I am worthy of better treatment from MYSELF and from others
For today, I pray for the courage to allow my voice to be heard & the willingness to take my rightful place in this world.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

For Today: April 24th

For Today: April 24th

Solitude is bearable only with God.
Andre Gide

I can keep busy, work hard to keep solitude at bay. There comes a time, however, when I am alone with myself. When I feel the presence of my Higher Power, I let my thoughts wander into shadowy crevices, unafraid, and I learn much that I did not know before. I experience truths such as, “Fear has been a fact of my life.” Felt as a fact, it no longer seeps into every facet of my existence, and I am no longer its victim. Without solitude, I would not have seen that truth. Without the company of my Higher Power, I could not venture into solitude, a place devoid of distraction, where I am face to face with myself.

For Today: In conscious contact with God, I easily face what I cannot bear to look at otherwise.

Whenever I felt alone & afraid to deal with my innermost feelings, I overate to squash them down. I had trouble with solitude….I had to always be on the run from it…..doing, racing around, fixing, puttering….SOMETHING other than being alone with my thoughts. But eating excess food was THE fastest way I knew of to STOP THINKING.

Through the 12 step program, I’ve learned how to be alone & be ok with it at the same time. I’ve learned how to just ‘Be’……allowing myself to meditate & pray to establish contact with God has been a wonderful eye-opener for me. When I ask for answers, they come. When I distract myself, I cannot properly speak to God and find those answers!

It’s ok for me to be alone; it’s ok for me to Just Be; it’s ok for me to stop running away. It’s better than OK….it is VITAL for my continued recovery.

For today, I thank God and the 12 Steps for opening my eyes to what MUST be done in order to stay in recovery, one day at a time.