Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For Today:  May 31st

Honesty is the best policy.
Miguel de Cervantes

Have I ever stopped to think that, without honesty, the Serenity Prayer is just words? How can I accept the things I cannot change, without being willing to find out what they are? And if I don’t identify the things I can change, how can I even begin to change them?

All of this takes self-honesty, because it is I who will write my inventory, give away a fifth step and take the steps that follow.

God grants me the blessings I ask for according to my willingness to be completely honest with myself.

For Today: What are the defects and burdens I want God to relieve me of? Digging them out is not nearly as painful as letting them fester.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Denial prevents me from being honest with myself. Until I made the decision to lose weight & become abstinent, denial was my middle name.

I was the queen of NOT dealing with myself honestly & truthfully.

When I admitted my powerlessness over food & surrendered my life to God's will, I became willing to look at myself honestly & to acknowledge my disease of compulsive overeating.

The words of the Serenity Prayer, or any other prayer for that matter, ARE hollow & meaningless without honesty & self-awareness.  I have many character defects to work on, and I pray for the willingness to keep doing so on an ongoing basis.

For today, I pray to stay honest & truthful with myself, so I can be relieved of my compulsion to overeat and my tendency toward negativity.

For today, I choose to live without those burdens weighing me down, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Monday, May 30, 2011

For Today: May 30th

All is change, all yields its place and goes.

The date may be the same, even the place and some of the people. But I have changed. I am not the person I was before I came to OA. Today I have a way to live and a program to follow that keeps me abstinent and sane, as long as I am willing to follow it.

Whether it’s a picnic or company for dinner, today I do not let myself feel rushed. I move slowly, with deliberation and a sense of purpose. A special day is a day to enjoy the people around me, the beauty of nature. I once found momentary pleasure in excess food, but the pleasure of abstinence will last far beyond this day and all its happenings.

For Today: The celebrations of this day will be over at midnight, and tomorrow I will wake up glad to be alive and abstinent.
When I decided to lose weight permanently, I understood the need to give up the momentary pleasure of instant gratification that came along with eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to.

Instant gratification is so elusive a thing…..it’s like drinking salt water. The more I drink, the thirstier I get.  What started out as a few extra cookies turned into a nightmare of excess that never satisfied me no matter how much I ate. And I ate a lot. Each binge got bigger and bigger…

Having a Food Plan to follow has been my salvation! It is SO comforting to me to have a plan in place that allows me to eat a moderate amount of food AND to feel good & to stay slim!

Slowing down & allowing myself to savor the moment has been a very eye-opening experience for me as well. I was always operating in high-gear; running, doing, fixing, moving.....I wasn't able to sit still to enjoy the moment quietly. The Steps of OA have taught me the importance of living quietly, moderately, and in the moment, for today & today only.

For today, I am grateful for the ability to recognize the beauty around me.

For today, I am grateful to no longer be running away from life, but running toward it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

For Today: May 29th

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength.
Ralph Sockman

Real strength does not use force or bullying threats. Being strong is giving myself gentle support that allows me to grow beyond my present capability. Strength is seeing the truth about myself in an accepting, loving light. It is doing what is necessary with kindness and respect for myself and the people around me. The truly strong have no need to be hard or unjust toward themselves or others. The truly gentle have great strength for themselves and for those who reach out to them.

For Today: I see my growing strength in the gentleness and consideration with which I treat people, including those who are closest to me.
I don’t think I ever realized that strength meant gentleness. That to treat myself with acceptance, love & kindness was being ‘strong’….I considered it ‘weak’. I thought if I treated myself harshly that maybe THAT’S what it would take to get me to ‘shape up & fly right.’   That was a sign of my refusal to accept my compulsive overeating ways as a disease versus a lack of willpower. I thought if I could just find the right diet, that I would be ‘cured’ of my desire to overeat.  I felt that I was missing something, not that the desire to overeat was something I had no power over.

When I surrendered MY powerless over food was when I was finally ready to accept the truth. Only then was I able to stop acting so harsh & to take on a gentler approach to myself, to others, and to life in general. I realized I didn’t always have to be right; I didn’t always have to have the last word; I didn’t always have to force my opinions down others’ throats. I realized that my opinion wasn’t the be all and end all of life; that others’ opinions were equally important to mine….who knew?

For today, I am grateful for the ability to treat myself and others with loving kindness. There is no need for rudeness, under any circumstances. 

You can catch more flies with honey than  with vinegar.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

For Today: May 28th

As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The way I plan for the future today is different from the way dictated by my compulsive overeater thinking. In those days I had things backward. I incessantly planned the outcome, but I was paralyzed when it came to taking the action. Today I am willing to do the footwork. I ask God for the courage to look for and accept my defects and the willingness to ask for their removal.

That is my task as far as my future is concerned. I change myself in order to live at peace with whatever the future brings, not to decide what the future will be.

For Today: As wishful thinking and daydreaming become less frequent, I know I am recovering.

Wishful thinking & daydreaming was my favorite hobby when I was compulsively overeating. WHY couldn’t things be the way I wanted them to be? WHY couldn’t my friends & family be perfect?  In my fantasy world, everything would be perfect! Yay!

Reality was never comparable to my fantasy-life. In reality, I had to stick to a food plan to lose weight.
In my fantasy land, I could eat whatever I wanted & feel sorry for myself that I ‘couldn’t’ lose weight.
I COULD lose weight, I just chose to ignore the facts of what I needed to DO to lose weight.
My life was based in denial.

Only truth & reality allow me to live a peaceful and serene lifestyle.

Yesterday is gone & tomorrow isn’t here yet. So, for today, I will live in the moment & appreciate IT for what it is. I will not project MY fantasies into the day in an effort to turn it into something it wasn’t meant to BE.

Happiness isn't getting what you want but wanting what you have.

I have faith that God will give me all I need today; perhaps not all I want, if my desires are too lavish. If I keep my lifestyle simple, God is guaranteed to grant my every wish!

Friday, May 27, 2011

For Today: May 27th

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
William Blake

I was sure my life would never change, that it would stay the same. Then something happened. I found OA---or OA found me. That was the beginning.

Today, my opinion on what is good and bad, right and wrong, how things should or should not be changes with awareness, with courage to admit my defects and willingness to give up old ideas. Some days I feel stuck, unable to let go. Let me look at my opinion. Where did I get it? Is it something I believed as a child? Is it still valid? Why do I keep it? There is profit in questions. Answers come to me, just as they did in the beginning, when I found OA.

For Today: I stop in the middle of an old answer, an old habit, an old way of thinking and ask myself: “Is this really the best way, or is there a better one?”

Old ideas & too many opinions about how things ‘should be’ brought me to my knees a million times. Those old ideas also brought my weight to 225 lbs & made me feel like my entire life was in chaos & I was out of control.

When I leave my opinions on the back burner, I am better equipped to listen instead of speak. I can learn a whole lot MORE from listening than I can from speaking.

Many of my old opinions are not valid at all. Many of my rigid ideas are just that: hard as a rock & not subject to change. That way of thinking will keep my disease of compulsive overeating alive & well thank-you-very-much!

When I find myself feeling angry or shocked at what someone else is saying, I have to ask myself WHY? What is it about that person’s opinion that is aggravating me? Do I think I have all the answers? Do I think I am smarter or wiser than the next guy? Where have MY opinions gotten ME?

We are here as teachers AND as students. If I keep an open mind, I may wind up learning more than I wind up teaching.

For today, I pray to see the innocence in others rather than the guilt. I pray to consider ALL opinions presented to me & to learn something of value even from those opinions I disagree with.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

For Today: May 26th

The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, then becomes a host, and then a master.
Kahlil Gibran

Comfort was my middle name, until its obsessive pursuit turned it against me. Face to face with my distorted ideas, I decided to give up the immediate comfort of overeating for the long range comfort of feeling good about myself. I do not have to be a slave to anything; it is possible to find my security and comfort within. Aware of the temptation to escape into the illusive comfort of my old habits, I use everything this program gives me to stay in reality. The rewards of allowing myself to feel ALL of my feelings, the uncomfortable as well as the comfortable, far surpass what I once thought of as comfort.

For Today: The brief moments of comfort I got from eating unnecessary food made my life miserable. OA shows me a way to be comfortable within myself.

AMEN to this reading!!!!

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons." ~Jim Rohn

Why is it that I ‘don’t care’ about anything when I want to overeat? It’s so easy to say I Don’t Care when that certain off plan food is staring me down, or, when I’m staring IT down. 

In the end, self-discipline IS easier than battling the Should I/Shouldn’t I food questions.

Some days are harder than others though, that’s for sure. Some days I feel like I can do EVERYthing, and then other days, I feel like I can’t do ANYthing. 

Weight loss/maintenance is probably THE most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I have to accept the fact that every day isn’t going to be ‘easy’ or struggle-free. Some days downright SUCK.

Every time I get through a tough situation without over-indulging, I strengthen my commitment to long term weight management.

Every time I have a struggle, I think Oh You’re FINISHED. Through. You’ve blown it. You stink. You can’t do this. You’re doomed to get fat again.

Honestly, this journey isTOUGH.

But, every time I think it’s too hard to restrict my food intake & to stick to my scheduled Food Plan, I remember how tough it was to be 225 lbs & wearing a size 2x, and feeling ashamed of myself & miserable to the core of my being.

THAT was tough. THIS is easy by comparison.

So, for today, I will absorb Kahlil Gibran’s message into my soul & accept the fact that my lust for comfort is NOT a necessity. It constitutes behavior I no longer care to display.

So, for today, I will not display it!