Thursday, June 30, 2011

For Today: June 30th

‘Taint worthwhile to wear a day all out before it comes.
Sarah Orne Jewett

Planning ahead takes balance and moderation; you have to know when to stop.  As a compulsive person, I was seldom satisfied to let well enough alone.  Planning meant worrying myself through an entire day in advance.

The longer I practice the OA program, the more adept I become at living one day at a time. It is not always easy to know how much or how little planning I should do, but I have a good rule of thumb.  When I begin to worry and fret about how to make things turn out exactly as I want them to, I stop. The relief of letting go, of turning over the responsibility for tomorrow’s outcome is unfailing.

For today: More than anything else, I want the freedom that comes with relinquishing control. I plan and prepare, but I stop short of deciding how something will turn out.
Compulsive overeating is a disease of control….eating excess food is just the symptom of a need to control everything all the time.  Desire for control breeds impatience & dissatisfaction.  How can I live a life of peaceful serenity if I’m trying to do God’s job & control the world???

These days, I am able to plan ahead for certain situations, especially where food is going to be served, but I do not plan the outcome of that situation, unless it IS food related & I know that I WILL remain abstinent. I’m done trying to have things done ‘my way’ and instead, I give that job over to the One who should have it: God.

When I micro-manage my life is when I struggle. When I try to micro-manage other people’s live is also when I struggle.  Struggle creates worry, and worry, in turn, creates more struggle.

And so, the vicious cycle of compulsive behavior is born & thrives.

If I am to nip this compulsive behavior in the bud, I MUST give up my desire to control, period.
For today, I pray for the willingness to let go & let God direct my life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For Today: June 29th

Many people today don’t want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing. They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety.
Louis Kronenberger

If, as a member of OA, I still cannot accept honest answers, I may be sentencing myself to a life of “fat serenity.”  That may be the price of holding onto self-will, to the need to control through food and fat.

In OA, “winners” go to meetings, work the steps, have sponsors, make telephone calls and practice abstinence.  Have I been hoping for an easier way?  There is none. I am not exempt from the cause-and-effect principles that govern the lives of all people.

For Today: God help me to see the truth about myself—to ask for the help I need and then use it.

Brutal honesty is necessary in order to stay abstinent & healthy, and to keep the food monster caged up. Otherwise, if I’m not honest with myself, then the ‘extras’ I eat do NOT count; they have no calories, no  effect on my figure or state of mind, and no consequences.  When I stop being honest with myself, I stay off the scale, overeat & pretend it’s ok.  

You can sugar coat a turd but it’s still a turd.:)

Compulsive overeating IS unpleasant AND disturbing. And talk about anxiety! I like to think food ‘soothes’ me and ‘comforts’ me, but in reality, it CREATES a huge amount of anxiety that never lets up. The guilt sets in, the eating worsens, and the vicious cycle starts up yet AGAIN.

I can make excuses for why I ‘need’ to eat, or, I can admit to why I ‘want’ to eat.  I need a certain amount of healthy food in my body every day in order to stay alive & properly fueled. Anything in excess of what I need is what I may WANT.

I cannot separate Need from Want until & unless I get abstinent and stay there.  Otherwise, there is no separation between the two & I feed myself until I’m sick. There is NO satisfaction for me when I eat trigger foods…..I go for sheer volume, not taste, not texture, JUST volume.  One bite is too many and a million is not enough.

When I treat myself with honesty is when I stay aware of what I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat. I stick to a strict time schedule for ‘feedings’ and I treat them AS feedings….not entertainment, comfort, love, amusement or  something to fill a void.  God fills that void and I ask for His help every day.

For today, may I continue to treat myself with honesty & truth as I strive to string together many, many days, months & years of an Abstinent lifestyle.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For Today: June 28th

Courage does not always march to airs, blown by a bugle; is not always wrought out of fabric ostentation wears.
Frances Rodman

Courage  can be a silent act, a quiet word, a refusal----or an acceptance.  Courage has no guarantees, or certain outcomes.  It is a risk taken on an unknown path.  Courage brings about change.

Growth is dependent upon courage.  Today, I can risk, because I am not afraid to make a mistake.  I am ready for change.  I can make choices, not out of fear or recklessness, but out of a new willingness to resolve old problems, to rid myself of old ideas.
For Today: I procrastinate out of fear of failure.  Have I enough courage to examine that fear?
To me, courage is putting one foot in front of the other & staying true to my Food Plan.  Courage is saying No Thank You to the junk food that’s pushed at me on a daily basis.  I don’t have to save a life to be courageous; I just have to save my OWN life, one day at a time, by making good & healthy decisions where food is concerned.

Courage means standing my ground & staying committed to my program of recovery, regardless of what anyone else has to say about it.

Courage means taking a leap of faith & relying on God to guide me through my life when I ask for His help.

Courage means working the Steps, even when I don’t want to face another inventory, another amends, another meeting, another moment of self examination. 

Courage means doing it when I don’t feel like doing it.

Courage means putting abstinence first & foremost in my life.

Courage means pushing past the fears & insecurities & knowing that the path I’ve chosen is what God wants for me.

Courage is seeing myself as God sees me: and not as I may see myself at any given moment.

Courage is looking past my physical imperfections & dwelling on the beauty that lies within me & stems from the spiritual work that is so necessary.

Courage is living in truth & reality, and avoiding the trap of daydreaming, wishful thinking & ‘what if’s’.

Courage is speaking my mind to others, even when doing so puts my popularity at risk.

Courage is LIVING; grasping life by the horns & holding on for dear life.

For today, I pray for the Courage to stay the course. My new lifestyle of Recovery is SO much more rewarding than the isolation and misery that comes with eating excess food, and I pray to keep it intact, one day at a time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

For Today: June 27th

By-and-by is easily said.
William Shakespeare

Before I turn a problem over to God, I am reasonably sure that God expects me to take a stab at doing my part.  This is called footwork.  I know when I am procrastinating and when a task is truly impossible for me.  It is not impossible to be honest with someone, to make amends, to ask another person for help.  It is not impossible to try to curb my temper and my tongue.

For Today:  What action that I have been putting off can I take?  I pray for the willingness to do what it is possible to do.

I have been putting off organizing my house for a long time now.  I know it’s possible to do it, I’ve just been procrastinating!  This is an excellent example of doing the footwork & going through the motions of what’s necessary.  

So today, I organized a couple of rooms that desperately needed it & I feel great! If I had not put forth the effort, I’d have nothing to feel great about today.  Even though I accomplished nothing monumental, I DID accomplish what needed to BE accomplished & it feels GOOD.  I put one foot in front of the other & got the job done, bit by bit.

This is how I handle my Food Plan as well: I plug along, putting one foot in front of the other & I don't question my lack of choice. I get to eat 6x a day & for that, I am grateful. I do the footwork by staying true to my plan, and God takes over & does the rest!

For today, I remember not to turn over a problem to God before asking myself whether I can handle it alone.  If the answer is yes, I go about completing the task at hand.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

For Today: June 26th

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Chinese proverb

Coming to OA opened a tiny crack in the wall I put up to protect myself. What I saw was so interesting I considered letting in a little more light---a truly frightening proposition.  To look at my defenses is to see myself, perhaps for the first time.

Although I have found many benefits in looking inward, I still tend to resist. It’s only when I’m tired of stumbling around in the dark that I stop muttering about “the way things are” and turn on the light that will lead me to new freedom.

For Today: What do I need to write about? I do not have to be afraid to look into my heart and put down what I find.


”We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or tire...
give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
Winston Churchill

 We use tools everyday to complete a task at hand. To cook, we need tools such as pots, pans, knives, and silverware; to tend to our laundry, we need soap and water; to clean our home, we use a vacuum, dust rags, and cleaners.

  Our journey of recovery is handled in the same way. The tools we use to help us throughout each day include: Step Work, Sponsorship, Meetings, Prayer, Meditation, Writing, Literature, Meal Plan, Service and Abstinence. These tools assist us in keeping our days balanced and they allow for a meaningful, productive day, each day of our recovery.

   We hold strong to our recovery with the assistance of these tools, building our endurance each day. Like soldiers marching across the field, we are on the frontline day-to-day. By using these tools and keeping them close to us, we are ready to take on anything that might come our way.
   One day at a time…..     Give me the tools, and I will keep them close to me.