Sunday, July 31, 2011

For Today: July 31st

The heart has such an influence over the understanding that it is worthwhile to engage it in our interest.
Lord Chesterfield

If logic were the dominant influence in human behavior, who would be a compulsive overeater, or an alcoholic or an excessive, obsessed anything?  Emotional problems cannot be reasoned away or resolved by scientific method.  Logic is wasted on nameless fears that appear to have no basis in reality.  I feel what I feel, not what my head says I “ought” to feel.  My persistence in trying to control my emotions through reasonableness ends in dismay and frustration.

In OA, I am learning to look deeper, to the language of the heart.

For Today: Prayer is not logical, and yet it works.  Where rational intelligence fails, I place my faith in a source of help that is beyond my understanding and know that I will receive what I need.

Amen to this reading.

Prayer is not 'logical' fact, in our society, it's not so 'logical' to believe in God or in a power greater than ourselves.  We think WE are the power.


Relying on myself has brought me to the depths of despair, over & over again.  Only when I began relying on a power greater than myself was I able to get into recovery & discover a better way.

I've always prided myself on being a sensible person. Yet, why was I unable to talk some sense to mySELF and figure out this whole food addiction thing?

Because there IS no sense to addiction; no logic on earth can talk me out of an emotional crisis I feel carried away by.

When I put my faith in God is when I feel at peace & not overwhelmed by the desire to eat my feelings away or stuff them back with excess.  When I pray is when I feel relieved of my emotional difficulties & able to carry on with the tasks ahead of me, one at a time, one day at a time.  Sometimes, one hour at a time.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

For Today:  July 30th

Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment.
Friedrich Nietzche

I can experience resentment as a feeling, rather than have it consume me.  It is all right.  I am not acting it out---running, escaping, whirling into insanity.  I reach for the telephone, the Big Book, come face to face with a friend.  I am not alone, nor am I frightened.  Resentment is a feeling, not a deed.  I can experience much without wreaking havoc.  I can speak my thoughts, show my “bad side,” and God----and my fellow OAs---accept me without reservation.
For Today:  Thank God for the healing power of this program.

I’ve held a lot of resentments over the years.  I wound up acting out though,,,,,,like this reading says.,,,,,.,running, escaping, whirling into insanity. And overeating like there was no tomorrow.  I had a whole TON of excuses for why I “had to” overeat to comfort myself.  If so-and-so hadn’t done this-and-that to me, I wouldn’t be overeating! It is THEIR fault, not mine. Yada yada yada.

Holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and thinking it will kill your enemies. 

The only person that’s harmed by resentment is ME. If I ask God to show me someone’s innocence rather than his guilt, I am better able to look at him in a forgiving light.  

The best thing I can do for myself is learn to forgive; no matter what ‘crime’ someone has committed against me, real or imagined, I will be so much better off letting it go. 

OA has given me plenty of tools to use to help me get out of my OWN head and share myself with others. If I reach out and ask for help, it will come.  If I sit around feeling sorry for myself & harboring all sorts of resentments, I am taking steps BACKWARD instead of forward. And….I will probably lose myself in a bowl of junk food because of it.

For today, I pray to bathe everyone I meet in God’s loving light; to accept them without judgment or negativity, and to let go of any resentments I may be holding onto. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

For Today: July 29th

Renunciation is a piercing virtue
The letting go
A presence for an expectation.
Emily Dickenson

Putting my faith in this program means letting go what I have in the expectation of something better.  I must be prepared for moments of confusion and upheaval, feelings of uncertainty, and yes, even fear.  However useless or destructive the old may be, it is given up with difficulty.

I may be surprised to find that what God wills for me may not necessarily be what I ordered up, as one does from a menu.  But I have already seen that everything I turn over to my Higher Power is taken care of far better than I could have imagined.

For Today:  What I need most to turn over to God is already clear to me.

Giving up old habits & taking on an abstinent lifestyle requires a leap of faith; faith that a better way does exist.  If compulsive overeating didn't have its comforts and benefits, nobody would ever practice it! So, abstinence does not come without its fears, uncertainties & moments of doubt & chaos.  

Even after 3+ years of practice, I still have difficult times. Times where I question God and His will for me; moments of self-doubt and self-pity, where I wonder why I have to be burdened down by such a nasty disease as compulsive overeating.  

Faith is not always easy; sometimes the answers I seek are elusive.  I don't always get an immediate answer to my problems when I turn them over to God & that can lead me to question His will.  I am a work in progress and I realize that. 

For today, I pray for the willingness to turn my entire life over to God with faith and unquestioning certainty that He knows what's best for me.  I sure don't.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

For Today: Jul y 28th

That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm, quiet interchange of sentiments.
Samuel Johnson

How good it feels to be with OA people. Whether in a meeting, at a coffee shop gathering or on the telephone, the talk is a quiet sharing unlike the conversations we know on the “outside.”  We discuss endlessly what the illness is like and what the program has done and is doing for us.  If we participate long enough we hear our story, or at the very least, find something with which we can strongly identify.  Even the most competitive people eventually find that there is no need to impress anyone, to prove that they are better than anyone else.

The principles of the program, embodied in the steps and traditions, make OA a community of loving, caring people whose only goal is freedom from compulsive overeating for themselves and others.

For Today:  The company of OA members is a precious gift, available to me at any time I want it.


The disease of compulsive overeating can feel very desolate…..very few people understand the dynamics of how we think and react towards food.  Most think it’s a simple matter of ‘willpower’ to just say no to excess.   Nothing at ALL about the disease is simple.  "Cunning, baffling & powerful" is more like it.

I felt alone with my eating issues until I walked into my first OA meeting. In that room, I connected with a bunch of people who were all in the same boat as I was! I was finally ‘home’…..I came to a place where I was understood AND accepted for who & what I am.  

When COEs get together & share their stories, we finally feel like we fit in somewhere. Being the odd man out for most of my life, it's wonderful to find a sense of belonging.  Sharing our struggles and our triumphs together makes for an unbreakable bond of friendship & camaraderie.
2+2=6  Together, we are better and more powerful than we are alone.

For today, I am grateful to BE a compulsive overeater and part of a fellowship that understands me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

For Today: July 27th

He who is being carried does not realize how far the town is.
Nigerian proverb

Dependency is soft and cushy and makes it unnecessary for me to know how far the town is.  So, what’s the catch?  The catch is that I can never grow past that stage of childhood in which I am an extension of my parents.  Failure to meet others’ expectations will send me back again and again to seek approval that will never come.

I do not choose to stay on that treadmill today.  If I catch myself bending over backward to please, or dismissing my own opinions as inferior, I ask God for the courage to change direction.

For Today: The OA program of recovery is leading me out of the gilded cage of dependency toward the freedom of thinking for myself.

“Dismissing my own opinions as inferior….”  How well I know THAT feeling! I have always considered myself a second class citizen because of my weight issues. That led me to feel that I was inferior to others in every way possible.  Everyone was prettier than me, smarter, nicer, funnier, luckier, etc. etc. 

Once I got into recovery I realized what distorted thinking that was! I was judging mySELF based on my BODY.  I am not my body; I am my soul; my personality, my humor, my kindness & my compassion.  As a society, we are taught from a young age to judge a book by its cover. If a person is fat, he is a ‘slob’, he’s ‘lazy’, he’s ‘stinky’, he’s ‘unmotivated’, he has no ‘willpower’ or ‘self control’. 

Then one day, we realize, he’s none of those things. What he IS is addicted; caught in the throes of an ugly disease that has him by the throat. He doesn’t know what to DO to fix it…how to stop the vicious cycle & take his life BACK.

When I see an overweight person these days, what I feel for him is compassion. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless, and, by the grace of God, I have found my way OUT of that web of lies, one day at a time.
I had to have the willingness to stop being carried, though….…I had to stand on my own two feet & admit my powerlessness over food in order to see how far the town was.  I had to get out of my own way and allow God to take over the aspects of my life I cannot control.

I found Recovery through OA and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

For Today: July 26th

Little privations are easily endured when the heart is better treated than the body.
Jean Jacques Rousseau

The comforts of material possessions do not make up for emotional and spiritual impoverishment.  Being a product of this society, I tell myself that if I had this and that, I would feel better.  So I get this and that, and I find that my purchasing power does indeed seem to reduce anxiety, but not for long.  No matter what I do, it is only a distraction and I return again and again to myself.

When I am close to my Higher Power and the people I love, I am not aware of the car I drive, the house I live in. I am not fighting temptation, nor am I wanting and wishing. I am neither afraid nor overconfident.

For Today:  When I am busy cultivating loving relationships, I can easily do without a surprising number of things


Money can't buy me love, or so the Beatles tell me.  It's true, too.  Material possessions are only distractions to keep me amused and not focused on what may be bothering me.

I've used distractions like food and shopping and drinking to numb me from the pain of everyday life, or to hide from the fact that I was unhappy on the inside.  But these distractions are only temporary, and require more & more & more to produce a feeling of comfort.

A binge can start out small, and grow to enormous proportions where I was eating until I became physically sick.  I don't want to live that way....with food controlling ME and acting as a numbing agent to shield me from pain.

The pain of compulsive overeating far outweighs the pain I'm trying to avoid anyway! That is the nature of addiction.  What starts out as a comfort turns against me and grows into a monster that controls ME.

For today, I will rely on God and my family to provide me with comfort, rather than food or material possessions which only give me a quick fix.  Loving relationships provide long term comfort & I pray to recognize that fact.