Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For Today: August 31st

Man is as full of potentiality as he is of impotence.
George Santayana

Hope and hopelessness are part of my disease.  Hope tells me there is a better way; hopelessness says, “What’s the use?” I recognize hopelessness for what it is:  my mind preventing me from disappointment.  Hopelessness served at the time, but I don’t need that device today.  I have a Higher Power that gives me everything I need. I am willing to continue to cast out old ideas, to keep turning my life over to the care and protection of God.  Therein lies hope.

For Today:  My potential is in direct proportion to my willingness to let go the shackles of self-will, to get out of my own way.  On one end of the scale, I accomplish wonders; on the other, I am powerless.


~ HOPE ~
Hope is the feeling you have
that the feeling you have isn't permanent.

Jean Kerr

I pray for hope today, and I am receiving hope today. Hope is something that comes more and more readily to me as I stay abstinent and continue working my program of recovery.

In the past, many of my feelings of hope were centered around the next diet or the next fix for my bingeing. However, now that I am abstaining and practicing the Twelve Steps, I have been freed to hope for bigger things. There is now space in my head where the food and diet obsession used to be!
One Day at a Time . . .

I will abstain. One day at a time I will direct my attention to the Steps when I am in need of a solution.

~ Christine ~

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For Today: August 30th

People wish to learn to swim and at the same time to keep one foot on the ground.
Marcel Proust

Only be being willing to give up the safety of the old can I find out what the new has for me.  Uncertainty, confusion and fear of leaving the safety of my old ways behind me are natural, but the need to save my life pushes me on.  I move beyond  my fears and prejudices and learn that I don’t have to act on them, that, one day at a time, I can face whatever must be faced.

I may think nostalgically of my old hiding place from time to time, but the truth is, nothing that could possibly happen today can make me go back.

For Today:  The direction God gives me is forward.  I am not afraid to take it.

Actually, some days I AM afraid to move forward. There is something that feels safe about familiarity, about hiding OUT in a big sea of FOOD.


Change can be difficult. Some days, I fight it tooth and nail, while other days I surrender my fears and I allow God to stay in control.

But some days are particularly brutal.  I suppose that's part of Recovery and the price I have to pay to stay abstinent.

For today, I feel like keeping one foot on the ground, but I will push forward instead, jump into the water & pray to God it's not ice cold or full of sharks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

For Today: August 29th

The emotions may be endless. The more we express them, the more we may have to express.
E. M. Forster

The value of expressing my emotions is in what I learn from listening to myself.  One thought leads to another and, if I’m being especially open, I may find myself blurting out answers I didn’t know I had.

When I talk about my feelings to my sponsor or to my group, they give me the gift of attentive listening. I return the gift when they express their feelings.  In OA, we help by listening and sharing our experience, not giving advice.

For Today:  With all the resources OA provides, I do not have to hold back my feelings. I can express myself as freely as the situation warrants, to my sponsor and to my group.

I kept my emotions bottled up for so long, it felt weird to start FEELING them once I became abstinent. When I keep my mind open, honest and aware, I wind up learning SO much. When I listen to my fellow compulsive overeaters speak, I learn even more about MYSELF.  Our behaviors and responses are SO similar.....

There is a bond of understanding in OA that is really amazing. I am never alone with my disease, as long as I have my Higher Power and my fellow OAers by my side.  Sharing experience, strength and hope leads us all to a new life, one day at a time.

For today, I pray to listen more and to talk less.  For me, there is more learning in listening

Sunday, August 28, 2011

For Today: August 28th

The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing---to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.
John Keats

To let go the fixed ideas and prejudices that occupy my mind is to eliminate the safety of absolutes.  By making room for the unknown, I invite change.  I do not know the direction toward which growth will take me, nor do I know what will be revealed to me.  I may say, “I want to work this program so I can have such and such.”  But working the program means putting control of my life in God’s keeping, not mine.  Recovery means being open to  what life brings, not insisting on having things my way.  Working this program is being aware, letting my thoughts ramble and allowing feelings to come out of hiding.

For Today:  What an adventure this OA program is!  I go forth with an open mind, eager to learn what God will reveal to me.

Speaking as a compulsive overeater, change is a tough thing for me.  I welcome it, on the one hand, and dread it on the other.  I work in a job that constantly forces change upon me. I wind up feeling uncomfortable.......somewhat like an idiot in fact, when I don't catch on to the 'new way' instantly.  I am a slow learner, especially where computers are concerned.  I am 'old-school' and to me, Excel is a tool of the DEVIL.  Working in that program tests my patience & makes me question my own intelligence........which is tough to deal with.  I don't like feeling 'stupid'.......yet........I am working in a job where I feel that way quite OFTEN.

Speaking as a compulsive overeater, I PREFER to live in the safety of absolutes.  To invite change is to welcome the UNKNOWN and for me, that is a difficult concept.

As an OAer, I choose to let go and let God...........only when I try to control everyone and everything do I suffer. 

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.

Keeping an open mind HELPS me........but sometimes it feels IMPOSSIBLE to DO.  Black & white thinking is my basic instinct...........the gray area can be scary & feel overwhelming.

For today, I pray to accept the Gray Areas of my life & to deal with them openly; with acceptance & faith that God will guide me accordingly, one day at a time.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

For Today: August 27th

Every man has a right to be valued by his best moment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do I value myself and others for our best qualities and actions----for those times when we are blessed with grace, when we rise to heights of courage and selflessness far beyond our expectations?  Or does one bad mistake cancel out those moments?  Our character assets have been with us always, though all too often obscured by the fears and insecurities of living with obsession.

Freedom from compulsive overeating allows me to be the person I want to be more of the time.  The longer I live in this way, the more numerous my "best moments" become.

For Today:  I remind myself of my many good qualities and best moments--and those of my family, friends and colleagues.


How can I have "best moments" when I am chained down by excess food and compulsive overeating behaviors?? I can't, and I don't.  I become my body instead of my soul, dwelling in my imperfections instead of celebrating my good qualities.  That is the darkness of addiction; the bleak truth of the matter.  Compulsive overeating hampers my spirit & prevents me from living in God's light and spreading that light to others.

While my life will never be 'perfect', I no longer strive to find that impossible state of being.  I put aside my expectations & live in the moment, allowing myself to appreciate whatever comes along.  I do the best job I can do at whatever task I tackle, and I recognize "good enough" instead of insisting on perfection.

For today, may God allow me to see the innocence in myself and others rather than to dwell in their guilt.

Friday, August 26, 2011

For Today: August 26th

The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.
Arabic proverb

Complaints: I have a lot of them---the ice is too cold, the sun too hot, the rocks too sharp.  There is not much I can do about any of it, so why complain?  Chronic complaining is a useless practice that destroys self-acceptance and self-reliance.  Complaining about things I dislike in my life increases my dissatisfaction.  Instead of buttonholing all who will listen, I can ask myself, “Is there anything I can do to help myself with this?”

Yes, there is:  I can practice the twelve step program, as written.  Complaining about my faults or the lacks in my life is folly; it is time wasted that might be better put to use in self-caring and acceptance.

For Today:  There is no need to complain about personal characteristics or other aspects of my life I do not like.  Instead of complaining, I can do two things: pick up the steps where I left off,  and pray for the removal of this defect.


If complaining is a waste of time, which it is, then I’ve wasted a great number of years of my life that I won’t get back! UGH

I grew up in a house where it was normal to complain from morning till night, about everything under the sun, and everyBODY too.  Nobody was good enough, nothing was good enough, everything could always be better (if only….), and everybody could be nicer, sweeter, less jealous, etc. etc.


It wasn’t until I found the 12 Steps that I recognized this fault in myself! Holy cow, I didn’t even know I was a chronic complainer………talk about living with head-up-the-butt syndrome!   I’m quite sure I relied on complaining to let me feel entitled to practice my addiction.  If nothing and nobody was ever ‘quite right’, then wouldn’t a big bowl of junk food make me feel better & wasn’t I justified in eating it?

It’s taken a long time for me to get off the complaining soapbox………and I still find myself doing it from time to time, especially in the traffic.  I must have said the Serenity Prayer 20 times today alone on the 22 mile commute which took me 90 minutes.  There was nothing I could DO about that traffic, and carrying on about it would NOT change it.  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…………..and the ability to NOT complain about it!

When I complain, I am behaving with negativity. Negativity leads me back down the road to ALL the compulsive overeating behaviors that bring my body and mind DOWN.  It’s a vicious cycle.   Unless I recognize my tendency to complain, I can’t NIP it in the bud and STOP it in its tracks.  Honest to God, I have to make a conscious effort ALL THE TIME to keep my own mouth SHUT!
Compulsive overeating is a behavioral disease……… is the drug of choice………..the OCD  behaviors and chronic negativity is what led me TO the stupid food to begin with.


For today, I will not be negative.  For today, I will keep my mouth shut & not say one snotty thing about anyone.  For today, I will appreciate even the TRAFFIC because it means I have a job and a car.  For today, I won’t complain about ONE SINGLE THING.  God give me the strength to do that!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For Today: August 25th

In his prayers, he says, “Thy will be done” but means his own, at least acts so.
William Penn

What is God’s will for me? Certainly not selfishly looking out for myself at the expense of others.  God’s will is surely to have me be at peace with myself. It is acceptance of all things, not condemning or passing judgment.  God’s will is practicing the OA principles in all of my affairs.

If I fail at something that is important to me, it is hard to maintain my self-esteem. But God, unlike myself and the society in which I live, does not measure me according to worldly values.

For Today: To better do God’s will, I pray to let go standards of perfection and see myself in God’s light.

I no longer look at failure as the End of the World............if I fail at something, I pick myself UP and I try again.  God's will for me is NOT 'perfection' is to love and to be loved, to learn and to live with peace and serenity.

Every day, I repeat the 3rd Step prayer frequently:

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.

The bondage of self..........when I stay self-absorbed, how can I understand God's will, or carry out His will for me?  I can't.  Self-centered behavior prevents me from seeing the big picture......which is more important for me to focus on than the little pinhole reality of ME ME ME.

For today, I pray to give back more than I take from others.