Friday, September 30, 2011

For Today: September 30th

There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.
Christopher Morley

Success has nothing to do with pleasing or impressing others.  When I listen to my innermost self, I know what is best for me.  Accepting and staying aware of who I am makes me less dependent on what other people think.  When I trust myself, I have the backing of my Higher Power.  To go through life my own way, attending to the things that are important to me, is to free myself of the chains convention would have me wear.  Only then can I call myself a success.

I am thankful that this program shows me what is truly necessary in my life: contact with my Higher Power, closeness with those who love me for what I am, and confidence in my own choices.

For Today:  I am healthy, free and independent of all that is harmful for me.


When I spent my time pleasing others instead of myself, I didn't know who I was; I had no sense of self; no sense of purpose; no sense of faith in me.  My opinions weren't my own; they were based on what others told me I should think.

When I took on the OA program, I learned to trust in God first, and then in myself.  I started making my own decisions based on what I thought, and based on my own integrity and God's value system instead. 

Nowadays, while I may not be a 'success' in the conventional way, with everything I do, I am a success in so many more important areas of my life.  I am a work in progress, and will be until the day I die.  For today, I am grateful for a program to follow that gives me guidance in every aspect of life.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

For Today: September 29th

Today is yesterday’s pupil.
Thomas Fuller

My history of compulsive overeating is precious to me.  It teaches me how to live today.  The moment I set foot on the OA path to recovery, I knew that conventional ideas about controlling my food and my weight were out of the my life forever.  If it were not for my great and good teacher, yesterday, I would never have learned that wonderful lesson, which is largely responsible for  keeping me abstinent, thin, happy, joyous and free today.
The fourth-step inventory, taken not once, but repeatedly, allows me to keep yesterday as a teacher on an ongoing basis; and everything I learn advances my recovery.

For Today:  What my experience as a compulsive overeater teaches me is priceless when I use it as this program directs.


If it were not for the misery of yesterday, how could I appreciate the beauty & freedom of today?  A big factor that keeps me on track with my food plan nowadays is the thought of going back to where I was when I was in the clutches of compulsive overeating.  I wish to move forward with my life and continue growing, not move backwards into the despair of addiction.  

For today, I am grateful for all of my life's experiences that brought me to my knees with fear and misery, because that's what brought me to my knees with God, where I belong.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

For Today: September 28th

You cannot create experience.  You must undergo it.
Albert Camus

I tried to fabricate my own experience, to make my life a never-never land of no pain.  Instead, I brought compulsion on myself, stifling all growth, blocking out joy along with pain, the good feelings along with the bad.

Today, though I naturally want to avoid painful experiences, I much prefer to own my feelings in all their intensity, to feel alive and struggling through whatever there is before me, to freedom.  I am willing to go through all that I escaped from, experience each moment as if it were the first, like a child learning about the world.

For Today:  I no longer evade experience or try to create it out of fantasy.  I willingly undergo what life puts before me.

The fantasy world I had created for myself was an attempt to escape the pain of life that I thought I couldn't cope with.  A bad marriage kept my fantasies alive and well for a very long time.  I ate and drank to keep my head buried in the sand.  One day I woke up and realized I couldn't live that way for one more second, and that's when I finally felt ready to embrace change, and ditch my fantasy-world for reality.

There have been bumps in the road along the way; it hasn't all been easy or problem free. But the decision I made was THE best one I've EVER made.  I struck out on my own, literally and figuratively, and I've never regretted my decision.  I finally grew up and allowed myself to enter adulthood where I agreed to take care of myself, come what may.

What came along was freedom. 

For today, I pray to own my feelings in all their intensity rather than trying to avoid pain at all costs.  While my feelings may not all be sunshine and light, I now know those feelings will not kill me.  But compulsive overeating and drinking can and WILL.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For Today: September 27th

Clever people seem not to feel the natural pleasure of bewilderments, and are always answering questions when the chief relish of life is to go on asking them.
Frank Moore Colby

It has been said that children are the true explorers.  Filled with wonder and curiosity, they set forth each day on a journey of discovery, completely open to the new, asking questions without fear of looking stupid.
In the world of grownups, not knowing is too often regarded as lacking intelligence.  Luckily, one of the first lessons I absorbed in OA was a gut-level understanding that it was OK not to know how to manage my eating, my weight and my life.  Everyone there freely admitted they didn’t know either.  Since that time I have been freed of many old hangups, among them the idea that I should have a fund of information that enables me to answer any and all questions about any and all subjects.  How delightful it is to have a child’s willingness to question, to approach the new without regard for appearances.

For Today:  I want to be free of old patterns that stifle growth.  I treat myself to the pleasure of admitting ignorance and the fun of asking questions.

Freedom lies in being able to say I Don't Know.  Where did I get the impression that I had to have the answers for everything, all the time?? Isn't THAT a sign of 'cleverness'?  Or a sign of 'intelligence'?  In our society, it seems to be a sign of weakness to say I Don't Know............somehow, human beings are supposed to know everything.
I suppose the need to have All The Answers ties in to the Quest for Perfection that compulsive overeaters insist on putting upon ourselves.

For today, I will stick to my Food Plan as written; I will say I Don't Know at least 3 times, even if I DO have the right answer; and for today, I will force myself to LISTEN instead of speak.

Monday, September 26, 2011

For Today: September 26th

Man is a born child, his power is the power of growth.
Rabindrath Tagore

Addiction stops emotional and spiritual growth, stripping its victims of fully half their potential.  As a compulsive overeater, I grew physically and intellectually but remained stunted emotionally, unable to provide sustenance for that part of me which food and academic learning cannot nurture.

When I heard the words, “I am powerless over food,” I felt a surge of relief, a letting loose of a heavy burden, and my spirit danced with joy.  With the obsession broken, I am all lightness and hope, reaching out like a child toward the growth that was lost to me.

I thank God for the miracle of recovery---a second chance to work toward all that I may become.

For Today: There are no limits to growth.  Abstinence and weight loss are just the beginning.


When I first heard the words "I am powerless over food", I DID feel a surge of relief. I finally realized how true that statement was and I knew I couldn't handle this addiction alone, with a food plan, and without my Higher Power to guide me.
Nowadays, although I've been in recovery for over 3 years, I can't really say "I am all lightness and hope".......there are good days and bad days for me.  I can't really say the obsession with food is totally broken, either, because as soon as I make a statement like that, the obsession returns with a vengeance.

All I CAN say is that, for today, the obsession with food is broken, and I feel lighter in spirit and filled with hope.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn't here yet, right?

For today, I pray to stay the course with my food plan and allow God to do the rest.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

For Today: September 25th

Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.
William Penn

All the plans I made, all the resolutions I vowed to keep were poor substitutes for patience.  At times, doing nothing but waiting is harder than writing lists and following schedules and doing this and that.  Always, I need to remember: in God’s time, not mine.  I am not running the universe; the world does not bow to my wishes.
I turn my life over and do the footwork.  Little by little, defects crumble, stumbling blocks are pushed aside and my path becomes smooth—until the next bump in the road.  That is how growth happens: with patience and diligence, and faith in a Higher Power.

For Today:  I accept God’s timetable.  If I don’t know what footwork I should do, I can let it go for now, confident that an answer will come.


The trouble with weight loss & diets is, I want results NOW.  I want to step on the bathroom scale every morning & see that I've lost weight.  After all, I deserve it...........I've deprived myself of all my favorite I should lose a TON of weight in a very SHORT time.
That is the nature of diets; the nature of compulsive overeating behavior; and the nature of doing things MY way without one ounce of patience.

The reason that OA gives thumbs down to formal 'diets' is because of this very thing. 

When I committed myself to the OA way, I surrendered my powerlessness over food & agreed to stick to a pre-written food plan.  I agreed to do the footwork and let God do the rest.

One of the toughest things I had to learn was patience:; to just sit and BE without doing something to hurry the process along.  Without micro-managing anything.....without controlling the world...........

I had to learn faith, perseverance & commitment if I wanted to reap the benefits of this wonderful program.  Yes, the weight loss is nice, but the peace of mind & serenity is even better!