Monday, October 31, 2011

For Today: October 31st

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose.
Mary Wollstonecraft

I came to OA because I wanted to get well more than I wanted to eat.  That is the steady purpose that directs my life today.  I place freedom from compulsive overeating before everything else because I do not want to return to the life I had without it.  Before OA, the only tranquility I knew was to anesthetize myself with food, an indulgence for which I paid dearly the rest of the time.  Nothing could save me from the mental and emotional anguish and confusion of being fat, feeling guilty and hating myself for lack of control.

Today, I am not confused about who I am and what I am doing.  I am a compulsive overeater, relieved by the grace of God from the obsession, and recovering in this place I call home.

For Today:  Staying aware of my purpose in living by the OA program is my true source of peace of mind.  Therefore, it is my number one priority, and nothing---no food, no circumstances, no person----can tempt me to give it up.

My program MUST stay my #1 priority otherwise compulsive overeating becomes my #1 priority; it's just that simple.

The pain I created by eating compulsively was far worse than the occasional discomforts I may experience from staying abstinent.  I want to recover MORE than I want to overeat and so, I will do whatever it takes to keep my program intact.

When I surrender my powerlessness over food, I agree to stick to my food plan with no exceptions. In turn, I am relieved from my obsession because I quit questioning whether I should take an off plan bite, just this once.  That behavior is NOT an option for me, unless I want to reawaken my addiction.

For today, I will stick to my food plan and appreciate the relief it gives me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

For Today: October 30th

It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
William Penn

A statement frequently heard in OA is, "I resigned from the debating society."  Debate is possible on virtually every subject under the sun.  Do I want to spend the rest of my life arguing about the right and wrong way to proceed on everything from Higher Power to food plans?

If someone insists on practices that seem wrong to me, I have a number of options: call for group conscience, go to another meeting; give up graciously.

For Today: I am in OA to recover from compulsive overeating, not to debate.


I used to be the type of person to argue ALL the time.  I had to be 'right'.  I had to win an argument, and allow it to be discussed forever.

Today, I need recovery MORE than I need a 'good' argument.  Who cares if I'm right or wrong?  Who cares if I have the answer but don't GIVE it? 

Today, I can let it all go.  Today, I can nod my head in agreement with someone even if I privately disagree with him. 

Arguing gets my stomach makes me feel like I am responsible for running the world......for making others see 'the truth'.

The only truth that's pertinent for ME is MY truth and God's truth.  The OA program leads me to the honest truth and for today, that's the only truth I care to know.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For Today: October 29th

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.
Pearl S. Buck

Discovering one’s own inner resources is a reward of abstinence. Newfound energies and a soaring spirit take up the time and space of what was once compulsive overeating.  Abstinence brings other substitutions: I have courage in place of fear, challenging ideas in place of shallow thought, action instead of wishful thinking and an honest desire to share in place of selfish interests.  The longer I am abstinent, the more experience I acquire in the art of living and the more I am able to give myself and others.

For Today:  Part of my new way of life is looking within for inspiration.


Part of my problem is not believing I can find inspiration from within.  I tend to think excess food will 'comfort' me matter how much I eat, I never DO find comfort.

Comfort comes from abstinence, even when I think it doesn't.

Comfort comes from God who guides and directs my life when I do the footwork, which is staying true to my food plan.

Comfort comes from honesty with myself and others.

Comfort comes from doing small acts of kindness for others, which gets me out of my own head.

When I am abstinent, my spirit DOES soar.........and that feeling is foreign, and even a bit frightening at times.

For today, I will work PAST the fear and ALLOW my spirit to soar.

Friday, October 28, 2011

For Today: October 28th

You can be healed (of depression) if every day you begin the first thing in the morning to consider how you can bring a real joy to someone else.  If you can stick to this for two weeks you will no longer need therapy.
Alfred Adler

It’s simple: every time I get my mind off myself, I feel better.  Each day, I select a member of my family, a friend, a colleague or an OA member and think about what I can do for that person.  (Of course, in making an effort to bring joy to others, I must be careful not to intrude on their lives.  Giving advice to someone I am trying to cheer is a temptation I resist.)

I spend some of my free time planning what I will do; then, at the first opportunity, I carry out the project.  It need not be a major undertaking; a phone call, a letter, a small surprise, an offer to babysit or take an elderly person for a drive.  There are so many things to do, one lifetime is not enough.

For Today:  It isn’t necessary to be depressed to adopt the practice of making others happy.

When I step OUT of my own HEAD is when I feel the best.  Giving back to others, even in a small way, keeps me focused and out of the refrigerator.  When I 'pay it forward' is when I'm working my plan properly and when abstinence comes naturally.

Compulsive overeating is a disease of isolation.........sometimes, I tend to want to curl up in a ball and spend my day in bed, hiding out from the world.  THIS is when it's most important for me NOT to hide out, but to join in on life and to give of myself.  Certainly, there are others in far worse shape than ME......and I choose to give some of myself and/or my time to those who are suffering.

For today, I pray for the ability & the willingness to bring a ray of sunshine & happiness into someone else's life. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

For Today: October 27th

We may with advantage at times forget what we know.
Publilius Syrus

I have learned a great deal, and I know what I know.  Don’t tell me how to live my life.  I eat because I was emotionally deprived as a child, and nothing---not this one’s God or that one’s Higher Power----can change it.

Somehow, in OA, I forgot all that.  I went ahead and acted as if everything they told me was true.  I prayed to a concept of God that was no more than three letters of the alphabet, but I prayed.

Abstinence was equally “dumb,”  but I did it anyway.

I still know what I know but, thank God, I am no longer using it to keep me from getting well.

For Today:  If I find it difficult to forget what I know, it is just as effective to “act as if” I’ve forgotten.

 I've read every diet book ever published; I've tried every DIET ever invented.  Yeah, I know what I know, and all that knowledge brought me to my knees in despair, praying to a God I'd all but forgotten about whilst obsessed with my addictions.

That's what addiction does: it strips us of thrusts us into an abyss and convinces us there is no way out.

And, as long as I insist on trying new weight loss schemes, I sentence myself to thinking I can control something that can't BE controlled.

Powerlessness over food and my surrender OF that powerlessness is the only way.  God can and does give me something I cannot give MYSELF: freedom from obsession.  

All I need is faith and a strong, structured Food Plan to stay on track.  I am no longer starving myself, punishing myself, jumping up & down on a scale, working out like a maniac, gorging myself mindlessly, or living that old life of extreme behavior.  There are no more diets that will start on "Monday" after I gorge myself on Sunday.  

For today, I pray to forget EVERYTHING I know about diets, nutrition and weight loss.  I pray to forget all the jibberish from all the 'experts'.  While I pray to forget all I DO know, I also pray to remember what it feels like to be compulsively overeating and out of control.  All I need to stay the course is my Food Plan & the fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous.  The 12 Steps will lead me OUT of the torture chamber I've locked myself into for the majority of my life.  

For today, I pray to live the remainder of my life in peace & serenity, literally, one day at a time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For Today: October 26th

Whoever is aware of his own failings will not find fault with the failings of other men.
James Ross

Other people’s faults invariably match my own.  When I notice some particularly objectionable shortcoming in a person, I can generally be sure it is a defect I detect in myself.

Without self-awareness, the habit of finding fault is a distraction that keeps me from seeing my own mistakes.  As long as I look at another’s wrongheadedness, I don’t see myself---the only person I can change.

A daily tenth step turns my attention to myself so I will know what to do to put my life in order.

For Today:  I don’t need to concern myself with other people’s faults; I have all the detective work I can handle to ferret out my own.


I work on fault-finding ALL the time...........even when I am quietly finding fault with someone else, it prevents me from focusing on my OWN faults.  Staying busy looking at YOU stops me from looking at ME; the only person I'm capable of changing.


I work with a 27 year old gal who's extremely self-centered.  Her 28 year old brother passed away on Monday night, unexpectedly, and she came to work yesterday, all dressed up, with make-up perfectly in place.  She told her co-worker she wouldn't allow herself to cry because it would mess up her make-up and she had a date that night.  She seemed totally unfazed by his death, and totally focused on usual. 

I immediately found myself judging her.........HOW do you come to work after hearing such devastating news? HOW do you prepare yourself for a DATE with an internet dalliance? HOW do you leave your mother ALONE to process the death of her SON?  On and on I went........quietly, of course, but still seething.

Who am I to judge her?  I have no idea why this woman seems ice-cold, nor is it any of my business.  Her grief, or lack of grief, is hers alone to process, which we all do differently.  I have my own issues to deal with & to keep me focused.  If I spend too much time dwelling on her perceived 'shortcomings', how does that help me deal with my own shortcomings?

For today, I pray to stay out of YOUR business and stay present in my OWN business.  I have plenty of my own faults to work on and for today, I plan to do just that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

For Today: October 25th

Better hazard once than always life in fear.
Thomas Fuller

My fears are just below the surface.  I am not aware that much of my fear is of looking ridiculous or finding out I’m not too bright or that I’m narrow and small-minded underneath my civilized veneer.

But it’s better to jump in and examine my fears than to let them haunt me the rest of my life.  I take a fourth-step inventory, skimming the surface at first, then digging deeper. The more honest I am, the more freely I breathe.  This is what I feared?  I want to shout to the world:  Don’t be afraid!

For Today:  I am not afraid to take the next step.  Everyone I know who took the fourth and fifth steps lived to tell about it.

Taking a 4th step inventory is not fun...........nor is it as frightening as most would think it to be.  God already KNOWS ,my is me who has to identify them so they can be changed. Living in denial about myself for such a long time has a tendency to keep the character flaws buried alive.

Taking a 4th step inventory is is a pro-active step toward recovery and something I need to work on ALL the time; not just once & I'm done.

Once I identify my defects, I no longer have to live in fear of them.  I can rid myself, with God's help, of all the behaviors & actions that led me to compulsive overeating.  OA is a plan that works on so many levels, and for that I am grateful.

The 12 Steps are a road map to a better life; a better ME, a blueprint to recovery, one day at a time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

For Today: October 24th

All the mind’s activity is easy, if it is not subjected to reality.
Marcel Proust

My best thinking got me into trouble. I could ”think” my life to suit me; the only problem was that it didn’t work.  There was too great a gap between what my mind dreamed up and reality.

For a compulsive overeater certain convictions are the bitter enemies of truth.  The conviction that if I had enough willpower I could overcome anything pushed me ever deeper into the mire of addiction.  This program is helping me to let go some long-cherished opinions and attend more to the real nature of things.  I am coming to understand myself as I free my mind of conventional ideas about human strengths and weaknesses.

For myself: I am powerless over food.  No matter how much I wish to control my eating, I cannot.  I am a compulsive overeater, no matter what my mind may have to say on the matter.

For Today:  I turn to my experience with compulsive overeating to help me distinguish conventional thinking from reality.

If I don't base myself in reality & truth, I will not stick to my food plan.  I will convince myself I can be a 'normal' eater simply by exercising 'willpower' and eating trigger foods 'in moderation.'  I know for a fact this way of thinking is a lie..........and just as much a fantasy as thinking I can turn back the hands of time & become young again.  
Yet, my disease tries to convince me otherwise. 

It's so easy to slip back into the fantasy land I lived in for SO long; where the world operates according to MY wishes; where I am in charge of everything & everyone; where reality has NO place.  

When I live inside my own head is when I get into deep trouble.  Compulsive overeating is a disease of denial and fantasy..........and the OA program has taught me, thankfully, that life is SO much better when I live it with truth and reality.

For today, I will not try to convince myself I'm 'normal' when it comes to my food intake.  For today, I will stick to my food plan which FORCES me to act 'as if' I AM normal.  I will eat 6 small, nutritious meals and if I am still unsatisfied with that food, I STILL won't eat anything more.  For today, I will use food for fuel purposes ONLY.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

For Today: October 23rd

Fighting the disease of compulsive overeating is fighting myself.  That struggle gave me a deep appreciation of the peace I found in OA.  That is one reason not to regret what I had to go through to get here.

Being human, however, I still bring discord into my life: I sometimes get angry over my own and others’ mistakes; I argue over minor matters as though my life depended on it; I eat too much and hate myself for it.
Thank God, I can accept all that today.  I am a human being and a compulsive overeater recovering one day at a time.

For Today:  I am aware of the progress I have made in this program.  My moments of discord show me how great my blessings are.
I work with a woman who LOVES to argue.  Sometimes, I find myself arguing as if MY life depended on it!  When I see myself doing that, I stop……..I step back from the situation, recognizing the absurdity of it all, and I wind up agreeing with whatever this woman is babbling about.  In the end, it’s a whole lot easier to say OK than it is to argue.

Right or wrong is irrelevant.  In the grand scheme of things, WHO CARES who’s ‘right’ or who’s ‘wrong?’  I no longer feel the need to know everything, or to run the world according to MY wishes.  Trying to run things ‘my way’ gets me in trouble every time, and sets me up for chronic misery and disappointment.  Next thing I know, I’m thinking about heading off to the vending machine for a ‘snack’……………….

For today, I pray for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; the wisdom to know the difference…………….

The strength of character to let go of an argument, even when I’m ‘right’.

Especially when I’m right.