Saturday, March 31, 2012

Food For Thought: March 31st


Once, a long time ago, I was able to eat a small amount of extra food between meals and then stop. I enjoyed it very much. Over the years, that small amount became more and more. Somewhere along the line, I crossed the boundary of rational eating and moved into an area of insane bingeing.

Now, when the old urge comes for a small amount of extra food, I need to remember that I am incapable of stopping after a reasonable amount. For me, the first compulsive bite is now the point of no return. Once I take it, I cross immediately into insanity.

How do I remember? I need protection against the arrogant, willful delusion that "This time I will be able to handle it; this time I will get away with cheating just a little bit." How can I protect myself?

Step One says that we are powerless over food. From sad experience, I know this to be a fact. Step Two says that we "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." My protection comes from this Higher Power.

Keep me sane, Lord.


Nothing about my relationship with food is 'normal'.  If I start thinking I can handle a few 'extras' here and there, I will be on a binge in two seconds flat.  I know that........from experience.  I crossed a line somewhere, long ago, late at night, while everyone was sleeping, and I was devouring the leftovers, shoveling cold food into my mouth with my fingers.

I can't go back........I can't change who I am today. I can't undo the progressive damage that this eating disorder has put upon me.  If I try to snack in moderation, I will relapse.  As a compulsive overeater, I am powerless over food, and I have to surrender that powerlessness every day if I hope to hold onto recovery.

Dear God, please feed my hunger & restore my right mind. 

For today, I commit my food plan to God, surrender MY powerlessness over food, and choose to live with sanity in my life instead of chaos.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 30th


"“Health is the greatest gift,
contentment the greatest wealth,
faithfulness the best relationship.”
..... Buddah

I have a history of chaotic relationships filled with destructive drama and a lack of loyalty. For many years, however, I believed that I was in fact a very loyal friend – and that it was my friends who were disloyal to me.

I was an avid -- even rabid -- people-pleaser. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what people wanted and how I could best provide that for them. Because I thought I knew what was best for everybody, I failed to truly listen to the people in my life. Instead, I tried to impose my will upon them…then I wondered why they didn’t appreciate all of my efforts on “their” behalf. When they inevitably became frustrated with me, I was wounded by what I perceived to be their lack of loyalty to me.

Only recently in my recovery program have I come to learn that my efforts at people-pleasing were actually symptoms of my own disloyalty. I was failing to relate with people as they are – rather I was relating to them as I thought they “should be”. That is perhaps the most egregious form of disloyalty…insisting that others be loyal to my concept of them and myself.

Now I am taking steps to honestly listen to people and to relate with them as they are – and as I truly am. I am no longer hiding behind food. In order to be loyal in my relationships, I must be loyal to the ‘Truth of Reality.’ Only then can we share the joy of faithful relationships.

One day at a time ... I will practice listening to the people in my life and I will honor them as they are. Each day I can choose to be loyal, rather than critical or people-pleasing.

~ Lisa

When I force MY opinion down YOUR throat, in an effort to 'help', I am actually being selfish.  I am not listening and offering support..........I am saying that I know what's best for YOU, and listen to ME because I know best.

People pleasing is something I had to ditch long ago when I entered recovery.  People's opinion of me of is none of MY business.  I live life to the best of my ability, and leave the outcome in God's hands.  I live to please Him, and to be honest with myself.  It's not necessary to win popularity contests, or to make others happy at MY expense.

I can be a loyal friend by listening.  I can be a loyal friend by being there to hold you when you cry.  For today, I will listen more than I speak or offer advice.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Food For Thought: March 29th

Slow Success

We say that there are no failures in OA, only slow successes. Some of us take longer than others to catch on to the program. It is important to keep trying, to continue to attend as many meetings as possible, and to refuse to become discouraged.

There are some of us who spent months and years experimenting before we were finally able to accept abstinence and stay with it. Sometimes we left the program for a time, until we realized how much we needed OA and came back to try again.

When we have accepted the program and maintained abstinence, yet found weight loss to be extremely slow, it is easy to become discouraged. It helps to remember that we are not only losing weight--however slowly--we are also learning a new way of life. Our spiritual and emotional growth in this program is even more rewarding than the eventual weight loss. By living each day as it comes and working the Twelve Steps, we achieve the serenity and confidence that make us satisfied with slow success.

Mav I be granted patience and persistence. 

Patience & persistence does not come easily to me, as a compulsive overeater. I want what I want and I want it NOW.  Which is what led me to try so many quick-fix, fad diets over the years. I'd stick to it for a time, and then I was done.  Done with the food plan and done with the weight loss.  The pounds came right back on and the self-loathing began once again, since I was such a 'failure.'

OA is a different way of life. There is no rush to a particular weight loss goal, since numbers don't matter much anymore.  What DOES matter is peace of mind and serenity.  If I am sticking to my food plan, I am at peace and not obsessing about anything.  For me, THIS is the true goal of the program.

It's common to fight the thought of find an easier, softer way to deal with food addiction than to take such 'drastic' measures.  My COE mind tells me that abstaining from sugar & white flour is drastic......undoable.........ridiculous..........not necessary.  But in reality, it's as necessary as having legs to walk on.

Slowly but surely, I put my body through the motions of an abstinent lifestyle, and my mind comes along for the ride.  

For today, I accept myself as I am, whether my success is slow or fast, and I thank God for where He has taken me in my journey of life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 28th


"Gratitude is a fruit of a great civilization
- you do not find it among gross people!"

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson quote from the TOUR OF THE HEBRIDES could easily been writing about the Recovery Program. The attitude of gratitude is an absolutely crucial tool to a successful recovery. Gratitude is the measure of our appreciation for what we've been given. We in Program have SO much for which we should be thankful. We stand on the shoulders of giants - we are indebted to those members who've preceded us in Program and handed down the tools, wisdom and resources - the bedrock upon which our recovery is based. We are indebted to our HP, our sponsors, to those who do service in innumerable ways at the Recovery Group and - to each other - for mutual love and support - and for our precious gift of recovery. Be grateful for each day - each moment.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to practice the attitude of gratitude and learn to forgive others.
~ Rob R.


When I wake up every morning, I thank God for another day of abstinence & sobriety.  Then I commit to Him another 24 hours of the same behavior. 

When I lay down to sleep, I again express my gratitude for day of peace & serenity.

Before I found recovery, I was grateful for very little.  Practicing my disease kept me complaining instead of grateful; negative instead of positive, and dwelling in self-pity instead of celebrating my gift of abundance.

Same person, two entirely different attitudes.  The negative attitude keeps me rooted in my disease of addiction(s), and the positive attitude keeps me thankful & appreciative for all my blessings.

For today, I am grateful to those OAers who have gone before me, paving the way to recovery, sharing their experience, strength and hope along the way.  For today, I am grateful to be part of a support group that understands & appreciates me exactly the way I am.

For today, I am grateful for every moment of my life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 27th


"To err is human, to forgive is divine."
Alexander Pope

When most of us first came into Program, we carried around a great deal of shame, guilt, and resentment. This made it very difficult for us to forgive ourselves, or others, for various past transgressions. We usually must rely on the forgiveness and support of other Program members before we come to a point of being able to truly forgive ourselves.

Coming to the point of self-forgiveness is a crucial step because once we have achieved it for ourselves, we can finally come to the stage of maturity to begin to forgive others. By offering true forgiveness we can begin to release the plethora of harbored resentments that have poisoned our souls and hindered our recovery for so many years.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work towards learning to forgive myself so that I might eventually learn to forgive others.
~ Rob R.


When I harbor unspoken resentment towards others, I am hurting myself and hindering my recovery.

'Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.'
~Nelson Mandela

Living with a poisoned soul for so many years has prevented me from issuing forgiveness.......for myself and others.  Dwelling on all the ways others have 'wronged' me, or I have wronged myself, only keeps me sick and practicing my compulsive overeating behaviors.

It's tough to truly forgive.  When I ask God to help me see someone's innocence instead of their guilt, I am better able to see their (and my own) light rather than darkness.

We are all God's children, and we deserve to be treated with loving kindness and compassion.  For today, I pray to view myself and others in the light of forgiveness and love.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Food For Thought: March 26th

Cobwebs and Illusions

We compulsive overeaters react to refined sugar and starches as an alcoholic reacts to alcohol. When we were overeating, our thinking was foggy. The more we ate, the more confused we became. We often lived in a world of cobwebs and illusions and were unable to separate fact from fantasy.

This cloudy thinking caused all sorts of complications in our relationships with others and lowered our general level of efficiency. We found ourselves becoming very angry and irrational when events did not go our way. We often made life miserable for our families, taking out our anger on them. Sometimes we escaped into a world of fantasy where we would be omnipotent and where our every whim would be indulged.

When we came to OA and began to practice rigorous honesty, we discovered that in order to be honest we had to abstain from the kind of eating which confused our thinking. It is amazing how abstinence can clear away cobwebs and illusions!

Thank You, Lord, for sanity. 


In my case, eating sugar & refined carbohydrates has the same outcome as drinking a cocktail; my thinking gets foggy and I feel drunk, tired, and moody.  And.........once I start eating these types of foods, I literally can't stop, which is exactly the same situation with booze.

Since food is socially acceptable, overeating or indulging in sweets is encouraged.  For someone like me, having a slice of cake 'just this once' is just as dangerous as having a cocktail 'just this once.'  "Once" turns into a downhill spiral.  I get back on a rollercoaster ride, not certain WHEN and IF I can get off of it again!

What a huge risk to take! If I go to work today & start eating trigger foods, I may not wake up from my food coma for a long time.  Then what?  Then I've ditched abstinence, given up my serenity & peace of mind, and gained weight.  Then I have to force myself back to my food plan, which may or may not happen, and the cycle kicks in yet AGAIN.

When I'm 'using' I'm angry & intolerant.  Everybody in my life suffers because of MY selfishness in allowing the addiction to take hold. I'm back to being a victim, feeling self-pity and physically, I am dragging, with no energy, enthusiasm or zest for life. 

I may be an addict, but I don't have to act like one!

For today, I repeat the 5th step prayer:

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.

For today, I commit my food plan to God, and choose to live in a selfless manner.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Food For Thought: March 25th

Living Day by Day

"Life by the mile is a trial; by the inch it's a cinch." In the past, we got into trouble when we thought we had to have our lives mapped out forever. That just did not work.

We need only deal with the problems and joys of today. If we try to see too far ahead, we lose touch with the reality of the here and now. The Lord lets us know what we need to know when we need to know it.

What seems impossible when looked at in total --writing a book, putting the children through college, abstaining for the rest of our lives -- becomes manageable when worked at step-by-step, day-by-day.

So many of the things we worry about never happen. How much better it is to concentrate our energies on the real demands and challenges of today, insignificant as they may seem. When we turn our lives over to our Higher Power, we trust Him to manage the master plan and to direct us in the small details of living each day.

Show me, Lord, how to best live each day. I leave the years to You. 


If I take on too much, or, project too far into the future, I tend to feel overwhelmed.  Then I feel paralyzed to accomplish anything.  

When I take baby steps, working on one project at a time, I feel that any burden is manageable.

My disease of COE certainly has to be tackled on a 24 hour basis.  Otherwise, I'm telling myself I can 'never' have another slice of cake again.  That feels overwhelming to me..........and it becomes easier to rationalize why I should just ditch my entire food plan, since I can't manage it anyway.

Stinkin thinkin, at it's finest.

When I approach my life on a day-to-day basis, it's easier to reel that stinkin thinkin in, and stay the course.  When I surrender my life to God, I know that He is better capable of managing it than I am!

My daughter was worrying over the possibility of her boyfriend going on a trip to NYC and meeting other women at dance clubs.  I told her........what's the point in predicting the future? He's not even sure if he's going yet, and you've mapped out the entire scenario!  Live for today, is what I told her, and don't borrow trouble.

Thanks to OA, I have better coping skills in place to deal with my entire LIFE, one day at a time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 24th

Positive Thinking

"It takes but one positive when given
a chance to survive and thrive to overpower
and entire army of negative thoughts."

Robert H. Schuller

A positive attitude is crucial for a successful recovery. This summer, I was laid up with two torn tendons in my left ankle. This happened right at the start of my summer vacation. When it first happened, I was VERY dejected. This had to happen NOW!!! Just when my holidays are starting? (not that ANY time is a good time to receive an injury!). However, upon reflection it WAS good timing. I didn't have to get myself to and from work. My daughter was finished school for the summer and was able to be home to assist me with day to day stuff. Plus I had just taken on some new OA service responsibilities and being home allowed me the time to really focus and internalize my new roles. Instead of looking at this as a negative - I think HP gave me an opportunity here to rest up and do some service at the same time. My daughter and I did some wonderful bonding as well. It would have been very easy just to turn negative and feel sorry for myself . But I simply would have made myself (and everyone around me) miserable during the my six weeks of recovery. Instead, it's turned out to be a wonderful learning experience (not to mention it provided a good idea for this meditation topic!). Life's too short for cheap whne, n'est pas?

One Day at a Time . . .
I will look at life from a positive point of view.

~ Rob R.


Negativity is my disease asking me to come out & play.

When I start feeling a negative attitude is when I feel compelled to overeat. Nothing drives me to the frig faster than self-pity and dwelling on the 'could-have-beens, would-have beens and should-have beens.' 

Living my life in 24 hour increments, and committing my daily food plan to God, allows me to enjoy the here & NOW.  I am allowing myself to get rid of the past and to live in the present. 

 I can choose to have a negative outlook or a positive one; it is my choice. 

"There are no mistakes; no coincidences.  All events are given to us as blessings to learn from."
~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

As Rob discusses in this reading, even the worst events in life enable me to gain knowledge and to learn.  While I may not be happy to suffer a particular adversity, I don't have to overeat to cope with it.  When I keep an open mind is when I accept whatever life throws at me. 

For today, I will allow God to direct & guide me through life.  I will remain positive, because in doing so, I allow myself to enjoy a fuller and deeper level of recovery.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 23rd

Progress, Not Perfection

"The maxim "Nothing but perfection"
may be spelled "Paralysis."

Winston Churchill

I can't count the number of times I've heard the expression, "progress not perfection" from my sponsor and used it with my sponsees. We take little steps - one day at a time - which gradually leads to greater steps. Small successes eventually will lead to bigger successes. Often though, we want it all and we want it NOW!

Recovery is a process - not an end result. It requires a kind of a balancing act - if we try to juggle more balls than what we're capable of comfortably balancing - we will crash and this can lead to relapse. So rather than juggling five balls and crashing - it's better to juggle three really well and gradually work in a 4th or a fifth.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will focus on making progress rather than trying to be perfect.

~ Rob R.

 "Recovery is a process-not an end result."  This statement is very true, and why all those diets didn't work.  I was looking for an 'end result' instead of the peace of mind that comes with recovery.

I'd starve myself for X amount of time, using my 'willpower', and then I'd crash & burn...........and have binges to compensate for all that deprivation.  And so the yo-yo dieting cycle went.

When I found recovery, I realized I had to stop looking at the big picture, the end result, and take my life in small chunks and baby steps.  I'd have to learn to live for 24 hours at a time instead.  This was a whole new way of thinking for me, because I always always lived for the future...........when things would be perfect.......when I would be thin...........when the white knight would come and whisk me away to a magic castle. 

Fantasy prevents me from living with reality.  The Steps, and especially Step 4, taught me to live with the truth. If I don't like my behavior, then I have the ability to change it, with God's help. 

I am a work in progress and I will be for life.  My goal is not perfection, but truth and progress; working the steps to the best of my ability & committing myself and my food plan to God, one day at a time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Language of Letting Go

Letting Go of Being a Victim

It's okay to have a good day. Really.

It's okay to be doing okay and to feel like our life is manageable and on track.

Many of us have learned, as part of our survival behaviors, that the way to get the attention and approval we want is to be victims. If life is awful, too difficult, unmanageable, too hard, unfair, then others will accept, like, and approve of us, we think.

We may have learned this from living and associating with people who also learned to survive by being a victim.

We are not victims. We do not need to be victimized. We do not need to be helpless and out of control to get the attention and love we desire. In fact, the kind of love we are seeking cannot be obtained that way.

We can get the love we really want and need by only owning our power. We learn that we can stand on our own two feet, even though it sometimes feels good to lean a little. We learn that the people we are leaning on are not holding us up. They are standing next to us.

We all have bad days -- days when things are not going the way we'd like, days when we have feelings of sadness and fear. But we can deal with our bad days and darker feelings in ways that reflect self-responsibility rather than victimization.

It's okay to have a good day too. We might not have as much to talk about, but we'll have more to enjoy.

God, help me let go of my need to be a victim. Help me let go of my belief that to be loved and get attention I need to be a victim. Surround me with people who love me when I own my power. Help me start having good days and enjoying them. 


Sometimes, it feels easier to play the 'victim' and dwell in negativity than it does to stay positive and empower myself.

  Bad days make for funnier & more entertaining stories, certainly, but focusing in on the all the bad stuff is a dangerous road for me. 

Negativity is my disease wanting to come out & play. If I fall into that trap, I'm likely to feel sorry for myself and look for consolation in excess food.  

For today, I will stand on my own two feet and I will lean on my loved ones for support.  I will continue to rely on God to guide me and keep me abstinent, one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 21st


"Patience is the companion of wisdom."

Saint Augustine
(354 – 430) The Bishop of Hippo, was a philosopher and theologian
and one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity.

Patience is an area that I have had some REAL problems with in the past. I had a tendency to want - what I want - NOW! That included recovery. Gaining recovery, as I would eventually realize, is not the same as earning a university credit. It is a process not an end result. You have to be willing to learn to do things in HP's time and manner rather than your own. What began to happen was - the more impatient I became - the more life tended to resist my efforts. It took a long time for me to realize this. Instead of calming down, I would get even more impatient and struggle even harder. Eventually, I would have a big meltdown and feel like a fool afterward.

The end result was absolutely no different for having done this. It took time for me to muster the willingness to do things in HP's time and manner. But when I did - life became much more peaceful and things had a tendency to work themselves out - without all the dramatics.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to patiently and willingly do things in HP's time and manner.

~ Rob R.


What I've found in recovery is.........patience is crucial.  Time is going to pass, one way or another, whether I'm abstinent or not.  During the weight loss phase of my journey, I'd find myself wanting to 'hurry up' the process sometimes.  What was the point? What would change at 'goal'? I still had to stick to a food plan if I wanted to keep the weight off........I wouldn't be able to go back to eating trigger foods 'in moderation' (since there IS no such thing for a COE), so what was the rush?

Once I settled down and accepted the terms of my disease, I was able to let go and let God direct my progress with weight loss.  Obsessing over my small losses wouldn't hurry things would just keep me sick and impatient.

When I decided to change my life & embrace recovery, I would remind myself there was no point in having 'a taste' of junk food, because too much wouldn't be enough.  I would never feel satisfied, even with a binge, so why get started down that path to begin with?

I had to develop patie4nce, a little at a time, with God's help and guidance.

The 'end results' of my journey is up to God.  If I fight and rail against the truth, I set myself back & I lose out ... wasting a precious moment when I could be witnessing a miracle. 

For today, I pray for the patience to live my life, one moment at a time, and to appreciate ALL of it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 20th


"Another flaw in the human character is
that everbody wants to build and nobody
wants to do maintenance."

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

            With the help of our Higher Power, sponsors, and fellow Program members we have, completed the 12 Steps, studied the Big Book, hit regular meetings, worked the loops, given service, etc ....and finally were able to achieve abstinence and reach our recovery goals! Reaching our goals is one thing, but now we must maintain what we've struggled so hard to achieve. As COE's, we never truly lose our addiction for food. Relapse is only a heartbeat away. Therefore, we must diligently strive to continue working the Program tools to guard this precious gift that we have earned.

            One Day at a Time . . .
            I will diligently maintain the recovery goals I have worked so long and hard to achieve.

            ~ Rob R.


Maintenance is indeed a tricky business for a COE.  This is when I've given up my hard earned abstinence in the past, usually very quickly after finishing another new diet.  This time, however, I've maintained my 100 lb loss for 39 months, with God's help, and by staying connected to other COEs and by working the OA program to the best of my ability.

I will never be 'cured'. I have a serious disease that needs to be treated seriously and so, I commit to God every day to stay abstinent by following my food plan.  I haven't kept the weight off by accident.  It's taken a lot of hard work, diligence & commitment on my part.  Without the tools of recovery, I'd have regained the weight several times by now, as I have in the past.

I am a heartbeat away from relapse; I will BE a heartbeat away forever.  I keep abstinence & sobriety my number one priority and by doing so, I have a much better chance of keeping my addictions locked up in their cage, where they belong. 

One day at a time, I commit to God & to myself to follow my food program and to work my program to the best of my ability. With support, spirituality and a solid food plan, I can do ANYTHING (as long as I carry God in my back pocket!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 19th

~ Commitment ~

Shallow men believe in luck ~
Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Abstinence did not happen for me until I made a commitment to it. I realized that I would have abstinence until something was a bit too uncomfortable for me to face or feel. Then I would have a slip. So it became a game for me. Was this event or circumstance enough to justify another slip? Sure, why not? That's the nature of the disease. Everything and anything was an excuse to eat.

It wasn't until I made a commitment to abstinence that I was forced to find my solutions in the Twelve Steps and really let go of my addiction. I'm grateful to my Higher Power that I hit the bottom I did. By accepting the truth about myself and my food addiction, I am now free to live in the solution.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will renew my commitment by receiving the gift of abstinence and practicing my program to the best of my ability.

~ Christine S. ~


I can relate to what's being said here. For me, commitment to God is what keeps me abstinent, whether I 'feel like' it or not.  When I wake up in the morning, I vow to stay abstinent from sugar and stay true to my food plan for the next 24 hours.  Then, I can ignore the junk food I'm faced with because it is not an option for me.

Commitment is different than willpower.  Willpower suggests I have a choice, and if I grit my teeth, I may or may not make it through the temptation. Commitment, on the other hand, lets me know that the cake in the office kitchen is NOT for me; that I have no decision to make about whether or not to eat it.  It's not part of my food plan and if I were to eat it, I'd be breaking my commitment to God and to myself.  I'd be risking my recovery and nothing is worth that!

If I rely on willpower to stay abstinent, I will 'slip' left and right.  If I rely on commitment, I will stay focused and true to my plan of recovery.

SLIP=Sobriety Loses Its Priority

For today, my #1 priority is abstinence.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Food For Thought: March 18th

A New World

Being abstinent puts us into a new world. Instead of trying to cheat ourselves and get away with it, we learn to be straight with ourselves and others. Instead of escaping problems, we learn to face them honestly. Instead of despair, we feel self-respect and a developing self-confidence.

As we get rid of our obsession with food, we get in touch with our feelings and abilities so that we are able to function calmly and efficiently.

All of this does not happen overnight. We take the Twelve Steps under the guidance of a program sponsor. We work our program every day. We continue to use the telephone and go to meetings so that we may learn from other members.

Above all, we maintain contact with our Higher Power, since it is by His grace that we have entered this new world.

Thank You, Lord, for leading me to a new world. 


In my old life, my goal was to escape my problems & issues by overeating & drinking.  In the end, the problems were still there, only they were worsened by my excessive behavior.  Plus, I felt rotten about myself FOR escaping! Which led me back to the excess.  Round & round I went, like a hamster in a wheel, running but never getting anywhere.  One day, I found myself at rock-bottom, and there was nowhere left to run.  

That's when I had to face the Truth. The 12 steps helped me do that; face the truth, put some plans into place, and see them through, no matter what.  The people and relationships I had neglected (including the bad relationship I had with myself) had to be addressed if I was to find recovery.

When I have no self-respect, I have nothing. All the money in the world can't buy it for me, and all the stuff, and all the running away......just brought me back to me.  And I was somebody I didn't like.

Nowadays, I put one foot in front of the other and face my life and my problems head-on.  There is nowhere to run that allows me to escape the Truth.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Food For Thought: March 17th


When we stop doping ourselves with unnecessary food, we become vulnerable. We have been using extra food as a defense against our feelings. Without it, fears and anxieties surface and new energies are released. Instead of retreating into the refrigerator, we can learn day by day how to live with our exposed selves.

Making an overture of friendship to someone we would like to know better involves the risk of rejection. Saying no to a family member when a request conflicts with our program may make us feel guilty. Asking for help when we need it means admitting our weakness. Exposing our needs destroys our facade of self-sufficiency.

To be vulnerable requires courage, but only as we are able to live without the defense of overeating are we able to grow emotionally and spiritually. When we stop turning to food to cover up our feelings and needs, we are able to be more open with other people. We are nourished by them and by the Higher Power who allays our fears and directs our new energies.

May I not fear being vulnerable. 


As the fat-suit started to come off, I felt vulnerable indeed; exposed. Like a naked baby......unsure of who I was and how to live without the shield of protection my fat provided me with.

I had to learn to feel my feelings again, and to express them appropriately.  Using food to anesthetize myself for so long created a numbness.............when I stopped overeating, I felt raw and fragile.  I cried a lot during the early days of recovery, but through the tears came cleansing and growth.  Entering the world of adulthood was a rude awakening, and my inner child threw lots of temper fits.

She still does, from time to time.  Asking questions like "Why can't I eat like a normal person?" "Why should I be deprived of anything?"  She stamps her feet & holds her breath till she turns blue, seething with self-pity and righteous pride.

Weight loss & subsequent food management is truly the journey of a lifetime. Every day offers a new learning experience & a chance to find out a bit more about myself & what makes me tick.  I put myself out there now.......I take risks by offering myself to others & sharing my life with my fellow man instead of hiding out & isolating.  Sometimes I get kicked in the gut, and other times I am well received.  But, in the end, I wind up getting back way more than I give out.

For today, I will not feel shameful or guilty for being vulnerable. Instead, I will feel human for it & thank God for the privilege. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Food For Thought: March 16th

Difficult Times

When we have hard things to do, we especially need our abstinence. We know from experience that maintaining it is the only way we can feel good and cope effectively.

Formerly, we turned to food to strengthen us and prop us up during difficult times. We invariably ate too much and were less able to manage the troublesome situation. Food then became an escape, and we sometimes ended up doing nothing at all about a problem, since we had eaten ourselves into oblivion.

We know now that instead of strengthening us, extra food incapacitates us. No matter how difficult the situation we face, we know that eating unnecessary food will eventually make it worse.

We have come to believe that whatever happens, our Higher Power will give us the strength we need if we will rely on Him.

May I rely on You, Lord, instead of food. 


My food plan keeps me sane. Excess food provides the illusion of comfort when, in fact, what it really does is it makes my situation more difficult to cope with.  

When life spirals out of control, I can control my food intake which, in turn, enables me to cope with the chaos in a much better fashion.

For today, I commit to God and to myself that I will stay true to my food plan.  No matter what conflict I may face, excess food will not help me, it will only incapacitate me & send me running to hide out instead of reach out.  For today, I will rely on my commitment to God to stay the course; and I will lean on my fellow COEs for support.

For 24 hours, I can do anything!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Food For Thought: March 15th

Keep Planning

Maintaining our abstinence means that we continue to plan our three measured meals each day. To leave them to chance is to invite trouble, since compulsive overeaters do not learn how to eat spontaneously, no matter how long they try.

Planning means that we have the food we need available when we need it. We make decisions about what we will eat when we are rested and strong, not when we are in a rush, overtired, or over hungry.

Preparing meals ahead for busy days, shopping for food after a meal rather than before, remembering to allow time for defrosting - there are many ways to make it easy to follow a food plan. When we are convinced that abstinence is the most important thing in our lives, we are able to find ways to maintain it no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Help me to remember to plan. 

When I fail to plan is when I plan to fail.

My abstinence food plan is 6 small meals a day, nothing in between, one day at a time. I eat at the exact same times every day, and my meals are all pre-planned.  I stay away from 'just a bite' of extra food, because taking that first bite is my license to have a binge.  

As a COE, I can't 'learn' to eat like a normal person.........moderation has no meaning for me.  My food plan dictates my daily calorie consumption and I surrender to it every day, with God's help & guidance. 

Every morning, I commit to God and myself to stay abstinent and away from sugar, just for the next 24 hours.   When I live my life just for Today, all I have to worry about is NOW.  Yesterday is gone & tomorrow isn't here yet.

For today, I am grateful to be able to fuel my body with nourishing food six times! I will not feel 'deprived' but fortunate to feel sane & calm.  For today, I thank God for having a solid food plan in place.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 14th

Cease Striving

"Cease Striving – Let Go, Relax – And Know that I Am God”
. . . . Psalms 46:10

I can count on one hand the times in my life in which I’ve been able to feel truly relaxed. Our disease is often driven by our efforts to control our lives: we labor to control our emotions, our relationships, our image, and our “masks” which we wear in a valiant effort to control how other people see and respond to us.

This effort to control ourselves and our lives is a ruthless taskmaster and a double-edged sword. It cuts like a knife through our very souls and requires that we forsake who we are in a misguided – and fruitless – attempt to be who we believe we “should be.” I have worked so hard at trying to mold myself into an Acceptable Person that I have lost who I truly Am. All of my ceaseless efforts to mold myself into who I thought I Should Be have cost me my very sense of Self, and has been a painful eroding of my own Identity – it is a tragic self-imposed suicide of my Soul.

Like many of us, in order to enter recovery I had to come to the End of Myself and lose any sense of Control I had over my life. This was terrifying for me – I believed that even without a false sense of control, my life would implode and leave only ruined remnants in its place.

But I have not imploded. I have not been destroyed. With the crumbling of my masks and my frantic efforts to control everything, I have found a surprising sense of peace and safety – even in the midst of the chaos in my life. I am convinced that had God not brought me to the end of my own efforts, I would not be in a place in which I can hear His Voice. My ears would have remained deaf to His promise to never forsake me. Had He not firmly – yet gently – gotten my attention, my unsettled Mind would have continued to shout warnings and commands into my withered soul. Hitting Bottom is the best thing that could have happened to me, for I landed not in destruction, but in His eternal loving arms.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will choose to cease my own striving and efforts to control my life. I will practice being still and knowing that my Higher Power is with me at all times, in every circumstance of my life

~ Lisa


'Suicide of the soul"........what a perfect way to describe compulsive overeating! It's not just the intake of food that kills the spirit, but the behaviors that lead TO the food consumption that does it.

Where did I get the idea that I had to control the world? Be perfect? Expect everyone in my life to be perfect?

My history of compulsive overeating may be tied to my upbringing.........but my recovery is directly tied to the decisions I make NOW.  I can't change the past, but I CAN give Today over to God.  I can surrender my powerlessness over life and allow Him to guide me.

Hitting rock bottom was the best thing that could ever have happened to me.  The only way to go from rock bottom is UP.  I am certain that God led me to this program of recovery because without it, my soul would have been squashed. 

Developing spirituality and a direct line of communication with God has opened my eyes and changed the course of my life.

For today, I am not worried about who I 'should be'.  I am focused on being the best I CAN be and that IS good enough.  For today, I am a child of God and blessed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 13th


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
While loving someone deeply gives you courage."

- - Lao Tzu

As we explore our twelve step program and peel away the onion that is us, we find many parts of ourself that we had never known before. Those parts have always been there ... we just weren't aware of the importance of them. Suddenly, as though it were a lightbulb flashing, it hits us full in the face and we find ourself seeing what our deepest need in life is.

It took practically a lifetime to realize that my deepest need was to love and to be loved. How could I have lived so long and not realized that before? I am grateful that the twelve step program gave me the ability to feel love, perhaps for the very first time. I am also grateful that this beautiful way of living also gave me the ability to give love.

One day at a time ... I will keep my heart open for opportunities to love ... and quietly but expectantly to be loved.

~ Mari


When I was eating & drinking compulsively, I was so OUT of touch with my feelings that was unable to feel pain OR joy.  Love & Happiness took a backseat to addiction, which excludes everything & everyone from penetrating the wall.

I lost sight of God and His will for me as I pursued my own manic will. Nobody was going to tell ME what to do, or say, or think, etc.  I was a willful child, stamping my feet to get my way.

There is an old AA slogan that goes:

"When I came to recovery I realized that being a child for 28 years nearly killed me."

In my case, I was a child for 40-some years.................

When I allow God into my life, I realize that Love is all there is.  Without love for myself, I cannot recover. Without love for others, my life is empty & shallow.  

For today, I offer love to everyone in my life.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Food For Thought: March 12th

Nourishment or Drug?

During our overeating days, many of us used food as an all purpose drug. It was a pep pill when we were depressed and a tranquilizer when we were uptight. We turned especially to refined carbohydrates as uppers and downers. As a result, we spent most of our time either artificially stimulated or lethargic.

When we stop using food as a drug and eat only what our bodies need for proper nourishment, we experience emotions which had been buried by overeating. We feel anxiety, fear, and anger. We also feel joy, enthusiasm, and love. We are alive instead of doped up.

We need to express and share our emotions, and in OA we find people who will help us do that. We no longer have to bury our true feelings with food. As we learn to rely on our Higher Power for support in the little things that come up as well as the big things, then we are able to face the day without a drug.

By abstaining, we learn who we really are and what we really feel.

May I not be afraid to live without a drug. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980


I used food as a drug......eating to excess during times of emotional stress, boredom, anxiety, depression and fear.  Of course, all that food worsened my stress, anxiety, depression & fear, leading me to eat more & more to ward off those feelings.  And so, the vicious cycle is born.

Only through abstinence have I learned to feel my emotions & to express them in a healthy fashion.  It's not always easy, or fun, to experience these feelings.........and sometimes, it seems easier to self-medicate with food than it does to abstain.  But then, I am only living half a life, since I manage to block out the JOY along with the pain when I anesthetize myself with food.

OA has enabled me to live a full life, finally, after 40 years of yo yo dieting. I no longer need sugar & junk
food as much as I need my legs to stand on.  God allows me to stand on my own, with His help, without the false security of a crutch that's more of a ball & chain around my ankle.

For today, I am learning who I really am & how I really feel and, for today, I am not afraid to live without a drug.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 11th


"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and
over again and expecting different results."
..... Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Everyday I get up and fight the fight of 'I am not good enough.' Nevertheless, I know I am who I am and that's what counts. I may never be what others expect me to be and many times those expectations were so great that I used to beat myself up over my failures.

That is the insanity of the compulsion that I am being healed from. I now have a mirror in my bedroom! I now can go without cleaning my house compulsively for those who visit me and now I can stand up for myself. Why? Because I love ME!

Program has given me back who I am. The person I love. My welfare comes first! Above all I am grateful for my sponsor, my Higher Power and this program. I am also grateful to the many men and women who have inspired my life because if it were not for all of these, I would still be in that insanity.

One day at a time ... I will not require everyone's approval; I will not continually beat myself up when I expect more of myself than I can give; I will continue to love ME and all the good things about me.

~ Rosehips


Not loving myself has been at the root of my compulsive overating.  The negative behaviors is what cause me to think I am entitled to find comfort in excess.  If I stuff myself enough, I may just be able to stuff down all that negativity and self-hatred.

It never works that way, of course.  No matter how much 'comfort food' I consume, it never helps me feel better about me; just worse.

Ignoring my own feelings in an effort to please someone else contributes to the problem. Saying Yes when I want to say No; thinking that others are better than me; putting on a false front so I appear good enough on the outside while fighting utter turmoil on the inside; that's at the core of the compulsive behaviors.

When I let go & let God, and work the steps to the best of my ability, I can finally accept myself for who and what I am.  I can finally let my slip show, by sharing myself honestly and openly with people. I can let go of the need to be perfect and just BE.

For today, I will not require everyone's approval; I will not continually beat myself up when I expect more of myself than I can give; I will continue to love ME and all the good things about me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 10th


“It should be pointed out that physical treatment
is but a small part of the picture.”

Big Book Alcoholics of Anonymous; Page 143

Looking around a gallery recently my friend and I were looking at a mosaic picture. We pondered on what we thought of it, and each of us had our own ideas. Then as we chatted a thought popped into my head. Now this doesn’t happen often, so make the most of it.

The mosaic, of course, is made up of lots of tiny tiles, each one seemingly insignificant on it’s own. In fact if you found one in the street, you probably wouldn’t look at it twice, never mind pick it up. Yet together with all the other tiny tiles, pieced together it forms an unusual and beautiful work of art. I don’t expect that all of the tiles are perfect, but together they are whole. Together they appear to be as one in unison with each other.

Then came the second thought (yes, two in one day). Some days for me are pretty awful. I feel sick, or saddened. I turn on the TV and the news is all depressing stuff, and I think, where is HP while all this is happening? A few years ago, I lost my baby and nearly my own life. Where was my HP then? Losing my nephew at age 8 a few years later, I really doubted that any God of anyone’s understanding could help me with a weight problem.

But today I see the wonderful days, the glowing wonderful comforting days that make life worthwhile. Who am I to say that this life I’m living is good or bad? Only HP has the ‘whole mosaic’ picture of Life. Not just my life, but my life touching another life. The events happening in the world – again, only HP sees the whole picture. He has the lid of the jigsaw puzzle with the main picture on it; we only have one piece, just like the tile.

After I lost the baby, HP helped the surgeons to heal me. I certainly didn’t feel worthy; in fact I felt at the time that I wasn’t even good enough to die. Yet HP has stuck by me and has given me so much. I doubt I’ll ever know whose life or lives I may have touched as a result of me being saved, but it doesn’t matter. HP knows. HP cares.

One Day at a Time . . .
I must remember that you and I are one in the eyes of our Creator. Not one of us is less than, or more than each other. Together we are one. Together we watch HP work miracles in our lives. Together, we are perfect as long as we are under HP’s direction. Mind boggling isn’t it?

~ Marlene


In recovery, we learn to connect with one another, maybe for the first time in our lives, to see that we are part of a much larger picture.

  1+1=5.............together we are greater than we are alone.

When I put my life into God's hands, I acknowledge The Big Picture; that He has a plan FOR me.  Everything happens for a reason.........the Man Plans & God Laughs theory holds true for me.  I surrender my powerlessness and God takes over, doing for me what I cannot do for myself.

The fellowship of OA allows me to stop isolating and feeling all alone with my disease.  My brothers & sisters in OA are the mosaic pieces that enrich my life and enable me to feel like part of a big picture........a greater good..........part of humanity.

I know that God is with me at all time, whether my life is going well or falling apart..........each experience is a learning vehicle intended to teach me something. Through struggle comes strength. 

For today, I take each moment of my life as a lesson; I accept the good with the bad, knowing that God has a plan for me.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Food For Thought: March 9th

No Ultimate "Ah"

When we were overeating, we sought an ultimate experience of satisfaction from food. No matter what kind of food we ate, or how much, we never found that moment of satisfaction, that ultimate "ah." It was always just ahead, in the next bite.

Have we finally realized that the ultimate "ah" which we looked for in food does not exist? No matter what we eat, or how much, it will always elude us. Whatever we are looking for--happiness, success, peace, and fulfillment--it is not to be found in the refrigerator.

We do not promise that working the OA program will bring instant gratification or constant happiness. What we do know is that through the Twelve Steps we are given positive experiences which we did not have before OA. We are happier, more successful, more at peace, and more fulfilled than we ever were before we found this program.

By realizing that food holds no ultimate "ah," we can stop destroying ourselves by chasing a rainbow which does not exist.

May I stop searching for happiness where it is not to be found.

How true is this?!  When I first decided to stop eating compulsively, what got me through the day was telling myself that no matter HOW much trigger food I ate, it would never be why get started?  

I can eat sugar all day long, literally, and STILL not have an ultimate "Ah", it always promises to be in the next bite, but never is.

What I AM looking for is freedom.........serenity, peace, happiness, success & fulfillment, which I can NEVER find in the refrigerator.  I DO find those things through prayer and meditation, and in the readings & teachings of OA.  

God can do for ME what I cannot do for MYSELF.  When I surrender my powerlessness over food and commit to abstinence, that is when I feel ultimate satisfaction!

For today, I will stay true to my food plan, I will let go & let God, and I will not destroy myself or my spirit by chasing a rainbow that does not exist.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Food For Thought: March 8th

"Normal" Eating

The idea that we will one day be able to eat spontaneously, like normal people, is a delusion. We compulsive overeaters tend to think that once we lose our excess pounds, we can go back to "normal" eating. Not so.

It is our experience that once a compulsive overeater, always a compulsive overeater. There is no way we will ever be able to eat spontaneously without eventually getting into trouble. When we reach our desired weight, we continue to eat three measured meals a day with nothing in between, and we continue to avoid entirely our personal binge foods.

When we accept our permanent need to abstain, when we accept the fact that we can never return to what we thought was normal eating, then we can stop making irrational attempts at experimentation which always fail. By accepting our disease and learning to live with it, we become sane and free. We see that our new eating plan is really very normal. It was the old compulsive overeating habit which was abnormal in the extreme.

Thank you, Lord, for sanity. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980


A return to "normal" eating has caused me to regain weight & to yo yo diet for 40 some years.  As a compulsive overeater, I have to redefine what constitutes "normal eating" and create it myself.  Society tells me that eating junk food and sweets is normal, but for me, those are trigger foods which will lead to a binge. 

In the old days, OA told us to eat 3 moderate meals a day, nothing in between, one day at a time.  Nowadays, the definition of abstinence can vary.  For me, eating 6 small meals a day with nothing in between is what keeps me on track & abstinent.  Fueling my body with small, healthy meals every few hours keeps my blood sugar level and my cravings at bay.

Accepting myself and my disease instead of fighting it is what's led me to freedom.  Looking at food as fuel instead of entertainment, has kept me toeing the line for nearly 4 years and for that, I am grateful.  For today, I will not fight what I know to be true, but rather, accept the terms of my disease & treat it with respect.

Thank you, Lord, for sanity.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 7th


To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil on it.

Mother Teresa

As a child I can still remember being terribly stubborn, and would even have a temper tantrum if I didn't want to do something. As I grew up, the trait of stubbornness remained, and it would be hard to get me to budge if I had decided I didn't want to do something. After coming into the program, I realised that stubbornness is actually a character defect of mine, and whilst I am praying to be relieved of it in its negative form, I also know that that same character defect in its positive form has helped me tremendously in the program, especially seeing my journey has been one which has been characterised with many slips along the way. But one of the things that I've never stopped doing is coming back, and I know that it is this very character defect of stubbornness, turned into perseverance, that has made me keep working at the program, even when it would be easier to just give up. So I have kept coming to meetings, and working the steps and the tools even when I was struggling, because I know that it is only when I do that, I have a chance of recovery.

It has been said that this is a program of action, and so I repeat on a daily basis the actions that have brought recovery to thousands. Some days it is harder than others, especially when the willingness is not there, and on those days my old pattern of wanting to block out the feelings with food resurfaces. But I also know that when I use the tools and work the steps, I can deal with the feelings without resorting to food, because my Higher Power will help me to get through the daily struggles when I turn them over to Him. So what I need to do on a daily basis is to ask for help from my Higher Power with my unmanageable life, instead of turning to food, and even on days where I'm struggling, I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and persevering with working the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will persevere with working the program, so that I can recover from this disease of compulsive overeating and be restored to sanity on a daily basis.

~ Sharon ~


Stubbornness,  normally thought of as a character defect, can translate into Perseverance which is a desirable character trait!

When I am willing to do a 4th step inventory & look at myself in the light of truth, I realize that not ALL of my 'defects' are quite so defective! Sure, I DO have lots of real flaws that need work, but some of these flaws can work to my advantage when recognized.

The flaws that need to go away permanently, I can ask God to remove for me, if I am truly willing to BE rid of them.

What character defects would any sane person WANT to hold onto?  Let's take gossip for instance.  It can be fun to gossip at talk about others and to spread the 'news' around.  Am I truly wanting to have God remove that defect from me? Am I willing to stop engaging in that kind of behavior around the office?

I must WANT to behave differently before I ask God to remove the flaws within me in a 5th Step.

I can't pray to God to help me stop overeating, either, if I don't truly WANT to stop.  If I do, I must use the tools of the program, work the steps, and do the footwork of sticking to my food plan of abstinence before God can do HIS job!

For today, I pray for the willingness to do the footwork required OF me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 6th


“Dwelling on the negative
simply contributes to its power.”
Shirley MacLaine

I’ve lived most of my life filled with bitterness towards people, God and myself. My mind, soul, and body were consumed by hatred, self-pity, pain, hopelessness, and a complete sense of powerlessness. I focused my energy on reviewing my scars. I counted them, checked them, nurtured them, and flaunted them. They were proof of all the wrongs I’d endured. They were my source of energy. They were my identity. They were my badge of sorrow.

As I work my recovery, I am beginning to see everything from a new perspective. Gradually my head is lifted and my eyes are turned away from my once-beloved scars. The more I allow myself to accept that my powerlessness is not a prison of doom, the more I discover that it is my doorway to faith, surrender, and serenity.

My scars are still here. There is no magic potion to remove them. What is magical, however, is that I see them so differently. I find that I have a choice to make every day: I can cherish my scars as proof of the pain I have suffered, or I can be thankful for them as evidence of things I have survived. Scar tissue forms and creates a stronger, thicker skin in its place. I can either pick at it and make it bleed, or I can welcome the lessons and endurance it has built into my life.

One day at a time...
I will choose to see my scars as proof of the difficulties I have survived. I will choose to appreciate them as evidence that God has brought me through suffering and has used all things to strengthen my faith in Him, my hope for tomorrow, and my serenity for today.

~ Lisa


If I wear my scars as a badge of honor, I dwell in negativity & justify overeating.  Nothing drives me to the refrigerator faster than self-pity.

Sure, I may have suffered through some traumas I didn't deserve, but through scar tissue comes wisdom.

What you may view as a hardship or a curse, I may view as a blessing.  If I hadn’t born the burdens of my hardships and mistakes, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the blessing of where I am today; happy & healthy & thriving in recovery.

Scar tissue forms and creates a stronger, thicker skin in its place. I can either pick at it and make it bleed, or I can welcome the lessons and endurance it has built into my life.

Accepting God into my life has opened my heart and helped me to realize that I am not in control of the world; He is.  Admitting powerlessness over my addictions has helped me surrender them to the One who can and will bear them FOR me.  

For today, I will appreciate the wisdom I've gained through adversity.  I will give thanks for being a compulsive overeater because, by suffering that pain, I found the fellowship of OA which has changed my life for the better.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 5th


"It is especially important not to make major life changes
when you are guided by emotions. If you are emotionally excited
(either in the positive or negative), wait until you calm down before taking action."

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

When I first entered into recovery this was one of my main character defects. Since my life was out of control and spiraling downward, I acted impulsively and rarely did any thinking before acting. I wouldn't even admit that my actions were impulsive. I would get so mad at people if they said I was impulsive.

Thanks to the steps I now have the tools that allow me to look at my actions in a new light - one of sanity and direction. Step One allowed me to admit that I was addicted to food and my life was unmanageable. Step Two allowed me to let others in to help with my problem. I was not in this alone. Step Three gave me a loving G-d to take care of growing me up and helping me with all my problems. Step Four brought things into perspective, Step Five brought healing from the shame of making those irreparable mistakes. Steps Six and Seven helped me look at what in me could be prayed about and improved. They taught me that this character defect was just a character asset being used improperly. Steps Eight and Nine brought me back into a right relationship with others. Step Ten keeps me focused in the now not the "what if's" or "you need to's" of the past. Sanity seemed to be coming from that awareness of living in today. Step Eleven gave me the gift of a G-d that is ever caring and always present to help me if I just do my side of the work. As a result I have a spirit of love today rather than a spirit of resentment and self-pity. Step Twelve might be the most important one because it is what keeps me in recovery and living a productive life.

Today I do not have to react immediately to every thing that happens, I can even go to my sponsor and ask for guidance. If my sponsor doesn't have experience in that area I have a world full of people like me to go to who understand what I am experiencing. The tools give me a way to handle life on life's terms.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will chose to live and recover in the 12 steps.

~ Judith ~


Reacting immediately to everything  was a real problem for me, and led me to the refrigerator time & time again. I'd like to say that I 'never' react improperly or immediately to anything or anyone, ever, but I am a work in progress! When something happens that causes me to WANT to react immediately, I run off to pray on the matter rather than to have a melt-down on the spot.

Working the 12 Steps has helped me tremendously in this area. I love how Judith says that steps 6 & 7 taught her that character defects were character assets being used improperly!

The steps have helped me see that so much of my behavior is what led me to compulsively overeat......not my love of food, or my gluttony, or my lack of 'willpower.' 

When I work the steps faithfully, I am given a set of instructions on how to change the behaviors that lead me to unhappiness and discord.  In other words, to the refrigerator. 

When I work the steps to the best of my ability, I put in place a formula designed to help me love mySELF.  When I feel good about ME, I don't want to put garbage into the body that God created.  I want to treat myself with loving kindness instead, and that includes the types & amounts of food I consume.

For today, I am grateful to have a solid plan to follow that shows me a way to get OUT of the messes I get myself INTO!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Food For Thought: March 4th

Doing What Feels Good

Doing anything as long as it feels good is a trap. We like to eat for the sheer sensual pleasure of the experience, and we would like to continue long after our need for nourishment has been met. Once our appetites are out of control, we cannot stop, not even when the pleasure has turned to pain.

Unbridled, uncontrolled sensuality will destroy us. Rational knowledge of when to stop is not enough. We may know with our minds that we should not be eating, but still be unable to stop the action of our bodies. If we are unable to control our sensuality with our minds, then how is it to be done?

OA members testify that there is One who has all power, including the power to enlighten our darkness and prevent our self destruction. Through daily contact with this Higher Power, we develop spiritual strength which will control and direct our physical drives so that they do not control and destroy us.

Take my sensuality, Lord, and control it. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980,


Overeating can feel like fun.  The food may taste delicious and it even makes me feel good, at least temporarily.  But food has the shortest "high" of all the addictive substances.  As soon as I swallow the food, the high is over, and I go back for more to bring back the feeling.  And on and on it goes.  Which is why, no matter HOW much I overeat, it's never enough.

The pleasure rapidly turns to pain, and STILL, I go back for more.  One is too many & a million isn't enough.

As a compulsive overeater, "willpower" isn't nearly enough to keep me on track with my food plan.

I surrender my control to the One who has all power, including the power to enlighten my darkness and prevent my self destruction.  God does for me what I cannot do for myself.

As I raise my spiritual consciousness, food loses its hold over me.  The pleasure of overeating is overridden  by the calmness & serenity that God  provides me with.

For today, I will eat moderately, with God's help, no matter what 'temptations' are thrown at it a birthday cake, or a 'once-in-a-lifetime' food experience I may never have again.  For today, nothing is worth risking my abstinence for.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Recovery Meditations: March 3rd


"Doc! What do you mean-nothing! What? An incurable disease?
Doc, you're kidding me! You're trying to scare me into stopping!
What's that you say? You wish you were?
What are those tears in your eyes Doc?"

The Big Book, The Believer

For a very long time I scoffed at those who said my overweight was because I had a disease. Yes, my body had doubled in size ... but it was because I ate more calories than my body burned. My doctor said so ... he didn't say I had a disease. His "treatment" was to tell me to go on a diet and join a gym. The diet lasted for a few months and I believe I used the gym about six or seven times. I know now without a single doubt that I have a disease ... a serious one. I know that it is incurable and that I will have to live with this disease for the rest of my life. Dieting made me fat. Somewhere along the way I didn't "get it."

One day at a time...
I will resist thinking that being a compulsive eater is not a disease. I will aggressively and tenaciously do the footwork necessarily to combat it.

~ Mari ~


Food is a legal drug...........a socially acceptable addiction, too.  "Oh, go ahead and have a slice of cake, it won't kill you!" the friends and non-believers tell us.

How do they know what effects that slice of cake will have on us, as compulsive overeaters? That sugar rush may lead us on a binge that lasts for weeks, months, years..........

I have a disease. I can choose to treat that disease seriously, or, I can choose to pooh-pooh it away while insisting I can learn to eat like a normal person.

Kind of like an alcoholic insisting he can learn how to drink like a normal person, eh?

Oh, that's different! Alcoholism isn't the same thing as food addiction, we are told!

Um, yeah it is the same thing!

For me to acknowledge alcoholism as a disease but not not compulsive overeating is to bury my head in the sand and to stay sick, body mind & spirit.

Once I acknowledge the fact that I DO have a disease, only THEN can I treat it with all the seriousness it deserves.

If I have diabetes, I take insulin to keep it controlled.  If I have high blood pressure, I take pills to regulate IT.

If I am a compulsive overeater, I stick to a healthful eating regimen to keep IT from flaring up.

When I treat my disease with another diet, I encourage it to get stronger instead of to simmer down & go into remission.  
For today, I pray to accept my disease and to treat it with all the seriousness it deserves to be treated with.