Monday, April 30, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: April 30th


The goal is balance.

We need balance between work and play. We need balance between giving and receiving. We need balance in thought and feelings. We need balance in caring for our physical self and our spiritual self.

A balanced life has harmony between a professional life and a personal life. There may be times when we need to climb mountains at work. There may be times when we put extra energy into our relationships. But the overall picture needs to balance.

Just as a balanced nutritional diet takes into account the realm of our nutritional needs to stay healthy, a balanced life takes into account all our needs: our need for friends, work, love, family, play, private time, recovery time, and spiritual time - time with God. If we get out of balance, our inner voice will tell us. We need to listen.

Today, I will examine my life to see if the scales have swung too far in any area or not far enough in some. I will work toward achieving balance.


Sometimes I think it's impossible to find balance in my life! Something is always out of whack........weighted too heavily on one side. 

I tend to overdo or under-do things; I'm either killing myself working out or sitting around like a slug.  Either perfectly abstinent or obsessing about food 24/7.  Seething with anger or blissfully content.

Where is the happy medium?  I'm finding that happy medium called Balance by working the steps of recovery.  When I feel unbalanced, I ask God to guide me & help me find it.

Structure creates a better level of balance for me. My food plan is structured, my work day is structured.....the habits I've created in my life FORCE balance upon me.  That is how I've managed to create new habits; by sticking to an ordered routine.

For today, I pray for balance in all areas of my life; home, work, relationships, as well as thoughts & feelings.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Food For Thought: April 29th

Judge Not

When we have received the gift of abstinence and have gotten rid of excess weight, we sometimes tend to be very critical of those who have not yet succeeded with the physical part of the program. We may also be especially critical of those who obviously need the OA program, but who are not yet willing to try it.

Then there are some of us who resent those who come into the program with very little weight to lose or those who are of normal weight but nevertheless suffer from compulsive overeating.

Instead of worrying about other people and trying to pronounce judgment on their needs and efforts, it would be better to concentrate on our own progress. Only God understands completely where we are at a given moment, and only He can judge our sincerity and growth. We can help and encourage each other, but we are each responsible to our Higher Power.

To refrain from judging others is to stop trying to compare apples and oranges. We are each unique, and we grow according to our individual timetables.

May I not waste time and energy judging others. 

This reading brings to mind an old AA saw: Don't judge your insides based on someone else's outside."

"Don't judge" is the point.  When I go to an OA meeting, some look at me and say or think, "What is SHE doing here? SHE is not fat!"  What I am 'doing' at the meeting is preserving my recovery and trying to keep it intact by sharing myself and absorbing the message that others have to share.

I know people with 20 or 30 lbs to lose that have a harder time losing THEIR weight than I had losing 100 lbs.

We all suffer when we eat compulsively, no matter how it may look on the outside.

In all probability, everyone can benefit from 12 step work & attending meetings: EVERYONE on earth.  It is not my job to criticize those who choose not to.  I can gently suggest, and then let the subject GO.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.  In the meantime, we struggle, we suffer and we grasp at straws trying to find 'the answer'.  

For today, I pray to keep judgment out of my thought process, and focus on my own recovery, one day at a time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 28th


Separate needs are weak and easily broken;
but bound together they are strong and hard to tear apart.

The Midrash, Judaic Text

For most of my life before coming into the program, I was a bit of a loner. I never had a lot of friends, perhaps because of my feelings of inadequacy, and was never good at sports, especially team sports. So I buried myself a lot in books, in academic achievements at which I excelled, mainly because I could do that on my own. I lived in a fantasy world where a knight in shining armor would come and rescue me, and my life would then be perfect. I had never even had a serious long-term relationship until I met my first husband, so it was hardly surprising that I made a bad choice and after having three children and much heartache, got divorced.

When I first came into program, it was the first time I had ever felt part of a big group, and most importantly they all spoke my language. Their experiences were my experiences. These wonderful people became my family. There was, and still is, for me an incredible sense of belonging in the fellowship. No longer do I have to brave it on my own as there will always be someone on the other end of the line or in a meeting who can identify and share with me what I am going through. The strength that I feel when I come into the meeting rooms or speak to a fellow member on the phone is a powerful sustaining force for me that has helped me through countless difficult situations and continues to do so.

One Day at a Time . . .
I only need to reach out and join hands with others in the fellowship to gain the strength to do things I could never do before. It is only with their help, support and love that I am fully able to recover.

~ Sharon ~


When I start shutting down and isolating.............I am feeling a sense of ABSOLUTE SEPARATENESS, which means that I have forgotten WHO I AM: I have forgotten my BEING, my PRESENCE, my LIGHT......who I am at the CORE. I have entangled myself up with compulsive THINKING, and considering myself to be a BODY instead of a SOUL. Our disease is one of spiritual impoverishment...........the excess food intake has nothing to do with FOOD, but everything TO do with trying to fill up the void that exists because we've lost our SPIRIT.

We are working the Steps and abstaining from overeating so we can tune back INTO who we really are. When we DO, the desire to overeat subsides as we realize we are all part of one another......all joined together in humanity. The obsession with our BODY dwindles as we begin to concentrate on our SOUL instead.

Try this: close your eyes and concentrate on your hands. Feel the ENERGY coursing thru them? It can be a tingling sensation.........feel the LIFE in them?

THAT is the Essence of who you really ARE........not the size of your body or the thought structure in your MIND that tells you to eat, or tells you how useless you are, or insists you are inferior or 'less than.'

We are not our bodies. We are not alone in the world. When we feel that ABSOLUTE SEPARATENESS, we KNOW we've lost the sense of who we really ARE, and it's time to find our true SELF once again.

For today, I will focus on my spiritual 'body' instead of my physical body.  May God guide me to SEE myself as I truly AM.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 27th


And let there be no purpose in friendship
save the deepening of Spirit.

Kahlil Gibran

My initial experience of relationships in recovery was one of wonder and relief. I was so amazed to find that there actually were other people who understood life as I lived it! Until I walked into the rooms of recovery, I felt so alone and different from other people. Finding people who had also lived the nightmare of compulsive eating, helped my isolation fade away. Seeing that they had found a new way of living gave me hope!!

As I began to share more deeply with my sponsor and other people in recovery, I discovered a deeper gift of friendship in recovery. I received unconditional love and focused guidance toward the steps of recovery which would transform me completely. This was the greatest gift of relationship that I had ever known. This was the beginning of the transformation that invited me to share the Spirit of recovery with others.

As I carry the principles of recovery into all aspects of my life, I find my relationships with all people are transformed. My character defects no longer stand in the way of my honesty, and fear no longer holds me prisoner. The Spirit of recovery which has been so generously shared with me, continues to be shared joyously through me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will be carried by the Spirit of recovery into all of my relationships.

~ Cate ~


Obesity is a disease of the Soul & Spirit............I had forgotten the fact that I Am, at the core, my Essence; my Being.  With that unawareness comes the feeling of total and absolute Separateness.  That I am alone in the world; unique........and that nobody understands me.

Reestablishing the knowledge that I am my Soul instead of my Body enables me to realize I am joined to all of humanity in Spirit.........we are all united......connected.......working together toward a higher purpose.  Involving myself with OA & the support system it offers has allowed me to reconnect with my fellow man and to stop feeling alone.

When I share my experience, strength & hope with another compulsive overeater, he takes comfort from me and I take comfort from him.  Once upon a time, I only found comfort in excess food.  No matter how much I ate, though, I was never able to fill the void in my Soul.

For today, may I fill any gaps in my life with people, love and friendship rather than excess food. For today, I will allow God to guide me, every step of the way. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 26th


“You keep carryin’ that anger, it’ll eat you up inside.”

Don Henley

I have been carrying around so much anger in my life that it has fanned the flames of my addiction. I wouldn’t allow myself to feel the anger because I was afraid it would overwhelm me. I used food and other substances to stuff it down and the anger became rage and turned inward as depression. My compulsive eating spiraled out of control.

Many things have happened to me to justify the anger I’ve been carrying. Healthy anger indicates that someone has violated my boundaries or placed me in an untenable position. Anger that is felt and then released is a healthy emotion. But anger that is stuffed is toxic and will surely corrode my spirit and trap me even further in the cycle of addiction.

I have learned through the Twelve Steps that forgiveness is the only path to letting go of toxic anger. Forgiveness does not mean excusing others’ abusive behavior nor accepting my abusers back into my life. Forgiveness happens when I allow myself to feel and work through my anger, and then release it to my Higher Power. Forgiveness is self-love.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will feel and express my healthy anger and strive for forgiveness.

~ Suzanne


When I hold onto anger, I hurt myself.  It festers and rots inside of me, and increases my desire to overeat, to soothe my wounded soul.  Nothing leads me to the frig faster than feeling slighted.

When I am willing to forgive others, I am better able to love myself.  And that's what this whole journey is really all about: learning to love ourselves.  Enough that we stop treating our bodies like garbage cans & feeding them all that trash.

For today may I forgive myself my trespasses so that I may live in light instead of dwell in darkness.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: April 25th

Finding Our Own Truth

We must each discover our own truth.

It does not help us if those we love find their truth. They cannot give it to us. It does not help if someone we love knows a particular truth in our life. We must discover our truth for ourselves.

We must each discover and stand in our own light.

We often need to struggle, fail, and be confused and frustrated. That's how we break through our struggle; that's how we learn what is true and right for ourselves.

We can share information with others. Others can tell us what may predictably happen if we pursue a particular course. But it will not mean anything until we integrate the message and it becomes our truth, our discovery, and our knowledge.

There is no easy way to break through and find our truth.

But we can and will, if we want to.

We may want to make it easier. We may nervously run to friends, asking them to give us their truth or make our discovery easier. They cannot. Light will shed itself in its own time.

Each of us has our own share of truth, waiting to reveal itself to us. Each of us has our own share of the light, waiting for us to stand in it, to claim it as ours.

Encouragement helps. Support helps. A firm belief that each person has truth available - appropriate to each situation - is what will help.

Each experience, each frustration, each situation, has its own truth waiting to be revealed. Don't give up until you find it - for yourself.

We shall be guided into truth, if we are seeking it. We are not alone.

Today, I will search for my own truth, and I will allow others to do the same. I will place value on my vision and the vision of others. We are each on the journey, making our own discoveries - the ones that are right for us today.


How true is this?  I can search high & low for 'answers'..........but I must find the truth MYSELF.  Nobody can find it for me, as MY truth varies from YOUR truth.

In reality, compulsive overeating is nothing but a web of lies, trying to lure me in with the promise of comfort.  That's the LIE.

The truth is: there is far more comfort in sticking to my food plan than there ever was in overeating.

Self-loathing prevails when I abandon my food plan for the temporary euphoria that comes along with unrestricted eating.

I cannot make YOU believe that, any more than YOU could have made ME believe that prior to finding abstinence.

We search out, and find, our own truths, and allow others to do the same.  This journey is peppered with ruts and smooth patches, and every day brings another truth to be discovered.

If we keep an open mind & heart, the truth will make itself known, one day at a time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Food For Thought: April 24th

Hungry or Bored?

When we ate compulsively, we often interpreted boredom to be hunger. When there seemed to be nothing else to do, we could always eat! Unstructured time may have made us anxious; we thought we could fill up with food and allay our anxieties.

To be egotistical and self-centered is to be bored. If we are always the center of our awareness, we will soon tire of ourselves, since none of us is all that fascinating. In order to escape boredom, we need to turn our attention outward and focus on something besides self.

When we give our lives to our Higher Power, we are making a commitment of service. We are asking that His will be done and that He use us as He sees fit. By relieving us of our obsession, God frees us from slavery to our appetites. If we are to remain free, we need to serve Him instead of ourselves. Day by day, He shows us our tasks and as we become absorbed in them, we lose our boredom along with our false hunger.

May I know the true nourishment of doing Your will.


 I've always been a big boredom eater............I have trouble with down time, and feeling antsy.  For years I tried filling up THAT void, too, with excess food.  

All it got me was fat & miserable.

I am not the center of the universe and the world does not revolve around me.  If I am bored, I either sit through my feelings or find something to occupy my time.  I can give OF myself to someone else, for instance, and that's when thoughts of overeating leave me.

There is no nourishment in over-feeding myself, and little to no relief from anxiety.  The temporary relief I may feel is followed by self-loathing and despair.

For today, I pray to realize that a bit of hunger will not kill me, but my disease can and will.  For today, may I not fall prey to false hunger of any kind.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 23rd


I've continued to recognize the power individuals have
to change virtually anything and everything in their lives in an instant.
I've learned that the resources we need to turn our dreams into reality are within us,
merely waiting for the day when we decide to wake up and claim our birthright.

Anthony Robbins

I have divine origins because I am part of my Higher Power. Whether I see my Higher Power as a male, female or neither; no matter if I experience my Higher Power as a Heavenly Parent, a Divine Friend, or a Great Spirit; whether I find my Higher Power in a temple, in the mountains, or in my child's eyes ... I am connected to something greater than myself, my problems, and my fears. The who, what, where, when, and how of my Higher Power are not important. I don't have to completely understand HP because my HP understands me.

I have been endowed with all the things I need to be successful in recovery and in life. All I have to do is step up and claim them. I have intellect, I have emotion, and I have a spirit. All of those things have a direct line to my Higher Power. What I can't yet access is given to me as a gift when I claim my divine birthright by simply saying, "I can't. You can. I think I'll let You." What greater power is there than to give our power to our Higher Power? Knowing when I can't do it alone is a gift!

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember I come from royalty. I will remember my divine birthright and step up to claim it. Today I will not sell my divine birthright for a mess of pottage.

~ Sandee ~


On June 11, 2008, I decided to wake up & claim my birthright.  I didn't feel like I'd descended from royalty up to that point, for a bunch of reasons.

On June 11, 2008, I decided to change all step up and say I DO matter; I DO belong; I AM worth it!

By asking God to help me, & by surrendering MY will & accepting His, I am freed from the obsessions that were wreaking havoc with my life.

I can't do this alone, nor do I want to! The guidance and serenity that comes to me from my Higher Power is all I need to live.  I can't; He can; I think I'll let Him.

Is every day easy? No! There are plenty of days where I struggle, in fact.  When I have a hard day, I discover it is due to the fact that I have lost my connection to God in some way.  That's when I regroup, refocus, and remember that I am NOT alone.

For today, I will not sell my divine birthright for a mess of pottage.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Food For Thought: April 22nd


Happiness is rarely achieved by pursuing it. We compulsive overeaters used to think that food could make us happy, but we found that it could not. Many of us tried other substances, too, such as alcohol, drugs, or money. When these also failed us, we may have decided that only a perfect partner could make us happy. Alas, we soon discovered that there are no perfect individuals, only ordinary people with faults like our own.

So where does happiness fit in? At some point along the line, we abandon the frantic pursuit of an external object of happiness and begin to work on ourselves. As we go through the Twelve Steps, we become less self-centered and more focused on a Higher Power. As we are able to concentrate more on His will and less on our own, we find that periods of happiness come as a by product. Paradoxically, when happiness is no longer our goal, we have more of it.

In You, there is joy.


Happiness lies within. Frantically looking for it in food & booze & spending money is a waste of a life.  Unfortunately, it's taken me decades to realize this, tons of yo yo dieting, and an awful lot of heartache.

When I put aside my self-centered attitude, admitting that the world doesn't revolve around me me me, I focus on helping others through doing God's will.

When I stop insisting on happiness, paradoxically, that is when I find it.

For today, I will appreciate the small blessings in my life and find happiness as it comes.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 21st


Religion is for people who don't want to go to hell.
Program is for people who have already been there.


I was religious when I came into program and I was ready and willing to tell everyone what the "true" faith was. I went to church every Sunday. I was a religion teacher. I knew it all.

The truth is I didn't know ANYTHING. It didn't take long for me to begin to question my own religiosity. In fact, it began at Steps two and three. Before long, I wondered if there was a God at all. If there was, is God a He, a She or an It? Then I decided, yes there was a God, but did He/She/It care about me?

The real truth is God is who God needs to be to work through me. There's no right or wrong answer to my questions. What I DO know is that God loves me just the way I am.

The greatest gift my Higher Power gave me came on the day I looked up to "heaven" and told God, "I don't believe in You!" And that still, quiet voice inside of me asked, "Then to Whom are you speaking?"

One Day at a Time . . .
I don't have to have theological "proof" that there is a Power greater than myself. I just need to believe.

~ Debbie ~


The 'proof' that God exists, for me, came about with miracle of recovery. Going from 225 lbs to 125 lbs wasn't achieved without a Higher Power guiding me, every step of the way.

  Staying at 125 lbs doesn't come without small miracles taking place on a daily basis.

When I put aside everything I 'knew' and everything I was taught as a child, is when I opened myself up to spirituality, which is entirely different than religion.

My religion taught me that God loves conditionally......only when I toe the line.  My religion had me feeling fearful of God and behaving only because of that fear.

Spirituality taught me that God loves me unconditionally, exactly as I am.  Whether I am toeing some line or not, God is in my heart & soul, and guiding my life every step of the way.

Spirituality taught me that fear is the opposite of faith & love...............that fearing God is a waste of energy, that love sets me free from the chains of addiction.

For today, I am grateful I don't need 'theological proof' that God exists. Feeling Him in my heart is all the proof I need.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Food For Thought:: April 20th

Social Situations

Many of us find it especially difficult to follow our food plan when we go to parties and eat with friends. We may feel deprived if we do not eat and drink what everyone else is eating and drinking. Sometimes we maintain our abstinence at the party and then go home and break it for some strange kind of emotional compensation.

The longer we live the OA program, the easier it becomes to deal with social situations. We begin to realize that the company is more important than the food and drink, and we discover that we can enjoy being with our friends regardless of what we are or are not consuming. We also become convinced that only by abstaining do we maintain our health and sanity, and we value these more than whatever refreshments are being served.

Because we are stronger now than we were before, we are less affected by the social pressure to do what everyone else is doing. We know who we are and how we can best live our own lives.

May I enjoy my friends more than food. 


I can relate here 100%.  Every now & then, I DO feel deprived in a social situation, when everyone is gorging themselves with food, while I eat a green salad with chicken, dressing on the side, blah blah blah.  And the urge to overeat hits me afterward.........when I get home.  I'm fine during the event, and struggling later.

Being aware of this possibility is half the battle; preparing myself for the urge to binge that may come helps me have a plan in place to deal with it.  COE is a funny strikes out of the blue, and can hit with the force of a tornado! Cunning, sly and powerful indeed.

Over the years of abstinence, I have found that I DO enjoy the company in a social situation MORE than the food. The event shouldn't be all about the should be all about the people.  But, the people tend to MAKE it all about the FOOD.

Food: the one addictive substance that's legal, available 24/7, and  socially unacceptable NOT to eat! Ever go to someone's house and get a dirty look from the cook about why you're not eating the trigger foods she's prepared? 

If others could only know how 'one bite' would and could send us off on a downward spiral that we may not recover from.

For today, I pray to use food for fuel purposes only, and to keep my disease in recovery status. Amen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 19th


The greatest happiness you can have
is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.

William Saroyan

How many times during my life have I said that all I want is "just to be happy." We are told early on that our legacy is "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Did you notice that our forefathers used the word "pursuit?" How very wise they were.

Happiness is not automatic. Life is difficult and it's supposed to be that way. If we expect happiness and we expect life to be easy, at some point in time we are going to be very disappointed. I thought eating food made me happy and it did ... for a short time. There were other temporary compulsions in my life that made me think I was happy ~ but again for only a short time.

As I began to work the Steps, I began to desire something other than happiness. I found myself yearning for serenity ... and I found it. The way I found it was by not expecting the world and everyone in it to make me happy. I learned that life was more of an adventure than a bowl of cherries. I learned that the more I expected from people, places and things, the more disappointed I was ... and the more disappointed I became, the less happy I was.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not require happiness. But when I least expect it .... happiness will find me.

~ Mari ~


Somewhere along the line, I thought I had to pursue happiness, and find it, at ANY cost.  Seeking happiness through excess food was a short lived endeavor indeed!!!!!  What started out as an extra snack quickly turned into a nightmare of binges, where there was never 'enough.'

I define happiness differently these days. Once upon a time, happiness meant pure comfort, money, excess, status and things of that nature.  Nowadays, happiness means serenity, acceptance, and relief from obsessive thinking.  A good day used to mean something totally different than it does now.

Today, a good day means that I've surrendered my life to God and listened to His guidance as it came.  It means I haven't obsessed about what to eat or when to eat it. It means I am calm and peaceful, allowing life to unfold as it will, accepting what comes.  It means being happy with what I have instead of wanting something different.

I used to look to others to make me happy.  If only YOU did THIS, then I would be happy.  Today, I look within to find my happiness.  And, by the grace of God, I do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 18th


The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love,
which includes not only others but ourselves as well.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I don't think I knew what unconditional love was before I came into the program. After all, I had always felt that my mother had only loved and accepted me conditionally, and that in order for me to receive approval and love from her, I had to be the best at everything I did. I had to be at the top of the class, win prizes for ballet and in general be a credit to her, so that she could bask in the reflected limelight. Perhaps that was only my perception. But as a result, I wrote a script for myself that, in order to be loved, accepted and loveable, I had to excel at everything. I became an overachiever academically, I had to be the best wife, best mother, best cook, in short, the best everything. No wonder I had to eat to cope with all this self-inflicted pressure.

The unconditional love and acceptance I received when I first came into these program rooms was something I had never experienced before. "Let us love you until you can learn to love yourself," they said. This was something totally foreign to me. How could I be loveable when I was fat and bloated? How could they love me when I hated myself for all the secret eating that caused me to feel totally miserable? But love me they did, and that was the beginning of my healing. At one stage fairly early in my recovery, one of my daughters accused me of being so busy going to meetings and doing courses and learning to love myself, that I was too busy to love them. How wrong she was! It was only when I had learned enough self- love and approval of myself, exactly as I was, that I was able to love all my children fully and unconditionally.

I am now able to love and accept all my children exactly as they are. None of them are perfect, as I am not, but they are special in their own right, and I love them for who they are and not for anything they do or don't do.

One day at a time...
I practice being warm and accepting of all those I love,
as I accept and love myself for being who I am today - a child of God

~ Sharon ~


I learned, at an early age, incorrectly, that love was conditional.  Love from God, love from friends and family............all of it.  God would only love me if I went to church and toed the line.  Love had a price, and I always fell short somehow.  If I got thin, THEN I'd be loved and accepted.

What lies!  God loves me no matter what.  Perfection is not something I seek from myself or others.  Program has taught me that I AM good enough, no matter WHAT!

When I learned to love myself, fat or thin, is when a new world opened up to me.  Abusing myself with excess food or drink did nothing to help me love myself.  It only perpetuated the self-loathing, and kept alive a vicious cycle of yo yo dieting and abuse.

Through working the steps, I've learned what self-love is all about, and how to go about maintaining a good relationship with ME, with my loved ones, and with God.

For today, I am grateful for not expecting perfection from anyone, including myself.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 17th


Forgiving is not forgetting; it's letting go of the hurt.

Mary McCleod Bethune

When I first came into the program, I was so fired up with anger and resentment that I had no space for any other emotions. After all, I had the food which would anesthetize me against any emotions I didn't want to feel. I was angry with God for all the trauma and losses that had happened to me in my life. I blamed my mother for not being the kind of mother I wanted, which was, of course, why I ate. But the person towards whom I felt the most anger and resentment was my ex-husband, who never financially supported my children, making my financial burden and my present husband's very heavy. What made it worse was that he was good to the children and they thought he was great because they would have fun with him on a weekend, while we had all the financial responsibilty and resulting worry.

But when I came to Step Eight, my sponsor gently reminded me that I needed to forgive the people towards whom I felt the most anger, namely my mother and my ex-husband. My mother had passed away and so I had to write a long letter to her, forgiving her for not being the person I wanted her to be and also making amends to her for my part in it all. I realize now that she did the best she knew how, just as I have done with my children, and I have been able to forgive her with love. When it came to forgiving my ex-husband, I knew that I wasn't able forgive him in person, but I was able to write a letter to him which I never sent. In it, I forgave him for being the irresponsible person that he is. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. When my younger daughter had her 21st birthday, I could be there for her and not spoil it as I had done before, and in fact, I could be almost friendly to her father. As a result, the relationship with all my children has improved a hundredfold, but more importantly, I'm a much better person for it.

One day at a time...
I will forgive the people who have harmed me, let them go with love, and entrust them to their Higher Power.

~ Sharon ~


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

I need to forgive others primarily for me.............holding onto resentments will damage my soul and foul up my program, leading me to overeat, and to feel justified in doing so!  What a vicious cycle!  Self-pity leads to despair, which leads to the refrigerator.

I can easily blame everyone else for my problems. It's far less truthful to point the finger outward than it is to point it inward, looking within to find the reasons for my discontent.  If it's your fault, then it isn't my fault, and I now have an excellent excuse to stuff myself with excess food.

What a crock.

OA teaches truth & honesty. Without that, there is little chance for recovery, because I live in denial where fantasy prevails.  In that 'perfect world', I live for tomorrow, when life will be perfect. 

OA teaches me that tomorrow isn't here yet, and yesterday is gone.  All I have is today, and, for the next 24 hours, I can do anything. 

For today, God grant me the ability to forgive myself & others.  Allow me to let go of my resentments & to look at all of life through the eyes of love.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 16th


“Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.”
Kahlil Gibran

How many of us in recovery thought we were in pain before seeking help, only to find that recovery itself was even more painful? I know that is how my progress in Twelve Step recovery from compulsive eating has been. Fortunately, pain in recovery doesn’t break my spirit the way pain did before I started working the Twelve Steps. As I work my recovery, the walls that I had built for protection around my inner-spirit are being slowly broken down and moved away.

This changing and renewing of my inner-self is extremely painful at times. If I didn’t have the tools of the program, (such as sponsorship, a food plan, working the Steps, and conscious contact with my Higher Power) there would be no understanding born out of my pain. Before recovery, the pain would start to fill my inner-shell with self-pity, self-disgust and despair. Now when the pain comes to me, I’ve slowly learned to embrace it and hold it close to my heart. This new pain means that I will be shown by my Higher Power the insight and understanding needed for me to continue this daily recovery process. Does this mean I am filled with joy as I see the pain coming? Absolutely not! This means that I now have a power greater than myself to shield me from the pain that would break me. After feeling the pain needed to give me understanding, I am given healing to continue my journey.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will seek to feel and face the pain on this journey, knowing that understanding and healing will follow through my Higher Power's hand.

~ Ohitika


Pain cannot be avoided at all costs! Yes, the pain of recovery is very real, but it is not the same soul-debilitating pain that comes with compulsive overeating; it doesn't break my spirit, it strengthens it.  Working the Steps and following an abstinent food plan empowers me!

Through abstinence, I allow the food fog to lift, which shows me reality.  It shows me that I have the power to change my life and my twisted thinking patterns, with help & guidance from my Higher Power.  I learn that I am able to live with integrity & principles, instead of excess and hiding out.  When I isolate myself, I stay sick. When I reach out & give back, sharing my struggles & triumphs is when I thrive.

For today, I will not hold onto my pain like a trophy, feeling self-pity, disgust & despair. For today, I will use my pain as a learning experience & as a way to grow.

For today, I seek healing through recovery.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Food For Thought: April 15th

A Daily Reprieve

Through the grace of our Higher Power and by means of the OA program, we compulsive overeaters are given a daily reprieve from our disease. This reprieve, however, is dependent on our spiritual condition. If we do not stay in touch with our Higher Power and if we do not practice the OA principles each day, we lose the reprieve and fall into compulsive overeating.

Our program comes first; other concerns are secondary. OA is not something which we can tack on to our schedule when it is convenient. To be effective, it requires top priority. This does not mean that we spend all of our time involved in OA activities. It does mean that all of our activities are guided by spiritual principles.

Impossible? Only if we refuse to turn our lives over to our Higher Power. When He is in control, our work, recreation, and rest all come under His direction. We are spiritually in tune each day and safe form our disease.

Thank You for saving me from my disease today.

".........all of our activities are guided by spiritual principles."  The Steps give me an action plan......a way to live where I put spiritual principles in charge, and not me & my stubborn will.

When a problem arises, as often happens, I pray for guidance on how to handle it.  That guidance always comes, but I have to ask for it.  If I go running off half-cocked, without seeking help & direction from God, I constantly question myself and my decisions.

When I allow spirituality to infuse my soul, that is when I am not obsessing about food, or trying to change my food plan, adding in 'extras' here and there.  I am content to accept the terms of my disease, and to allow my food plan of abstinence to dictate what & when I eat.

When my ego stays in charge is when I think I am in charge of the world.  When I think I have a 'better' way to eat, or when I think I can make 'exceptions', 'just this once', is when I find myself struggling.

My program comes first.  If I slip, I remember the old AA slogan: SLIP = Sobriety Loses Its Priority.  And that, in fact, is exactly what happens!  I put my program on the back burner, putting my will & my ego on the front burner, and voila...........what follows is a 'slip.'  Then I'm all nerved up, trying to figure out WHAT to do and where to turn.  In reality, the answer is simple: turn to God, surrender and let go to Him, get back to the food plan as written, and stop trying to micro-manage my life.

For today, I put my program of recovery FIRST, and everything else second.  If I am practicing my disease of compulsion(s), I am lost, once again, in the deep and dangerous sea of addiction.

For today, I thank you God for my daily reprieve.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Food For Thought: April 14th


In the Middle Ages, gluttony was considered one of the seven deadly sins. Now that sin has become an unpopular concept, we are inclined to overlook gluttony. It is still listed in the dictionary and defined as "eating to excess." Every compulsive overeater knows only too well what that means.

OA says that gluttony begins with one bite too much. When we give in to that first compulsive bite, we walk from the protection of our Higher Power into the snare of self-indulgence. Sometimes we are lucky enough to escape before the consequences are disastrous, but usually we are caught in our own trap.

There is no cure for gluttony, but we can stop practicing it. We can refuse to take the first extra bite. We can so strengthen our minds and hearts with the gifts of the Spirit that we do not need to eat to excess. The time we spend each day working the steps of our program is our insurance against gluttony.

By Thy grace, protect me from gluttony. 

"Giving in to that first compulsive bite."  What compulsive overeater doesn't know that feeling?

Extras are what lead to ruination; the mentality of thinking I can have an extra snack or a bit more of XYZ is the first step to a binge.  I've found myself purposely taking that first compulsive bite as an excuse to have a binge! I've done it before, and I pray to not do it again.

One day at a time, though. All I have to focus on is the next 24 hours. With God's help, I will not engage in gluttony & will stay true to my food plan of abstinence.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 13th


Be still, and know that I am God.

The Bible, Book of Psalms

I don't always know what "normal" is. I'm learning that my disease keeps me from having a normal relationship with food, but I also know that there are times when my feelings and thoughts are due to normal circumstances. I might not feel well physically, I could be fatigued from a demanding task, or I might simply be having an off day. There are normal reactions to these situations and I can feel them. Not everything is caused by my disease!

However, the way I handle these kinds of experiences can very much be affected by my disease. On those bad days, I don't have to make important decisions and I don't have to filter experiences through these thoughts and feelings. I can postpone things until I'm on a more even keel and, just for today, take care of myself and do the next right thing.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am grateful for the ways I am "normal" and thank God for the knowledge that I don't have to let my disease make me think everything about me is "sick." Let me simply be still on those uneven days and know that God is God and He is there.

~ Sandee S. ~


Normal is a funny word, isn't it? I consider myself a fairly 'normal' person in most regards, however, my disease of addiction leads me to have ABnormal reactions to many situations.  Twisted thinking and dwelling in negativity leads me to want to comfort myself and my over-blown emotions with food. 

Through the steps of recovery, I am learning to sit still and just 'be'.  God is in charge of my life and it is not up to ME to control the world.  I have no control over other people's behavior, but I do have control over my reaction to their behavior.

The glass is half empty or the glass is half full: it's up to ME which approach I take.  When I allow God to take over, I am better able to view life in a positive fashion. Not everything is a crisis, not everything warrants hysteria........even though my natural inclination IS to over-react.  When I sit still with my feelings, they don't overwhelm me & lead me to the refrigerator.

I make a conscious effort to ask God's guidance with everything............BEFORE I make a decision; BEFORE I over-react and say something I'm likely to regret. And BEFORE I stuff my body with garbage.

For today, I don't have to control the world.  All I have to do is stay calm and allow God to stay in charge.

For today, may I recognize what is 'normal' and what is driven by my disease.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 12th

~ Recovery ~

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Fannie Lou Hamer

I used to get so disgusted with myself. I was sick and tired of trying to lose weight because I always failed. I had lost weight several times but I would still feel ugly, fat and unacceptable to everybody else. The sickness and tiredness remained because I had not changed anything inside my head, just my body size! My past was still there and it continued to haunt me, and I was filled with the guilt and shame of the past.

A friend told me about this great program where I could discover what was really making me sick and how I could recover. She said, "You will have someone with you to help continually 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

"How can this be?" I asked.

She said, "Well, this wonderful program helps you recover by teaching you what really has been bothering you. Maybe it's things you are sorry you did or didn't do in the past, people you've hurt or who have hurt you."

"Do I need to leave home or pay a lot of money?" I asked.

She said, "No. You work it at home, at work and everywhere you go. The cost is nothing, except a desire to stop eating compulsively. Your continual help is your Higher Power and he never goes to sleep, he listens and helps you when you ask for his help."

"Wow, you mean I don't have to be sick and tired any more?"

"That's right and all it takes is Twelve small but important Steps, a lot of love, hugs, acceptance, trust and sincere honesty. It's easy and works as long as you work it."

One Day at a Time . . .
I don't need to be sick and tired of myself any more. I have a wonderful program with a lot of tools, friends and my Higher Power to help me. I can achieve recovery one day at a time ... it's a matter of progress, not perfection.

~ Jeanette ~


Losing weight, for me, was always temporary, precisely because I didn't fix what was wrong with me on the inside.  I didn't like myself with a thin body any better than I liked myself with a fat body!

I deceived myself by thinking that all I had to do was cut down my food intake for a while to get thin, and then life would be perfect. What a delusion.  The problems I had as a fat woman were still there as a thin woman, and I had few coping skills in place to deal with those problems.

Dealing with compulsive overeating by going on another diet is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound; it merely covers the surface, and you eventually bleed to death.

Working the Steps and relying on God gives me a course in learning to love myself, from the inside out. Viewing myself as worthy, lovable and kind of heart helps me stop treating my body like a garbage can.  Suddenly, the thought of stuffing myself with unhealthy foods doesn't sound quite so appealing as it once did.

Following the Steps & working the program gives me a new perspective on life.  The food/weight obsessions begin to lift, finally, and I no longer view myself as a number on the scale or clothing tag. I view myself as a child of God, with a new love......both myself and others.  To give back.  To get out of my own head, putting my ego aside and accepting my place in the world, finally.

For today, I am grateful for the OA program because it's given me my life back, one day at a time.  Having food in its proper perspective, and not enslaving me, is a gift more priceless than gold or silver.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Each Day a New Beginning: April 11th

An element of recovery is learning that we deserve success, the good things that come to us, and also that pain is a reality. We have the strength to deal with that pain without medicating, and it will pass.
—Dudley Martineau

Many of us didn't understand the changing variables in being human. Our coping skills were at a minimum until we discovered what alcohol or pills, even food, could do for us. And then, a drink or two - or six, maybe - got us through many a lonely evening.

The desire for an easy solution might still haunt us, but time, new experiences, and program friends have taught us that our past habits weren't really easy solutions. In reality, they increased our problems and led us nowhere.

The Steps and the principles of the program, if applied, guarantee success, living success. We come to believe that strength enough to handle any situation is ours for the asking. And experience with these principles shows us that when we live the way our conscience dictates, the rewards are many.

Every day, especially this one facing us, our choices and decisions will be many. But there is only one solution to any problem, and that's the one our higher power guides us to. The answer, the choice, always lies within, and the good life will accompany our thoughtful, reverent choices.

The power of the program is mine for the taking. All of today's problems can be eased, if I choose so.
Reaching for a cocktail or a cheesecake isn't going to help me cope. That's the illusion of addiction......the false promise it holds out.  When has food or booze actually helped me to cope with life? Never.   Afterward, the only emotions I feel are guilt & self-loathing.........fear & anxiety replace serenity & hope, leaving me in worse shape than I was beforehand.
There are no 'easy solutions' in life. The only way out of a situation is through it, with God directing the show.  When I put the principles & practices of the Steps into play is when I feel most at peace, knowing that I am doing all I can do.

For some reason, I grew up thinking that pain was to be avoided at any cost.  Burying myself in food to cope yielded me such painful results............what price have I really paid? 

Today, I am willing to feel my emotions.......both positive and negative, without reaching for food or drink as a coping mechanism.  The trouble with anesthetizing myself from pain with excess food is this: I wind up anesthetizing myself from joy as well.

For today, I pray for the willingness to feel all of my emotions, knowing they won't kill me. But obesity and/or alcoholism will.
For today, I pray for the strength to deal with life's pain without medicating, knowing that this too shall pass.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: April 10th

Using Others to Stop Our Pain

Our happiness is not a present someone else holds in his or her hands. Our well-being is not held by another to be given or withheld at whim. If we reach out and try to force someone to give us what we believe he or she holds, we will be disappointed. We will discover that it is an illusion. The person didn't hold it. He or she never shall. That beautifully wrapped box with the ribbon on it that we believed contained our happiness that someone was holding - it's an illusion!

In those moments when we are trying to reach out and force someone to stop our pain and create our joy, if we can find the courage to stop flailing about and instead stand still and deal with our issues, we will find our happiness.

Yes, it is true that if someone steps on our foot, he or she is hurting us and therefore holds the power to stop our pain by removing his or her foot. But the pain is still ours. And so is the responsibility to tell someone to stop stepping on our feet.

Healing will come when we're aware of how we attempt to use others to stop our pain and create our happiness. We will heal from the past. We will receive insights that can change the course of our relationships.

We will see that, all along, our happiness and our well-being have been in our hands. We have held that box. The contents are ours for the opening.

God, help me remember that I hold the key to my own happiness. Give me the courage to stand still and deal with my own feelings. Give me the insights I need to improve my relationships. Help me stop doing the codependent dance and start doing the dance of recovery.


For many years I've tried to find my own happiness from others. If HE would do THIS, THEN I would be happy!  If SHE would do THAT, THEN my life would be just fine!

Looking for happiness from others IS an illusion! One that leaves me feeling disappointed when it doesn't come.

I hold the power within myself to be happy. Appreciating the small things in life is the first step to finding joy & contentment. Those feelings don't come from buying things, eating excess food, drinking to excess..........looking for happiness from external sources only keeps that endless search alive, convincing me it's out there SOMEWHERE, I just can't FIND it.

It's within ME, and it's driven by God. Surrendering my life to Him enables me to see the beauty everywhere. To view others in the white light of innocence and love; to see their GOOD instead of their BAD.  When I feel proud of myself for my good behavior, I am able to view the whole world in a better light.

For today, I will not seek approval or acceptance from others, but from myself and God.  If someone is stepping on my foot, I pray God gives me the courage to ask them to remove it!

For today, I pray to find joy in simple pleasures; a flower blooming, a child laughing, not too much traffic on the commute..........the simple things give me great pleasure!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 9th

~ Feelings ~

Few are those who see with their own eyes
and feel with their own hearts.

Albert Einstein

Before working the Twelve Step program, one reason I used to overeat was that I couldn't manage my feelings. My feelings were overwhelming and incapacitating to me. I would also overreact to feelings and this would make them truly more than I could handle. So I would then overeat to make the feelings stop. I would stuff myself, to stuff them down!

In working the Twelve Step program, I got a chance to work through past hurts and resentments that intensified my feelings. I learned to feel my feelings, just as they are, and how to stop overreacting to them. I learned to sort through messages my family gave me about feelings, that it's not okay to have or feel or express them. I learned to decide what is true for me, today, about feelings. I also worked through my codependency issues and learned how to communicate feelings in an appropriate, effective and loving way.

Now feelings are a part of my life and not something overwhelming and incapacitating. In fact, they have become something beautiful that enrich my life and give it color and texture and even pleasure.

One Day at a Time . . .
I honor the blessing of having my feelings returned to me. I enjoy them, and I respect my feelings and those of others. I thank my Higher Power for this wonderful gift.

~ Lynne ~

As a compulsive overeater, I lack balance.  The 'all or nothing' mentality takes over, and leads me to believe a negative feeling is permanent. If I'm having a bad day, doesn't that mean I'm having a bad life?  I'll never feel better, I have to overeat to stuff those feelings down & to make sure I survive!

Program taught me the truth: My feelings aren't going to kill me, but obesity is. 

Having a bad day does not mean I'm having a bad life.

All-or-nothing is too is black & white thinking at its finest; I am learning to live in the gray.

It is not necessary to avoid pain at all costs.  What price am I really paying for refusing to feel pain or discomfort?  I pay the price of obesity; I pay the price of refusing to grow up; I pay the price of refusing to develop self-discipline; and, I pay the heaviest price of all: refusal to give up control and let God take over to guide my life.

For today, I will feel all of my emotions as they come, without trying to 'fix' them, change them, stuff them down or escape them.

For today, I will face the truth.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 8th

~ Willingness ~

I cannot change what I am unwilling to face.

James Baldwin

Before I found this program I was locked in a battle with myself. I knew I was eating too much, and I couldn't help myself. I tried to control my eating, and for a while, I was able to keep the upper hand. Then something would happen in my life, and I'd lose that control.

I couldn't face the fact that I was a compulsive eater. I couldn't bear to think that I had a disease that kept me in bondage to food. So during the time I was in denial about my eating, I continued sinking deeper into my disease of compulsion. I sought comfort in food, and did some serious damage to my body, to my self-esteem, and to my relationships.

It was only after I hit bottom that I realized that I had to face the facts. I had a disease that had me in a death grip, and there wasn't one thing I could do about it. When I found this program, I found hope. I discovered a Higher Power who could help me do what I'd never been able to do before. I slowly began to see the changes I'd tried all my life to effect on my own. But it didn't happen until I became willing to face the truth, until I became willing to ask God for help.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am willing to face my disease
and let my Higher Power help me overcome it.

~ Jeff ~


Facing my disease means I stop fighting it.  I surrender........I wave the white flag, admitting defeat. I can't do this disease is bigger than I am.  I am powerless over food, and my life has become unmanageable.

To admit defeat is to release myself from the bondage of addiction.  To accept the terms of it, instead of fighting it tooth and nail, means I'm finally willing to stick to a structured food plan every day, regardless of emotional upheavals or inner turmoil.

The food plan prevents me from eating due to inner turmoil.  It prevails, not me. My 'hunger' tries to convince me to overeat......and denial about COE tries to tell me I can handle 'a taste.'  I can't.

For today, I accept the terms of my disease and ask God to help me deal with it seriously.  It's a life or death situation, and I choose life, one day at a time.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Food For Thought: April 7th


Appetite grows as it is fed. The more we eat, the more we want to eat. If we let any physical appetite take over - whether it is for food, sex, security, or whatever - we become its slave.

If we do not nurture our relationship with our Higher Power so that God is the ultimate authority for everything that we do and the object of our greatest desire, then we will be enslaved by one or more of our physical appetites. When God is perceived to be the greatest good and the source of all joy and satisfaction, then physical appetites fall into their proper place.

First we seek spiritual growth. Our primary desire is to do God's will for us, as He enables us to do it. When He is our Master, His love feeds our spiritual appetite and we begin to know the inner peace and satisfaction, which the world cannot give.

May my desire be always for You. 

Hmmm, ain't it the truth?:

"Appetite grows as it is fed. The more we eat, the more we want to eat. If we let any physical appetite take over - whether it is for food, sex, security, or whatever - we become its slave."
If my spiritual appetite is under-nourished, my physical appetite takes over and leads me to binge.  In that case, there is not enough food on earth to satisfy me, no matter how many calories I take in. 

When I feel overly 'hungry', something else is bothering me.  It's during that time when I need to get on my knees and ask for help from my Higher Power.  Assistance to help me figure out what is really going pinpoint where the hole in my soul is really coming from.

I do not want to live my live enslaved to anything, especially not food.  It never provides me the comfort I seek. Never.
 For today, I ask my Higher Power's help in determining why food has suddenly become so important to me.  For today, I seek answers from Him instead of answers from addictive substances.
For today, I devote my life and my food plan to God.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 6th

~ Courage ~

It takes a lot of courage
to show your dreams to someone else.

Erma Bombeck

I remember first starting my Twelve Step program. I had lots of expectations and dreams, but I couldn't talk to anyone about them. I thought my dreams were stupid and that nobody there really cared about who I was or what I wanted to achieve.

This is a big problem with all of us compulsive overeaters. We all have hopes and dreams of losing our impulse to eat all the time, and of losing our excess weight. Thinking we're not worth anyone's time keeps us strong in our addiction.

As we work through the Steps and learn to trust our new family of choice, we get the courage to begin to open up and share our dreams and hopes. We all find our hidden courage by praying and trusting our Higher Power. We find the courage to tell people about ourselves and trust that nobody will put us down for our past or for the future we dream of achieving. Our dreams have no time limit; they don't have to happen immediately. They may happen immediately, or it may take a long time of struggling, but as long as we have hope and courage, they will become a reality in Higher Power's time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember that we learn that, together, things become much easier. As we share our experience, strength and dreams with others, they will help us learn how we can work with a special program and plan. With Higher Power and our recovery friends, our courage grows stronger, and we find we can and will succeed.

~ Jeanette ~


I spent decades dreaming.........wishing for a slim body, for life to be perfect, for friends & family to be what I wanted them to be.  I didn't realize that these thought processes were leading me to overeat compulsively.

When I found OA, I realized I was not alone with my disease. I finally found a way to beat my disease into remission, with a special program & a plan.  I learned to rely on God and my fellow OAers to develop the courage to live joyously, without the need for excess food to cope.

Courage comes in many forms, I've learned.  For me, it is more courageous to say No Thank You to that slice of cake than it is to put myself in harm's way for my children.  It is far more courageous to take a leap of faith, putting my life in God's hands and relying on Him to guide me along my journey.

My hopes and dreams are not irrelevant. I am a child of God and as such, valuable & worth treating with respect, love & kindness.

For today, may I continue to exhibit the courage required to stay on track with my program.  May I have the willingness to reach out to others, and share my experience, strength and hope for a better life.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 5th

~ Acceptance ~

Until you make peace with who you are,
you will never be content with what you have.

Doris Mortman

Through abstinence and recovery, I can begin to accept myself. I can pay attention to my likes and my dislikes as I continue to grow and learn about me. Learning about myself is a new adventure. There are so many layers that have been hidden under years of food abuse and weight obsession. Exploring and discovering the new me requires a lot of acceptance. There are parts of me that I do not like, and there are also wonderful surprises. By accepting all parts of myself, I am honoring my Higher Power and demonstrating spiritual recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept myself. By learning to accept myself, I will find myself growing in my acceptance of others.

~ Christine S. ~

If I don't like or accept myself, how can I accept the circumstances of my life without pointing the finger of blame at others?

If I don't like or accept myself, how can I be willing to stop abusing my body & treating it like a garbage can instead of as a sacred temple?

If I don't like or accept myself, how can I get out of my own head & see the world around me?  I'll stay self-centered, thinking the universe revolves around ME and MY problems.  I'll obsess over everything, getting nothing done, isolating myself from life.

Recovery means acceptance; acceptance of myself and others, acceptance of life on life's terms, not mine, acceptance of the need to turn my life over to God, and acceptance of the fact of my disease, and the need to stick to a structured food plan to keep it in remission.

Resistance and non-acceptance means that I fight an endless battle with mySELF and in turn, with my disease.

There is relief in acceptance; there is recovery in acceptance, and there is freedom in acceptance.

For today, I will not resist change; I will not fight myself or my disease, and I will accept what comes my way, with God's help & guidance.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 4th


It's better to light a candle
then to curse the darkness.

Old Chinese Proverb

I have been living with this disease of compulsive eating for as long as I can remember. I remember stealing money out of my mother’s purse to buy sugar-filled soft drinks and candy, and sneaking food out of the cupboard and trying to make it look like nothing was missing. I hid food and ate in isolation, pretending on the outside that nothing was wrong. But I carried this terrible secret -- I lived to eat.

As my disease progressed, I acted out in other compulsive ways, and surrounded myself with people who cared nothing for my welfare. I kept running faster and faster, and eating more and more, as my disease sucked all of the energy from my spirit. I sank deeper into the darkness of despair and depression, cursing all those I blamed for my unhappiness.

Through the grace of my Higher Power, my life became so painful that I had to seek help outside of myself. I found this program, and a candle was lit. While my recovery has been rocky over the last 10 years, that candle of progress and hope continues to light my way. No matter how bad things get now, I know that I have my Higher Power and my program friends to lean on. The wonderful people I have met through the program have saved my life, and have shown me the path to peace and abstinence. While I don’t always choose to follow that path perfectly, I continue to recover, and to find everyday joys that make life worth living.

One day at a time . . .
I will keep the light of recovery burning.


I too remember living with this disease since I was a small child.  After hearing some traumatic news, I comforted myself with excess food.  I went thru elaborate measures to hide the food I'd sneak out of the kitchen, and I remember eating salt when I couldn't steal one of the cookies my mother had counted & hidden away.   I felt alone within myself........nobody to talk to, no sisters or brothers to confide in, nobody to understand me or to sympathize with my situation.  I couldn't talk to my parents, either, because they held a completely different view of the situation than I did.  Food became my best friend, my confidante, my everything.

To say my disease sucked all the energy from my spirit would be an understatement.  As I began my dieting career at 12, I experienced one failure after another.  I viewed myself as a failure and a throw-away, so the excess weight would only disappear briefly.  When faced with who I was, a worthless human being, the burden was too great & so, the excessive overeating would begin again in earnest, once the diet was finished.

I wore my fat as a shield, to protect me from the world.  A lonely & insecure child, seeking refuge & escape in a plate of food.  Later on in life, I sought that same refuge in a bottle. 

No matter how far and fast I ran, I still wound up facing my self.  

When I walked into my first 12-Step meeting was when I finally faced the truth.  I learned to love myself enough to stop abusing my body with excess.  I'd like to say the road hasn't been rocky, and that I've had no struggles or relapses since that first meeting in 1987, but that would be a lie.

I am a work in progress. I will never be perfect, but I will always be good enough.  I have God in my corner, who will strengthen and guide me when I feel weak and unable to go on.  My worst day in recovery has been better than my best day practicing my addictions.

One day at a time, I walk the path of recovery whether it's rutted with potholes or as smooth as silk.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Recovery Meditations: April 3rd

~ The Future ~

When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes.

Oprah Winfrey

I receive the gift of abstinence one day at a time. I am relieved from the obsession to eat one day at a time. With the help of my Higher Power, I can live life on life's terms... one day at a time.

As my recovery builds and builds, I start to imagine all the possibilities for my life. Things I never had the confidence or emotional stability to pursue are options for me. Now that I am free from the despair and self-destruction of overeating, there is space to actualize new adventures. But before I become overwhelmed or grandiose in my thinking, the Program gently reminds me that it is STILL just one day a time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program so that I have a future.

~ Christine S. ~


"One day at a time" sounds like just another slogan. But when you stop & think about it, it becomes clear that living in 24 hour increments is the only way to approach life.

Yesterday is gone & tomorrow isn't here yet; all I have is today, so let me make the most of it.

When I lament the happenings of yesterday, I am wasting today.  When I project the happenings of tomorrow, I also waste today.  Living in the future, which may never come, is fantasy.  In order to stay in recovery, I have to stay in the present and accept reality.

As my recovery builds, I realize I no longer need excess food to cope with life.  My utter selfishness dissipates as I reach out to others, watching my obsession lift and freeing me up for more productive activities.

When I practice my addiction, I am all about ME.  When I remain abstinent, I get out of my own head & back into reality.

For today, I will stay true to my food plan, and commit it to God, just for 24 hours.  For that period of time, I can do anything!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Food For Thought: April 2nd

Food Is Not God

Though we may not have admitted it, food was probably the most important thing in our lives when we were overeating. How many times did our relationships with family and friends suffer because of our slavery to our appetites? How often did we hurt those we loved by placing our craving above their needs?

Instead of loving God first, most of us . . .


Devoting my life to food left little room for anything or anyone else. Slavery to addiction means there is no room in my heart for anything but my drug(s) of choice and I pursue it, to the exclusion of all else.

Spending so much time obsessing about what to eat, when to eat, and how I could do so secretly, consumed my time & thoughts.  My relationship with God, family & friends was compromised as a result.  Being a slave to my appetite prevented me from living with joy & freedom, and prevented me from giving back to others.

Selfishness was the name of the game.

Finding & maintaining abstinence does not make me 100% selfless.  I still have work to do to stay self-aware and out of my own head.  The steps guide and direct me, as long as I keep an active relationship going with God.  When I lose sight of what's truly important is when I tend to slip.

SLIP= Sobriety Lost Its Priority

For today, I will work my program to the best of my ability; stay out of my own head; and offer myself in service to God & to others. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditation April 1st

Each Day a New Beginning

To be wildly enthusiastic, or deadly serious--both are wrong. Both pass. One must keep ever present a sense of humor.
—Katherine Mansfield

How familiar wild enthusiasm and deadly seriousness are to most of us. We experience life within the extremes. The thrill of wild enthusiasm we try to trap, to control. We are exhilarated and feel good. Our serious side traps us, controls us, lowers a pall on all our activities. Both expressions keep us stuck. Neither expression allows the freedom of spontaneity so necessary to a full, healthy life.

Through our addiction - the liquor, the upper, the person, the food--we were searching for a feeling we didn't feel. We were searching for an unnatural state of happiness, even perhaps wild enthusiasm, because we had so little of any enthusiasm for life. Our search failed. Again and again we'd "catch it," only to have it elude us.

We may not have given up the search. But we will come to accept both states of mind as temporary and search instead for the middle ground. A sense of humor will make all of life's loads easier to bear. A sense of humor will offer us the balance that has been missing for so many years.

Today will offer me a chance to be wildly enthusiastic and a chance to be deadly serious. I'll try to focus on the middle ground and cultivate my sense of humor.

To be a compulsive overeater is to be extreme.  Doing anything 'in moderation' does not come naturally to me.  I tend to think in black & white...........and a happy, peaceful life exists in the gray area.

When I began overeating, way back when, I did so to soothe and calm myself. To block out the real world and to stop feeling in general.  It took a certain amount of food to get me to that state of mind.  As time progressed, it took more & more food to keep me from feeling.  What started out as a small amount of excess food (or booze) turned into a tremendous amount.  And still, the feeling I sought was elusive.

Addiction is a disease of progression.  What starts out as a bit turns into a bottomless pit of excess.

And still the feelings we seek do not come.

No matter how much I eat or drink, it will never be enough.  So why get started down that road to begin with?

For today, it will suffice to just Be; it is not necessary to feel wildly passionate, totally thrilled, or completely depressed.  For today, I will live in the Gray and be satisfied to do so.