Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 31st


“Men at some time are masters of their fates.”
William Shakespeare

Our early days in OA can be compared to being a passenger on the Titanic. As we took our beloved and wonderfully-powerful first three steps, we were taking a voyage. In Step One we realized we were on the Titanic and that we were doomed. In Step Two we spotted a lifeboat. And in Step Three we took our seats in the lifeboat.

My voyage began with Step One when I realized the connection between the weight I was carrying and some health issues I had last year. I had developed "pitting edema" in both ankles. That was a sign of congestive heart failure. I was on the Titanic! In addition to my physical health condition, I discovered that my inner-health was also challenged. I had lived my life filled with resentments and negative thinking which ate at my very being. I had lost much of my spiritual strength and was in need of spiritual renewal. I was indeed a passenger on my own personal Titanic.

My voyage continued with Step Two. I can't even remember how I found The Recovery Group online, but I know that my Higher Power must have brought me here. Though I didn't believe at that time what the fellowship said in the meetings, I "acted as if" I believed my Higher Power could relieve me of these horrible compulsions to overeat and to live in resentment and negativity. That was all it took. I had spotted the lifeboat and was "acting as if" I believed it had come for me.

I was being changed. My early days of abstinence were difficult, but achievable. I had gotten into the lifeboat. I will always remember where I was when I suddenly realized that God had relieved me of the compulsion to eat between meals and at night. That realization had a huge impact on me. That day I took my seat on the lifeboat. I have been blessed with so much recovery. The ride I am on in this lifeboat isn't a free ride; it requires that I work this program on a daily basis. But when I consider the alternative, I love the ride I am on and I truly cherish the passengers with whom I am sharing this boat!

One day at a time...
I will cherish the lifeboat that this program has given me.

~ Karen A.


Resentments & negative thinking led me to eat compulsively; to doom myself to a voyage on the Titanic.  OA is my lifeboat; I no longer feel doomed, but joyous and free!

Not every day is 'easy' nor do I feel strong & capable all the time.  On bad days, I know I need to reconnect with my Higher Power and tune back into my spirituality.  On the days when I have horrible compulsions to overeat (especially at night), I realize I'm not giving my life over to God.

On the days I want to eat eat eat, I know that I'm not putting my life in God's hands and instead, am dwelling in negativity and fear. Abstinence relieves me; it does not burden me down. 

For today, I will put my abstinence FIRST in my life.  My ride on this lifeboat is NOT free, however, and I realize I must do the footwork every day to maintain the freedom I enjoy.

One day at a time, I will live my life to the fullest, with God's help, and support from my fellow compulsive overeaters in program.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Food for Thought: May 30th

Be Good to Yourself

Stuffing ourselves with food which our bodies did not need was not being good to ourselves, nor did it solve our problems. Overeating simply added another problem to the ones we already had.

In the past, when we thought about diets, we may have considered them to be the punishment, which we had to undergo in order to get rid of the fat we had acquired. Taking that attitude was not being good to ourselves, either. It is one reason why diets invariably fail, since few of us are willing to endure punishment indefinitely.

The OA program is not a diet but a way of life. It is a way, which has worked because it is a positive plan, not a negative restriction. We determine what it is that our bodies need to look and function at their best, and we decide to eat that and nothing else. We are good to our bodies. We also consider what our minds, hearts, and spirits need to function at their best, and we decide that the love and care of a Higher Power is crucial. By working the Twelve Steps, we are good to ourselves.

Thank You for the life that You have given me to live.


 What I've learned over the years is this: My life is much WORSE when I'm overeating. My food plan keeps me SANE during times of high stress, such as I'm facing right now. When I stay clear-headed through abstinence, I can listen to what God is telling me. When my head is muddled and confused with excess food, I panic........I hear nothing, except fear talking, and I am virtually useless.

Dealing with on the job stress & facing the possibility of a lay-off (and a highly toxic work environment),  it's vital for me to keep my food plan #1 in my life right now.   Otherwise, chaos WILL prevail!

If I'm not good to myself, I'll fall into the self-pity trap, anger will take over, and all I'll want to do is SLEEP.  This is the cycle of overeating for me: stress out, overeat as a result, start hating myself, feel tired & worn out, break down emotionally.

What is the point of getting such a cycle started to begin with, knowing, as I do, the result of such action?

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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Food for Thought: May 29th

Quality, Not Quantity

We tend to be overly impressed with quantity. How much does it cost? How many friends do I have? How much can I include in my food plan? In a materialistic society, more is synonymous with better.

Before we found OA, we were eating more and enjoying it less. In fact, the more we ate, the more unhappy we became. Greater quantity did not bring better health or a better quality of life.

In this program, we are learning to place quality before quantity. We discover that smaller amounts of nourishing, high quality foods are more satisfying and make us feel better than vast quantities of empty calories. We become more selective about the way we spend our time, choosing the activities and companions that most enrich our lives, rather than trying to do everything and be everything to everybody. We realize more each day that the quality of our spiritual life is what gives us the inner satisfaction, which we sought but failed to find in quantities of things.

Show me how to live well.


More is not necessarily better.  Whilst in the throes of my disease, I was eating vast quantities of empty calories and still not feeling satisfied.  In fact, the more I ate, the more I wanted to eat.  It was a vicious cycle......stuffing myself to fill a void, but never feeling full.  Eventually, I discovered that no amount of food on earth is 'enough' to fill  a spiritually impoverished soul.

Nowadays, I feel more satisfied from a moderately sized, healthy meal than I once did from a calorie-packed, large size meal.  I no longer feel the need to consume vast amounts of junk food; a grapefruit or half a cantaloupe is delicious and filling, with no guilt to suffer afterwards.

For today, may I continue to place quality before quantity.  May I seek my 'fullness' from God & my spirit rather than from a plate of food.

For today, I choose to live well & to treat my body like a treasure rather than a garbage can.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 28th


"Serenity is not freedom from the storm,
but peace amid the storm."

Anonymous Quote

Why is serenity so important to our recovery? Because darkness cannot exist where there is light! If we can maintain a serene state of mind as established through our faith in HP and the Big Book promises, negative emotions and behaviour will have no power over us. Stress, fear, compulsiveness, obsessiveness, resentment, guilt, shame, willfulness, doubt, distrust, greed and envy, have no power over a mind that is kept in serene repose. Serenity allows us to see situations clearly and make wise decisions. Most importantly, by maintaining a serene mind, we keep the door to our High Power open.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will face each challenge with grace and serenity.
~ Rob R.


To be at peace inside, is to disallow any outside event to disturb me.  When I shine light on the darkness, it evaporates.  When I look at my fellowman with such light, I see his inner goodness, instead of his ego expressing itself.

I strive to maintain inner peace & composure at all times.  Am I always successful with this? Nope.

One day at a time, one situation at a time, I pray to keep my serenity, no matter what.  When I leave God in charge of my life, I can achieve that serenity.  When I rely only on myself, I am powerless.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 27th


"I've learned that you can't have everything ...
and do everything ...
at the same time."

Oprah Winfrey

Learning about balance has been a struggle throughout my life; both as an addict and as a mother, friend, lover, sister... and woman. I'm not sure if it is my addiction that causes me to be over-zealous when it comes to giving too much to too many, or if my desire for love has manifested my addiction out of a need to feel full and satisfied. For me, finding that spot where a relationship is comfortable and not one-sided, where work is just 'work' and not all that nourishes my life... where school is an enhancement and not a crutch for hiding and isolating, is a hard place to for me to find. I see patterns within my life where I consistently struggle for harmony and balance. Why isn't one of anything enough? No matter what it is that is in my life; relationships, work, eating, shopping, I have to work at managing balance so that things flow at the right pace, otherwise, my entire life is off kilter.

But today, I don't need to struggle. I don't need to overdo my relationships or my work. I can do just one thing and know that the rest will be there tomorrow. Today I have the gifts that have been given to me to manage my life.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray that God will help me to manage and balance my life so that I can do a good job with all things, especially living.

~ Pamela


"My definition of balance is being able to obsess equally in all areas of my life.
~Alcoholics Anonymous

 If I was a naturally balanced person, I probably wouldn't be an addict!

Trying, futilely, to be all-things-to-all-people-at-all-times is what drives me to eat and drink excessively.  

I'm not only a compulsive eater, I am a compulsive thinker.  Stuck inside of my own head, I can hang out there forever & believe I'm truly alone in the world.  I can feel absolute isolation & separateness, like I belong nowhere and am connected to nobody.

Today, I realize that I don't have to do everything perfectly. I don't have to be all things to all people at all times, nor will I strive to be. 

For today, what I have is more than enough.  For today, I will practice balanced living.  For today, I will manage my life, with God's help.

For today, I will LIVE for today only.

 "Yesterday's a cancelled check, tomorrow's a promissory note, but today is cash, spend it wisely."
~Alcoholics Anonymous

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Food for Thought: May 26th


OA testifies to the occurrence of miracles in our daily lives. The physical, emotional, and spiritual changes that take place in those who sincerely practice the program are truly miraculous. Our stories are witness to the Power that is available to change lives and produce new people.

These miracles, however, usually happen slowly. It took most of us many years to blow our bodies and minds out of shape by eating too much of the wrong kind of food and by thinking too many of the wrong kinds of thoughts. The miracle of recovery does not happen overnight.

To try OA with the idea of shedding a few extra pounds in time for bathing suit season is to miss the mark. It was lack of self-knowledge and spiritual insight that got us out of shape, and only dedicated, long term work and commitment to the OA principles will produce the miraculous change we all desire.

Miracles do happen, but the ground needs to be carefully prepared and the new growth nurtured daily.

May I be willing to prepare myself for Your miracle. 


Obesity is spiritual impoverishment. When I was busy overeating & drinking to excess, I didn't have time to examine my spiritual condition! 

When I opened my mind to new ideas is when I began to see miracles take place. Not the Walk on Water kind of miracles we read about in the Bible, but small coincidences and happenings that forced me to see God at work in my life. 

The journey takes time..........and patience and faith.........nothing happens overnight.  Weight loss is a process, as is developing spirituality.  Hard work & long term commitment is the key to recovery.  Losing a few pounds to fit into a bathing suit is hardly the goal of OA.  To be ready for such a program, I had to be brought to my knees 100 times first.  I had to really WANT a different LIFE, not a number on the scale.

For today, I am ready to witness all the miracles that lie waiting for me! All I have to do is the footwork of remaining abstinent in order to receive the gifts of the program

Friday, May 25, 2012

Food for Thought: May 25th

  Delayed Gratification

One of the advantages of maturity is the ability to delay gratification of desires and needs. It is this ability, which makes possible the achievement of long-range goals and plans. We compulsive overeaters have permitted childish demands for immediate satisfaction to drive us into addictive habits. We still have some emotional growing up to do.

When we come to the OA program, we accept a reasonable plan for the gratification of our appetite and hunger. We know that we will eat three times a day, and we choose our food. As our appetite adjusts to eating smaller amounts less frequently, we may experience some discomfort. As maturing individuals, we can accept this discomfort in the interest of a healthier, more attractive body and a saner, more peaceful mind. Instead of having to have what we want now, this minute, we are able to wait until the appropriate time.

Working the Steps makes us aware of the emotional growing we need to do in order to have more satisfying relationships with other people. Here, too, we often have to delay immediate satisfaction in order to achieve larger, more important goals.

I pray for emotional and spiritual maturity. 


"Childish demands for immediate satisfaction" what drove me into addictive habits!  If I had a craving, it had to be satisfied immediately. No waiting, I wanted what I wanted and I wanted it NOW.

When I delay my gratification of desires, I learn self-discipline & act like an adult.  When I first started restricting my food intake 4 years ago, I did experience quite a bit of discomfort.  I felt hunger and that made me anxious & angry.  I'd sometimes stamp my feet like a 4 year old, raging against the tides that I couldn't have what I wanted.

Then I'd remind myself of an important fact: No matter how much I ate, I'd never BE satisfied, so what was the point in getting started??????

That is what kept me on track with my food plan: the knowledge that my appetite was a bottomless pit of 'want'.  

Today, as a mature adult, I accept the discomfort that occasionally strikes me.  In return, I maintain a sane mind, and a healthy, attractive body.  If I choose to indulge in food I do not need, I trade my peace of mind for a childish tantrum.

For today, I pray for continued emotional & spiritual growth.  I pray for the maturity to separate my wants from my needs, and to focus on God's plan for me, rather than my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Each Day a New Beginning: May 24th

It's ironic, but until you can free those final monsters within the jungle of yourself, your life, your soul is up for grabs.
—Rona Barrett

We all have monsters. Maybe it's depression over the past or present circumstances, or resentment about another's behavior, or fear of new situations. Maybe it's jealousy of other women. The more attention we give the monsters, the more powerful they get. The harder we try to resist the jealousy or depression or fear, the greater it becomes.

The program offers us the way to let go. And we find the way through one another. When we share ourselves fully with one another, share our monsters with one another, they no longer dominate us. They seek the dark recesses of our minds, and when we shine the light on them, they recoil. The program offers us an eternal light.

I will let the program shine its light in my life today. My monsters will flee for the day.


Sharing myself & my monsters with my fellow OAers weakens them.  When I get out of my OWN head and share with others is when I know I am not alone.

Dwelling in the dark recesses of my mind is what keeps me sick........feeling alone & totally separate from the rest of humanity.  Reaching out to others helps me stay focused and to know that there IS a way out of the self-imposed prison of compulsive thinking & eating. 

For today, I will allow the light of recovery to shine on all aspects of my life.  I will let go & let God remove my fears & resentments, allowing me to live in peace & serenity.

For today, I remember that I am not my body; I am my Soul and it's a lovely one at that!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Food for Thought: May 23rd

Thinking Thin

Our mental attitude has much to do with our physical reality. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is." If we think in terms of being thin, it is easier to adjust our appetite to the smaller amount of food, which we require. In the past, we may have been eating enough for two people. Large numbers of us in OA have lost the equivalent weight of at least one whole person.

By using our imagination to picture ourselves as thin, active, and healthy, we help our bodies adjust to the new image. Our old, fat self may want more to eat, but the thin person we are becoming does not need more. The fat self may grumble at leaving a comfortable chair to go out for a walk or at climbing a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. A sharp mental image of a new, thin self helps provide the necessary motivation to get up and go.

God does not intend us to be distorted and encumbered with excess weight. He will help us see the person we are meant to be.

May I become the person You intend. 


Learning the difference between Needs & Wants is an important aspect of weight management.  My 6 small, healthy meals a day provide me with all the food I Need for my body to function properly.  Anything else I may desire is a Want........not a necessity.  If I divert from my pre-planned meals, I am feeding my Mind instead of my Body.

When I look in the mirror and see my body as it really is, I want to maintain it intact and not overfeed myself. Although my emotions may lead me to believe I 'need' more food, I no longer rely on emotions to dictate my food intake. I am not a slave to my emotions, as I once was; I realize those emotions are just a response to my compulsive thinking. Projecting the future & building a story around my thoughts leads me to feel anxious, worried or frightened, and those emotions lead me to the fridge.  I ask myself a simple question: What is wrong now, right at this moment? And the answer is always Nothing.

For today, I will live in the moment, I will appreciate my food plan & my healthy figure, and I will not be a slave to my old thinking patterns. Today I will let go & let God direct my life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Food for Thought: May 22nd

When in Doubt, Don't

If a particular food is not on our plan, we do not eat it. When in doubt, leave it out. If there is a question in our minds about the advisability of eating a certain food, we are most likely better off without it. Whether we are losing weight or maintaining our weight loss, there will be some foods we choose to avoid, since past experience has proven that we cannot handle them in moderation.

The principle of "when in doubt, don't" may extend to other areas of our lives. If we are unsure of a particular course of action, it is best not to go rushing into it. As we learn to listen to the inner voice, we become more responsive to the leading of our Higher Power. Our knowledge of His will for our lives becomes more solid and we develop a firm basis for decision.

When we are willing to wait for direction, it comes. Indecision may be turned over to our Higher Power for His clarification.

Give us prudence, Lord, to follow Your lead. 

"Moderation" is not a word that's in my vocabulary when it comes to trigger foods. I don't keep them in the house because I can't trust myself to avoid them if I'm not feeling strong in my abstinence.  There are foods I will always have to avoid, primarily sugar, if I hope to maintain my weight loss.  That's ok.......I'd rather 'deprive' myself of certain foods than try to strike up a relationship with them.  It's too late for that...................a cucumber can always choose to become a pickle.........but once he becomes a pickle, he can never go back to being a cucumber again.

I am a pickle & I know it.  I crossed over a line somewhere, some time, late at night maybe, when I was raiding the leftovers in the fridge while the rest of the household was sleeping.  Sneaking my way around like a thief in the night, eating myself into a coma.

Yep. I'm a pickle, alright.

I am not always sure of the right course of action to take in other areas of my life, but I AM always sure of the right course of action when it comes to my food intake: sticking to my food plan like glue.  Am I always perfect? Nope.  But if I do slip, I get right back TO my food plan immediately.  IT prevails, not me.  In other areas of my life, I always ask God to guide me in determining the right course of action to take. 

For today, I pray to continue asking God for guidance in ALL areas of my life.  When I ask Him to lead, clarification of all things is sure to follow!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Food for Thought: May 21st

A Reason to Be Thin

How many times have we been determined to lose weight for a specific occasion or event? A trip, a wedding, a new job, a holiday - there are many such occasions which may have provided inspiration for short term reducing. The problem with losing weight for a specific event is that when it is over there is nothing left to provide an incentive for maintaining the weight loss.

Many of us have spent years losing and gaining the same pounds over and over again. Since the reasons for losing were superficial, the loss was temporary.

What we need is a permanent reason to be rid of fat. When we abstain from compulsive eating and work the OA program, we not only lose weight but we also live better. We have more enthusiasm, satisfaction, and peace of mind, as well as better looks and health. Our reason to be thin is that it gives us a richer, fuller life not just for one occasion but every day. The benefits are worth the price.

May I want to be thin for the right reasons. 


When my suffering became  unbearable, that is when I became ready to lose weight permanently & give up the temporary diet mentality.

When the pain of having binges outweighed the thought of restricting my food intake, that is when I became ready to lose weight permanently.

Every day I remind myself of the permanent reasons I have to be rid of fat.

I've spent the better part of 40 years on one diet or another, yo yo'ing around and feeling hopeless.  Every time I disappointed myself with another diet failure, I lost a bit more self esteem while putting on a few MORE pounds.  With every diet failure, my disease of compulsive overeating progressed a bit further........the binges became just a bit worse, the hopelessness a bit more devastating, and my sense of failure a bit more complete.

Abstinence is not dieting; abstinence is sanity instead of chaos.  Abstinence provides me with all the nutrition I need on a daily basis, and teaches me that all the other food that tempts me is just a want.

For today, I have no need to fulfill my every want.  When I surrender my life to God, He gives me everything I need to live a life of serenity & satisfaction. For today, I am grateful to not be dieting, but instead, living my life to its full potential.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Food for Thought: May 20th


In the OA program, our ultimate goal is not to be able to follow perfectly some diet or other. It is not even to arrive at a certain number of pounds by a certain date. Our goal is nothing short of becoming a new person, the person God intends us to be. Now that is a goal worthy of a lifetime's work!

We begin with the desire to stop eating compulsively. For a while, that may be goal enough. Sooner or later, we discover that in order to stop eating compulsively we need to rely on a Power greater than ourselves, and in the process of developing a relationship with this Higher Power, our goals change.

As our spiritual awareness increases, new possibilities are opened to us. As we experience God's grace in our daily lives, we become less self-centered and more centered in Him. Little by little, our willfulness is absorbed by His will and we are more sensitive to His direction. Our mood changes from one of despair to one of hope, and we grow in willingness to follow wherever our Higher Power leads.

Lord, direct my goals. 

 My ID Said: FAT GIRL May 9, 2012
After losing a lot of weight, I had my identity stolen.

In this particular case, however, I couldn’t call the police to report the theft, because I myself was the responsible party.

Isn’t that what happens, literally, when a person loses a large amount of weight, transforming  from the Fat Girl into the Thin Girl?

I suffered an identity crisis of epic proportions is what really happened after losing 100 lbs.

I thought of myself as the Fat Girl, and my mind identified with that image…..for 40 years I was fat, it was who I was. I was a size 2X.  I was 225 lbs.  I was the out-of-control woman who was judged by others for her size, primarily.  Whether others really DID judge me for my size, I don’t know, but that was MY perception of how it was.

And perception becomes one’s reality.

My Perception. My self-image, my Ego, dictated who I thought I WAS: The Fat Girl image superimposed itself over all of my other qualities, and took on a life of its own.  I over-compensated for my weight by bending over backwards to please others, oftentimes at my own expense.

Because I was worthless, after all, wasn’t I? I had to make people LIKE me, somehow……didn’t I? They would scoff at me for my body size, so my personality would have to shine to make up for it. Or, I’d have to do something extra special for you, even if I didn’t like you……even if I didn’t feel like it, to prove my worth.  

As The Fat Girl, I was a combination of every quality I THOUGHT I SHOULD be.  I viewed myself as I was viewed by OTHERS. Ok, if YOU think I’m funny & charming, then I must BE! If you think I’m kind hearted for going out of my way for you, then I MUST BE! Phew! Thank you for helping me figure out who I Am.

What about all the OTHER things I was besides Fat? Those qualities fell by the wayside, because all I could see was my Body.  I’d neglected my soul, my spirit, and my light…..squashing it down with excess food, not recognizing it at ALL.

When I transformed into a person who appeared to be different on the outside, I’d get overcome with a ‘feeling’ that I wasn’t able to pinpoint, or put a name to.  What was it? I blogged about ‘the feeling’ a few times last April, seeking an answer from my fellow MFers.  One gal who’d searched high & low for an answer to ‘the feeling’ but never found one, in spite of extensive therapy, described it as ‘trying to hold a beach ball under water’.  Whatever ‘the feeling’ was, it wanted desperately to come UP, but every time it tried, I became frightened.  Fear of the unknown….what on earth IS it??  I couldn’t identify ‘the feeling’, so it would scare me, leading me back down the road to regain.  Every time I’ve lost weight, this ‘feeling’ came up, and every time it did, I’d head back to my old ways.
It’s taken me over a year after writing that blog to finally identify ‘the feeling.’  It’s been my Spirit trying, and trying and trying to come UP, to be acknowledged & accepted. The Real Me, in other words.  I never knew her before, so how could I recognize her when she came knocking?

When I’d lose weight & lose my identity in the process, I was never able to figure out WHO I was…….how could I form a NEW identity?  Before, it was easy to know who I was; even though I didn’t LIKE it, it was familiar.  But now……….jeez…… what? 

It took me 1 full year to see myself as I truly WAS when I looked in the mirror. Why? Because my MIND had developed a certain identity FOR me: the Fat Girl. Even though I wasn’t fat anymore, I still SAW fat because that’s what my mind TOLD me to see.

I had changed, but my perception of myself did NOT. My ego…….the way my Mind viewed things, still saw me as The Fat Girl.

The human mind desperately wants to attach labels and find identities.  My neighbor ties herself to her Corvette; that’s what establishes her image. Those who hoard attach THEMSELVES to their stuff………it establishes their identity. Who would I be without my Stuff? (((Shivers))))

When I had a gigantic house & drove a Range Rover, I was The Wife Of A Big Business Executive. Albeit a FAT one, but somehow, my ego could overlook the Fat part a tiny bit MORE. Strip me of my gigantic house & Range Rover, and all that’s left is a Fat Girl.

Strip me of my Fat Girl identity, and THEN WHAT??????????????

Once my ego (my Sense of Self) shattered into so many little pieces, all that remained was my Soul; unfamiliar to me in every way.

Who was I at the core? My energy? My light? My Being……my Essence? I had no idea, but I was about to find out. Unless I wanted to go back to the old identity of The Fat Girl. 

But staying true to my food plan forced me to see things clearly; the illusions no longer prevailed.
My Spirit wanted to come up & STAY up. Without a lot of ‘stuff’ to anchor me down, without a Fat Suit to protect me from life, with no fancy house or large bank account to define Me, all I had left was my Spirit.

I’d try to tamp It DOWN, like I would a beach ball in the ocean, but UP it would pop. It would be held down no longer.

It was sink or swim time for me, and I chose to swim.

Many times in the past, I’d choose to sink, because I didn’t know WHAT was happening.

Now I do.  I am not My Stuff. I am not My Body. I am not even My Thoughts and I’m certainly not defined by who Others THINK I am!  I am My Soul, the life force that sustains me, even when my body ultimately breaks down with age & eventual illness.

My Spirit is Who I Am.

And it’s been an awfully long journey trying to find It.

We come to a place in life, wanting to lose some weight, to change our appearance from what we consider ‘ugly’ into something we consider ‘beautiful.’  We tend to think it’s all about food. The consumption of excess food is the SYMPTOM of the underlying condition that brought many of us TO obesity: not acknowledging or understanding the Essence of who we ARE. Our Spirit is buried, way down deep, under mountains of food and layers of protective armor, but it’s still alive & well, thriving in SPITE of our ‘failures’ and our ‘shortcomings’. 

In reality, this journey hasn’t been about my Body at ALL.  It’s been about my Soul.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Each Day a New Beginning: May 19th

. . . if we are suffering illness, poverty, or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. But there too, we know it is false, so soon as one has got used to not suffering, one wants something else.
—Simone Weil

Perhaps it's the human condition never to be satisfied and yet always to think, "If only . . ." However, the more we look within for wholeness, the greater will be our acceptance of all things, at all times.

So frequently we hear that happiness is within. But what does that mean when we may have just lost the job that supported us and our children? Or when the car won't start and funds are low? Or when we are feeling really scared and don't know whom to talk to or where to go? "Happiness is within" is such a grand platitude at those times.

Nevertheless, our security in any situation is within, if we but know how to tap it. It is within because that is where the strength we are blessed with resides, the strength given us from the power greater than ourselves. "Going within" takes, first, a decision. Next, it takes stillness, and then, patience. But peace will come.

We will quit wanting when we have learned how to turn to our inner strength. We will find serenity rather than suffering.

I will go within whenever I feel the rumblings of dissatisfaction today. I will look there for my joy and sense of well-being and know that divine order is in charge.


The key to finding happiness within is to live in the present moment, ignoring the past & the future.  When I live in the future, I say "What if" and "If only"..........if only I were thinner, THEN I would be happy.  If only my friends treated me better, THEN my life would be better.  I insist on worrying about the future, playing out all sorts of What If scenarios, and then expecting myself to COPE with the outcome of each? Those scenarios are not REAL, and coping with them is impossible!

My life situation is not 'perfect' at the moment, but nothing is wrong at this moment either.  When I still my mind and allow God to guide me is when I find the spiritual sustenance and inner peace that I seek.

When I accept ALL situations that present themselves to me, I do not shatter my peace of mind for anything.  When a problem arises, I can do my best to deal with an answer to it, and then leave the outcome up to God. Asking for His guidance during prayer helps me tremendously.

Fighting a situation only strengthens it.  Surrendering to and accepting a situation is what enables me to maintain inner peace in spite of what's going on.

For today, I pray to be satisfied TODAY.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Food for Thought: May 18th


I am safe as long as I do not take the first compulsive bite. Abstinence is my security. If I break my abstinence, I lose my protection against the confusion, remorse, and pain of overeating.

To keep my abstinence strong, I need to use the OA tools of recovery each day. I need to build my program and to give it my best efforts. Remembering that my Higher Power has given me a new life, I will not endanger it by forgetting how much I need His care.

Temptation is always appearing in one form or another. Sometimes it may seem impossible not to give in. My strength lies not in myself but in God, and only by maintaining close contact with Him can I remain safe.

My Higher Power has led me to OA and has given me a safe place to be. When I am tempted or upset, I will use the telephone, go to a meeting, practice Step Eleven, and do whatever else it takes to maintain my abstinence.

Thank You for bringing me to a safe place.


I am safe as long as I do not take the first compulsive bite.  Abstinence is my security. If I break my abstinence, I lose my protection against the confusion, remorse & pain of overeating.

Such a true statement! As long as I stick to my food plan, I'm protected from the pain of my disease.  If I think I can handle an extra, that is when I'm back in the grip of compulsive overeating.  Am I willing to take that risk today?

For today, I will stay within the safety net of my program & my food plan.  I may not have another 'sobering up' in I can't afford to take the huge risk to find out!

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: May 17th


Sometimes, life and people seem to push and push. Because we are so used to pain, we may tell ourselves it doesn't hurt. Because we are so used to people controlling and manipulating us, we may tell ourselves there is something wrong with us.

There's nothing wrong with us. Life is pushing and hurting to get our attention. Sometimes, the pain and pushing are pointing toward a lesson. The lesson may be that we've become too controlling. Or maybe we're being pushed to own our power to take care of ourselves. The issue is boundaries.

If something or somebody is pushing us to our limit, that's exactly what's happening: we're being pushed to our limits. We can be grateful for the lesson that's here to help us explore and set our boundaries.

Today, I will give myself permission to set the limits I want and need to set in my life.


When someone is controlling & manipulating me, why do I tell myself there is something wrong with ME?

Over the past 4 years of recovery, I've gotten used to setting boundaries.......because I've given myself permission to DO it!

Currently, on the job, someone IS attempting to control & manipulate me.  While this behavior does not feel 'good' to experience, I realize two things: it's not MY fault & I've done nothing to 'deserve' this treatment; and, this pain and pushing IS pointing toward a lesson..........I am being pushed to own my power & re-evaluate my job! Working full time to ONLY earn money to pay bills is not a good idea.  The situation is forcing me to look within and to decide how I want to live out the remaining years of my work life.  Do I want to do something personally fulfilling, where I can help others & give back to humanity?  Or, do I want to chase the almighty buck?

For today, I am grateful for the pain that has been brought to my was brought there for a reason, as everything is.  God is at work teaching me a lesson and I intend to listen to what He has to say.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food for Thought: May 16th


Compulsive overeating may often be a form of rebellion. In the past, the more we tried to diet, the more we rebelled against the diet, and the more we overate. We were rebelling not only against a diet but also against other people, ourselves, and our Higher Power.

We should never consider abstinence as defined by OA to be just another diet. To do so would be to invite further rebellion. We compulsive overeaters seem especially prone to fight constraints of any kind. Rather than constraining us, abstinence is our liberation. We no longer have a diet to rebel against.

When we accept abstinence, we decide to have three measured meals a day with nothing in between, and we decide to avoid our personal binge foods. What those meals will consist of is our choice, and we make the choice daily. All we have to do is plan what we will have, measure it, enjoy it, and then get from one meal to the next without taking the first compulsive bite. Simple. There is no diet to rebel against.

I pray that I will no longer need to rebel. 


Abstinence allows me to STOP dieting.  I eat 6 small meals a day, with nothing in between, and no trigger foods, versus the 3 meals suggested by OA.  Abstinence varies by person, and there is no 'right or wrong' way, in my opinion.

I spent 40 years 'dieting', losing and regaining weight, and struggling constantly.  Yes, I was extremely rebellious as well. There were tons of "Mondays" when I'd be starting one new  diet or another, thinking all I needed was 'the right' one and I'd be 'fixed.'  I thought the only thing that needed fixing was my body.  Turns out, it was my soul that needed fixing all along.

For today, I am grateful for the OA program & finding a way out of the nightmare of compulsive overeating.   When I start thinking that abstinence is 'hard' and begin feeling rebellious, I pray to remember just HOW hard compulsive overeating was.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Each Day a New Beginning: May 15th

Difficulties, opposition, criticism - these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm, and I begin to wonder what I should do about it.
  —Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

To be alive means to experience difficulties, conflicts, challenges from many directions. What we do with adverse conditions both determines and is determined by who we are. Resistance, most of us have learned, heightens the adversity. Acceptance of the condition, trusting all the while the lesson it offers us is for our benefit, ensures that we'll "come out on top."

Difficulties are opportunities for advancement, for increased self-awareness, for self-fulfillment. So often we hear and remind one another, that we grow through pain. We can face any situation knowing we have the strength of the program to shore us up. Strangely, we need challenges in order to grow; without growth we wither. Happiness is the bounty for facing the momentarily unhappy conditions.

Any difficulty I meet today offers me a chance for even greater happiness; it guarantees my growth. 


Nothing worth having comes easy. If it did, where would the challenge be?

If I shy away from difficulties & challenges, demanding a guaranteed outcome, I prevent myself from growth & self awareness.  I do the footwork, and allow God to handle the rest.  When I face adversity, I clear my mind of thought & I pray.  That way, I am able to intuit God's message and arrive at a conclusion.

While I was practicing addictive behaviors, I functioned in a state of unconsciousness.  Nowadays, in recovery, I apply one of three modalities to each problem that arises: Acceptance, Enthusiasm or Enjoyment.  Naturally, I do not approach adversity with enjoyment or enthusiasm, but I DO approach it with acceptance.  Fighting against something only weakens ME.  Acceptance aligns my thinking with God and the Universe, and leads me to deal with the situation more appropriately.

For today, I agree to face any and all challenges that await me, without overeating and putting myself into a food coma of unconsciousness.  For today, I will be an observer to my thoughts, instead of a slave TO them.  I will pray to God for guidance, instead of staying caught up in compulsive, crowded thinking.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Food for Thought: May 14th

Most of us find it impossible to maintain our abstinence and our weight loss if we do not continue to grow spiritually and emotionally. The Steps are not something we take once and for all and then put aside. We continue to work on ourselves.

It is possible to reach and maintain a weight goal, but the emotional and spiritual goals of the program are never fully attained. We keep striving for progress, in spite of temporary setbacks.

All of us need something to live for, something that captures our imagination and beckons us on to greater efforts. Achievement in the areas of study and work, commitments to family and community, development of talents and interests--all serve as motivation. Usually, though, we require something more to keep us going. When we become aware of the Spirit, which is constantly available to us through contact with our Higher Power, we are tuned in to the source of our abstinence and of our life.

May I remember to live by the Spirit


I was able to lose weight, I just wasn't able to keep it off.  Spiritual impoverishment creates a void within me, which I constantly seek to fill with excess food.  What many of us come to realize is that no amount of food on earth can fill a void of that nature.

The binges get larger & more frequent.  And still the void exists.

When I realized God was within me, it was an awakening of sorts.  Relying on myself alone is not enough; I must tune in to the source of my abstinence & my life: my Higher Power.  I'd managed to forget my own spirit along the way, and the price I paid was restlessness & misery, in the form of an obese body.

When I tune into God is when I stop struggling, and when I relax and understand the purpose of my life.  Staying aware of the big picture is crucial to recovery........realizing my place in the world and my connection to the rest of humanity.

Meditation for the Day

The kingdom of heaven is within you. God sees, as no one can see, what is within you. He sees you growing more and more like Himself. That is your reason for existence, to grow more and more like God, to develop more and more the spirit of God within you. You can often see in others those qualities and aspirations that you yourself possess. So also can God recognize His own spirit in you. Your motives and aspirations can only be understood by those who have attained the same spiritual level as you have.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: May 13th

Property Lines

A helpful tool in our recovery, especially in the behavior we call detachment, is learning to identify who owns what. Then we let each person own and possess his or her rightful property.

If another person has an addiction, a problem, a feeling, or a self-defeating behavior, that is their property, not ours. If someone is a martyr, immersed in negativity, controlling, or manipulative behavior, that is their issue, not ours.

If someone has acted and experienced a particular consequence, both the behavior and the consequence belong to that person.

If someone is in denial or cannot think clearly on a particular issue, that confusion belongs to him or her.

If someone has a limited or impaired ability to love or care, that is his or her property, not ours. If someone has no approval or nurturing to give away, that is that person's property.

People's lies, deceptions, tricks, manipulations, abusive behaviors, inappropriate behaviors, cheating behaviors, and tacky behaviors belong to them, too. Not us.

People's hope and dreams are their property. Their guilt belongs to them too. Their happiness or misery is also theirs. So are their beliefs and messages.

If some people don't like themselves, that is their choice. Other people's choices are their property, not ours.

What people choose to say and do is their business.

What is our property? Our property includes our behaviors, problems, feelings, happiness, misery, choices, and messages; our ability to love, care, and nurture; our thoughts, our denial, our hopes and dreams for ourselves. Whether we allow ourselves to be controlled, manipulated, deceived, or mistreated is our business.

In recovery, we learn an appropriate sense of ownership. If something isn't ours, we don't take it. If we take it, we learn to give it back. Let other people have their property, and learn to own and take good care of what's ours.

Today, I will work at developing a clear sense of what belongs to me, and what doesn't. If it's not mine, I won't keep it. I will deal with my issues, my responsibilities, and myself. I will take my hands off what is not mine.


When I absorb a problem that isn't mine, taking on YOUR negativity, I may eat over it in an effort to soothe mySELF.

I am not a sponge for the world's problems.  I have to know my property lines; what belongs to ME and what does NOT belong to me.

I am responsible for my own behaviors, not yours.  I can be an advocate for justice in the world, but I'd wind up taking on too much.............things that are none of my business.

My mother is a toxic individual and spreads fear & negativity wherever she goes. It's taking me a long time to learn to ignore all the messages and not let HER disturb MY serenity.

Because serenity is the key to happiness. 

For today, Mother's Day, I will enjoy my mom without absorbing ANY of her negativity.  I will keep a smile on my face and a smile in my voice. I will allow her toxic comments to bounce off of me instead of allowing them to infuse into MY head, where they will fester and drive me to distraction.  For today, I will stick to my food plan, regardless of the circumstances that may lead me to the desire to overeat.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Food for Thought: May 12th

People Pleasing

If we are too intent on pleasing others, we may lose ourselves. All of us want and need approval from other people, but sometimes we work too hard for external admiration and not hard enough for our own self-regard. If we spend all of our time and energy trying to please others, we never find out who we are and what pleases us.

When we were overeating and felt guilty about that, we may have thought that we needed to do what others wanted us to do in order to somehow make up for overeating. If we didn't look attractive, we could at least be pleasing in other ways!

People pleasing, however, is not confined to those who are overweight. Many people try to find their self-worth and reason for existence in the impression they think they are making on the outside world. It is an easy trap for all of us to fall into.

When we find our center in the life of the Spirit, we become less concerned about pleasing others. As we grow emotionally and spiritually, we begin to discover our giant Self. Through this program, we can find out who we are and what is pleasing to the best that is in us.

May I first seek to please You.


An old AA slogan is: What other people think of me is none of my business.

What would your life look like if you were literally unable to worry about other people’s opinions?

What a freedom that would be! You would live according to what you thought was beneficial for you and make decisions without second-guessing, over-analyzing, and shoulda-coulda-woulda-ing. You would no longer have any need for approval nor fear of disapproval.

The truth is, we don’t have any need for approval. Not truly. It is our egos that crave approval and fear disapproval. The mind loves to take things very personally and attempts to gain power through approval and disapproval games. When we separate ourselves from our ego, approval and disapproval have no value whatsoever. And nothing is taken personally.

In reality, another person’s thought or opinion about you is never personal, because it is never really about you in the first place. It’s about them. Our thoughts about anything and everything are only about ourselves. As Byron Katie points out, what I think and what I feel is my business. What you think and what you feel is your business. When I’m worried about how you feel about me, I’m in your business. And if I’m busy living in your business, how am I present for my own business?

When we let go of worrying over other people’s opinions, we are free to reflect on our own opinions of ourselves. Am I happy with myself? Did I make the right decision for me? Am I happy with how I treated you? Am I living in healthy and positive ways, for the highest good of everyone involved?

Living according to our own truth is one of the highest acts of self-love and self-care. And when you live according to your truth and stay in your own mental business, others will honor you and the truth you live, too, whether they agree with you or not.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: May 11th


Many of us picked on ourselves unmercifully before recovery. We may also have a tendency too pick on ourselves after we begin recovery.

If I was really recovering, I wouldn't be doing that again . . . I should be further along than I am. These are statements that we indulge in when we're feeling shame. We don't need to treat ourselves that way. There is no benefit.

Remember, shame blocks us. But self-love and acceptance enable us to grow and change. If we truly have done something we feel guilty about, we can correct it with an amend and an attitude of self-acceptance and love.

Even if we slip back to our old, codependent ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, we do not need to be ashamed. We all regress from time to time. That's how we learn and grow. Relapse, or recycling, is an important and necessary part of recovery. And the way out of recycling is not by shaming ourselves. That leads us deeper into codependency.

Much pain comes from trying to be perfect. Perfection is impossible unless we think of it in a new way: Perfection is being who and where we are today; it's accepting and loving ourselves just as we are. We are each right where we need to be in our recovery.

Today, I will love and accept myself for who I am and where I am in my recovery process. I am right where I need to be to get to where I'm going tomorrow.


"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear."
~Mark Twain

If I respond to fear by overeating, I tend to feel shame, and start bashing myself over the head.   No emotion on earth is more harmful to my recovery than shame.

Today, I love myself enough to stop trying to be Perfect.  If I make a mistake, I stay conscious, to figure out WHAT emotion I am responding to by stuffing myself. Relapse is always a part OF recovery, so treating myself badly cures nothing.  Understanding WHY is far more important.

For today, I will stop trying to be perfect. For today, I will accept & love myself for who & what I Am, as there is freedom in surrender.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 10th


Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank You, God, for always loving and accepting me right where I am, and working with me, even when I am not willing to give You much to work with. It is so comforting to know that wherever I am, whether I am willing and open, or have once again shut myself off from the Light of Your Spirit, You will meet me there and provide whatever is necessary for me to keep on.

Thank You for forgiving me those times when I am not willing enough to put forth any effort--some days I just want to skate, God--some days I just want to wallow in it. Why else would I resist changing into what You would have me be? Some days I am lazy and comfortable just where I am.

One Day at a Time . . .
God, Help me to be willing to reach out to You, good day or bad. Keep me mindful that my conscious contact with You makes even the best day better, and the worst day tolerable.

~ Jeanine ~


God loves me exactly as I Am........fat or skinny, lazy or motivated, happy or unhappy. It is ME who cannot love myself when I am practicing addictive behaviors!

When I stay connected to other compulsive overeaters, and not isolate myself, is when I have the best days.  The desire to overeat is drastically reduced when I'm involved & giving back........staying out of my own HEAD.

For today, God help me work on filling myself with Your peace instead of my own compulsive thoughts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 9th


Let go of your attachment to being right,
and suddenly your mind is more open.
You're able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others,
without being crippled by your own judgment.

Ralph Marston

Before joining this program much of my life was taken up with defending myself against those who would hurl abuse. I kept everything and everybody at arm's length in a bid to protect my increasingly fragile and sensitive self-assurance. As time marched on, and my disease became parasitical, the walls around me grew higher and isolation drew me inwards.

Ironically, the fortress I was building didn’t protect me from myself and I soon became my own worst enemy. My self-loathing and my unceasing search for perfection led me deeper into a self-induced state of depression. Keeping everybody out and locking myself in became an exhausting exercise.

On entering the 12 Step program I soon realized that the fortress I had so carefully built to protect myself against the outside world was also preventing any kind of light, warmth and love from entering in.

As my journey of recovery progressed, brick by brick the walls came down and afforded me the nourishment I needed to blossom and grow. In learning to accept myself, I found that what others thought of me paled into insignificance. I learned that there was a wealth of experience, strength and hope which would help me along the journey. I learned that I could take what I needed and put down the remainder, without the resentment, anger, fear or pain, which previously would have sent me running for cover.

One Day at a Time . . .
I aim to be willing to keep my mind open, to accept what I need to continue my journey, and to leave the rest.

~ Sue G ~


When I let go of my attachment to being right, and having the last word, only THEN am I able to keep an open mind & really listen to others.  Being present & attentive is the biggest gift I can give, and the biggest gift I can get.  When I open my mind to life, I allow myself to absorb the lessons & the instructions God has intended me to learn.

When I am stuck in the mode of self-defense, nothing gets through. My brain is turned off because my ego is in charge instead of my heart.  Nothing will destroy me faster than ego.

Compulsive overeating is a teacher of humility. When I'm brought to my knees time & time again, my ego eventually shatters and leaves me with nothing familiar to rely identity that's structured on appearance, possessions or status.  When my ego is flattened, my soul springs UP and finds peace.

It's taken a good number of years to chip down my walls of self-protection & pride. I am a work in progress, and still focused on eliminating more.  The fortress I'd built protected me from nothing, least of all myself.

For today, I pray to keep an open mind so I don't miss out on a single moment of learning.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Food for Thought: May 8th

Fake Pride

Our pride often gets in the way of our recovery. Not the good kind of pride, the self-respect which belongs to all of us as God's children, but the false pride is what trips us up.

We are falsely proud when we think we can "go it alone," when we recognize no authority higher than our own ego. We are falsely proud when we refuse to ask for help or follow directions. False pride is involved whenever we consider ourselves better than someone else.

As soon as we start off on an ego trip, we are headed for trouble. Sometimes it takes many hard falls before we can give up false pride. Compulsive overeating guarantees that we will learn humility once we recognize that we are powerless over food and cannot manage our own lives.

When we conscientiously examine our motives for overeating and when we look honestly at the damage our wrong thinking has done to ourselves and those around us, we are on the way to getting rid of our false pride. It is something we have to fight continually, since this kind of pride has a way of springing up again and again.

Please forgive my false pride.


False pride prevents me from seeing the truth about myself.  It allows me to perceive myself as good & kind, even when I'm using a forked tongue.

False pride allows me to live with illusion, daydreaming that I am better, smarter, & prettier than everyone else.

Wrong thinking gives me a bloated ego.........makes me insist I'm right when everyone else is wrong.  Even if 100 people are saying I'm wrong, my ego prevents me from seeing the truth & insists they are all wrong.

Pride will stand in the way of my recovery every single time. I am not too proud to ask for help or to follow directions.  Humility keeps my ego on the sidelines and forces me to understand that I'm powerless over food and cannot manage my own life, without God's help.

For today, I pray to keep false pride at bay, and to speak my truth with kindness & love. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 7th


"People who are happy don't use food to
sublimate. Food is supposed to be good for
you - not make you feel good!"
Gary Null

All compulsive overeaters use food to sublimate. Sublimation in layman’s terms is any habit or technique we use to alter or change our reality - for better or worse! Sublimation methods of choice are a great gauge to measure mental and physical health. Poor choices are using food, gambling, television, alcohol, drugs, shopping, excessive sleep or too many passive activities. Healthy choices are meditation, visual imagery, prayer, journaling, yoga, physical exercise, relaxation exercises, deep breathing, etc. Anything from lawn mowing to vacuuming could be an act of sublimation - IF done with high level of awareness and concentration. A person who's high up the ladder spiritually sees Higher Power in all things at all times. Since we sublimate regardless, the trick is to make it a consciously controlled positive sublimation rather than subconscious negative sublimation.

One day at a time...
I will consciously incorporate positive, healthy methods of sublimation.

~ Rob R.


Food is supposed to be good for you - not make you feel good.  Unfortunately, I've had that statement reversed for most of my life. Using excess food as a 'feel good' tool backfires.  The consequences of overeating are far worse than any temporary good feeling I may draw from it.

Food has the shortest lifespan of any addictive substance. The effects wear off as soon as it's swallowed, pretty much, and so I go back for more.

And then more.

If I take that first compulsive bite of sugary junk food, pretending it will be 'just a bite', I'm going to have a binge, period.  For me, the key is NOT to take that first bite, and to stick to my food plan which provides me with enough food to keep me healthy & nutritionally balanced.  Anything else is excessive and unnecessary. 

The lure of eating to sublimate is that I can escape my problems for awhile.  Putting myself into a carb coma shuts my brain down.  But there are other techniques to use to calm myself down that are far healthier with no negative consequences.  Praying is one of them.

For today, I pray to stay aware of what I'm doing at all times.  I can sit back & be an observer of my thoughts, rather than a slave TO them.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: May 6th

The Language of Letting Go

Feeling Good

Make yourself feel good.

It's our job to first make ourselves feel better and then make ourselves feel good. Recovery is not only about stopping painful feelings; it is about creating a good life for ourselves.

We don't have to deny ourselves activities that help us feel good. Going to meetings, basking in the sun, exercising, taking a walk, or spending time with a friend are activities that may help us feel good. We each have our list. If we don't, we're now free to explore, experiment, and develop that list.

When we find a behavior or activity that produces a good feeling, put it on the list. Then, do it frequently.

Let's stop denying ourselves good feelings and start doing things that make us feel good.

Today, I will do one activity or behavior that I know will create a good feeling for me. If I'm uncertain about what I like, I will experiment with one behavior today.


I had a hard time allowing myself to feel good.  Somehow, I thought I needed to be negative, and to feel miserable all the time..............which gave me a good excuse to overeat & soothe myself with excess food.

If I allowed myself to feel good, I would wait for disaster to strike, convinced it would.  Happiness is fleeting; happiness can't possibly last, happiness is for others........ who am I kidding?

Negative thinking is toxic, poisoning my sense of logic, and preventing God from entering my life. 

I am allowed to feel good.  In fact, it is a necessity of recovery to feel good!  I've developed quite a long list of 'feel good' activities that I engage in daily. Yes, I work full time & have a lot of responsibilities......but I still make time to enjoy 'feel good' activities every day.

Even something as simple as paying someone a compliment is a 'feel-good' activity. Really listening to another person is a feel-good activity, because it takes me out of my own head.  Climbing the stairs at work feels good.............and eating the food I've planned to eat, instead of diverting, makes me feel great.

For today, I will allow myself to enjoy life.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 5th


"Some cause happiness wherever they go;
others whenever they go."
Oscar Wilde

If happiness were to be found on a coin, anger and frustration would be on the other side of that coin, for they are all the children of expectation. As adults, we try to recapture those special moments and feelings of our childhood by recreating them. We use them as a model for happiness, only this time we are the adults and operating the controls. Unfortunately, our expectations are not grounded in reality. Reaching that level of childhood bliss is usually either impossible or fleeting. How can you as an adult compete with the happiness of being a child?

My experience is that we usually have a set-point for happiness. And though we can feel joy and sadness, we return to that same level of happiness afterward. There are things, however, that can help change that set-point. We can come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can feed our spirit, help keep us living in the moment, and enjoying the kind of peace and wisdom that only our Higher Power can provide. It helps ground us in the truth and gets rid of unrealistic expectations. It helps to relax us as opposed to letting our mind bounce back and forth from past to future and pain to fantasy. We learn to accept our life - just as it is. Today. Now

What choices have I been making to choose happiness? I choose to go to meetings and give shares. I choose to abstain from compulsive overeating. I choose to set time for myself every day where I can organize my affairs, and help ward off stressful situations. I also try to spend time with myself in ways that will feed my soul and spirit, not just keep myself entertained until I go to bed. I give to service to others, but remember that I need to take care of myself, for when I am not strong; I have no strength to give.

One day at a time...
Today I will choose happiness.

~ Marilyn S.


Recovery is hard work.........wishing for it does not make it happen! There are many rules in place to help me achieve that state of acceptance, abstinence being at the top of the list. Avoiding stressful situations is another, keeping a neat & orderly home so I don't get overwhelmed is another.  Spending time with my Higher Power in meditation and prayer is important as well.

Sometimes I find that I DO amuse myself until it's time to go to sleep, meaning I'm not feeding soul & my spirit! My time is well spent when I'm giving OF myself to others, rather than focusing inward & laying around passing time.

For today, I will remember to take care of myself, because when I am not strong, I have no strength to give.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recovery Meditations: May 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 remember eating compulsively as a young child; it was the only time I felt safe & secure. I'd steal salt from the cupboard because all the other food was measured & counted out.  As I got older, I'd hide food in my room and eat it secretly, after everyone had gone to sleep.  To this day, my COE tendencies come out at night. I can be fine all day long, but once nighttime hits, watch out..........I want to eat everything that isn't nailed down.

I see that my compulsive behavior covers a lot more than just excess food.  Allowing compulsions to infiltrate every aspect of my life is no way to live. Compulsive thinking, spending, and compulsive behaviors of all kinds keep me sick and constantly seeking MORE. More food, more stuff, more happiness, more more more. 

For today, I pray to be satisfied with who I am versus what I have.  Otherwise, all the stuff in the world, and all the food in the grocery store won't be enough to fill a void that exists within ME.

For today, I pray to surrender my life and my compulsions to God, who will remove them for me. 

I may be a compulsive person, but for today, I don't have to act like one.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Food for Thought: May 3rd

Accepting Normality

It is normal to eat three meals a day. As compulsive overeaters, we made ourselves exceptional by refusing to follow the usual pattern of meals. Instead, we wanted to follow the whims and demands of our irrational appetites. For some reason, what was good enough for others was not good enough for us - we had to have more.

Now that we have accepted a reasonable food plan, we can learn to eat normally. We do not need extra food. We know that our true strength and nourishment come from our Higher Power, not from an overload of calories.

When we stop overeating compulsively, we no longer need to feel guilty about our eating habits or different from those around us. We can accept the fact that we are normal people, not better than everyone else and not worse either. Like those around us, we have strengths and weaknesses, and we are making progress. It is a relief to accept normality.

May I keep a realistic perspective on myself. 


 " It is a relief to accept normality."  Staying abstinent forces normalcy......whether I feel like it or not, I stick to my structured food plan and I see what it feels like to be normal.  Instead of following the whims and demands of my irrational appetite, I follow God's will for me, and it feels wonderful.

When I am compulsively eating, or having a binge, I feel totally out of control....powerless.  When I am abstinent, admitting my powerlessness, I actually find my true power: letting go and letting God.  Rather than feeling defeated and full of self-pity by this admission, I feel empowered and strong.....not weak & helpless.

I am a reasonable, normal person with an unreasonable, abnormal disease.  Overeating leaves me feeling guilty and separate....alone in the world.  When I stay true to my food plan & accept the facts of the situation, I accept myself.

For today, I accept the fact that I am not better or worse than anyone else on earth. I am me, and for today, that is good enough!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Food For Thought: May 2nd


Our commitment to OA is total. The program is not something we pick up and put down according to whim. Abstinence is not a diet that we go on and off as it pleases us. Perhaps a seeming inability to commit ourselves to anything permanently has been one of our problems in the past. If so, we are now all the more aware of the necessity for genuine, total commitment to this program.

Most of us tried just about everything else before we came to OA. We may even have tried OA previously and left, thinking that there must be an easier way. Now we are desperate because we know that there is no other way for us. Our recovery depends on our willingness to commit ourselves honestly to the OA program and to work it day by day to the very best of our ability.

When we are firmly committed to the Twelve Steps and the OA principles, we are able to apply them to all aspects of our daily lives with astonishing results.

Strengthen my commitment, Lord. 


A big part of my problem with weight management was lack of commitment.  Once I accepted the fact that the Food Plan must be my #1 priority, I was able to commit myself to it permanently, one day at a time.

When I hit rock bottom was when I agreed to come back to OA and to ditch my excuses. Getting into the meat of the program & working the steps enabled me to prioritize my whole life, recognizing that in order to do so, the food plan had to come first.  Without ordered, structured eating, the rest of my life goes to hell in a handbasket.

It all starts with commitment to the food plan and the rest falls into place from there.

When I commit myself to the program honestly & totally, I'm shown a new freedom beyond imagination.  If I work it in a half hearted manner, I get out what I put in: not much.

For today, I will stay committed to my program and allow God to handle the rest.   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Food for Thought: May 1st

We Are Insatiable

Those of us who overeat compulsively can never be satisfied with food, no matter how much we eat. As we work the program, we discover (if we had not known it before) that we are insatiable in other areas, too. No amount of anything satisfies us for long; we soon need more.

We are each created with a spiritual longing which is not filled by anything temporal. What St. Augustine said hundreds of years ago - that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God - is equally true today. 

Spiritual food is required to satisfy our spiritual hunger. The fruits of this world are good in their proper place, but when we idolize them we sell ourselves short. Created things in and of themselves are not enough; our hearts can accept nothing less than communion with the Creator.

We are children of God, and the things of this world do not fully satisfy us.

May we find our true rest and satisfaction in You.


When my disease of compulsive overeating is in charge, there is no such thing as 'enough'.  No matter how much I eat, I never feel 'full' because it's not my stomach that is hungry; it is my spirit.  Excess food only provides a temporary cure for what ails me, so its effects are short lived, leading me back for more more more.

When I feel excessively 'hungry', 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, may I rest in the true satisfaction of of God, and realize that all the food in the world will never take the place of Him.