Friday, November 30, 2012

The Language of Letting Go


One day, my son brought a gerbil home to live with us. We put it in a cage. Some time later, the gerbil escaped. For the next six months, the animal ran frightened and wild through the house. So did we - chasing it.

"There it is. Get it!" we'd scream, each time someone spotted the gerbil. I, or my son, would throw down whatever we were working on, race across the house, and lunge at the animal hoping to catch it.

I worried about it, even when we didn't see it. "This isn't right," I'd think. "I can't have a gerbil running loose in the house. We've got to catch it. We've got to do something."

A small animal, the size of a mouse had the entire household in a tizzy.

One day, while sitting in the living room, I watched the animal scurry across the hallway. In frenzy, I started to lunge at it, as I usually did, then I stopped myself.

No, I said, I'm all done. If that animal wants to live in the nooks and crannies of this house, I'm going to let it. I'm done worrying about it. I'm done chasing it. It's an irregular circumstance, but that's just the way it's going to have to be.

I let the gerbil run past without reacting. I felt slightly uncomfortable with my new reaction - not reacting - but I stuck to it anyway.

I got more comfortable with my new reaction - not reacting. Before long, I became downright peaceful with the situation. I had stopped fighting the gerbil. One afternoon, only weeks after I started practicing my new attitude, the gerbil ran by me, as it had so many times, and I barely glanced at it. The animal stopped in its tracks, turned around, and looked at me. I started to lunge at it. It started to run away. I relaxed.

"Fine," I said. "Do what you want." And I meant it.

One hour later, the gerbil came and stood by me, and waited. I gently picked it up and placed it in its cage, where it has lived happily ever since. The moral of the story? Don't lunge at the gerbil. He's already frightened, and chasing him just scares him more and makes us crazy.

Detachment works.

Today, I will be comfortable with my new reaction - not reacting. I will feel at peace.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
My Health Coach Website
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What a great analogy! The more I 'lunge at the gerbil' the further I am from peace of mind & serenity!
While in the midst of my disease of compulsive overeating, I am one big ball of REACTION.  If all I am able to do is REact, then I am paralyzed to take ACTION.  When I live with emotions ruling me, I can't  look at life rationally........I just lunge from one over-blown, hysterical reaction to another.  I create drama for myself, then justify why I 'have to' eat to relax myself.  
For today, I choose abstinence & peace; I choose structure over chaos; I choose to set boundaries with loved ones & to rely on my Higher Power to guide me.
For today, I will trust my instincts. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Food for Thought: November 29th


If we examine our behavior patterns when we were eating compulsively, we usually find that they were quite rigid. Our mental obsession and physical addiction kept us bound in repetitious behavior, which permitted very little spontaneity. With so much time and energy tied up in eating, we had very little flexibility. Most of our free time was used to support our addiction in one way or another.

As we recover, we may find ourselves threatened by unstructured time or by impromptu changes in schedule. An unexpected holiday can bring on feelings of emptiness or boredom. Changed plans can leave us feeling confused and unsettled. Without a firm routine, we may become uneasy.

Remembering that abstinence is the most important thing in our life without exception can provide an anchor when we are required to be flexible. As long as we remain abstinent, we are free to alter schedules and plans according to preference and convenience. Flexibility and spontaneity are possible when abstinence is firm.

Show me how to be flexible.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
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I practiced my addiction(s) "to the exclusion of all else."  I had no time for anything or anybody but my addiction; it took up all of my time and mental capacity.  My free time was consumed with obsession; what to eat, when to eat it, how to shop for the food, how to cook it; etc.  My mind was closed........I was unteachable..........inflexible, and living inside of my own head. Very little existed outside of that narrow field of vision: Me Me Me.  Addiction could be described as the ultimate selfishness, the way I see it.  There's no room for anyone or anything else but Me Myself & I.

The greatest gift I've been given is one of Routine.  My days are structured, my food intake is pre-planned & pre-measured, and the routine is what keeps me feeling safe & secure within the limits of my fenced-in Recovery yard.  So yes, a change in that routine CAN bring on feelings of fear or boredom; changed plans can leave me feeling out of sorts completely.  It took me several years of sobriety before I was able to feel comfortable with change.  And, to this day, I am still not 100% ok with it.  I function much better within the parameters of what's known........what's unknown can't be 100% managed.  During those times of change is when I really need to rely on faith in my Higher Power. 

When I keep abstinence & sobriety at the tippy TOP of my priority list is when I CAN function in any situation I find myself in.  If my schedule changes, I don't need to freak out and question my ability to stay the course.  I CAN trust myself to manage my program no matter what.  With God in my back pocket, and abstinence #1, how can I go wrong?

For today, I agree to be mentally flexible, teachable, and open to new ideas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 28th


Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness
is in itself an act of happiness.

Count Maurice Maeterlinck

While in the disease, most of the goodness I tried to do was for ulterior motives. It was only in recovery that I learned to give unselfishly and without strings to help another. In doing so, I have found happiness beyond measure. I can create my own happiness in the service of my Higher Power and other compulsive overeaters. I can make the promise of a "new happiness and a new freedom" come true.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do acts of goodness.

~ Judy N. ~
My Health Coach Website
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"While in the disease" matter WHAT I tried to do while in the disease was done for the wrong reasons!

Before taking on the 12 Steps, I lived selfishly, trying to please others so they would like me, which is also selfishly driven. I didn't know what true happiness felt like, inside, so I pursued finding it in all the wrong places: through excess food & drink, shopping, and by shutting my thoughts DOWN instead of feeling them.
Through abstinence, and reconnecting with my Higher Power, I was able to find the happiness that had eluded me for most of my life.  My negative thinking has been replaced with a positive, hopeful attitude instead.  By letting go, I found freedom.
By far and away, the best source of Recovery I've found is giving back to others, expecting nothing in return.  The 'no strings attached' approach to giving service is amazingly rewarding.  The more I give of myself, the stronger my program becomes.
For today, I will do acts of goodness, feel good about ME, and strengthen my sense of inner peace & happiness. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Food for Thought: November 27th

One Bite Means a Binge

By this time; we know that we do not overeat moderately. One extra compulsive bite sooner or later becomes a binge. Keeping this fact firmly planted in our consciousness prevents us from deluding ourselves into disaster. For us, there is abstinence or there is chaos. Nothing in between.

Having proved this fact over and over again, we must avoid at all costs the insanity that makes us think we can handle one small extra bite. Our only sure defense against such inexplicable insanity is a Power greater than ourselves. Alone, we cannot control what we eat and we cannot manage our lives.

Each day we begin by admitting to God our powerlessness over our compulsion, and we ask for His control. Whenever we are tempted or overwhelmed, we release our whole selves into His care and protection. At the end of the day, we give thanks for the Power that keeps us from taking the one small, disastrous bite.

Deliver me from the bite that means a binge.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


By this time, I know that I do not do ANYTHING 'moderately'!!! One extra compulsive bite always turns into a binge; whether it's immediate or whether it takes a few days, I PRIME myself FOR a binge by taking that first compulsive bite.  I change my mindset from one of strict abstinence to one of 'a bit extra is no big deal', and that is THE most dangerous thing I can possibly do! I have found myself popping that first bite of junk food into my mouth precisely because I KNOW where it will a binge. Before I take that first bite, I am safe........but once I take it, all bets are OFF and I'm giving myself permission TO binge.

Sigh. The mind of a compulsive overeater is full of manipulation & lies. I try to pretend I can 'handle' that extra food, knowing fully that I cannot.  I've proven to myself a thousand times that it's the first bite that leads to chaos, yet I try to convince myself that THIS TIME will be different.  It never is.  For me, there is abstinence or there is chaos; nothing in between.

For today, I choose sanity & peace of mind through abstinence.  I avoid chaos & choosing to 'test' myself, yet again, when I am fully aware of what the outcome will be: I will FAIL the test with a big fat F!

For today, I choose to be grateful to the Power that keeps me from taking the one small, disastrous bite.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Food for Thought: November 26th

What Am I Avoiding Now?

If I am becoming preoccupied with thoughts of food and eating, I am probably avoiding something in the present, which troubles me. We compulsive overeaters have a long history of using food to avoid facing whatever is bothering us. Abstaining may not solve the problem, but at least we do not eat ourselves into a worse situation.

Sometimes we are aware of a difficult task that needs to be done, and we think we require extra food to fortify ourselves in order to accomplish the task. Remembering that excess food incapacitates rather than strengthens is essential to our recovery. A short-term euphoria is not worth the long-term anguish, which inevitably follows loss of control.

We are learning to turn to a Power greater than ourselves when we have problems that we formerly avoided or tried to solve by eating. Whatever our perplexity, God has the answer, if we will surrender our wills and listen for His guidance.

Teach me to trust You completely.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The short term euphoria of a binge is never worth the long term anguish that follows loss of control. What yo-yo dieter doesn't understand THIS?

If I eat to shut my mind down, I refuse to deal with whatever thought patterns are troubling me.  I refuse to accept the reality of the present moment, and choose, instead, to stop thinking entirely.  When I come out of the food coma, I feel terrible about myself & my situation is now worse than ever!

Abstinence keeps me feeling good about ME.  It releases me from the obsession with food & roots me in reality.  Living in fantasy land fixes nothing.  While abstaining from overeating doesn't necessarily 'fix' a problem, at least it doesn't worsen it by making me loathe myself & my behavior.

For today, I will rely on God instead of my own self-will.  For today, I put abstinence on the very top of my to-do list & commit to my Food Plan to keep me on track.

For today, I will let go & let God guide me.  I can't; He can; I think I will let Him

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Food for Thought: November 25th

Regaining Control

Temporary loss of control resulting in a slip does not need to send us off on a protracted binge. We have tools, which we may use to regain control and reestablish firm abstinence.

If we find ourselves deviating from our food plan, however slightly, we need to make contact with our sponsor or another OA member. Honestly admitting that we are having trouble prevents us from losing touch with reality and slipping back into our old habits. If we pretend that all is well when it is not, we cut ourselves off from the help and support we need.

When we are tempted, it is a good idea to remove ourselves from the source of temptation and get involved in another activity. Reading the literature or going to a meeting can renew our OA commitment.

In the last analysis, it is our Higher Power who provides the control, which we lack. To turn over our lack of control is to open ourselves to the Power that keeps us abstinent.

Control my life. Lord.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


 The holiday season can be very tough for compulsive overeaters........we're left to feel like the odd man out for not participating in the sludge-fests that abound at this time of year.  People can sometimes make fun of us for NOT over-indulging, or eating holiday foods 'just this once.'  What they don't understand is that 'just this once' is never enough.  Once we start eating harmful foods, who knows IF and WHEN we can reestablish abstinence?

We cannot expect others to understand our disease. We can, however, expect God to help us stay the course with our food plan.  We don't have to maintain control at all times; we simply have to turn over our lack of control to our HP which opens us up to the Power that keeps us abstinent. 

We commit to keeping away from dangerous foods; we avoid looking at them or smelling them if we are in a situation where such foods are available.  These foods ARE avoidable when we keep abstinence at the top our our priority list.  Taking a taste is agreeing to take that first compulsive bite which can easily send us running off to a full fledged binge.  And then the insanity begins once again.

For today, I commit to removing myself from temptation and keeping my Food Plan & my HP  in charge. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 24th

~ Gratitude ~

If the only prayer you said in your whole life
was, "Thank you," that would suffice.

Meister Eckhart

I spent most of my life blaming my circumstances and those around me for the way I felt, for my eating problem and for my terrible life in general. There was nothing good in my life at all and I viewed everything through a dark cloud of negativity. I couldn't see anything good in my life, and life became totally unbearable. Poor me, I thought. It really wasn't fair that I had been made to suffer the way I had, and I felt awash with self pity. The more sorry I felt for myself, the more I ate, and the more I ate, the worse I felt; it became a vicious circle.

When I was brought to my knees by this disease and came into the fellowship, I was forced to take stock and look honestly at my life. For the first time ever I considered the losses and difficult situations in my life that I had perceived as unfair and negative. In each case there had been amazing gains. For example, the car accident I'd been in hadn't been my fault at all. In fact, it became the catalyst that enabled me to change careers. One of the bereavements that I had brought a wonderful and special friend into my life. And so it went. Before, I had bemoaned my fate as a compulsive overeater. Now, I am actually grateful to be a compulsive overeater, because without my disease I never would have a wonderful program that helps me to live my life sanely and serenely, nor would I have all the very special people who love and support me through thick and thin.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am grateful for all the wonderful miracles that have happened in my life as a result of this program ... may I never forget to thank my Higher Power for all these wonderful blessings.

~ Sharon S. ~


"If only's" are lonely.

The circumstances of our lives seldom live up to our expectations or desires. However, in each circumstance we are offered an opportunity for growth or change, a chance for greater understanding of life's heights and pitfalls. Each time we choose to lament what isn't, we close the door on the invitation to a better existence.

We simply don't know just what's best for us. Our vision is limited. Less so today than yesterday, but limited still. The experiences we are offered will fail to satisfy our expectations because we expect so much less than God has planned for us in the days ahead.

We get what we need, in the way of relationships, adventures, joys and sorrows, today and every day. Celebrating what we get and knowing there is good in it eases whatever trial we are undergoing. We are cared for, right now. We need not lament what we think we need. We do have what we need. We will always get what we need, when we need it.

I will breathe deeply and relax. At this moment my every need is being attended to. My life is unfolding exactly as it should.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 23rd

~ Successful Recovery ~

I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery
at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack
Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is
the greatest epitaph a man can have.

Harry S. Truman

No matter what their drug of choice, compulsives all have one thing in common. If we don't practice our program, we run the risk of relapsing back into the disease.

What separates those who find recovery and those who don't is this: those who don't find recovery slip and fall, and don't get up again. They figure, "I've already relapsed, so why not just continue using my drug of choice? Why not wallow in my disease?"

Those who recover are like Jack Williams...they do their damnedest. They continue to read program literature, they continue to do service, they continue to reach out to others and to their Higher Power. The winners in this program don't wallow...they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and keep on keeping on.

One day at a time... . . .
I will do my damnedest. I will work my program to the best of my ability, and if I fall, I won't stay down.



The 'all or nothing' mentality is what leads us all down the road to relapse.  We're either starving or bingeing; sitting around like couch potatoes or putting ourselves through a grueling exercise routine.  All-or-nothing..........go big or go home. 

What compulsives strive for is the elusive Moderation.............a place where our lives are structured in a moderate fashion; where we are not overeating OR starving; not exercising to extremes but moving our bodies every day. 

Recovery means we agree to stick to a structured food plan which keeps us abstinent from overeating. Slowly but surely, we add other activities into that structured lifestyle so that we develop self-discipline with regard to LIFE.  A structured life is one of peace, serenity & RECOVERY, one day at a time.

For today, I will do my damnedest to work my program to the best of my ability.  If I fall, I will NOT stay down, but get back UP and move FORWARD with the business of Recovery.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Food for Thought: November 22nd


All of us go through times of depression. When we were overeating, we may have felt depressed almost continually. We find that abstinence and the OA program lift us out of depression. The outward circumstances of life may not change radically, but by means of our program we experience more inner joy and contentment and less gloom and despair.

When we do feel depressed, we can take positive action. We can work on a specific step. We can make a phone call. We can offer to help someone else. Focusing our attention on someone or something outside of ourselves is an effective means of combating depression.

Maintaining abstinence does not ensure that we will never again feel depressed. In general, however, our spirits do not sink as low as they did before and they do not stay down as long. As we improve our contact with our Higher Power, we find ourselves less and less despondent. We have new hope, faith, and love - all-powerful antidotes to depression.

Thank You for lifting me out of depression.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.

Depression, for me, went hand in hand with compulsive overeating & drinking.  How could I feel good about myself when my behavior was so dysfunctional?? 

Recovery offers healing & comfort............while life is never 'perfect', it is certainly better than it's ever been! When I have down-days, I realize that the uncomfortable feelings WILL pass, and the sadness will not last forever. As a COE, I tend to think in terms of 'never' and 'forever', which is a dangerous thing.  Nothing will lead me to the refrigerator faster than convincing myself I'll NEVER get a grip on myself, or that I will feel badly FOREVER.

Program taught me all I need focus on is life in 24 hour increments.  Program also gave me useful tools to help me reach out & ask for help.  I am not alone, nor do I have to travel this path alone.  I have friends, family, and people who genuinely love me.  I do not have to control the world with fierce independence anymore.  I am part of the network of Humanity, where I belong.  I agree to take my rightful place amongst my fellow-man, and share myself & my journey with all who I can help.  I agree to receive help from them in return.

For today, I am grateful to be where I am today, which is exactly where God has placed me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Food for Thought: November 21st


We used to allow our moods to determine what and how much we ate. If we were feeling good, charged up with enthusiasm, we were usually able to focus our energy on some activity other than eating. Perhaps being in a particularly good mood made it possible for us to stick to some kind of diet for a few days.

When the bad moods struck, we invariably turned to excess food for consolation, and we attempted to make the bad moods go away by eating to excess. Any sort of psychic distress became a signal for food.

Then, too, some of us found ourselves overeating in times of elation, because we had no other way to express our joy.

When we are committed to abstinence, we have a rock like foundation for our eating habits, which no shifting mood can destroy. No matter how we may feel at a given moment, we abstain from eating compulsively. Moods change and pass away, but abstinence remains.

Make firm my commitment to abstinence.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
Emotional eating............I ate when I was happy, sad, angry, lonely, bored, tired...........I just ate no matter WHAT. When bad moods struck, I felt panicked...........I had to find a way to feel better, to make that mood go away, so what better way than to eat & drink them away? 

Working the Steps taught me a better way..........excess food and drink doesn't make a bad mood go makes the mood even WORSE because now I add self-loathing to the mood, making it REALLY bad! Food as a drug has the shortest life-span of all the addictive substances.  The 'high' lasts only as long as I am chewing; once the food is swallowed, I must go back for MORE to keep my high.  And so the binge is born. And so the binge gets bigger & bigger & BIGGER until I find myself eating 10,000 calories and STILL going back for more.

Committing myself to abstinence gave me a solid plan for eating which is never contingent upon any given mood.  If I'm angry, I still stick to my food plan.  If I'm happy, sad, lonely, bored or tired, I STILL stick to my food plan because IT is in charge, not ME.  My mood will generally improve BECAUSE of my abstinence, in fact, and if it doesn't, that's ok too.  Nobody ever died from a bad mood, but they HAVE died from obesity & the disease of compulsive eating.

For today, I pray not to be a slave to my moods, a slave to food, or a slave to ANYTHING.  For today, I am grateful to be relieved of my addictive thoughts, thanks to my abstinent lifestyle.  For the next 24 hours, I can do ANYTHING!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 20th


Patience is the key to paradise.

Turkish proverb

I used to be the queen of the "quick fix." Anything I wanted done had to be done today, if not yesterday. I'd even do a job myself because I couldn't wait for someone else to do it in their time. I ended up chasing my tail most days, and trying to run the show myself, simply because I couldn't wait. Even all the many diets that I went on had to get results fast or they weren't worth their salt. Small wonder, being the compulsive person that I was, that when I wanted to eat, there was no such thing in my vocabulary as delayed gratification. When I wanted it, I had to have it right then.

Imagine my horror at coming into the program and seeing that people who had been in the fellowship for years were still there. Surely they should have gotten it right by now and graduated from this program. But I soon learned that this is not something we graduate from. Recovery and abstinence happen in God's time, not mine. I've had to learn that this a journey. Progress can sometimes be painfully slow, but the rewards for those who wait for the miracle is a gift I wouldn't want to be without. Not only am I offered freedom from compulsive eating, but also sanity and serenity to live my life the way I was intended to do.

One Day at a Time . . .
Even when progress seems slow, I will keep coming back and working the program to the best of my ability, knowing that recovery will come to me if I wait.

~ Sharon S. ~
My Health Coach Website
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Hurry up & wait.............the compulsive overeaters mantra! We want what we want & we want it NOW!
One of the biggest complaints I hear about OA meetings is that the members are still fat! Why don't they 'get it'?  Recovery can be a slow process.  COEs can attend meetings for years & still struggle with's the gift that keeps on giving.  Abstinence can be difficult to find and maintain, and weight loss THROUGH abstinence can take a very long time.  Which is why we tend to look for more 'quick-fix' diets and drastic means to lose weight. COEs have been known to go to extremes............starvation diets, fasts, surgeries...........we've tried all the schemes and still find ourselves controlled by a disease that gets progressively WORSE instead of better!
Patience is developed slowly and is key to success with Recovery.  It doesn't come naturally, but must be cultivated over time.  Progress can be painfully slow.  We shouldn't judge overweight people as not having found Recovery.............many HAVE, but the results are not immediately noticeable.
For today, I pray to develop patience & get better at the art of waiting. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Food for Thought: November 19th

Appetite Is Not Hunger

Confusing a "hearty" appetite with genuine, physical hunger is a mistake made consistently by compulsive overeaters. Our idea of how much food our body needs is usually a great exaggeration of the actual requirement. Because of an overdeveloped appetite, we are unfamiliar with the feeling of true hunger.

Since we cannot rely on subjective feelings to tell us how much we need to eat, we require an objective, definite plan. When we reach our normal weight, we continue to eat according to a measured food plan, rather than according to appetite. We will never be able to satisfy the demands of our appetite without destroying ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When we think we require more food than is called for by our plan, we need to examine our thinking. Usually we find that we are being deluded by the demands of our overdeveloped appetite. We would like to eat more, but in fact, our body does not need more.

I pray for the wisdom to distinguish between appetite and hunger.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
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When I first became abstinent & felt 'hungry' all the time, I had to ask myself whether I was feeling true stomach hunger, or just the desire to taste & chew food.  I was unfamiliar with the sensation of true stomach hunger, since overeating prevented such a thing!  I had a grossly exaggerated idea of how much food I truly needed to stay alive, and what constituted a 'normal' portion.
Nowadays, I still find myself asking that same question. No amount of food on earth is going to satisfy Mind hunger, or Emotional hunger, because calories is not the answer to those appetites. If I am needing a hug or some understanding from my husband, eating a cake is NOT going to fulfill that need & so, I keep going back for more.  If I keep myself numbed out to the truth, I am going to STAY 'hungry' and never feel satisfied.  When I tune into the truth about what's really going on, that is when I accept the fact that my body is not looking for more food, and my appetite is not coming from my stomach.
If I ate according to my overdeveloped appetite, I'd be eating non-stop 24/7.  Only my pre-determined Food Plan keeps me on track, eating a measured amount of food that keeps my body fueled properly.  When I want more food than what's called for, I must examine my MIND for the why.
For today, I pray for the wisdom to distinguish between appetite & hunger. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Food for Thought: November 18th

No Exit

We have tried many ways of avoiding problems and pain. In addition to food, we may have used alcohol, drugs, sleep, sex, compulsive activity, or excessive daydreaming to try to escape whatever it was that we did not want to encounter. Undoubtedly, we found that nothing worked permanently; the problem or pain remained.

It is the attempt to avoid discomfort that turns fear into panic. Whatever troubles or threatens us becomes more unmanageable when we pretend that it does not exist. Now that we have the OA program and contact with a Power greater than ourselves, we can confront our problems without searching frantically for an exit from reality.

Our pain is what teaches us the things we need to know. By being willing to be broken, we are able to become whole. Through our distress, we are watched over by the One who heals us. We need no exit.

Thank You for the faith that overcomes panic.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
My Health Coach Website
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I've used many ways of avoiding problems & pain, all to no avail. I've used food, alcohol, sleep, compulsive activity & excessive daydreaming over the past 40-some years. Let's not forget cigarettes too. I find that when I'm 'using', the panic wells up in me even MORE so..........I wake up in the morning feeling panic-stricken and not knowing which way to turn.  The answer becomes clear.......I need to turn to God and surrender MY ineffective ways over to Him.  God has a plan for me, so who am I to try & divert that plan? My way never works. Period.
My pain teaches me things I need to know. By being willing to be broken, I am able to become whole. I know that God is watching over me, healing me with every attempt I make to recover.  I am not alone & there is no need to panic.
For today, I am willing to face what lies before me, with grace, acceptance, and my Higher Power by my side.  No amount of addictive behavior will 'help' me deal with my life.
For today, I accept my role as an adult & an addict. I agree to keep myself in Recovery status for the next 24 hours.
  God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: November 17th

Grief and Action

Trust in God and do something.
—Mary Lyon

It's important to let ourselves grieve as a passage between yesterday and tomorrow. But we do not have to be controlled unduly by our grief, or our pain.

There are times when we have grieved, surrendered to the heaviness, tiredness, and weariness of a circumstance long enough. It becomes time to break out. It comes time to take action.

We will know when it's time to break the routine of grieving. There will be signs within and around us. We will become tired of the heaviness. An idea will occur; an opportunity will present itself. We may think: No. Too much effort... Do it anyway. Try something. Reach out. Stretch. Do something unusual, something different, and something special.

A new activity may help trigger the transformation process. Stay up two hours later than usual! Make an appointment to do something for yourself that is different from what you usually do. Visit someone you haven't seen in years. Do something to encourage and help the new energy coming your way.

We may not feel like breaking out of grief. It may feel safer, easier, to remain in our cocoon. Begin pushing out anyway.

Test the walls of your cocoon. Push. Push a little harder. It may be time to emerge.

Today, I will trust God and the process, but I will also take action to help myself feel better.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
My Health Coach Website
My Blog

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 16th


"Whatever games are played with us,
we must play no games with ourselves,
but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I began to study step one in OA I learned that the principle behind the step was honesty. That was difficult for me because I had spent so much time lying to myself and others about my eating. I was so ashamed of my eating habits and behaviors that when asked about them, it never occurred to me to tell the truth. I couldn't conceive of being accepted, or even cared for, if anyone knew the truth.

Then I came into the program and began to hear people share. The denial and shell of lies began to melt. For the first time I found myself in a fellowship where I felt like I could tell the truth because I was surrounded by people whose stories were similar to mine. Most importantly, the people in the fellowship loved me and cared for me when I told my truth, no matter how ugly it seemed to me. I call this the magic of the fellowship. It makes me want to be that kind of loving, caring person for the newcomer taking his or her first step.

One day at a time...
I will honestly confront the reality of my compulsive eating, knowing that I am in a fellowship where I am unconditionally loved and cared for.

~ Carolyn H.
My Health Coach Website
My Blog
Honesty doesn't come naturally to me as a compulsive overeater.  Sharing my story makes me feel vulnerable, and that nobody could ever love me because of my eating habits.  Sneaking food was a behavior that I felt I HAD to practice for that very reason.
Sharing myself and my story with other COEs allows me to realize I am NOT alone.  Sharing my story helps others who behave in the same way towards food. Eventually, I come to believe that I AM lovable, regardless of what I eat or don't eat.
When I live in denial & lies is when my disease is in control.  Truth & honesty set me be the person I was meant TO be.
For today, I pray to stay honest with myself and others.  Hiding behind a wall of food & fat is no longer an option for me.  For today, I pray to stop hiding & to continue living in peace, one day at a time. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 15th


"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting a different result."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

While in the grip of my disease I tried many things to deal with my compulsive overeating. I tried many, many diets, fasting, exercise programs, treatment, therapy, church and even resorted to weight loss surgery. I did the same thing over and over again. I tried outward solutions to fix an inward problem. And the sad thing was I somehow thought that I would get different results: a permanent change of my compulsive overeating. But it did not work that way. It was acting with insanity. I was frustrated and very, very sad. All along, I knew there was something wrong with me, that I was not normal, but I didnt know what to do about it.

Then the blessing of the program came to me. I learned about Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. I came to believe that was true. I finally was doing something different. Never before had I approached my compulsive overeating on three levels all at the same time. I had never seen my disease as a physical, emotional and spiritual disease that needed addressing at the same time, one day at a time. I began to slowly learn how to do this through the steps and the tools, with the help of sponsors and friends in the program. I found myself doing something different and getting different results. I found my sanity returning, piece by piece.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do something different, knowing I will get different results.

~ Carolyn
My Health Coach Website
My Blog
Compulsive overeating is insanity........the definition & epitome of mind chaos.  To be obsessed with food all the time is a cycle that seems impossible to stop.  I suppose it IS impossible to stop until we agree to take a different approach; the Recovery approach instead of a new diet, a new pill, or a new procedure that will 'fix' us.  
When I put my life in God's hands, I know that I am capable of ANYTHING.  When I believe my disease is three-fold, physical, emotional & spiritual, then I am able to address the reality of it rather than the fantasy that a simple 'diet' can restore me to sanity.
When I work the steps I begin to change myself, from the inside out, and that's when I face the disease for what it really IS.
For today, I will work my OA program diligently, and I will stick to my Food Plan of abstinence, just for the next 24 hours.  The results I WANT are available to me if I do the work that's required of me.  

For today, I will not function with the insanity of doing the same thing over & over again, expecting different results. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 14th

~ Contentment ~

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.

Helen Keller

I spent most of my life dreaming and wishing for the stars, always hoping that something wonderful would happen to change my life. If only my mother were more loving; if only I had more friends; if only I had a better husband or smarter children; and, more especially, if only I were thin. I was never satisfied with what I had because someone else always seemed to be better off than me. It was like I was always being short-changed in life, and what expectations I had had as a child just didn't materialize. I never realized that what I had was exactly what I needed at the time, even though it may not have seemed to be what I wanted.

I know now that, even though I may have less than a perfect life, I have many wonderful things. I have so much more than many others, and instead seeing my cup as half-empty, I can now see it as half-full. I can see the miracle of the changing seasons, the beauty of a sunset and the changing moods of the sea. I can hear the beautiful music that feeds my soul, a baby's cry and the crash of thunder. I am surrounded by loving friends and family who care for me as I care for them. I can look at those less fortunate than me and know that I am truly blessed. More and more I am becoming aware that I have exactly what I need for today, and in that I am content.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am content knowing that I have many blessings in my life ... may I always be willing to see that.

~ Sharon S. ~
My Health Coach Website
My Blog
Dreaming & wishing for the stars, always hoping that something wonderful would happen to change my life is typical addictive thinking.  "If only" keeps me reaching for alcohol and food to numb my emotions & push down the chronic disappointment.

Our illusions were tied to our compulsive overeating behavior. Abstaining from the behavior makes it possible for us to let go of our illusions. It is the Higher Power that leads us into the truth, which penetrates and dispels illusions.

Working the Steps, reading the OA literature, and talking with other members prepares us to receive new truth. Our Higher Power gives us insights, sometimes-in quick flashes of perception and sometimes slowly over a long period of time. The experience of discovery is one of the most rewarding facets of our program. It is an ongoing process, since we continue to grow and become aware of new truth.

Too much food kept us in a fog. Now we are recovering from the physical effects of our addiction to refined sugars and carbohydrates and the emotional dependency on eating to avoid feeling pain. In the process, we wake up to more and more truth about others, our Higher Power, and ourselves.

If I choose to feel short-changed in life, I neglect to see the wonderful life I really DO have!  If I compare myself to others, I fail to recognize my own beauty & value as a human being.  If I view my cup as half empty all the time, how can I ever allow myself to feel satisfied, or understand the meaning of the word 'enough'?  If I am driven by the disease of More, then nothing is EVER enough!

For today, I choose to remain abstinent and OUT of the food fog that keeps me dwelling in the negative & ignoring the positive.  For today, I am not inviting myself to the pity-party, but appreciating all the blessings I DO have.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: November 13th

Taking Care of Ourselves

We do not have to wait for others to come to our aid. We are not victims. We are not helpless.

Letting go of faulty thinking means we realize there are no knights on white horses, no magical grandmothers in the sky watching, waiting to rescue us.

Teachers may come our way, but they will not rescue. They will teach. People who care will come, but they will not rescue. They will care. Help will come, but help is not rescuing.

We are our own rescuers.

Our relationships will improve dramatically when we stop rescuing others and stop expecting them to rescue us.

Today, I will let go of the fears and self doubt that block me from taking assertive action in my best interest. I can take care of myself and let others do the same for themselves.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation
My Health Coach Website
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My disease insists I'm a victim & helpless. For years I lived in fantasy land, waiting for, and expecting, to be rescued from my miserable life.  I was a fairy tale queen, as yet unrecognized, and a knight in shining armor would one day rescue me & we'd ride off into the sunset together.
Obviously, I wasn't based in reality! It was easier, I thought, to live with that illusion than it was to rescue MYSELF! 
When I found abstinence I became willing to look at my life, and myself, in a realistic way. I had to take action to change my OWN life, nobody could do it for me.
Letting go of my faulty, twisted thinking opened my mind up to reality and enabled me to take care of myself first.  I allow others to do the same for themselves.
For today, in the event of an emergency, I will put my OWN oxygen mask on first before assisting those around me.   

Monday, November 12, 2012

Food for Thought

Don't Anticipate

We wear ourselves out unnecessarily when we spend our energy anticipating the future rather than living in the present. To anticipate bad things is obviously detrimental to our serenity. It is also needless, since most of the things we worry about never happen. Even if some of them do occur, it is easier by far to deal with real disasters than with imagined ones.

Anticipating future satisfactions can also be detrimental to our serenity. If we are living for an event or condition, which is yet to come, we are not completely alive to what is here now. We may build up some future pleasure in our minds to such an unrealistic pitch that the actual event is bound to be disappointing.

Accepting the here and now is what ensures our sanity and our serenity. Reality is never more than we can manage, with the help of our Higher Power. It is our anticipation of the future, which is unreal and dangerous.

May I live today and leave the future to You.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation
My Health Coach Website
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Constructive action can only be taken in the present moment. A mind that is in the present moment and doing inspired work loses itself completely and is said to be in flow. Such a mind is awake, alert, and creative, full of possibilities. It is only by consistently focusing in the present moment can we create the life we really want.
As a compulsive overeater/addict, I spent the majority of my time living in the past or the future; ignoring the present moment entirely.  I lived with the "When I'm Thin & Life Will Be Perfect" mentality, or the "When I Was Thin" mentality, neither of which was reality.  The only moment that's real is NOW.  Yesterday is a memory & tomorrow is a hallucination.
 Why worry about what might happen tomorrow, trying to cope with the outcome of something that isn't REAL?  I can set up a series of 'what if's'............what if A happens, or B, or C or D, and how will I react should such a scenario occur?  I lose focus on what's happening NOW, and wind up living inside of my HEAD instead of the real world!
Accepting the here & now is what ensures my sanity & serenity. Following my food plan for today, for the next 24 hours, is all I need to concern myself with.  I will live today & leave the future in God's hands.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: November 11th


Children need discipline to feel secure; so do adults.

Discipline means understanding there are logical consequences to our behavior. Discipline means taking responsibility for our behavior and the consequences.

Discipline means learning to wait for what we want.

Discipline means being willing to work for and toward what we want.

Discipline means learning and practicing new behaviors.

Discipline means being where we need to be, when we need to be there, despite our feelings.

Discipline is the day to day performing of tasks, whether these are recovery behaviors or washing the dishes.

Discipline involves trusting that our goals will be reached though we cannot see them.

Discipline can be grueling. We may feel afraid, confused, and uncertain. Later, we will see the purpose. But this clarity of sight usually does not come during the time of discipline. We may not even believe we're moving forward.

But we are.

The task at hand during times of discipline is simple: listen, trust, and obey.

Higher Power, help me learn to surrender to discipline. Help me be grateful that You care enough about me to allow these times of discipline and learning in my life. Help me know that as a result of discipline and learning, something important will have been worked out in me.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
My Health Coach Website
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As a compulsive overeater, I had NO discipline ANYWHERE in my life! Sure, I'd get up and go to work, but I had no routine in place to deal with all the other responsibilities that needed attention. My inner brat was in charge, insisting I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to, and I 'deserved' to! Nobody was gonna tell ME what to DO or how to do it! Pffffffttttttttttttt. 

I wound up with laundry piled up to the ceiling. I'd putt off doing housework until the place was filthy. I'd sleep in till noon on the weekends, accomplishing nothing and expecting nothing of myself.  I'd eat & drink to my heart's content because I wasn't about to 'deprive' myself of anything. I bought everything I wanted, whether I needed it or not.  The instant gratification I sought in every aspect of life brought me to a dark place, where I was obese, alcoholic, with more 'stuff' than I had room for!
When I embraced recovery, I realized that the only thing that had to change was EVERYTHING.  I developed a solid routine for when and what I ate, chores, laundry, exercise bedtimes and waking up times........I routinized my entire life, leaving Saturday as a 'free' day, so to speak, but not a 'free' day where I could eat/drink & be merry.  I just didn't plan the entire day out, but only my meal times.  I forced DISCIPLINE on myself and as a result, I am now slim & healthy, with a clean house and folded-and-put-away laundry!

Discipline can be grueling, yes, but a lack of discipline is even MORE grueling! What constitutes "enough" in the mind of an addict?  Only discipline will create 'enough', and we carve out a new 'normal' which keeps us feeling good about ourselves.
For today, I am grateful for the discipline in my life.  I am grateful for the ability to ignore the inner brat that tries to surface now & then, and to take my rightful place as an Adult in the real world. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 10th


Our whole trouble has been the misuse of willpower.
We had tried to bombard our problems with it
instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God's intention for us.

The AA Twelve and Twelve

I want the answers to all my questions and the solutions to all of my problems RIGHT NOW. Furthermore, I want to tell my Higher Power what I want those answers and solutions to be. I think I know what's best for me and what will bring long-lasting peace and serenity to my life.

My self-will has gotten me hurt and possibly caused me to hurt others. It has convinced me I could do things my way and everything would be just fine. My self-will has helped me lie to myself about my disease of compulsive overeating, anorexia, or bulimia; it has convinced me that darkness was light and that I should have what I want exactly when I want it.

How grateful I am that my Higher Power loves me enough to not take my advice! How grateful I am that, after I've plunged head-first into the same wall at least one hundred times as I tried to force my own answers and solutions, my Higher Power is waiting patiently to bless me by leading me where He would have me go. How grateful I am that I don't have to run into the wall of my self-will as often or as hard as I once did. One day, maybe I won't run into it at all.

One Day at a Time . . .
I can let go of self-will and remember that the Third Step says we "made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood Him." The care of God ... God can take better care of me than I can of myself.

~ Sandee ~
My Health Coach Website
My Blog
I really detest the word 'willpower'. My parents used to tell me, as a kid, "If only you had a little WILLPOWER, then you would lose weight & keep it off. Tsk Tsk."  I grew up berating myself for my lack of this elusive thing known as 'willpower'.  Why did everyone else seem to have it but ME, I'd wonder?
What I've discovered is this: there is NO such thing as Willpower.  Commitment is what keeps me glued to my Food Plan, and surrendering MY 'will' over to God's 'power'.  THAT is 'willpower'........not me hanging on by my fingernails, gritting my teeth, and just making it through the day!
My self-will has run amok over the years. Convincing myself I was running the world, and needed to be in charge of everyone & everything, overseeing the outcome! Naturally, I wasn't able to DO that and so, I filled my disappointment with food & booze.  I was 'supposed' to be All Things to All People At All Times, and I always fell short of that goal, so oh-woe-is-me, let me eat to soothe myself.
For today, I let go of MY self-will and put myself in God's hands.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Food for Thought: November 9th

Where's the Party?

Most of us have early memories of birthday parties - our own and those of other children - and as compulsive overeaters, we probably remember the food more than anything else. For as long as we can recollect, parties have meant eating and drinking. The better and more abundant the food and drink, the better the party; or so we thought.

Maintaining abstinence means that we will attend parties where we do not eat and drink, if what is available is not on our food plan. In order to do this with serenity and enjoyment, we need to redefine our idea of a party. It is no celebration if we break our abstinence and go back to compulsive overeating.

Through this program, we come to see that a party is something more than an occasion for eating and drinking. Enjoying ourselves with other people requires goodwill, mutual attraction, and the effort to communicate with and affirm each other. If these elements are present, there will be a party whether or not there is anything to eat or drink. If these elements are absent, no amount of refreshments will ensure a good time.

Thank You for fun.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
My Health Coach Website
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To me, a party meant I was allowed to eat & drink to my heart's content without feeling guilty.  The better & more abundant the food & drink, the better the party..........that's exactly how I felt. I used to worry that there wouldn't be enough, in fact! 
Once I decided to commit myself to abstinence, parties no longer felt like 'fun.' I had to redefine my idea of fun, and learn to focus on people rather than food or drink.  In reality, celebrations aren't about food anyway, but habit tells me they ARE.  What is a birthday without a cake? Christmas without 23 varieties of cookies? What good is going out to dinner without appetizers, drinks & desserts?
Learning to refocus myself away from the food & drink took a lot of time & patience.  I am now able to attend any celebration without drinking or overeating, and I know how to eat NOTHING, if need be, in order to preserve my abstinence.  It's not always easy, and sometimes it still feels like no fun at all.  Sometimes my inner brat stamps her feet & throws a hissy fit because SHE wants to be normal and have 'fun' like everyone else is.  But for me, taking that first 'normal' bite or that first 'normal' sip of a drink will lead me back down the road to sheer insanity. 

"Normal" is my pre-determined Food Plan, and for today, I pray to FEEL normal! And if I don't, I pray to avoid feeling self-pity and instead, be thankful for all the blessings OF abstinence. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 8th


You can't drown your troubles,
because trouble can swim.

Margaret Millar

My feelings have always been too large for me to handle alone. Whenever I felt troubled or had a problem too big to handle, I always turned to my friend and comforter...FOOD. This friend and I went everywhere together and with it, I figured that I could handle anything thrown at me. This friend made me feel good. I was drowning my troubles one by one.

Then someone said to me, "Don't you know that eating too much, drinking too much or even working too much won't solve your problems! Troubles usually reproduce themselves rapidly when you try to drown them."

I really didn't understand what she was trying to tell me but kept the thought tucked inside my hat. My friend food and I just kept batting these troubles deeper and deeper in my sea of tears, but sure enough, they would bounce right back up at me again later only twice as bad. What was happening? I was using my friend more each time and I began to hate it. Why was food trying to hurt me? I really thought it was my friend.

Finally, after many bruises, I realized what that person was trying to tell me. She was right. My troubles were swimming and I was drowning. I was using one of my addictions to try and fight the others, and was only going in circles. I was caught in a tidal wave and unable to get out alone. Each of my other addictions were throwing me back to my primary addiction of compulsive former friend, FOOD.

But where could I go? What could I do? The wonderful person who warned me led me to my recovery meeting and stayed with me. She helped me to find a Higher Power who was always there to help. I learned to share my experiences with my recovery family of choice. I got a wonderful sponsor who also knew me as well as I know myself. Together we looked at all the problems and troubles of the past and they weren't so heavy any more. I moved out of the deep sea that I couldn't swim in, and on dryer, more sturdy ground. What a relief!

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember that my troubles are strong and can drown me in the sea of food if I try to handle them alone. Troubles may be able to swim strongly, but they are NO MATCH for me, my Higher Power, my sponsor and Program. Together, we are strong, but alone we are weak. Together we can do what we can never do alone.

~ Jeanette ~
My Health Coach Website
My Blog
 We start out thinking food is a friend, and it turns out to be an enemy, as any other addiction.  A little extra turns into a series of binges that make us physically & spiritually sick.  We create more problems than we cure by drowning our troubles in addictive behavior!

I had to be brought to my knees before I saw what excess food was really doing to me.......killing me slowly, bite by bite.  I was trying to anesthetize myself from pain, and wound up feeling nothing; no pain AND no joy.

Today, I am not alone with my disease of addiction. Today I have a support system that understands me, and can help me stay the course.  When I look to other addictive behaviors to replace compulsive overeating, I can now recognize how destructive that thinking truly IS.  Shopping, drinking, gambling, eating...........none of those behaviors are going to help me cope with life.  Only my recovery program & my Higher Power can do THAT!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 7th


Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.

Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

As a child, I believed in God, but the God of my childhood was a punishing God. I often felt that the reason for all the tragedies and misfortunes that I went through was because I didn't adhere to all the traditions and rules of my given religion. Perhaps the fact that I wasn't a good enough daughter to my parents, a good enough mother to my children, or a good enough friend was another reason why I was being punished. I would pray to the God of my childhood for what I wanted, but God never answered me or gave it to me, so what was the use of praying? I eventually stopped praying because my prayers were never answered.

I now know, having been led into this beautiful fellowship of the spirit, that God is a loving and forgiving God who always gave me what I needed, even if it didn't at the time seem to be what I wanted. The trouble had always been that I was filled with fear and found it hard to believe or trust in something or someone that I couldn't see or hear. I am a logical and rational person so it was really hard for me to have faith and trust that God would take care of me. It's said that the opposite of fear is faith, and so I am now learning to let go of the fear and put my faith and trust in a Higher Power of my understanding. I realize that He knows what's best for me, and will always be there for me if I only let Him.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will trust that my Higher Power knows what's best for me, and I put my myself in His care. My faith is growing stronger each day and I am able to release fear.

My Health Coach Website
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My religious upbringing taught me to fear God & to expect punishment from Him for all of my various imperfections and 'sins'.  I was fat because I was 'bad', so how could I have the nerve to ask God to help me?  He wouldn't have time for a 'sinner' like me anyway!
I turned away from my religion as I grew older, because I knew the dogma was distorted.......something was wrong with the entire premise! As I got further along in my disease, I knew I had to revisit the God matter, and develop faith in my OWN way, regardless of what I'd been taught as a child.  
When I walked in the door of my first AA meeting 20-some years ago, and the group held hands and repeated The Lord's Prayer, I knew then that I'd be able to form a relationship with the God of MY understanding instead of the mean & fearful God I'd come to know.  
As I grew in recovery, I came to realize that my addictions weren't 'punishments' handed to me for being so 'bad', but instead blessings in disguise. Had I not been an alcoholic & compulsive overeater, I wouldn't have grown into the person I am today; a person I very much love & respect.

I came to understand that 'sins' aren't horrible events that will lead me to "hell", but simply 'missing the point of human existence.'  The purpose of life is Love, and anything that's done in Hate or Fear is the opposite of Love.  All the 'sins' of my life were nothing more than Fear, insecurity & resentment.  I no longer dwell on going to 'hell' and burning for eternity; that is not what God wants me to dwell on.  

Instead, I focus on Now, on Today, on surrendering my life over to the loving & forgiving God I've come to know.

For today, I will trust that my Higher Power knows what's best for me, and I put myself in His loving care.  My faith is growing stronger each day as I am able to release fear.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Food for Thought: November 6th


Living without the narcotic of excess food means learning to cope with emotional pain. Uncomfortable feelings, which we have covered up by eating, begin to surface as we abstain. At first, our emotional reactions are often vague and diffuse, since we have not yet acquired enough insight to identify what it is that is bothering us.

If we are willing to stay with the emotional discomfort and pain, we will eventually gain understanding. Sometimes we have to spend time hurting before we are able to pass through one phase in our development and move on to the next. Whatever the suffering, it is preferable to the agony of a binge. Facing emotional pain is constructive; trying to bury it under food is destructive.

Our pain is often associated with events in the past, which are still troubling us unconsciously. When we are able to identify the source of the pain, we can examine it in the light of our present maturity and begin to put it behind us. As long as we avoid feeling the pain, we deny ourselves the healing which our Higher Power can give us.

May I accept the pain that is necessary for continued growth.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
My Health Coach Website
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When I first found abstinence, I was raw & fragile.....I cried all the time as I withdrew from the anesthetic effects of food and began to feel my pain instead of burying it.  Since I wasn't able to identify WHAT I was feeling, I had no idea what, specifically, was bothering me.  At the age of 50, I was just starting to learn about myself, after many decades of escaping pain at any cost.
Since I was 100% committed to abstinence, I had NO other choice but to push through my emotional discomfort and stay the course.  Doing so forced me to find new & healthy coping mechanisms instead of turning to food for comfort.  As time went on, I was able to identify the source of my emotional pain, and to address each issue as it came up.  I had a lot of old wounds that needed healing..........wounds that I hadn't addressed before Recovery.  I knew I had to get out of the Past & the Future, and learn to focus on the NOW; the Present.
I did a lot of writing which was very cathartic.  I put into words the pain & suffering I had endured at the hands of my disease.  I became conscious of the pain that had festered within me, and little by little, I rid myself of my past mistakes & forgave others for THEIR past mistakes.
The only way OUT is THROUGH, one day at a time.  When I find myself wanting to binge nowadays, I have to ask myself what I REALLY want and need? It's certainly not excess food, but perhaps a hug, or a long talk, or some understanding from a loved one.  
For today, I will remain abstinent & sane.  For today, I pray to accept the pain that may come up within me, realizing the necessity of dealing with it, so I can continue to grow as a human being.  For today, I put my life in God's hands. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: November 5th

Let's Make a Deal

The relationship just wasn't working out, and I wanted it to so badly. I kept thinking if I just made myself look prettier, if I just tried to be a more loving, kind person, then he would love me. I turned myself inside out to be something better, when all along, who I was was okay. I just couldn't see what I was doing, though, until I moved forward and accepted reality.

One of the most frustrating stages of acceptance is the bargaining stage. In denial, there is bliss. In anger, there is some sense of power. In barraging, we vacillate between believing there is something we can do to change things and realizing there isn't.

We may get our hopes up again and again, only to have them dashed.

Many of us have turned ourselves inside out to try to negotiate with reality. Some of us have done things that appear absurd, in retrospect, once we've achieved acceptance.

"If I try to be a better person, then this won't happen...If I look prettier, keep a cleaner house, lose weight, smile more, let go, hang on more tightly, close my eyes and count to ten, holler, then I won't have to face this loss, this change."

There are stories from members of Al Anon about attempts to bargain with the alcoholic's drinking: "If I keep the house cleaner, he won't drink.... If I make her happy by buying her a new dress, she won't drink... If I buy my son a new car, he'll stop using drugs."

Adult children have bargained with their losses too: "Maybe if I'm the perfect child, then Mom or Dad will love and approve of me, stop drinking, and be there for me the way I want them to be." We do big, small, and in between things, sometimes-crazy things, to ward off, stop, or stall the pain involved with accepting reality.

There is no substitute for accepting reality. That's our goal. But along the way, we may try to strike a deal. Recognizing our attempts at bargaining for what they are - part of the grief process - helps our lives become manageable.

Today, I will give others and myself the freedom to fully grieve losses. I will hold myself accountable, but I will give myself permission to be human.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 4th


When people are serving, life is no longer meaningless.

John Gardner

I used to always think that I was kind and helpful, and that I was always there for other people. Well, of course I was. I was a people-pleaser, and the payoff was to be liked. That never happened, or at least I didn't think so, and I became more resentful and full of self-pity. The truth was that I was so self-absorbed and self-seeking that I didn't know how to really be there for other people, not even my own children. I'm sure that for a long period, even though I was always doing things for them, I was emotionally absent and unavailable when they really needed me. The focus was on me and how fat I looked, or how nobody fulfilled my needs, instead of looking outside of myself to what I could REALLY do for others.

This recovery program has taught me, first and foremost, how to love myself so that I am able to love others, especially my children. I was spiritually and emotionally empty before, but now I am being constantly filled and nurtured spiritually. Now I am able to give back what has freely been given to me. I am learning for the first time the pleasure of giving of myself, of my time and my experience, strength and hope, that others may walk this beautiful road to recovery as I have. In giving what I have, I am strengthening my program and my own recovery. What a joy that has been!

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember that when I do service and give away what I have, I will experience the promises of the program on a daily basis.

~ Sharon S. ~
My Health Coach Website
My Blog
Until I became involved with OA & counseling compulsive overeaters, I was SO self-absorbed! Like Sharon says, I thought I was kind & helpful, that I was 'always there' for others..........but I was a people-pleasure & the 'payoff' was to be liked.  I was emotionally unavailable for others, in reality, because I was totally focused on ME ME ME; how fat I was, how I could lose weight, what I could eat or drink, how nobody fulfilled  my I could avoid pain & blame others for my lot in life.
A self-centered lifestyle is the polar opposite of what we're taught in Recovery.  Until we really SEE what what we're doing, we don't understand WHY we overeat.  When I live inside of my own head, I can't see past the tip of my own nose.

Giving service gets me OUT of my own head; truly giving back & helping others along their journey to good health.  Working on an accounting computer in an office environment only provides me with money to pay bills.  Working with COEs and being THERE for them, in their time of need, is the most rewarding work I've ever done.  In God's economy, I am fulfilling my life's purpose and that helps ME to stay the course & not obsess about myself or about food.
For today, I remember that when I do service & give away what I have, I will experience the promises and miracles of the program on a daily basis.
For today, I am grateful for fulfilling my life's purpose. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Food for Thought: November 3rd

Learning Moderation

If we had known how to practice moderation, we would not have become compulsive overeaters. Following the abstinence guidelines enables us to eat moderately. Working the Twelve Steps teaches us moderation in other activities.

Knowing when to quit involves knowing ourselves. We tend to get carried away with our determination to finish a job today, to explain our life history to a new friend in one afternoon, to complete a major project in record time. The tendency to devour life rapidly in huge chunks can be as damaging as compulsive overeating.

It is the serenity we acquire from contact with our Higher Power that saves us from wearing ourselves out compulsively. An awareness of the quiet Power and order, which sustains all life calms our over-stimulated personalities. Dependence on God as we understand Him gives us the support and confidence we need to be content with moderate efforts and accomplishments.

Teach me to practice moderation.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
My Health Coach Website
My Blog
 Amen to this reading! "Moderation" is not a word in this girl's vocabulary!  My Food Plan creates moderation for me.  It is designed to keep me full but not stuffed; satisfied but not overfed.  If I want to eat more than what's on my Food Plan, I know that it's my mind that's hungry & not my stomach.  
My Food Plan of abstinence is designed to be my security blanket; my sanity; my hope amidst the chaos of compulsive overeating.  It's not a punishment or a curse, but a miracle handed to me by my Higher Power.
I'd like to say that I've 'learned' moderation in all areas of my life, including my food intake, but  I have not.  Some things can never be 'learned' or taught in a book or by a teacher.  But my Life Plan keeps me behaving moderately, and for that I am thankful.  Setting up a few rules for myself has also helped a lot.  When the washing machine is full, I run it, throw it into the dryer, fold it & put it away. That forces me not to procrastinate & overwhelm myself with facing 20 loads of laundry.  I exercise in a certain manner, for a certain amount of time, and then I'm done with exercise for the day.  That plan prevents me from feeling like I 'have to' go to the gym and kill myself every day for hours on end.  Explaining my life history to a new friend in one afternoon & completing a major project in record time I'm still working on.......:)
For today, I vow not to wear myself out compulsively.  For today, I will behave myself in a moderate fashion, with moderate efforts & expectations.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Recovery Meditations: November 2nd


Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely
and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

For a long time I went through therapy, dealing with the past. But working the Steps has helped me to focus on today. What happened is over. It is my choice how I allow it to affect my life now. When I cannot seem to let the past go, I have to remind myself that I need only to let God have the past. Yesterday is beyond my ability to change. Today is my charge.

Today I write before I eat compulsively. Today I give service to others in recovery. Today I choose to not eat compulsively and to seek all the support I can find to hold to that choice. I put aside yesterday, reflecting on the lessons learned. Like a hiker looking ahead to mark the next point on the trail, I look to the future that is stretching out before me. But it is today that I act. Today I do not worry about what I have not done, but rest in the knowledge that I have done what is before me to be done. Day after day will add up to recovery, to serenity, to living.

One Day at a Time . . .
is all the time I have within my control so I choose to live in the now.

~ Tassy~
My Health Coach Website
My Blog

Sitting around, discussing the past in therapy, only keeps me rooted IN the past instead of in the NOW.  What's done is done.  All I have is this very moment; which is all that's real.  Yesterday is a memory, and memories are just images of what once WAS real.  Tomorrow is a hallucination because it isn't here yet. 

For ages I lived for tomorrow, 'when I'd be thin & life would be perfect'.  I was either dieting to GET thin, or eating out of disappointment over the fact that life WASN'T perfect when I WAS thin!!  Subconsciously, I chose to stay fat so I could blame all of my problems on my body size.  If I could blame my fat for being miserable, then I didn't have to deal with reality & change myself from the inside out. Yo yo dieting was my reality for 40-some years, although I wasn't sure WHY.  Now, thanks to the OA program, I know 'why.'

For today, I will use the tools in my toolbox BEFORE I take that first compulsive bite.  For today, I choose to stay in the reality of the moment, where I AM enough, and life is good.  For today, I refuse to dwell in the past or the future, but savor the beauty of the moment instead.