Thursday, February 28, 2013

Food for Thought: February 28th

Conserving Resources

In this fight against compulsive overeating, we need all the strength we can muster. We can learn to conserve our energy for what is important, rather than wasting it on non-essential activities.

An extra hour of sleep may do more for our program than an hour spent reading a novel or watching television. We have to guard against compulsive overactivity as well as overeating. Often, we tend to push too hard to complete something which can just as well wait until tomorrow. If we are tired, we are less able to resist temptation.

Choosing the foods, which will provide us with necessary proteins, vitamins, and minerals, is a vital part of maintaining energy. To take care of our bodies is to nurture the most valuable physical resource we have.

Conserving our resources often means saying no to people and activities, which drain them unnecessarily. Only we ourselves, with the guidance of our Higher Power, can decide how best to use the strength and energy we have.

Teach me to conserve the resources You have given me.

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

Compulsive overeating is a disease of touches all aspects of life, not just eating. We go to extremes............we overdo EVERYTHING. Exercise, shopping, cleaning...............we are extremists. We're either compulsively busy or compulsively sitting around doing nothing.

The best thing we can do is plan............plan our food intake, plan out our day, and plan out as much as we possibly can.  Left to our own devices, we usually go to extremes and get ourselves into trouble!  If I fail to plan, I plan to fail!

For today, I will stick to my life plan and my food plan. I will not go overboard or behave compulsively, with God's help, and I will act 'as if' I am a together person! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Food for Thought: February 27th

No Standing Still

Life is movement, and to be alive is to change. There is no standing still. Either we are making progress in the control of our disease, or we are getting worse.

Progress forward is an upward climb. To look back with longing at a time which in retrospect seems easier, or to think about the so-called pleasure we once got from food, is to invite disaster. We have long passed the point of being satisfied with a small amount of uncontrolled eating. Now, a small amount will inevitably become a large amount, and instead of pleasure we will eventually feel much physical and emotional pain.

If we are making progress, let's keep at it and not be deluded into going backwards. If we are losing control and slipping, let's recognize that we are on a downward course and that our disease is getting worse. Let's stop rationalizing and making excuses. Right now we can turn around and start climbing.

May I keep climbing.

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


Compulsive eating, just like all addictions, is  disease of progression. Nobody started out eating a whole started out with an extra slice of cake. A snack before dinner.  An extra helping here and there.  It progressed into a black hole of excess, where there's no such thing as 'enough'.
Why get started on that path of taking that first compulsive bite? It WILL lead to a full fledged binge, there will BE no satisfaction, and the disease will progress ANOTHER notch in the process!!

I laugh at the word 'slip'..........a slip is a garment I wear under a dress.  I don't 'slip' on my program of abstinence...........I JUMP head first into what I KNOW will be a binge. It's not a 'slip' to take that first compulsive is a conscious decision to jump down the rabbit hole into a place of self loathing and misery.  If I 'slip', then I CHOOSE pain, and have nobody and nothing to blame but myself.  I know better so it's up to me to DO better.

For today, my food plan prevails. IT is in charge, along with God, and I relinquish MY control-freak tendencies and surrender. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Food for Thought: February 26th

Eating Slowly

We compulsive overeaters are inclined to devour our meals in a great rush. Mealtime often finds us anxious and tense, and sometimes we are just plain greedy! While others at the table are interested in conversation and socializing, we may be narrowly focused on food and preoccupied with trying to satisfy a ravenous appetite.

We need to break out of our self-centeredness. Rather than being completely absorbed with satisfying our own appetite (which we can never do), we can learn to focus some of our attention on the concerns of those around us. When we eat more slowly, we have more time for others and we feel less deprived. Our enjoyment, of both the company and the food, is greatly increased.

Even when we eat a meal alone, we should remember that we do not receive all of our nourishment from physical food. When we eat more slowly, we become more relaxed and refreshed both physically and spiritually. When we are aware of our Higher Power and thankful for all of His blessings, the meal is more satisfying.

Help me to slow down and appreciate Your gifts.

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

Eating is uncomfortable............I am anxious around food, which leads me to eat FAST and get it over with. I know I can never truly feel 'satisfied' after eating, and I will always want to hurry up and get it over with means I wolf down my meal. I have gotten a bit better about it over the years, but it's still something I need to work on.

I guess I tend to devour all of LIFE in a great rush. I could do well to slow down everywhere........but my racing mind propels me to move forward in a heated rush. I suppose it's a 'greed' for life........a lust to fit the most into it that I possibly can, without missing anything in the process. Part of that is good, part of it is not so good.

For today, I pray to strike a balance between 'too much' and 'not enough.'  I also pray to recognize enough when I see it!

For today, I will break out of my self-centeredness and focus some of my attention on the concerns of those around me. Life doesn't revolve around ME, and my ego needs to step aside and acknowledge that fact.

For today, I will slow down and appreciate God's gifts.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 25th

Accepting Imperfection

"Why do I do this to myself?" asked a woman who wanted to lose weight. "I went to my support group feeling so guilty and ashamed because I ate half a cookie that wasn't on the diet. I found out that everyone cheats a little, and some people cheat a lot. I felt so ashamed before I came to the group, as though I were the only one not doing my diet perfectly. Now I know that I'm dieting as well as most, and better than some."

Why do we do this to ourselves? I'm not talking strictly about dieting, I'm talking about life. Why do we punish ourselves by thinking that we're inferior while believing that others are perfect - whether in relationships, recovery, or a specific task?

Whether we're judging others or ourselves it's two sides of the same coin: perfection. Neither expectation is valid.

It is far more accurate and beneficial to tell ourselves that who we are is okay and what we are doing is good enough. That doesn't mean we won't make mistakes that need correcting; doesn't mean we won't get off track from time to time; doesn't mean we can't improve. It means with all our mistakes and wandering, we're basically on course. Encouraging and approving of ourselves is how we help ourselves stay on track.

Today, I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I'm doing is good enough, and I'll let myself enjoy that feeling. 

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


The quest for 'perfection' is unattainable, yet, I find myself trying to BE perfect ANYWAY! I think I do that so I can give UP.............trick myself into thinking if I can't do it perfectly, don't do it at ALL! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh............OFF the hook.

What a crock.

Just the disease of addiction playing it's usual games with my head.

I reserve my feelings of 'shame' for acts that deserve shame. I will let the punishment fit the crime..........eating 1/2 a cookie is no cause for 'shame', certainly.  I was raised with shame...........all the 'fattening' foods were hidden away and counted. So, if I 'stole' a few cookies, I'd be 'caught' and made to feel like a thief and someone without any 'willpower'.  I was fat, after all, and not entitled to eat like others.  I had to be On A Diet all the time.  I had to eat carrots and celery sticks and canned tuna fish while everyone else was eating Delicious Food.  I deserved to be 'punished' because I was fat.

Then we wonder where we learned 'shame'?

There is no shame with regard to food. I am entitled to eat, just like all other human beings, and I don't have to do so over the kitchen sink, like a thief in the night, or in my car where nobody can see me, or sneaking leftovers off of dirty plates while scraping them.

For today, I approve of myself AS IS.  I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I am doing IS GOOD ENOUGH and I'll allow myself to enjoy that feeling.

For today, I will be human.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Food for Thought: February 24th


What do I value most? What is number one in my life? What is at the center?

When I was overeating, I was the center. I was the biggest thing in my universe, and all else revolved around me - a frightening state of affairs, since egotism does not bring peace of mind or security. Self was most important to me, and that egotism was my downfall. When I fell off my high horse and hit bottom, I had nowhere to go except to something outside of myself.

As we compulsive overeaters take Step Two and come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity, then we begin to shift the center of our consciousness from ourselves to God. This is our only hope. As long as our weak selves are at the center, we cannot make real progress, either in controlling our addiction or in living useful lives.

When we hit bottom, we are humbled. When we are humbled, we are able to perceive and acknowledge that God is primary and that abstinence is our most important task. Values are sorted out and order brings inner peace and security.

You, Lord, are the center of my life.

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

When I was overeating, I was the center of the universe. There were only three people in my world: Me, Myself & I. I was constantly thinking about what to eat/drink, where to get it, how to hide the evidence, etc.  What a waste of time and energy!!!!!!!!!!

My egotism promised me I could control my own life perfectly, with no outside help, thank you very much.  My addiction lied & promised me happiness and 'freedom' in unlimited supplies of my drugs of choice.

Is there 'freedom' in being chained down to addiction? Having a few monkey's on my back is not's slavery...................slavery to substances. Harmful, hateful, destructive substances that shorten my life and prevent me from fulfilling the PURPOSE of my life!

I am grateful to have hit rock bottom, because then I was humbled. Then the truth was revealed to me, and I saw things for what they really WERE. 

For today, I am not the center of my universe; God is.  Abstinence & sobriety is my most important task and I acknowledge & accept my duty to live a clean life, one day at a time.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Each Day a New Beginning: February 23rd

I want to dance always, to be good and not evil, and, when it is all over, not to have the feeling that I might have done better.
—Ruth St. Denis

Our wants in life may be simple, or they may be complex. They may yet be confused in our minds, but the clarity will come if we're patient. God has a way of giving us an "inner tug" when a certain direction beckons. Our responsibility is to follow that tug and trust it, fully. Too often we look back on our lives with regret. What is done, is done. We learned lessons from those mistakes. Every day is a new beginning. And we can close every day with no regrets when we have followed our consciences, that "inner tug" that beckons.

The opportunities will come today. Opportunities to be good or evil. Opportunities for making choices over which we will feel good or full of regret at the day's close. Many of our choices will bring us closer to the satisfaction, the contentment with life that we all search for as women, as human beings. We need not fear coming to life's close, wishing we had done more or better. Living each day in good conscience, waiting for the tug and following it, will ensure a life well lived.

My ego can block out the tug, if I let it. Or I can trust.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Weight of Regret 9/6/12

After my kids moved out recently, I went from a houseful of people, noise & chaos in general, to peace & quiet, with just 2 of us puttering around.  Even the bird has stopped chirping quite so much.  My husband is currently obsessing over the hummingbird feeder he installed on the deck, instead of my daughter’s 19 year old chronic drama. He can now focus on the exact ratio of sugar to water mixture for these creatures, instead of which girlfriend stabbed which other girlfriend in the back or stole a boyfriend while the other wasn’t looking.  I find myself with more time to read & do some writing, now that things have quieted down. Gone are the excuses about how I don’t have time to organize the closets or de-clutter the storage room.

My daughter changed direction, and went from University to Beauty College, preferring to do hair instead of pursuing academics.  I’m fine with that, even though I now have to pay a penalty AND taxes on the money I put aside for her TO go to college.  For some reason, the Feds don’t consider Beauty College ‘real’.  Which is odd, since I DO consider the $19,000 tuition VERY real indeed.  After less than 2 weeks, the girls dyed her hair a strange shade of electric blue, which everyone tells her is SO gorgeous.

My son is sitting for the MCAT exams today, to see which medical schools he will qualify to apply to. He sat for the exam last year, but wants to go for a better score, in hopes of getting into Medical School here in Colorado, which is not an easy feat.  The past few months he’s spent training to be an EMT & planning to work in the field until Medical School begins in August of 2013.

What happened to the past 27 years, I wonder? Those years of child-raising felt like an eternity while my son was screaming with colic, while my daughter toddled around the house, putting every foreign object  she could find directly into her mouth. I felt like there was no time for ME while I raised them, along with an ex husband who was more infantile than BOTH of my kids combined.  I lost myself in THEIR lives. And I overate & drank myself into a stupor in a futile attempt to ‘cope.’

Now I listen to my grown son talking about being a doctor & I stand back in awe, wondering how he’s managed to grow up before my very eyes , becoming an intellectual in the process.  I remember driving to the back door of Goodwill, asking for broken appliances that couldn’t be sold, to take home to the little boy who would otherwise be taking the doorknobs off of my doors.

I watch my daughter applying makeup & doing her friends’ hair, and I think to myself, WOW, this girl has SOME level of artistic talent inside of her petite little frame.  Not to mention a heart as large and generous as the great outdoors. She has a serious boyfriend and I’m waiting for the day they’ll announce their engagement.  And then the grandkids will come along, but hopefully not BEFORE the engagement announcement.   And I’ll be a grandma, which doesn’t seem possible, since I’m still 23 in my mind, although my gray hair & creaky body insist otherwise.

What happened to the past 27 years? They flew by mighty fast, while I occupied an awful lot of my time drinking & overeating. Practicing my addictions & wasting ALL that precious time I can’t get back.  Those days are gone for good, I’m afraid.

At least I’m finally 100% available to my loved ones these days.  I’m available to look at pictures being sent to me via text messages on my IPhone.  Pictures of mannequin heads in a full set of permanent curlers or cut into a ‘bob’ hairstyle that looks more like it’s wearing a skirt than ‘layered’.  In two weeks, she’ll be out on the floor, giving real haircuts to real people, while the butchered mannequin heads lay in waiting for their next task: facials & blackhead removals.  I wonder how mannequins managed to develop blackheads?

I spend every Sunday with my elderly parents who moved here to Colorado to be near us now, as they approach 90 & watch their lives winding down like the hands on the grandfather clock in the living room.  Not so long ago, I remember being afraid of my big strong father, larger-than-life, who could reduce me to tears with one stern word.  Now, HE has the ability to reduce ME to tears by witnessing his frailty, as I wonder when I’ll hear the news that cancer has spread to his vital organs.  His days are numbered now, and I wonder what regrets HE has about his own life? Not too many, I sincerely hope. I wonder how Mom will cope without her husband of 65 years by her side, to cook for, and to pick on, and to stroll the nearby golf course with, on days when they are both physically able.  But that’s not something for me to worry about NOW.

Life flies by in the blink of an eye, doesn’t it?

Today is my 3 year Anniversary & I remember the vows I spoke when I married my soulmate.....which seems like just yesterday:
The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that's what you've given me. That's what I hope to give you forever.

Enjoy TODAY my friends, and don’t worry about yesterday.  It has passed you by, rather quickly in fact, and it won’t be back again.  Don’t concern yourself with tomorrow; it isn’t here yet and there’s no use in living the hallucination of what ‘might’ be, trying to cope with something that isn’t even real.

Live for NOW; this very moment is all that is real.  Don’t stress out about your weight or your program because you are on the right path to get healthy now. It WILL happen, so what’s the use in wishing the day to arrive sooner than it should?

One day, you’ll wake up at 55 or 60 years old, and the sound of silence will seem deafening.  Don’t waste THESE precious years getting caught up in yo yo dieting & addictive behaviors. Get out there with YOUR kids, and read their essays, build Lego towers and climb the monkey bars with them. Commit yourself to taking your life back NOW, so you can find freedom & joy in every day of your life that remains.  Don’t allow ONE more moment of shame, fear & isolation because of your size to stand in the way of YOUR freedom.

Regret weighs a lot more than you think.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 22nd

Solving Problems

I ask that You might help me work through all my problems, to Your Glory and Honor.
—Alcoholics Anonymous

Many of us lived in situations where it wasn't okay to identify, have, or talk about problems. Denial became a way of life - our way of dealing with problems

In recovery, many of us still fear problems. We may spend more time reacting to a problem than we do to solving it. We miss the point; we miss the lesson; we miss the gift.  Problems are a part of life. So are solutions.

A problem doesn't mean life is negative or horrible. Having a problem doesn't mean a person is deficient. All people have problems to work through.

In recovery, we learn to focus on solving our problems. First, we make certain the problem is our problem. If it isn't, our problem is establishing boundaries. Then we seek the best solution. This may mean setting a goal, asking for help, gathering more information, taking an action, or letting go.

Recovery does not mean immunity or exemption from problems; recovery means learning to face and solve problems, knowing they will appear regularly. We can trust our ability to solve problems, and know we're not doing it alone. Having problems does not mean our Higher Power is picking on us. Some problems are part of life; others are ours to solve, and we'll grow in necessary ways in the process.

Face and solve today's problems. Don't worry needlessly about tomorrow's problems, because when they appear, we'll have the resources necessary to solve them.

Facing and solving problems, working through problems with help from a Higher Power, means we're living and growing and reaping benefits.

God, help me face and solve my problems today. Help me do my part and let the rest go. I can learn to be a problem solver. 

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

As a compulsive overeater, I was always deathly afraid of pain.............deathly afraid of problems; of dying, of being poor, of the boogey man and of LIFE in general. I was taught fear and to put on a happy face for others, while hiding my pain and keeping it a big old secret.

I was taught to over-react to life. To take a problem and blow it out of proportion. To obsess over it and be SO fearful of it, that taking action to resolve it was unthinkable. I became the problem.  It consumed me.  My life was a series of problems that had no solutions. 

What a vicious cycle!

Problems are lessons; they are put into my life to teach me. Problems are to be faced and solved, not feared and avoided at all costs. I don't welcome tons of issues to come barreling into my life............of course not...............but when I DO face an issue, I'm no longer paralyzed BY it.

I try to figure out what lesson I'm being taught by the problem I face. What GOOD can come from the seemingly 'bad' situation I'm faced with?  I try not to label ANY event as 'good' or 'bad'............which enables me to look at ALL situations as learning experiences. 

For today, I do not have to live in fear. Instead, I live in faith, with the knowledge that God has my back. If I begin to fall off the ledge, He will either catch me or teach me to fly.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 21st

Living in the Present

The present moment is all we have. Yes, we have plans and goals, a vision for tomorrow. But now is the only time we possess. And it is enough.

We can clear our mind of the residue of yesterday. We can clear our mind of fears of tomorrow. We can be present, now. We can make ourselves available to this moment, this day. It is by being fully present now that we reach the fullness of tomorrow.

Have no fear, child, a voice whispers. Have no regrets. Relinquish your resentments. Let Me take your pain. All you have is the present moment. Be still. Be here Trust.

All you have is now. It is enough.

Today, I will affirm that all is well around me, when all is well within. 

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


Living in the past is Depression; living in the future is Anxiety. All I have is NOW; this present moment, where nothing is wrong, and where I cannot project what WILL be wrong later on.

Living in the present moment is difficult for addictive personalities; we tend to live in the extremes, and we can't do that if we are grounded in the NOW. How can we worry? How can we wring our hands, mulling over the various outcomes to an imagined problem, trying to cope with those situations that aren't even REAL? We can justify using when we're worrying.............we can justify taking that first compulsive bite or that first drink or that first fill-in-the-blank, because, after all, we are UPSET.  It's time to ask WHY? What is upsetting us and what can we do to remove that unnecessary worry from our mind? What action can we take right NOW that will insure our successful abstinence? Is there some trigger food we need to remove from the fridge or the pantry?

What I do when something is worrying me is this:I lie down on my bed and pop in a pair of earplugs. I close my eyes and begin to concentrate of my breathing; each inhalation, and each exhalation, recognizing the life force that is present within me.  Then I ask myself a question: What is wrong at this very moment? The answer is ALWAYS "nothing".  Because nothing IS ever wrong at any given moment in time; the problem I'm worrying on has either passed by or looms ahead in the future.

Right now, at this moment in time, NOTHING IS WRONG.

I allow myself to absorb that fact and to calm down.

All I have is now. It is enough. It is, in fact, perfectly fine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recovery Meditations: February 20th


There were deep secrets hidden in my heart,
never said for fear others would scoff or sneer.
At last I can reveal my sufferings,
for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power.

Deidra Sarault

I've heard it said in program that we are only as sick as the secrets we keep. If that is the case, then I was very sick when desperation forced me through the doors of this wonderful fellowship.

Not one of my friends or family knew what I was doing around food, as most of it was done in secret, and I was always careful to remove all the evidence. I couldn't believe that anyone would love me if they knew what I was doing around food, and felt that I was either really bad or totally crazy, or both. But for the first time ever, I was able to come clean about what I was doing around food, and I wasn't judged or frowned upon. The love and acceptance I have received here has been totally overwhelming, but in addition I found out that others had done the same or similar things to what I had done, and so for the first time ever, I felt that I wasn't alone. Not only have I been able to talk freely about my food and what I had been doing, as well as what it was doing to me, but in the fourth and fifth step, I was finally able to share with another person my darkest deepest secrets, that for years I'd thought had made me this terrible person. It was in fact in sharing all the things that I'd thought of as so bad, that I came to realize that it was only my magnifying mind that had made them appear so, and that in fact they really weren't bad at all. I would never have found that out, had I not been in this program, and I'm so grateful for the relief that sharing all these things has given me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to get honest and share with my sponsor and others in this program, all the things that are bothering me, whether it be food or other issues, so I can be relieved of the pain that all my secrets are causing me.

~ Sharon

It is said in OA that we are not bad people trying to get good; we are sick people trying to get well.

When I was binge eating, I felt the need to do it secretly...........and then dispose of the evidence before I was caught in the act. The shame of it all was terrible. Shame tries to convince us we're bad people, which is not the case. Overeating doesn't make me 'bad' makes me an addict. 

The people of OA accept me, and love me, as I am right now, warts and all, and let me know that I am not alone with my struggles. 

I have been abstinent for almost 5 years now. While I would like to say that I haven't had a single binge during that time, I can't.  I have not been perfect with my program, and I'm likely not to EVER be perfect with my program. That's ok.............because I am not searching for perfection, but for a better way of life and freedom from compulsive eating.  Involvement in the fellowship helps me find that freedom, one day at a time.

For today, I pray to put abstinence FIRST in my life and to keep it on the very top of my to-do list. All good things flow from there.  When my eating is chaotic, so is the rest of my life! For today, I will put abstinence first.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Food for Thought: February 19th

Responsibility for Whom?

Before we came to OA, some of us felt responsible for seeing that others did what we thought they should do. By the time we took the Fourth Step, and often long before, we began to realize how manipulative we had tried to be. We may not have thought we could run the whole world, but we sometimes felt that we should maintain control over our little corner, at least.

Through this program, we are learning that we can only be responsible for ourselves. We cannot change anyone else. We can only work on ourselves. No matter how good our advice is, it is useful to someone else only if that person desires and requests it.

Learning that we are responsible to our Higher Power for ourselves alone lifts a heavy weight from our weak shoulders. We stop trying to decide what others should do and how they will react to what we do. We do the best we can, seeking guidance and direction from God, and then we leave the results to Him.

Show me my area of responsibility, Lord.

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

My efforts to control the world led me to the refrigerator, over and over again, in utter frustration for not maintaining control over the world...............


The 12 Steps taught me the error of my ways. I am not responsible for running the world or the inhabitants OF the world. I am responsible for me alone.

For today, I will seek guidance and direction from God. I will do the best I can and leave the rest to Him.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Food for Thought: February 18th

Setting Priorities

One of our slogans is "first things first." We cannot have or do everything; we must set our priorities and choose what means the most to us.

Each of us needs to spend quiet time searching the inner self to determine which people, which activities, which tasks are most important. The results may surprise us. We may find that we are spending too much time with someone we really do not enjoy, preparing complicated meals which no one needs, working at a job which we dislike in order to make more money to buy more things. Do we really need the things? Do they enrich our lives or are they merely impressive?

Because I am a compulsive overeater, abstinence is the most important thing in my life. Without it, I do not enjoy other people, I do not like myself, I do not work well. If abstinence does not come first, everything else suffers.

May I remember that abstinence is my number one priority.

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


When I keep abstinence my #1 priority, the rest of my life falls into place smoothly and naturally.
When I slip up and forget that my prime focus in life is abstinence, everything else in my life gets cloudy and unnatural.

Without abstinence, I do not enjoy life.  Even the act of overeating is a shameful and unpleasant thing, yet my disease urges me to KEEP on eating.

For today, I choose abstinence.  By choosing abstinence, I choose sanity; I choose to love myself, love life, and love God.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recovery Meditations: February 17th


They always say time changes things,
but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol

Time changes things – but what things? Can I wait for time to change those ways of coping that don’t serve me anymore? Can I wait for time to make me abstinent?

Yes, time will change things, but chances are that these will be the changes: my coping mechanisms will become even more entrenched and my eating even more destructive. I don’t really want to wait for that kind of change. When I joined OA, I started a new trend. I asked for the wisdom to understand which things I can change and then, armed with the tools of the program, I set about following my new trend of eating healthy and living a life where I don’t sit around waiting.

I will not wait idly for things to get better. I will ask my Higher Power to guide me to make necessary changes.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not wait idly for things to get better. I will ask my Higher Power to guide me to make necessary changes.

~ Isabella M. ~

Compulsive overeating is a disease of progression, as all addictions are. Today's extra helping can easily turn into tomorrow's binge which then turns into a gigantic black hole of gorging myself where too much is never enough.  The scale creeps UP (I suppose, because I don't have the guts to get ON it.....) as my eating spirals out of control, day by day, bite by bite.

Time changes things.............for the better or for the worse. Do I delude myself that I can sit by idly and wait for things to magically get better? 

Or, do I ask God to guide me to MAKE the necessary changes? To accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I CAN?

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.

And then I repeat the Serenity Prayer:

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.

For today, I pray for acceptance.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today's thought from Hazelden: February 16th

. . .the living touch of another human being.

When tragedy strikes, we fight to understand why. Something may strike out of nowhere and turn our lives around. We would like to believe that there is some way to explain tragedy. We think that if we could explain it, maybe we could protect ourselves. We wonder if we are being punished. Has an uncaring God abandoned us? We may believe that if God cared, no tragedy would happen.

This is not always a just world. But if we let God be there for us, listening to our rage at injustice and comforting our tears, we can recover, move on, and know that we are not alone. God is with us in the words and the living touch of another human being. We may want to retreat within ourselves when tragedy strikes. This is not a bad or wrong feeling, but it is still important to let others be with us. Time spent with friends and family, and prayer time with our Higher Power, helps us realize that we are not alone in our grief.


God isn't 'punishing' us when tragedy choice means that we get to make decisions, both good AND bad, and suffer the consequences of those decisions accordingly.

Grief is a natural part of the human experience. God is always there, to hold us when we cry and to provide comfort in times of distress. 

We are never alone.  For today, I pray to reach out to others for comfort and love

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 15th


Sometimes, the gray days scare us. Those are the days when the old feelings come rushing back. We may feel needy, scared, ashamed, and unable to care for ourselves.

When this happens, it's hard to trust ourselves, others, the goodness of life, and the good intentions of our Higher Power. Problems seem overwhelming. The past seems senseless; the future, bleak. We feel certain the things we want in life will never happen.

In those moments, we may become convinced that things and people outside of ourselves hold the key to our happiness. That's when we may try to control people and situations to mask our pain. When these "codependent crazies" strike, others often begin to react negatively to our controlling.

When we're in a frenzied state, searching for happiness outside ourselves and looking to others to provide our peace and stability, remember this: Even if we could control things and people, even if we got what we wanted, we would still be ourselves. Our emotional state would still be in turmoil.

People and things don't stop our pain or heal us. In recovery, we learn that this is our job, and we can do it by using our resources: our Higher Power, our support systems, our recovery program, and ourselves.

Often, after we've become peaceful, trusting, and accepting, what we want comes to us - with ease and naturalness.

The sun begins to shine again. Isn't it funny, and isn't it true, how all change really does begin with us?

I can let go of things and people and my need to control today. I can deal with my feelings. I can get peaceful. I can get calm. I can get back on track and find the true key to happiness - myself. I will remember that a gray day is just that - one gray day. 

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

"Even if we could control things and people, even if we got what we wanted, we would still be ourselves. Our emotional state would still be in turmoil."  Boy howdy, THIS is 100% true!

When I was in charge of the world..............nothing was EVER right! I didn't realize the problems lied inside of ME..............I was convinced it somebody else's fault...............surely not MINE! If only my husband treated me better..............if only my kids weren't so difficult.............if only my friends understood me....................

What a crock.

What an excuse to use. 

And how justified my ego FELT in using!!! Poor poor me.  I am a victim and life stinks. I was born under an unlucky star. Tsk tsk.

Only when I took responsibility for MYSELF could I see past all the lies.

Only when I gave UP controlling the world was I able to see that happiness lies within ME, not in things or people outside of myself.

Nowadays, I allow myself to have a bad day without declaring the end of the world.  It won't last 'forever', nor will I 'never' feel good again.  

The sun begins to shine again, truthfully, even when I have a hissy fit and insist it WILL NOT. 

For today, I let go of things & people and my need to control.  For today, I will deal with my feelings; I will be peaceful and calm.  For today, I can get back on track & find the true key to happiness: MYSELF. I will remember that  a gray day is just that: ONE gray day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Food for Thought: February 14th


When we were overeating, we thought mainly about trying to satisfy ourselves. The more we ate, the more we wanted to eat. The more we ate, the less satisfied we were. We finally realized that satisfaction was not to be found by consuming more and more food.

When we stopped overeating, we suddenly had much more time and energy available for constructive activities. We began to contribute more to our families, our jobs, our recreation. We found new areas where we could be of service to others.

Because OA has given us so much, we in turn are able to share with our groups. As we give to others, we receive self-satisfaction as a by-product. This is a much more powerful satisfaction than we ever found in the refrigerator!

For each of us, serving and contributing to the best of our abilities means abstaining. Without abstinence, we can never be satisfied.

Thank You for opportunities to give and for the satisfaction of abstinence.

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

No matter how much I eat during a binge, it is NEVER 'enough'..............I never feel satisfied or 'full', either, until I'm physically sick, and then I will still go back for more. 

Trying to fill an emotional or spiritual void with food is a gigantic mistake. It's kind of like trying to build a foundation with water................soil is what's required, not no matter HOW much water is used, it will never accomplish the job. Neither will food accomplish the job of making me whole and satisfied.

For today, I will fill my soul with spiritual sustenance rather than food............I will read and pray to nourish my soul, and I will eat a measured amount of food to nourish my body.  I will not confuse my need for spiritual fulfillment with a false 'need' for food.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Each Day a New Beginning: February 13th

I have sacrificed everything in my life that I consider precious in order to advance the political career of my husband.
  —Pat Nixon

Putting another person's needs first is what most of us were trained to do when growing up. We were seldom encouraged to embark on an individual course, and years of taking a back seat taught us that our hopes mattered little.
Now, for some of us, the future looks like a blank wall. It is time to carve out a plan for ourselves, yet how do we decide where we want to go? And how do we get there? The program says, "Live one day at a time." Our friends say, "Take one step at a time."
We have chosen to do something about the circumstances we found ourselves in, or we wouldn't be reading these words. We can stop for a moment and reflect on the many changes thus far. We are already on our way. We have taken a number of necessary steps. What an exciting adventure we have embarked upon! And we will be helped all along the way.
We can trust our inner yearnings, the ones we may have stifled in times past. We can realize our hearts' pure desires, if we seek guidance.

My time has come. I can mold my future. I will take each day, each experience, and let it draw me to the next important step.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


I can relate to Pat Nixon..........I did the same thing for my ex husband of 22 years; I put MYSELF on the back burner to help HIM advance his career.

I ended the marriage in 2002 and began the journey of find my SELF under the rubble. I found myself at 44 years old, with no job, no career, no potential to earn money, fat, drunk and smoking a pack a day.  But I was finally FREE and making decisions for MYSELF and my kids! I felt great and I didn't care how the future played out. I would MAKE it work, some how, some way.............because a 125 lb burden had been removed from my soul! HIM!

Here I am, 11 years later, re married to my soul mate, running a successful business, 100 lbs lighter, smoke free & sober, recovering beautifully, one day at a time.  While I don't have the financial freedom I did when I was married the first time, I have all the love in the world.  And THAT is what life is about.  When I am on my death bed and breathing my last breath, I will not be making a check list of all the toys I own.  I will, however, be looking back at all the LOVE I gave and received.
I will have no major regrets, nothing to feel shame about, and no amends waiting to be made.

THAT, in my opinion, is proof of a life well lived.

For today, I am grateful for the awakening I've experienced and the chutzpah I had to make the changes I needed to make to get my life, and my SPIRIT, back on track.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 12th

Letting Go of Those Not in Recovery

We can go forward with our life and recoveries, even though someone we love is not yet recovering.

Picture a bridge. On one side of the bridge it is cold and dark. We stood there with others in the cold and darkness, doubled over in pain. Some of us developed an eating disorder to cope with the pain. Some drank; some used other drugs. Some of us lost control of our sexual behavior. Some of us obsessively focused on addicted people's pain to distract us from our own pain. Many of us did both: we developed an addictive behavior, and distracted ourselves by focusing on other addicted people. We did not know there was a bridge. We thought we were trapped on a cliff.

Then, some of us got lucky. Our eyes opened, by the Grace of God, because it was time. We saw the bridge. People told us what was on the other side: warmth, light, and healing from our pain. We could barely glimpse or imagine this, but we decided to start the trek across the bridge anyway.

We tried to convince the people around us on the cliff that there was a bridge to a better place, but they wouldn't listen. They couldn't see it; they couldn't believe. They were not ready for the journey. We decided to go alone, because we believed, and because people on the other side were cheering us onward. The closer we got to the other side, the more we could see, and feel, that what we had been promised was real. There was light, warmth, healing, and love. The other side was a better place.

But now, there is a bridge between those on the other side and us. Sometimes, we may be tempted to go back and drag them over with us, but it cannot be done. No one can be dragged or forced across this bridge. Each person must go at his or her own choice, when the time is right. Some will come; some will stay on the other side. The choice is not ours.

We can love them. We can wave to them. We can holler back and forth. We can cheer them on, as others have cheered and encouraged us. But we cannot make them come over with us.

If our time has come to cross the bridge, or if we have already crossed and are standing in the light and warmth, we do not have to feel guilty. It is where we are meant to be. We do not have to go back to the dark cliff because another's time has not yet come.

The best thing we can do is stay in the light, because it reassures others that there is a better place. And if others ever do decide to cross the bridge, we will be there to cheer them on.

Today, I will move forward with my life, despite what others are doing or not doing. I will know it is my right to cross the bridge to a better life, even if I must leave others behind to do that. I will not feel guilty. I will not feel ashamed. I know that where I am now is a better place and where I'm meant to be.

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


The only thing I can focus on is my own recovery. I can't force another person to change their life.............I can only lead by example and hope for the best.  I am not guilty for embracing recovery.........I have worked damn hard to find it and to maintain it!!!!! It has not been easy & it has not been free of charge.  The fee for recovery, however, is way cheaper than the cost of obesity & the resulting misery.  I cannot convince another person of that fact...............he must be ready to take the plunge & to give up the pleasure of overeating.  That is the price of recovery: we must be willing to give up overeating.  Not everyone is ready to do that, nor does everyone WANT to do that!

A person must want to be healthy MORE than he wants to eat to his heart's content. He must want that with every fiber of his being or it is not going to happen.

For today, I thank God for realizing the pain I created by eating compulsively was worse than the pain I was trying to avoid!

For today, I will feel my emotions rather than stuff them down with food.  I choose abstinence from compulsive overeating rather than indulging my every whim.  The price is well worth it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.
--Oscar Wilde

There are countless ways to take shortcuts in life or to grab for pleasures. We could cheat on our income taxes, excuse a food binge, or lie to a loved one about where we've been. We say, "It won't hurt anyone!" "I wouldn't do it if it weren't for the other guy." Or, "Everyone does it." But if we are to like and respect ourselves, we need to live by the rules we believe in. Whether we get caught or not isn't the point. We cannot hold values and then repeatedly justify breaking them.

What does it do to us if we constantly fudge on our values? It undermines our self-esteem and damages the faith we have in ourselves. We do not expect to be perfect, but we must be accountable. If we are honest with ourselves, we admit our wrongs and reestablish our self-respect.

Today, I will take care to make choices that match my values.

You are reading from the book: Touchstones by Anonymous

 Quite often, I read  blogs which compare cheating with our food plan to cheating on exams, taxes, or cheating on our husbands.  A cheater is a cheater, after all, right?

I’m blogging my perspective on the subject, so take it for what it’s worth to you.
To cheat on my husband shows a lack of integrity.  To eat an off plan food shows a lack of commitment.  Big difference there folks.

I hate the word ‘cheat’ when it comes to weight management.  My mother used that word with me all the time when I began my dieting career with Weight Watchers at age 12. When you cheated on that program, you got to wear a pig mask & feel the shame of your mistake.  

One thing an obese person is intimately familiar with is the feeling of shame.  We are frequently ashamed of our bodies because they aren’t thin enough, smooth enough or pretty enough.  50% of women don’t feel like being intimate with their husbands because they hate their bodies just that much.   We are queens of self-loathing & shame, thanks to our weight issues, and we come to a plan like Medifast to learn some new habits to replace our old ones.

One of the old habits that must be changed is negative self-talk, and for me, that includes the word ‘cheating’.  If I eat something off plan, I am not a ‘cheater’……….I made an unwise decision is what I did by eating sludge.  If I tell myself it’s ok, or rationalize my behavior away by saying I’m Only Human, then I’m perpetuating a myth & keeping myself fat.  If I look at my behavior honestly & acknowledge it for what it is, I may stop going off plan & decide to stay committed to my new lifestyle.

When I make a statement comparing my off plan eating incident to being unfaithful to my husband, I am telling myself I am a bad person, which is untrue.  My eating habits do not dictate what’s in my heart & soul……….my eating habits dictate how my body looks on the outside.  If I confuse my behavior with who I am, I may just stay off plan because, after all, I am a good-for-nothing loser: I am a Cheater.

How about we let the punishment fit the crime? 

Staying true to our food plan is always, always a good idea.  Going off plan is never, ever a success strategy, that’s for sure.  But…………and here’s the big BUT: sooner or later, we are all going to go off plan.  To think we will never eat another piece of off plan food ever again is unrealistic.
So what happens when we do? We start calling ourselves Cheaters & Losers & Liars and we invite shame back into our lives?

No freaking way.

What we do if we go off plan is we get back on plan, right away.  We recognize the fact that we are here to learn how to manage our weight issues permanently. And, in order to do that, we need a Plan of Action.  Part of that POA is to stop the negative self-talk & the self-flagellation once & for all.
I stayed 100% committed to my food plan for 99.9% of my journey.  Shortly before I reached goal, I had what I call “The Starburst Incident”.  My daughter had left a bunch of that candy sitting on the kitchen table & one night I ate a large amount of it.  In fact, I fell asleep mid-chew, after not having had sugar for such a long time. I crashed hard. 

Did I call myself a Cheater & a Loser & curl up in my bed to lick my wounds while I continued to overeat? Nope.  Did I tell myself I’m Only Human or I Couldn’t Help It?  Nope.

I told myself to get right back ON PLAN and to remember, for the future, how it feels to have a blood sugar crash, a stomach ache & a great deal of lethargy.  Not worth it, in other words.

I went on to reach goal, lose a total of 100 lbs which I’ve kept off for more than 4 years.  Have I been perfect with my Food Plan in maintenance? Nope, not really.  Does that mean I am a Cheater or a Loser? Nope, it sure doesn’t.

I don’t expect Perfection from myself in any area of life because I am not a perfect person. I do, however, expect to stay committed to myself.  That includes staying committed to my Food Plan, my job, my marriage, my children, my home, all of it.  But if & when I do make a mistake, I will not beat myself up mercilessly & start that vicious cycle again.  I will apologize for making that mistake………to myself or to others, and I will move forward from there.  Then I’m able to look in the mirror and see my insides looking back at me instead of only my outsides.
If I eat off plan, I am not a ‘Cheater’……….I am a person who understands the nature of weight management & how it’s never, ever ‘easy’ to deal with the whole issue and how it’s not an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of thing. If I make an off-plan food choice, I will question my commitment and not my character.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Food for Thought: February 10th

Write Before You Eat

When you are tempted to grab an extra bite, stop and make contact with another OA member. If you cannot bring yourself to make the call, or if you make it and still want to eat, then try writing.

Before you take the bite, write down exactly how you are feeling, what you think the extra food will do for you, what the likely result will be, and how you will feel an hour later. It is a good idea to keep a pad of paper handy in the kitchen; you can grab a pencil instead of food.

Often the process of writing down exactly how you are feeling will reveal the hidden emotions which are masquerading as hunger and a desire to eat. You may discover that you are angry, or fearful, or lonely. Write the feelings and write the consequences of eating because of them.

Grant me insight, Lord, and self-understanding.

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


Many times when I feel 'hungry' and in the mood to eat off schedule, I am not sure WHAT emotion I'm feeling that I'm trying to stuff down with food.  At 55 years old, I'm still getting to know myself.

I find writing to be a very cathartic tool of recovery. When I am writing, or posting online, or dealing with others who suffer, I am far less likely to get 'hungry'. While I stay occupied in doing God's work of giving back, I do not feel the pull of my disease.

It's only when I'm too immersed in ME that I want to eat. When my EGO is at work is when I want to eat.

For today, I pray to take the focus off of ME and to put it onto someone who is suffering.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recovery Meditations: February 9th


There are no mistakes, no coincidences.
All events are blessings given to us to learn from.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I certainly never had a charmed life as a child, and when I was told to count my blessings, I never thought that I had that much to shout about. I was a shy and lonely child, always self-conscious about my shape and size, and everyone else seemed to be far better off than I was. When life started to deal out blows that were far more than I thought I could handle, I wondered why bad things always seemed to happen to me. I would hardly recover from one traumatic event when another one was upon me. I felt life was definitely unfair. Using food seemed to be the only way that I knew to cope.

I was looking for a solution, for some way to make my life a happier one. Fortunately, I was finally brought to my knees by the pain of my compulsive overeating. In working the Steps of this wonderful program, I have come to some amazing realizations. All the time I had railed against my misfortunes, I was being brought to some new understanding.

With the growing openness I now have, I can more clearly see why certain things in my life had to happen, and even why I became a compulsive overeater. Unlike the past, when I used to hate this disease, I now see it as a blessing, from which I can learn and grow. If it were not for this disease, I would not have needed to look at my life, nor would I have had to work at trying to make myself into a better person. I most certainly would not have needed to find a God of my understanding, nor would I have met so many wonderful new friends, who always love and support me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that the events in my life are not dealt out to me as a form of punishment, but rather as motivating factors in my life, that spur me on to grow and change as a person.
~ Sharon S. ~

I typed this up yesterday and think it's PERFECT to add to this reading:

“Everything that is beautiful is cracked; that’s how the light gets in.”

~Leonard Cohen, singer, songwriter & poet

I believe these words capture the essence of how living thru past hurts, disappointments, broken hearts, anger, and fear can heal us. We all must go through the terrible experiences to perhaps become a little bit more humble, compassionate, understanding, patient, truthful, and, in effect, genuinely human. Each of us is an amalgam of feelings, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, histories, experiences, and so forth. These are the things that define us. When we begin to accept ourselves with all the flaws that are an integral part of our design, we will discover how truly beautiful we are. Our self-acceptance will be radiated as an inner goodness that is evident to all who come into our space.

When we become self-actualized, we come into our power, because we have transcended our imperfections & focused on our strengths. We no longer need to be enslaved by our guilt, by “what if” and “what might have been.” Instead, we take what we need from any experience & grow. We move on to a new day filled with new knowledge. That is what Cohen meant by “that’s how the light gets in.” We become enlightened. So, please go right ahead & shine your light so that others can see, feel, and learn from you. What better teacher than you, a person who has lived through a painful experience, to show an easier way to the next person.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 8th

Letting Go of Guilt

Feeling good about ourselves is a choice. So is feeling guilty. When guilt is legitimate, it acts as a warning light, signaling that we're off course. Then its purpose is finished.

Wallowing in guilt allows others to control us. It makes us feel not good enough. It prevents us from setting boundaries and taking other healthy action to care for ourselves.

We may have learned to habitually feel guilty as an instinctive reaction to life. Now we know that we don't have to feel guilty. Even if we've done something that violates a value, extended guilt does not solve the problem; it prolongs the problem. So make an amend. Change a behavior. Then let guilt go.

Today, God, help me to become entirely ready to let go of guilt. Please take it from me, and replace it with self-love.

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

Guilt is basically a useless emotion. A form of self-torture and an excuse to wallow in the victim mentality.  If I feel guilty about something, how can I FIX it? What can I DO to feel good about myself and get rid of the guilt right away?

Good actions create good thoughts, not the other way around.  OA gives me a plan of ACTION to follow every day, and a set of steps to follow which help me become the person I want to be.

For today, I choose to make a behavioral change that will lead me to feel better about myself. For today, I pray to be entirely ready to let go of guilt.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 7th

Owning Our Power

We need to make a distinction between powerlessness and owning our power.

The first step in recovery is accepting powerlessness. There are some things we can't do, no matter how long or hard we try. These things include changing other people, solving their problems, and controlling their behavior. Sometimes, we feel powerless over ourselves - what we feel or believe, or the effects of a particular situation or person on us.

It's important to surrender to powerlessness, but it's equally important to own our power. We aren't trapped. We aren't helpless. Sometimes it may feel like we are, but we aren't. We each have the God-given power, and the right, to take care of ourselves in any circumstance, and with any person. The middle ground of self-care lies between the two extremes of controlling others and allowing them to control us. We can walk that ground gently or assertively, but in confidence that it is our right and responsibility.

Let the power come to walk that path.

Today, I will remember that I can take care of my self. I have choices, and I can exercise the options I choose without guilt.

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


Oftentimes, we look at a word like 'powerlessness' and think it's a bad thing............that if we admit our powerlessness over food, that we're going to wind up having even WORSE binges than ever, and give up completely.

Powerlessness over food is actually a good thing...........a liberating thing............when we give UP is when we stop giving IN!

For decades I didn't own my own power. I felt helpless and 'less than', and gave my power AWAY.  At the same time, I felt like it was my job to run the world, and to control everyone IN it! I never COULD do always backfired, and left me feeling even worse than ever before.

There are some things I cannot do, no matter how long or how hard I try.  I cannot change other people, solve their problems, or control their behavior. 

For today, I understand that I am not trapped or helpless.  I have the ability to take care of myself in any circumstance, and with any person.  For today, I will not allow others to control ME, nor will I try to control THEM.

For today, I surrender my powerlessness over food & my powerlessness to control others.  I accept my power to take care of ME, however, and I pray to exercise that option without guilt.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Recovery Meditations: February 6th


We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors
and convert them into assets.

The Big Book

I have had a paradigm shift in my life. This means that I have begun to see some of my most basic ideas about food and nourishment from a different angle. I never really thought these things through before this program nudged me to have a look at my life with rigorous honesty. Oh, I wanted to be thin, but I barely related that to my feelings about food.

I was on autopilot for years and now realize that my concept of food was reasoned out when I was still a child. I put that childish set of ideas in place and then just stopped thinking about it. That little child wanted the most she could get of everything there was. She wanted the most attention, the most love, the most toys . . . and the most food. And at that time it was exactly the right way to look at the world. When I was a child setting up the system that constantly demands more to calm or soothe or comfort or love, I turned to food because it is simple and I did not possess the skills to get my needs met in other ways. It was a victory really, because I coped, made it through to now. But, to stick with a plan set up by a little child reflects a lack of willingness to face a basic error in engaging the world and change my behavior.

Now I know that eating mass quantities of food isn't about love, or fun, or comfort. Now my adult mind knows that food is a fuel that, if chosen judiciously, helps my body to work efficiently and clears my mind for the task of being a responsible adult in a busy, troubled world. By shifting from "How much food do I get for me?" to "What must I eat today to be healthy?" I change my whole basis for choosing. I take an area of my life that has been a constant error and change it into an asset, one that nourishes me and helps me to do that next right thing.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am willing to face my flawed thinking about food and change the way I make food choices, meal by meal, so that food is an asset to me and not a liability.

~ Carol B. ~

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Food for Thought: February 5th


Most of us go through periods in our lives when nothing seems interesting, when our motivation and enthusiasm have deserted us. We feel dull and bored and depressed. Whether the slump lasts for an afternoon or for a month or for a year, the compulsive overeater tends to turn to food as a way out. For us, food has been exciting, and eating often used to be the most pleasurable activity we could imagine.

As most of us know all too well, eating is not a permanent solution to boredom. We may get a temporary high from food, but we invariably eat too much and end up feeling infinitely worse than before we started. Boredom is better than a binge. Food does not motivate nor does it generate enthusiasm. Overeating has just the opposite effect.

Joining OA does not ensure that we will never again experience boredom or have the blahs. What it does provide is a program of action to which we may turn when we are in a slump. Going to meetings, making phone calls, reading the literature, working the Steps - these are concrete actions we can take.

We have tried food and found that it eventually made things worse. Now let's try the OA program.

Give me grace to act.

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

When I feel the need/desire to overeat and to break my abstinence, I remember HALT! I can't let myself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired........because I will want to eat under those circumstances. I'll add in Boredom as well. Actually, there are few situations where I DON'T want to overeat! Happiness AND sadness lead me to want to eat! Truthfully, there are few times where I don't want to overeat.............only stress makes me turn AWAY from food.  Once the stressful situation has passed, however, THEN I am tempted to overeat.


For today, my food plan is not contingent upon my emotions. Regardless of whether I'm feeling bored or having the blahs, I WILL stick to my food plan because it represents calm instead of chaos. 

For today, I will not allow my emotions to dictate my abstinence.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Food for Thought: February 4th

Don't Relax!

It requires extra effort to maintain abstinence during a particularly difficult time when we are especially tempted. Entertaining guests, visiting family, coping with a crisis - there are some times when it seems to take every ounce of strength we have to stay abstinent.

When the crisis has passed, we breathe a sigh of relief and are grateful that life is back to normal. This, for many of us, is the danger point. Having made it through the difficult situation, we may feel that we are now safe and can let down our guard. We may even feel that we deserve a reward for having said no to temptation.

Let's remember that the best reward is continued abstinence. There is no time when we are safe from compulsive overeating. We are always one bite away from a binge. We may never relax vigilance over our thoughts and actions.

When we are weary, let's remember that the strength we need comes not from ourselves but from our Higher Power. Let's recharge our batteries with prayer, meditation, and contact with other OA members.

Sustain me, Lord, when I am tempted to give up.

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

I find these words to be 100% spot on! AFTER a crisis has passed is when I struggle to maintain abstinence.

AFTER I attend a party or go out to a restaurant where I have stuck to my food plan religiously. I breathe a sigh of relief at that point, and then the danger sets in!

Most times I have broken abstinence is after I've successfully navigated a difficult situation. I let my guard down and WHAM! The disease of compulsive overeating sneaks in the back door & bites me hard.

May I remember to never let down my guard and to remain vigilant with my abstinence.  May I never start thinking I've GOT this, God forbid, or I WILL return to my old ways in a heartbeat.

For today, I remain humble in the knowledge that COE is cunning, baffling and powerful. For today, I leave my life in God's hands and stick to my food plan for sanity.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: February 3rd

Rejecting Shame

Shame can be a powerful force in our life. It is the trademark of dysfunctional families.

Authentic, legitimate guilt is the feeling or thought that what we did is not okay. It indicates that our behavior needs to be corrected or altered, or an amend needs to be made.

Shame is an overwhelming negative sense that who we are isn't okay. Shame is a no-win situation. We can change our behaviors, but we can't change who we are. Shame can propel us deeper into self-defeating and sometimes self-destructive behaviors.

What are the things that can cause us to feel shame? We may feel ashamed when we have a problem or someone we love has a problem. We may feel ashamed for making mistakes or for succeeding. We may feel ashamed about certain feelings or thoughts. We may feel ashamed when we have fun, feel good, or are vulnerable enough to show ourselves to others. Some of us feel ashamed just for being.

Shame is a spell others put on us to control us, to keep us playing our part in dysfunctional systems. It is a spell many of us have learned to put on ourselves.

Learning to reject shame can change the quality of our life. It's okay to be who we are. We are good enough. Our feelings are okay. Our past is okay. It's okay to have problems, make mistakes, and struggle to find our path. It's okay to be human and cherish our humanness.

Accepting ourselves is the first step toward recovery. Letting go of shame about who we are is the next important step.

Today, I will watch for signs that I have fallen into shame's trap. If I get hooked into shame, I will get myself out by accepting myself and affirming that it's okay to be who I am.

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

This may be the most important reading of all; one to absorb into our hearts and to learn from.

I was raised with a tremendous amount of shame and as a result, I learned to dislike who I AM. I lived for decades with shame, feeling 'less than' and unworthy to take my place in society as a human being! I had to be 'perfect' or I wasn't good enough. I could never make mistakes and when I did, it fostered the shame and the dislike of mySELF.

I drank, smoked and ate to numb myself from the shame of who I was. I felt shame for getting sick, for having problems, for letting my slip show, for being part of a family who fought like dogs and then pretended everything was perfect.  I felt shame for being adopted and thrown away by a mother I never knew. I felt shame for telling others I was adopted, and then getting put down for it. I felt shame for the adoption itself, because I was told to keep it a secret.  I felt shame for ALL of the things I was taught to keep secret.

We are only as sick as the secrets we keep. If all of life is to be a secret, then aren't we deathly sick ALL the time?

For today, I will accept myself for who I am. I will fall into the shame game trap, or believe for ONE moment that I have ANYTHING to feel shame FOR or ABOUT. 

For today, I am good enough AS IS!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Recovery Meditations: February 2nd

~ Love ~

The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.

Victor Hugo

All of my life I felt unloved. Deep in my soul I was also convinced that I was unworthy of love. Nonetheless I craved love deeply.

In a desperate attempt to feel OK, I forsook the God of my childhood and declared that there was no God. I spiralled further and further into the depths of despair, unable to feel or give love. In my downward spiral, I turned to food to block feelings of unworthiness.

I entered Program dying of addiction as well as the deep sorrow of the loveless. I thought I was different from everyone else, that no one could possibly understand me. I had no peers, no real friends.

However, once in Program I found others just like me! I started to belong and to develop true friendships. In my desire to belong, I worked the Twelve Steps as others did and found a God of My Understanding. GOMU is a loving God. This God supports and guides me while as helping me learn to give and receive love. Love has brought me back to life.

One day at a time ...
Hand-in-hand with my Higher Power, I love and am loved.

~ Michel ~

Finding out about my adoption, when I was 5 years old, convinced me I was unloved! How could a mother give her child away? I must have been unlovable, worthless............and THAT was why she threw me out.

A 5 year old mind cannot think rationally or understand the 'why's' of life. I carried that message of being 'unlovable' around with me for decades. I ate (and drank & smoked) to bury my feelings of unworthiness.  I shut people out of my life, claiming I was fiercely independent. What I WAS was frightened and lonely.

I think I began my TRUE recovery back in 2000 when I found my birth family and heard the story of why I was give up for adoption. Finding my roots made me allowed me to take MY place in the world as a human being and not just a nobody who was dropped on someone's stoop by the stork.

Today I know how loved I truly AM. By God, by my biological family, my adopted family, my husband, my children and my friends. I've touched a lot of lives and I am grateful for the opportunity to keep doing enrich MY life as well, by paying my blessings forward.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Recovery Meditations: February 1st

~ Strategy ~

"Better shun the bait than struggle in the snare. "

John Dryden

Perhaps the most important strategy for beating temptation is to avoid it altogether. Temptation pits me head-on with my disease and all of its cunning and baffling ways. It's so much easier to stay out of its claws and devices than to try to free myself once caught in its web.

What ways do I bring temptation right into my house or provide access to temptation when I go out? Do I keep forbidden foods in my house? Have I ever asked other family members to go without those things because they are dangerous to me or my recovery? Do I go places or engage in activities that increase my desire to eat compulsively? Have I considered that, for now, I just can't go certain places because of the risk to my recovery? Have I considered that I might have to give up socializing with certain groups of people because they lead me into temptation? Does watching TV trigger compulsive eating? Does putting myself in the company of a certain individuals lead to self- defeating behavior of any kind? Do I continually expose myself to stressful situations or people that tempt me to eat compulsively? Do I continue doing the things that tempt me to eat to ease the feelings or emotions that come up over it?

Perhaps I am in an unwholesome relationship, or I overspend, or have another addiction or compulsion. What am I willing to do to recover? What am I willing to change to keep myself out of harm's way?

It is easy to pray for God to keep me from temptation, but I must do my part also.

One day at a time ...
I must remember to avoid the people, places and things that tempt me to eat compulsively and provide a way for the disease to touch me again.

~ Diane ~

Occasionally, I will find myself in the grocery store buying some type of sweet junk food 'for my husband.'  In reality, I'm telling myself a lie.....................I'm buying it for ME, pretending it's for HIM.  That's when I have a choice to make: put the junk food DOWN and leave the store, or, buy said junk food, bring it into the house, and then suffer with making the 'should I/shouldn't I' decision for the rest of the day & night!

If I purposely put temptation in front of my face and then expect to use WILLPOWER (my most hated word) to steer clear of it, then I am an IDIOT. I may as well put my hand on the stove, just to make sure it will STILL burn me THIS time.

If the fire burns once, it burns twice. 

If the junk food in the house caused a binge once, it will cause a binge twice.

If I give up my recovery, I may not be able to take it BACK.

For today, I choose to avoid the lies of the disease and stick to the truth of Recovery.