Sunday, March 31, 2013

Recovery Meditations: March 31st


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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Karen A.


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

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

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

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

Keep me sane, Lord.

Happy Easter to all who celebrate. May you be blessed with abstinence & peace of mind today & every day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Recovery Meditations: March 30th


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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Lisa

What a profound reading!!!!  It's the COE twisted thinking that drives us to think we know what's best for others........that OUR way is the 'right' way! Um, if I know so darn much, then how come I've managed to screw up my OWN life to this degree? I know what's best for YOU, but am clueless about what's best for me?

Give. Me. A. Break.

Compulsive overeating is a disease of the soul, not the body. It's twisted & delusional thinking that drives us to overeat..........not ravenous appetites or being 'gluttons'.  It's the attempt to rule the world, and please ALL of the people ALL of the time, that keeps us miserable and dissatisfied! When all of our 'efforts' fall on deaf ears, we turn around and blame OTHERS for THEIR lack of loyalty, instead of OURSELVES for pushing OUR way down THEIR throats!!! Tsk tsk, if only she'd listened to ME.


For today, I am going to mind my own business. I am going to reserve ALL of my judgments and not say ONE negative thing about anybody or anything. I am going to shut my MOUTH and open my EARS. For today, I am going to remember that my opinions are not 'facts'.  For today, I am not going to fantasize about the future, or lament the past, remembering old wounds and reopening them for examination. The past is GONE, the future isn't here yet, so all I truly HAVE is NOW.

God, please help me to revel in the beauty of the moment.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 29th

Getting Needs Met

Picture yourself walking through a meadow. There is a path opening before you. As you walk, you feel hungry. Look to your left. There's a fruit tree in full ripe. Pick what you need.

Steps later, you notice you're thirsty. On your right, there's a fresh water spring.

When you are tired, a resting place emerges. When you are lonely, a friend appears to walk with you. When you get lost, a teacher with a map appears.

Before long, you notice the flow: need and supply, desire and fulfillment. Maybe, you wonder, someone gave me the need because someone planned to fulfill it. Maybe I had to feel the need, so I would notice and accept the gift. Maybe closing my eyes to the desire closes my arms to its fulfillment.

Demand and supply, desire and fulfillment -- a continuous cycle, unless we break it. All the necessary supplies have already been planned and provided for this journey. 

Today, everything I need shall be supplied to me.

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


An interesting concept for a compulsive overeater: Today, everything I need shall be supplied to me. 
We are so frightened that we won't get 'enough'..............we fear hunger, a tiny gnawing sensation in the stomach that is foreign to most of us..........because we make sure we overeat to avoid hunger at all costs. Ours is a disease of More.  Our desires SO outweigh our needs, that 'satisfaction' becomes impossible to achieve.  Yet we insist upon trying.  We are certain that 'satisfaction' is to be found in the NEXT bite...........our binges progress to gigantic quantities of food, and still, satisfaction eludes us.

Seeking fulfillment in food is futile. Food is fuel to keep our bodies running, yet we treat it as a a means to shut down and to feel 'high' and to stop thinking. 

When we put aside our Wants and focus only on our Needs, we wind up 'needing' surprisingly little. All of our needs are met on a daily basis, when we have the faith to believe they WILL be.

For today, I believe that everything I need shall be supplied to me. I need not seek it  out; it will be laid at my feet on an as-needed basis.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Food for Thought: March 28th

Avoiding Trouble

Staying out of the kitchen as much as possible is a good way for the compulsive overeater to avoid trouble. If fast food restaurants are a problem, then visit them as infrequently as you can, or keep away from them altogether.

With planning, we can arrange for the food we need without placing ourselves in situations of great temptation. If the family is having something not on our program, we can substitute a simple meal for ourselves which fits our food plan. Sometimes we may need to get out of the house entirely while a particular food is being served.

Whenever possible, we stay away from temptation. We strengthen our resolve and refresh our spirits by frequently making phone calls to other OA members, attending meetings, and reading the literature. As we progress in our program, we are bothered less and less by the foods which we have chosen to avoid. Our new way of eating and living is so much more satisfying than our old habits that we have no desire to jeopardize it.

Lead us away from temptation.

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


When we commit to Abstinence, we agree to go to any lengths to keep our abstinence intact. If that means staying out of the kitchen, we stay out of the kitchen. If that means taking a different route home from work to avoid the drive-thru that calls our name, then we take a different route home.  When my family eats pizza, I sometimes have to leave the house and go for a walk.  The smell of pizza is one thing that makes my mouth water and tempts me to break my abstinence 'just this once.'  And, as we all know, it's that FIRST compulsive bite that sets us off on a path to destruction.

For today, I will not take that first compulsive bite.

For today, I will stick to my Food Plan.

For today, I will do whatever it TAKES to stay abstinent and out of the food.

For today, I will avoid temptation.

For today, I refuse to be bothered by foods which I have chosen to abstain from eating.

For today, I appreciate my satisfying new way of life.  If I feel 'tempted' to chuck my program, I will visit the clear plastic zippered bag in my dresser, which contains a cigarette, a vodka shooter, and a candy bar, along with The Serenity Prayer typed up on paper. If I choose to break my abstinence with any ONE of those items, I may as well use them ALL.

For today, I choose not to.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 27th


How could I do it? How could I say it? Even though I meant it, I still feel ashamed, guilty, and afraid.

This is common reaction to new, exciting recovery behaviors. Anything to do with owning our power and taking care of ourselves can trigger feelings of shame, guilt, and fear.

We do not have to allow these feelings to control us. They're a backlash. They're after-burn. Let them burn out.

When we start confronting and attacking feelings and messages, we will experience some after-burn. The after-burn is what we allowed to control us all our life -- shame and guilt.

Many of us grew up with shame-based messages that it wasn't okay to take care of ourselves, be honest, be direct, and own our power with people. Many of us grew up with messages that it wasn't okay to be who we were and resolve problems in relationships. Many of us grew up with the message that what we want and need isn't okay.

Let it all burn off. We don't have to take after-burn so seriously. We don't let the after-burn convince us that we are wrong and don't have a right to take care of ourselves and set boundaries.

Do we really have the right to take care of ourselves? Do we really have the right to set boundaries? Do we really have the right to be direct and say what we need to say?

You bet we do.

Today, I will let any after-burn which sets in after I practice a new recovery behavior, burn off. I will not take it so seriously. God, help me let go of my shame and needless fears about what will happen to me if I really start caring for and loving myself. 

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


After-burn............what a great analogy! It's amazing how I've been given the message that it's NOT OK to speak my mind, or to take care of ME! The after-burn of shame and guilt brought on by being honest & direct!

I do not have to fall prey to feelings of shame and guilt. I have the right to take care of ME; to set boundaries, to be direct and say what I need to say.  In other words, it's 100% ok to BE ME!  I have no business feeling guilty for doing so.

In spite of being taught to NEVER speak the truth and to be a people-pleaser at ALL times, I choose to discard that message and not feel badly in doing so. The truth is, it's a whole lot MORE shameful to blow smoke up other people's butts than it is to remain truthful & direct. If I smile to your face while stabbing you in the back, is THAT better than being up front and truthful? I think not!

Not everything we are taught is good or true or right.

For today, I will let any after-burn which sets in after I practice a new recovery behavior, burn off. I will not take it seriously. God, help me let go of my shame and needless fears about what will happen to me if I really start caring for and loving myself.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Food for Thought: March 26th

Cobwebs and Illusions

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

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

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

Thank You, Lord, for sanity.

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


When I'm overeating, I'm not thinking or behaving rationally. Anger fills my soul as I go on the prowl for more more MORE. My thinking is foggy & confused. I live inside my head where fantasy prevails and I shut down emotionally.

There is no 'joy' in eating compulsively. It's almost like a mad quest to see how much volume I can stuff into my body in the shortest amount of time. I don't eat for taste, I eat for volume.  It doesn't matter what the food is, just that I can eat it in quantity; the quality is irrelevant.

I hear people say if you're going to eat a 'treat', make it a high quality one, and then only eat a bite or two. HAH!

In the world of food addiction, there is no such thing as a 'bite or two.'  After taking the FIRST compulsive bite, it becomes a roller coaster ride of insanity and it won't stop until I'm physically *and emotionally* sick.

For today, I choose NOT to get on that roller coaster ride into hell. For today, I will stay abstinent by sticking to my food plan, and I will not take that first compulsive bite.

Today, I will rely on my Higher Power for strength & guidance.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Food for Thought: March 25th

Living Day by Day

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

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

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

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

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

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


Letting Go of Worry

What if we knew for certain that everything we're worried about today will work out fine?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the problem bothering us would be worked out in the most perfect way, and at the best possible time? Furthermore, what if we knew that three years from now we'd be grateful for that problem, and its solution?

What if . . . we knew that even our worst fear would work out for the best?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that everything that's happening, and has happened, in our life was meant to be, planned just for us, and in our best interest?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the people we love are experiencing exactly what they need in order to become who they're intended to become? Further, what if we had a guarantee that others can be responsible for themselves, and we don't have to control or take responsibility for them?

What if . . . we knew the future was going to be good, and we would have an abundance of resources and guidance to handle whatever comes our way?

What if . . . we knew everything was okay, and we didn't have to worry about a thing? What would we do then?

We'd be free to let go and enjoy life.

Today, I will know that I don't have to worry about anything. If I do worry, I will do it with the understanding that I am choosing to worry, and it is not necessary.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 24th

Appreciating Ourselves

We are the greatest things that will ever happen to us. Believe it. It makes life much easier.
—Codependent No More

It is time to stop this nonsense of running around picking on ourselves.

We may have walked through much of our life apologizing for ourselves either directly or indirectly - feeling less valuable than others, believing that they know better than we do, and believing that somehow others are meant to be here and we are not.

We have a right to be here.

We have a right to be ourselves. We are here. There is a purpose, a reason, and an intention for our life. We do not have to apologize for being here or being who we are.

We are good enough, and deserving.

Others do not have our magic. We have our magic. It is in us.

It doesn't matter what we've done in our past. We all have a past, woven with mistakes, successes, and learning experiences. We have a right to our past. It is ours. It has worked to shape and form us. As we progress on this journey, we shall see how each of our experiences will be turned around and used for good.

We have already spent too much time being ashamed, being apologetic, and doubting the beauty of ourselves. Be done with it. Let it go. It is an unnecessary burden. Others have rights, but so do we. We are neither less than nor more than. We are equal. We are who we are. That is whom we were created and intended to be.

That, my friend, is a wonderful gift.

God, help me own my power to love and appreciate myself. Help me give myself validity instead of looking to others to do that. 

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


My ID Said: FAT GIRL (Blog)

After losing a lot of weight, I had my identity stolen.

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

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

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

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

And perception becomes one’s reality.

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

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

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

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

When I transformed into a person who appeared to be different on the outside, I’d get overcome with a ‘feeling’ that I wasn’t able to pinpoint, or put a name to.  What was it? I blogged about ‘the feeling’ a few times last April, seeking an answer from my fellow travelers.  One gal who’d searched high & low for an answer to ‘the feeling’ but never found one, in spite of extensive therapy, described it as ‘trying to hold a beach ball under water’.  Whatever ‘the feeling’ was, it wanted desperately to come UP, but every time it tried, I became frightened.  Fear of the unknown….what on earth IS it??  I couldn’t identify ‘the feeling’, so it would scare me, leading me back down the road to regain.  Every time I’ve lost weight, this ‘feeling’ came up, and every time it did, I’d head back to my old ways.

It’s taken me over a year after writing that blog to finally identify ‘the feeling.’  It’s been my Spirit trying, and trying and trying to come UP, to be acknowledged & accepted. The Real Me, in other words.  I never knew her before, so how could I recognize her when she came knocking?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But staying true to my food plan forced me to see things clearly; the illusions no longer prevailed.

My Spirit wanted to come up & STAY up. Without a lot of ‘stuff’ to anchor me down, without a Fat Suit to protect me from life, with no fancy house or large bank account to define Me, all I had left was my Spirit.

I’d try to tamp It DOWN, like I would a beach ball in the ocean, but UP it would pop.

It would be held down no longer.

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

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

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

My Spirit is Who I Am.

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

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

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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Food for Thought: March 23rd


To be aware is to be focused and alive. If we are truly alert to what is going on within and around us, we will never be bored. Through working the OA program, we develop greater awareness of ourselves, other people, and our Higher Power.

Sometimes this new awareness brings pain; we realize that we have been hurt and that we have hurt others. Through our daily inventories, we recognize shortcomings and mistakes, which we may have ignored in the past. Often it is too late to undo all of the damage, which has been done by our compulsive overeating and general self-centeredness.

Here is where we pray for acceptance of what we cannot change and courage to make amends where we can. It is then important to put what is past behind us and concentrate on being more aware now, today, so that we do not make the same mistakes again.

When we are not dulled by too much food and the wrong kinds of food, we are more perceptive and aware in every aspect of our lives. Our experiences are richer and we are better able to grow and change.

I pray for increasing awareness.

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


Boredom is a problem for me............a problem I work on correcting. I am aware, focused.......and alive, yet still find myself restless and antsy sometimes. I used to fill that time with excess food........eating as a way to cure boredom.  Since I can't do that anymore and maintain abstinence, I have to find other things to occupy me instead.

I blog, I make phone calls, I stay connected to my fellow COEs on a chat board...........I read books on spirituality, or OA literature..........and I watch TV too, because hey, I LIKE to watch TV! :)

For today, I am not dulled by too much food, and for that I am grateful.  For today, I will allow myself to thrive and to grow because I will not practice my addictive behaviors.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 22nd

Letting Go of Being a Victim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The secret to happiness is allowing my light to shine. Liberating myself from fear means I let go of the victim mentality completely.  I give myself permission to be have a good stop dwelling in negativity and looking at my glass half empty.

The secret to happiness lies in our thinking...............our thoughts create our reality. 

"Mind is everything. Every thought you create manifests itself in the real world.
If you didn't achieve something you strive for - you simply didn't believe in it enough."
Mario Novak

For today, I choose Happiness............I choose to think positive thoughts and to create a reality for myself that is positive and upbeat.

If I am what I think and I am what I eat, then I think loving thoughts and I eat healthy foods.  For today, I choose to project myself as a Winner instead of a victim!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Food for Thought: March 21st

Letting Go

By admitting that we are unable to manage our own lives, we become ready to let a Higher Power take over. Before we can fully benefit from God's direction, we must let go completely of the idea that we are in control.

We say that we are grateful compulsive overeaters, because if it had not been for our inability to control what we ate and the resulting turmoil in our lives, we might never have realized our need to "let go and let God."

When we turn our problems over to our Higher Power, we leave them with Him and move as He directs. If we take the problems back, we are like a child who has given his or her parent a broken toy to fix, but snatches it back before the parent can make the repair.

If we had been able to fix our problems ourselves, our way, we would not be in this program. Since we know we need help, let's be willing to let go and try God's way.

May I let go of my problems so that You may direct my life.

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


When we surrender, we agree to STOP trying to control our food intake and instead, follow a pre-determined Food Plan. We do the footwork by staying committed TO that Food Plan, and allow God/HP to do the REST.

People pray to find the willingness to commit.............the key is not in finding the willingness, but in DOING it IN SPITE of NOT having the willingness! Good actions create good thoughts, not the other way around.

In 12 step circles, it's known as Fake It Till Ya Feel It.  You DO it, and THEN the good feelings come along!

If I waited to 'feel like it' before I commit myself to something, I'd never commit myself to ANYTHING. If I waited for 'motivation', same thing, I'd be a couch potato who never moves a muscle. 

Motivation has nothing to DO with Commitment.  I commit to going to work every day, to staying faithful to my husband, to keeping my house clean & doing the laundry........and I commit to sticking to my Food Plan and exercising. I put all of my responsibilities into the same category: do it whether you feel like it or not.  I very rarely feel like getting up at 5:30 in the morning, but I DO it anyway.

Surrendering to the Rules builds character. 

For today, I release my problems & my responsibilities to God, so that He may direct my life.  I've proven I'm not so good at doing that alone!  And nowadays, I don't HAVE to!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recovery Meditations: March 20th


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

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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

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

~ Rob R.

There is no 'finish line' with this journey. Recovery isn't about a number on the scale, or a clothing's about a state of mind, where peace & serenity prevail. In order to maintain peace & serenity, we must maintain our abstinence on a daily basis.  We recommit TO it every morning when we wake up, and every night before we go to sleep.

Every morning I wake up and thank God for another day of abstinence, sobriety & no smoking. I don't take my recovery lightly, or for granted..........and I am grateful for the gifts I have been given.  Relapse is but a BITE away, and I am fully aware of that FACT, as a compulsive overeater.

For today, I diligently strive to maintain my Abstinence by working my program to the best of my ability.

For today, I am profoundly grateful for the gift of Abstinence, peace of mind, and freedom from chaos.  May God help me to keep those gifts intact.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food for Thought


In the past, we relied on our own strength to get us where we thought we wanted to go. We were afraid, since deep down we knew how weak and undependable our own strength really was.

When we turn our lives over, we no longer have to go it alone. We have tapped the limitless reservoir of strength provided by our Higher Power, and when we are operating under His guidance we feel confident. What we could not do ourselves can be done when we admit our weakness and ask for help.

Through working the OA program and through closer contact with our Higher Power, we may find that we are going in a new direction. The things we thought we wanted may turn out to be unnecessary, and we may have new goals. Wherever our journey leads, we will have the strength we need, since it does not come from ourselves but from a Power greater than ourselves.

I need Your strength, Lord.

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


Without help from God, my Higher Power, my disease would take over and chaos would prevail.

I Deserve To Take A Break: Inside the Mind of a Compulsive Overeater 
I think I’ll ditch my food plan today………hell, I’ve been ‘good’ for nearly 5 years now, I deserve a break!  I’ll eat whatever I want, just for today, and hop right back on plan tomorrow. 

But wait. Tomorrow is Thursday, and I’ll be feeling horrible from eating all that sludge on Wednesday, hungry & headachy & bloated, BLAH…….and then on Friday night we’re taking my folks out to dinner.  They’ll want Italian, no doubt, and will I want to ‘deprive’ myself of something sinfully delicious?……..Probably not, since I already blew it on Wednesday.... .I've changed my mind-set.

Holy cow, I forgot!!!!!!!!!!  On Saturday, hubby reserved a suite for us at a romantic little inn up in the mountains.  With dinner that evening at an extra special place called The Cliff House.  The Romance Package includes chocolate covered strawberries for two and a bottle of wine!!!!!!
Well, that’s FRUIT, primarily………what’s the harm in feeding some to one another?  The wine we won’t bother opening, since neither one of us drink………..that rule canNOT be broken.  But other rules about some silly food?

Hmmmmm.  After over-eating on Wednesday & Friday, & devouring all that FRUIT on Saturday afternoon, I’ll simply HAVE to try all the chef’s specialties while dining at SUCH a romantic place with my husband that evening! 

PUH-LEEEZE! It would be rude not to! Not to mention wasting all that money by eating like a bird!
Sounds like I’ll be eating myself into a frenzy ALL weekend, so I’ll be ‘good’ again on MONDAY!
Uh oh.  Monday is donut-day at work! Yep. Someone brings in gigantic boxes of those oh-so-amazingly-delicious Krispy Kremes!!!!!!!! They are SO ‘light’ and fluffy, hard to believe each light-as-a-feather treat will cost me 260 calories & 37 carbs! But hey, who’s counting calories right now……….I’m determined NOT to know, in fact, since I’m SO far off plan ANYWAY.

Tuesday. Tuesday’s the day to get serious & back on track.  I swear I will completely ignore those 8” sub sandwiches that Jimmy John’s drops off in the lunchroom every frickin’ Tuesday, FREE of charge!

I wonder who’s birthday it is at the office this week? I paid $10 towards purchasing a Costco birthday cake AND Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches for everyone here.  Let me check the list……
UGH!!!!!!! There are two birthdays in April, and FOUR in May!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Have you ever TASTED one of those incredibly divine cakes from Costco, though? I mean, REALLY!

Shhhhhhhhh! What’s that noise? UGH, my co-worker is loading the candy dish with M&Ms again.
Just one of 7 or 8 candy bowls lying around this office……….I wonder if Penny’s restocked my favorites: the mini chocolate bars?

Has the vending machine guy been by lately to fill-er-up?  Should I sneak down to the 3rd floor, so none of my co-workers will see me buying 3 or 4 bags of M&M peanuts and secreting them away in my pockets? To eat later, when nobody’s looking, of course………..I do not overeat in public for Petesake.

As I drive home, I may as well make a pit-stop at the gas station.  I need gas.  I also feel like I ‘need’ a Dove ice-cream bar, screw these “Skinny Cow’s”, HAH, and a few packages of assorted cookies & candy bars.  My house is about 1 mile away from the gas station……………I wonder if I’ll have time to binge AND discard all the evidence before I drive into the garage?

Don’t forget to wipe your mouth off & freshen your chocolate-breath with an Altoid.!!!! Sugar-free, of course.

I lie awake in bed, waiting for the rest of the household to get quiet so I can sneak into the kitchen to forage.  

For more.

Always more. Always. More.

And Never Enough.

I now find myself asking, What Is The Point?  The point of trying again…….of trying to relieve the obsession, to start playing the game yet AGAIN. Isn’t it easier to wear sweat-pants & not even KNOW what size I am?

A better question to ask myself is……what’s the point of ditching your food plan to BEGIN with?
No point at all.

Because those Monday’s turn into Tuesdays, which turn into seasons, which turn into years.  All the Monday’s that never come.

There have been 2844 Mondays in my nearly 55 years on earth. So far, I’ve spent 200+ Mondays on track with my eating & feeling good about myself.  I’d like to forget the 2000+ I spent making false promises.

Do I want to waste one more Monday, waking up & feeling like a failure?

Not this time.

I wrote that blog from my heart.........from the light of truth with regard to compulsive overeating. For today, I will hold onto my abstinence like the GOLD that it IS, so I don't have to live in the despair of the disease.

For today, I thank God for the peace of abstinence.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Each Day a New Beginning: March 18th

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
—Dodie Smith

Depression feeds on itself. With attention it worsens, but there are places for our attention. We can move our focus to a woman who is close by, a woman who is struggling to determine her direction in life. We can offer our ears. Or we can observe attentively, today, all the women, children, and men we see on the streets. When we notice their expressions, we realize they, too, may be suffering.

Doing something for someone else will lessen our own problems, no matter what the cause. In fact, just doing something will lift our spirits. Depression becomes habitual, and habits, even those that are detrimental, are easy to hang onto. When we take an action, even a small one, we can note the change: Action that benefits another is guaranteed to benefit us as well.

Depression does get worse with self-pitying attention; however, attention to ourselves that is nurturing has its place. We can pamper ourselves, but not pity ourselves. Pampering reflects approval, caring, self-respect; three attitudes inconsistent with depression. Even more than inconsistent, pampering and depression are incongruent.

Depression must be coddled to maintain it. It's my choice to move beyond it at any moment. I can put something besides my problem at my center today and enjoy the results.

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


When I get out of my own head is when I'm functioning at my finest. There is no time for self-absorbed depression when I am doing something useful for someone else; listening, helping, talking...........

Depression seems to be a chronic problem in our society these days. When we agree to STOP living addictive lifestyles, depression seems to LIFT as we learn to give BACK instead of taking. Joy is ours for the taking, when we refuse to allow self-pity.

Today I will take ACTION to care for myself; to pamper myself, approve of myself and treat myself with respect.  The ACTIONS I take dictate the level of joy I am willing to allow myself to experience.

For today, I will not practice habitual depression,negativity or self-indulgence.

For today, I will be happy, joyous and free.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Food for Thought: March 17th


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

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

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

May I not fear being vulnerable.

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


I find this to be a very powerful reading! It hits the nail on the head as to why I've chosen to overeat..........I've doped myself up with food in order to not feel vulnerable! I've always worn the facade of self-sufficiency! I didn't 'need' anyone.............I could handle everything MYSELF, thank you very much.  If I'm willing to expose my needs, then my facade of self-sufficiency is DESTROYED!

I must be willing to experience my feelings without stuffing them down. When fears and anxieties surface, I can ask God to guide me instead of resorting to excess food and the refrigerator!

For today, I agree to being vulnerable........I will allow it so I can grow emotionally & spiritually.

For today, I will not turn to food to cover up my feelings & my needs. Instead, I will be more open with others.  I will be nourished by them and by God, who allays my fears and redirects them.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Food for Thought: March 16th

Difficult Times

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

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

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

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

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

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


So true.................abstinence is what carries me through difficult times. My Food Plan is my calm amidst the storm! Without IT, I'd be stuffing myself and experiencing even MORE turmoil and pain!

Extra food incapacitates me.  Abstinence empowers and steadies me.  No matter what difficult situation I face in life, unnecessary food will make it even MORE difficult!

It's taken me a long time to accept this put abstinence into practice instead of just an idea in the back of my mind.

For today, I will PRACTICE abstinence and as a result, my day will be calm and serene!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Food for Thought: March 15th

Keep Planning

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

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

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

Help me to remember to plan. 

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


Fail to plan and plan to fail............that's the gospel truth. With compulsive overeating, there is no other way.  I eat 6 small meals a day, and they are all measured and planned out in advance.  I eat on a strict schedule as well, which keeps my blood sugar level and my hunger at bay.  Eating in this manner allows me to use food as fuel instead of as entertainment or emotional comfort.  If I feel 'hungry' in between meals, I know it's not true stomach hunger but HEAD hunger instead.......the desire to munch.  If I give in to that desire to munch, I break my abstinence and no matter how much I eat, I never feel 'satisfied.' 

What's the point in taking that first compulsive bite?  Since there is no such thing as 'enough' to a compulsive overeater, there is also NO POINT in taking that first compulsive bite!

There is no circumstance too difficult to handle. My Food Plan prevails and IT stays in charge of ME! Structure prevents chaos.

For today, I will eat my 6 small, measured meals and nothing more.  With God's help, I will not break my abstinence for the next 24 hours.  Help me to remember that I will not starve!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 14th

Trusting Ourselves

Trust can be one of the most confusing concepts in recovery. Who do we trust? For what?

The most important trust issue we face is learning to trust ourselves. The most detrimental thing that's happened to us is that we came to believe we couldn't trust ourselves.

There will be some who tell us we cannot trust ourselves; we are off base and out of whack. There are those who would benefit by our mistrusting ourselves.

Fear and doubt are our enemies. Panic is our enemy. Confusion is our opposition.

Self-trust is a healing gift we can give ourselves. How do we acquire it? We learn it. What do we do about our mistakes, about those times we thought we could trust ourselves but were wrong? We accept them, and trust ourselves anyway.

We know what is best for us. We know what is right for us. If we are wrong, if we need to change our mind, we will be guided into that - but only by trusting where we are today.

We can look to others for support and reinforcement, but trust in ourselves is essential.

Do not trust fear. Do not trust panic. We can trust ourselves, stand in our own truth, and stand in our own light. We have it now. Already. We have all the light we need for today. And tomorrow's light shall be given to us then.

Trust ourselves, and we will know whom to trust. Trust ourselves, and we will know what to do. When we feel we absolutely cannot trust ourselves, trust that God will guide us into truth.

God, help me let go of fear, doubt, and confusion - the enemies of self-trust. Help me go forward in peace and confidence. Help me grow in trust for you, and myself one day at a time, one experience at a time. 

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


I had no trust or faith in myself because of all the addiction issues that I was never able to reel in. All the failed diet attempts.  All the failed attempts to quit smoking and drinking.  All the failures felt like open wounds...........reasons to NOT trust myself. How COULD I 'trust' myself, after failing so many times?

Finding abstinence is what led me TO trust myself once again.  To realize, deep down inside, that I AM a trustworthy person.  That I SHOULD trust myself, and that I could trust myself.  That I am truly worthy of all the good things life has to offer.  That I am not a second class citizen and 'less than' any other human being on earth.

Fear and doubt once plagued me because I didn't know that I had The Power to change my OWN life.  That God is with me always, right there to help and guide me! I thought I was alone.......struggling to find happiness and joy...........but I was wrong. The fellowship of OA is a beacon of light in the darkness, and my HP is by my side continuously. 

For today, I will not fear and I will not panic.  I can trust myself, stand in my own truth, and embrace my own light.  I have it now............already...........this minute. I have all the light I need for today. And when tomorrow comes, the light will be given to me then.

For today, I will go forward in peace and confidence, one day at a time, one experience at a time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Food for Thought: March 13th

No More Diets

OA is not another diet club. Abstinence is not something we go on for a while, until we achieve a desired weight goal, and then go off. We are through with diets. In the past, they may have worked for a time, but sooner or later we became bored with them, quit, and regained the weight we had lost.

OA is a program of recovery. We discover that what we eat is not the most important thing in our lives. Each day we plan what is necessary for the nourishment of our bodies, and then we are free to forget about food and go on with our living.

Instead of following a diet for a certain length of time, we maintain abstinence from compulsive overeating every day of our lives so that we may feel good and function effectively. We work the program, live the Twelve Steps, and enjoy each day as never before. We are recovering.

Thank You for the gift of recovery.

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

I can't 'quit' being abstinent, like I can a diet. Abstinence is a lifestyle............a way of life that doesn't allow for going on binges or overeating.

Abstinence is the avoidance of chaos. I stick to a pre-determined Food Plan, eating food to nourish my body but not my mind.  I eat for fuel purposes..........not for entertainment or emotional comfort. I work the Steps and seek emotional support from God and my loved ones. 

When I use food as a drug, there is never enough.............there is no satisfaction to be found, no matter HOW much I eat!! Practicing abstinence allows me to live with joy, as God intended me to live.

For today, I will not diet.  For today, I will stick to my Food Plan of abstinence, which prevents me from obsessing about food.

For today, I will live in peace, and repeat the Serenity Prayer when need be:

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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Food for Thought: March 12th

Nourishment or Drug?

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

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

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

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

May I not be afraid to live without a drug.

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


It's always frightening to think of how life is going to be without my drug(s) of choice to 'help' me. Giving up excess food, cigarettes & booze was tough..........but not AS tough as it was to 'use' those drugs and feel terrible about myself. 

It always surprises me when I hear somebody say they're depressed or anxious when they stop overeating. Many of us use excess food precisely AS an anti-depressant or an anti-anxiety cure. I get depressed every single time I stop smoking (which is why I go BACK)..........and even this time around, with a prescription for Wellbutrin, I am STILL depressed after quitting on December 4th.  I can go back............which will cure one level of depression...........but it will bring ON another level of depression because I've failed yet AGAIN, and, now I'm going to worry all the time about getting lung cancer. way or another, I have to fight off SOME level of depression when I give up my drug(s) of choice.

Sooner or later, life begins to feel normal without the drug(s) of choice, but boy howdy, it's a BEAR getting from point A to point B!!!!!!!!!!!

For today, and ONLY today, I agree to abstain from my drugs of choice

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 11th

Letting Go of Confusion

Sometimes, the way is not clear.

Our minds get clouded, confused. We aren't certain what our next step should be, what it will look like, what direction we are headed.

This is the time to stop, ask for guidance, and rest. That is the time to let go of fear. Wait. Feel the confusion and chaos, and then let it go. The path will show itself. The next step shall be revealed. We don't have to know now. We will know in time. Trust that. Let go and trust.

Today, I will wait if the way is not clear. I will trust that out of the chaos will come clarity. 

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


 Recovery Meditations: March 11th


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

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

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

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

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

~ Rosehips


 Each Day a New Beginning

The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town.
—Eleanor H. Porter

We have met certain people who inspired laughter, hope, or changes in us, or those close to us. We look forward to seeing them. We leave their presence believing in ourselves, aware that we can tackle whatever problems had us immobilized. That special gift to inspire is ours for the taking, too. The inspiration comes from God.

We can look to God for the strength we need. It will come. We can look also to God for direction, for the steps we need to take today. And then wait. Those persons who inspire us have developed a secure connection to their God. And it's their connection that comes through them to inspire us.

We can take some time today, before the demands overwhelm us, to weave our connection to our higher power. When that contact is secure, we won't have to await inspiration from another person to forge ahead with our plans. The inspiration will live within us, and it will beckon us onward. Our way will be illuminated.

I shall meditate upon this. Conscious contact with God is only a prayer away. My life will be brightened. My burdens will be lifted. My hopes will become realities, whenever I look to God for the gift of inspiration.

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

 Food for Thought


In our fellowship, we share our troubles and we share our joys - our faults as well as our assets. We will be accepted and understood, because we are with people who are like us. We may seem very different on the surface, but underneath we are all amazingly alike.

Someone has said, "I can only know that much of myself which I have had the courage to confide to you." As we reveal ourselves to others, they act as mirrors so that we may see and understand who we are.

All of us have hidden fears and buried guilts. Before we joined OA, we had no place to go with these negative emotions, and so we turned to unnecessary food. Instead of rationally facing our worries and our hurts, we ate. Even when we were happy, we found it easier to eat than to express our joy to someone else.

Sharing our thoughts, feelings, and experiences with other people shows us who we are and helps us to accept ourselves. Those with whom we share also benefit.

Grant me courage and trust so that I may share.

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

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 10th

Living with Families

I was forty-six years old before I finally admitted to myself and someone else that my grandfather always managed to make me feel guilty, angry, and controlled.

We may love and care about our family very much. Family members may love and care about us. But interacting with some members may be a real trigger to our codependency - sometimes to a deep abyss of shame, rage, anger, guilt, and helplessness.

It can be difficult to achieve detachment, or an emotional level, with certain family members. It can be difficult to separate their issues from ours. It can be difficult to own our power.

Difficult, but not impossible.

The first step is awareness and acceptance - simple acknowledgment, without guilt, of our feelings and thoughts. We do not have to blame our family members. We do not have to blame or shame ourselves. Acceptance is the goal - acceptance and freedom to choose what we want and need to do to take care of ourselves with that person. We can become free of the patterns of the past. We are recovering. Progress is the goal.

Today, Higher Power, help me be patient with myself as I learn how to apply recovery behaviors with family members. Help me strive today for awareness and acceptance. 

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


I am fifty-five years old and just now admitting that my mother always manages to make me feel guilty, angry, resentful, negative, and manipulated.  Actually, I've known it for the past fifty-five years, I'm just now accepting the fact that it's HER issue and not mine to bear.  I don't have to 'blame' her or myself............I do not have to shame her or myself.............all I have to do is ACCEPT my mother for who she is, and DETACH from all of the nonsense, with love.

My mother has no thoughts of her original ideas to share........she has no identity..........not a clue as to who she IS or what she stands for in life. My mother goes around REACTING to other people. So her conversations are judgments of others........entirely & completely.  Just a constant litany of who's not good enough, who's making mistakes, who's out to 'get' whom..............all negativity all the time.  I feel like I'm holding up shields when I speak to her, warding off all of the barbs and arrows that come through the phone like poison. 

I'm learning to use a phrase with her these days: That's Unfortunate.  When she is complaining miserably about one of a hundred different things, I can use that phrase and shut the dialogue DOWN, at least on MY end.  Gee Mom, That's Unfortunate.  She has little response to that statement.........because I am not INVITING a response! I am not arguing with her that so-and-so is not really a horrible person..........or that the cooks in her building are doing the best they can to make tasty meals, in spite of the fact that SHE hates them.  When I argue with her, I lose. She still maintains the exact same toxic attitude, and it is ME who's left feeling drained and upset.

What for? The mistake is to engage toxic people in the first place.  Lots of head nodding, tsk-tsk'ing, and statements like "That's Unfortunate" seem to work well for those of US having to deal with the nonsense!

I will never be 'good enough' in my mother's eyes. I will never do enough, achieve enough, have enough, behave properly, say the right thing, give her all SHE is looking for, etc. etc.  And that's ok.............I do not have to internalize HER opinion of me!

In God's eyes, I am perfect.  I know that my mother was put into my life to teach help me learn compassion, empathy, patience.........and coping techniques to use that will prevent her from ruining the quality of MY life. 

Today I have a terrible 'sore throat' and am unable to make the usual Sunday visit.  For today, I am taking care of ME, without guilt, without shame, without anger, and without regret.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Food for Thought: March 9th

No Ultimate "Ah"

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

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

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

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

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

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


The moment of satisfaction would be found just ahead, in the next bite.  Now THERE is an "Ah".............the fact of the LIE! There is no satisfaction EVER to be found in food! I can eat until I'm physically sick, and STILL there is no sense of 'satisfaction' ultimate "Ah".

And THAT, my friends, is the ultimate "Ah"................the knowledge that happiness, success, peace and fulfillment is not to be found in the refrigerator.

Peace & Happiness comes from within.  OA teaches us, via the Steps, to FIND this inner peace that seems to be so elusive.

We've tried finding it in food, to no avail, what say we try a new and different way? 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Food for Thought: March 8th

"Normal" Eating

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

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

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

Thank you, Lord, for sanity.


AMEN AMEN & AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!

The truth is, 'normal' people in our society overeat. They order fast food from drive-throughs, they snack all day long, they eat gigantic portions in restaurants, and they are obese as a result.

I have changed my definition of 'normal' to mean 6 small, healthy meals a day at 8, 11, 2, 5, 7 and 10 pm.  I eat nothing in between, and I work my plan one day at a time. This is MY version of normal, and it keeps me thin & healthy.

For today, I will NOT fall into society's trap of what constitutes 'normal' eating. It's taken me 55 years to see that I AM NOT a 'normal' eater and will never BE a 'normal' eater.  Thank God for showing me the truth, so I can avoid more experimentation.....................

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Food for Thought: March 7th

Accepting Abstinence

Abstinence is not so much something we achieve as it is a gift from our Higher Power. It is given to us constantly, from the time we wake up in the morning through every minute of the day.

If we think of abstinence as something we have to acquire through great effort, we will be afraid that we will fail. We will think of weeks and months and years stretching ahead of us and say, "I'll never make it."

Abstinence is given to us now, each day, and all we need to do is accept it. It is not something we do only in order to lose a certain number of pounds. By abstaining, we will lose the pounds, but when we are at our desired weight we continue to maintain abstinence. Abstinence is our freedom from compulsive overeating and the gift of new life.

Thank you, Lord, for abstinence.

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


Abstinence is simple...........I refrain from compulsive overeating by sticking to a pre-determined Food Plan.  Period.  Whether I 'feel like it' or not, I stick to my Food Plan because if I don't, chaos prevails.  The power of 'choice' comes back into my life and, as an addict, I do not deal well with choice.  When I remove the power of choice is when I thrive.  My Food Plan provides me with no choice; thankfully, so the 'should I' 'shouldn't I' question need NOT be asked.

Abstinence is freedom from addiction.

Abstinence is a gift from God.

Abstinence is peace & sanity.

Abstinence is  very, very simple.  It may not be 'easy', but it is certainly easIER than practicing the insanity of compulsive overeating!!!!!!!!

For today, I am thankful for the gift of freedom.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Food for Thought: March 6th

Living Now

When we were eating compulsively, we left the here and now. We escaped into fantasy, and we were often unaware of how much we were eating. By some strange mental quirk, we were able to forget that we should have been burning up our excess fat, not adding more.

God is now. To make contact with Him is to bring ourselves in touch with what is real. When we first came to OA, we may have had doubts, if not downright disbelief, about the reality of God, but concrete experience has convinced most of us that a Higher Power is indeed in control.

In order to be rid of the mental obsession which drives us to the insane behavior of compulsive overeating, we practice being constantly tuned in to our Higher Power. He can restore us to sanity and keep us living in the present. By giving Him our past resentments and future fears, we become free to focus on the here and now. Without resentment and fear, we can see the beauty of the present moment.

Lord, keep me living in the here and now.

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


When we were eating compulsively, we left the here and now.
How true! I was never happy or satisfied with the here & now..........I was always fantasizing about the future, when things would be perfect...........and when I would look perfect.  So I was never able to appreciate in the beauty & peace of the moment.  Compulsive overeating is an intentional escape..........a shutting down of the mind & the spirit, and a journey into pure chaos!

I never looked at it that way, though. I thought I was practicing 'freedom' by eating & drinking whatever I wanted.  In reality, I was living in a self-imposed prison............burdened down by addiction...........which is the polar OPPOSITE of freedom!!

In order to be rid of the mental obsession of compulsive overeating *and what to eat next*, I stay abstinent & true to my food plan.  I stay connected to God, who guides me and restores me to sanity.  Through SURRENDER I find freedom!

For today, I am willing & eager to live in the moment.  I give up the fantasy of tomorrow and the memory of yesterday.  All that is real is what's happening right NOW, and I revel in accepting that knowledge.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: March 5th

Be Who You Are
When I meet people or get in a new relationship, I start putting all these repressive restrictions on myself. I can't have my feelings. Can't have my wants and needs. Can't have my history. Can't do the things I want, feel the feelings I'm feeling, or say what I need to say. I turn into this repressed, perfectionistic robot, instead of being who I am: Me.

Sometimes, our instinctive reaction to being in a new situation is: Don't be yourself.

Who else can we be? Who else would you want to be? We don't need to be anyone else.

The greatest gift we can bring to any relationship wherever we go is being who we are.

We may think others won't like us. We may be afraid that if we just relax and be ourselves, the other person will go away or shame us. We may worry about what the other person will think.

But, when we relax and accept ourselves, people often feel much better being around us than when we are rigid and repressed. We're fun to be around.

If others don't appreciate us, do we really want to be around them? Do we need to let the opinions of others control our behavior and us?

Giving ourselves permission to be who we are can have a healing influence on our relationships. The tone relaxes. We relax. The other person relaxes. Then everybody feels a little less shame, because they have learned the truth. Who we are is all we can be, all were meant to be, and it's enough. It's fine.

Our opinion of ourselves is truly all that matters. And we can give ourselves all the approval we want and need.

Today, I will relax and be who I am in my relationships. I will do this not in a demeaning or inappropriate way, but in a way that shows I accept myself and value who I am. Help me, God, let go of my fears about being myself. 

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


As the old AA saw says, other people's opinion of me is none of my business.

I grew up worried about what others thought of me. That being ME just wasn't good enough...........that I was somehow 'lesser than'.........inferior.............that if I held myself up to someone else, I'd come up short.  Why I compared myself to others is an interesting question.

If I have to put a phony face on in order to be accepted, then it's ok NOT to be 'accepted'. I am good enough.  It is ok to BE myself, no matter what, in any situation I find myself in.

For today, I give myself permission to be who I am.  I will relax, accept & value myself for who I am.
For today, I pray to let go of my fears of inadequacy. I pray to believe that I am enough.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Food for Thought: March 4th

Doing What Feels Good

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

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

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

Take my sensuality, Lord, and control it.

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


 Why start doing something that cannot be satisfying, EVER? I eat for the sheer pleasure of the experience, which soon turns to pain & suffering.

It's like putting my hand on the stove burner, wondering if it will hurt? Yes, it WILL hurt and NO, I won't be satisfied no matter HOW much junk food I eat!

For today, I will not take that first compulsive bite, getting on a roller coaster ride that I may not be able to get off of.

For today, I put my Food Plan in God's hands.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Recovery Meditations: March 3rd


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

The Big Book, The Believer

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

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

~ Mari ~

  Food for Thought


For the success of our program, many of us have found that it is important to be precise when we weigh and measure our food. It has been our experience that carelessness and sloppiness lead to cheating and bingeing.

An extra spoonful or ounce here and there may not seem important, but it can soon become an extra portion. Then it is easy to think that since we have not followed our plan exactly, we might as well go ahead and really indulge.

There are circumstances when weighing and measuring is impossible; then we estimate as best we can. However, for most of us, most of the time, precise measurements are possible and are a valuable aid in maintaining abstinence. Each time we put back the extra spoonful of carrots and cut away the extra ounce of meat, we are stronger. It is always the first extra bite that is the downfall of the compulsive overeater. If we are careful and precise in our measurements, we will not take it.

Accuracy is honesty.

Make me honest with myself, Lord.

Dieting made me fat. Diets last X amount of time and when they're finished, we go hog wild bingeing and eating everything in sight.  Then we cross a line..........and we can't come back.............back to 'the diet' and the excruciating pain of restriction.  We forget, of course, the TRUE excruciating pain of obesity..............

Abstinence means I follow a precise Food Plan.................some may call it a 'diet'.............because truly, there is no 'easy' way.  Trigger foods are not part of my Food Plan, so, I may sometimes feel 'deprived'.............which is the DEFINITION of 'dieting'.  But, what is the alternative? The alternative is a black hole of excess, where, no matter HOW much I eat, it is STILL not 'enough'!  The six donuts progresses into 12 and then 18, and still I go back for more more more.

Compulsive overeating *and addiction in general* is a disease of More.  One's too many & a million's not enough..

Why get started eating when I KNOW I can never FEEL satisfied?  There is no point in doing that, period.

For today, I will stick to my Food Plan and not consider it a 'diet'.  For today, I will stay sane as a result.

For today, I say NO to CHAOS.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Food for Thought: March 2nd


As we lose weight, we adjust to a new self. Part of the body we had is disappearing, and this can be frightening. As our physical appearance changes, others may react to us differently. Along with the physical changes come new attitudes and expectations. Though for years we may have wished to be rid of the fat, when it actually begins to go we may fear the change.

What is new and unknown is often frightening. We may have used food and fat to retreat from uncomfortable situations. We may have spent so much time eating that there was little left for anything else. We may have expected all our troubles to vanish with the excess pounds. Now we can no longer hide behind fat or kill time with food, and our troubles may very well still be with us. What do we do?

It takes courage to change, to become a new person. We may decide at age forty to learn to play tennis. That takes lots of courage. New activities, new attitudes, changes in relationships with others--all require courage.

Change is frightening, but it is also an adventure. We are not alone. We have OA. Others have gone through the same changes and can reassure us, one step at a time.

May I not be afraid to change. 

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


Paper Towels (Blog 12/11/12)

This journey is a lot like unraveling a roll of paper towels. At first, the roll is large &'re hungry & seems like you'll never get to the end of the'll take forever. As each towel is removed from the roll, it gets smaller & smaller. When you first start removing towels, you don't see a don't notice a difference. As the roll keeps unraveling though, you notice it's getting smaller & smaller. Every day you stay abstinent, you can imagine you're removing another paper towel from that roll. One day, you wake up & you're at the end of the roll: the tube is all that's left.

With each towel removed from the roll, you're uncovering another layer of yourself that's been buried for quite awhile. What will you find under each layer? Another facet of yourself...another exciting discovery lies beneath each layer that has effectively cushioned you from life. You realize you can walk further without getting winded. You can reach down & tie your shoes without needing an oxygen tank afterward. You can fit comfortably in the seat of a movie theater without needing the jaws of life to extract you from it.

As each paper towel comes off the roll, you're freeing yourself from a bit more of your burden. You're freeing yourself from the obsession of overeating & the pain that keeps you locked up in your self-imposed prison. While removing those layers may leave you feeling exposed, you realize it's far better to FEEL something than to be numb.

Under those layers you may find the child you once were who's ready, once again, to experience life in a carefree & joyous manner, much like you used to. Maybe you'll go swimming with your kids & let them dunk you underwater. Maybe you won't care that your hair gets messed up...because you'll be wearing a swimsuit & living life instead of watching it from the sidelines, covered up & hiding out on a chaise lounge, planning a rich & carb-filled dinner for later on. Maybe you'll glide down the water slide & hear your kids tell you what a FUN mom or dad you are! That will be music to your ears that no food on earth could possibly provide, no matter how delicious.

When your roll of paper towels is finished, you can look back at all those sheets of paper scattered around you on the floor. You can recognize that each sheet represents a piece of YOU that's no longer there, weighing you down both body & spirit.

You can then use those paper towels to wipe up the tears you've cried over the years. To wipe up the mess of discarded hopes & dreams which reappeared when you found OA. You will finally be able to dispose of those paper towels in the big old trash can outside, where they belong.

Yep, this journey is a lot like a roll of paper towels. And YOU are a lot like that roll of paper towels. Strong & absorbent, ready to soak up a whole NEW set of hopes & dreams which come along with a slim & healthy body & new eating habits which keep you free, at last, from the burden of obesity. One day at a time.