Saturday, August 31, 2013

Food for Thought: August 31st

Accepting Guidelines

Some of us have gone through life thinking that we did not need to follow any guidelines. Somehow, we got the idea that special circumstances placed us above the rules. We looked for shortcuts and rebelled against the tedium of discipline. Considering ourselves exceptional, we decided to make our own guidelines. These were usually based on doing what we felt like when we felt like it.

When we get to OA, we may spend a short or a long time experimenting with the program, adjusting it to suit ourselves. Sooner or later, we discover that our adjustments do not work. The OA program works, provided we follow the rules and work it as it is, not as we might like it to be.

Once we accept the rules at a gut level, they lead us out of negative restraint into positive freedom. By following a few simple guidelines, we become free from slavery to compulsive overeating and self-centered confusion.

Thank You for Your guidelines.

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

Yep, I was to make ALL of my own rules and do exactly what I pleased, particularly when it came to food and drink.

And so, I wound up progressing my disease to the point where I ate and drank continuously.

When I found Medifast is when I was able to embrace abstinence AND sobriety, because I made a commitment to avoid trigger foods entirely, and to never take another sip of booze again *one day at a time, of course*.

I'm done experimenting with 'my way'. I'm finished trying to manipulate rules and adjusting them to suit my needs. Instead, I adjust MY needs to suit the RULES that are in place to preserve my sanity!

For today, I accept the rules.  THIS is true freedom, not what I insisted was 'freedom' for all those years when addiction held me in its grip.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 30th

Accepting Our Best

We don't have to do it any better than we can - ever.

Do our best for the moment, and then let it go. If we have to redo it, we can do our best in another moment, later.

We can never do more or better than we are able to do at the moment. We punish ourselves and make ourselves feel crazy by expecting more than our reasonable best for now.

Striving for excellence is a positive quality.

Striving for perfection is self-defeating.

Did someone tell us or expect us to do or give or be more? Did someone always withhold approval?

There comes a time when we feel we have done our best. When that time comes, let it go.

There are days when our best is less than we hoped for. Let those times go too. Start over tomorrow. Work things through, until our best becomes better.

Empowering and complimenting ourselves will not make us lazy. It will nurture us and enable us to give, do, and be our best.

Today, I will do my best, and then let it go. God, help me stop criticizing myself so I can start appreciating how far I've come.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
 Somewhere along the line, I accepted that I wasn't 'good enough' and that my best efforts were always in vain. That's a load of nonsense.  Insisting on perfection sets me up to ALLOW myself to feel like a failure. If my goal is perfection, and that's impossible to attain, then why even try? That's the compulsive overeater mindset at its worst.

I AM good enough. My best effort is plenty. My main goal in life is abstinence, and with that mindset, the rest of life becomes a whole lot more joyful. Everything good in life comes FROM abstinence, and I accept the terms of my Food Plan.  Peace and serenity come from acceptance, and for today, I am 100% on board.

Think your best

Right now, you have the opportunity to choose your thoughts. And the thoughts you choose will have a direct impact on the life you live.

Your thoughts focus your awareness. The direction of your awareness determines which of life's possibilities you see, explore, and fulfill.

The things you think about over and over again become crucial components of your reality. Take positive, purposeful, persistent control of your thoughts, and you can point your life in whatever direction you choose.

Your mind has great power. Use that power to bring more meaningful goodness into your life and your world.

Choose not to waste your valuable thoughts on meaningless and negative things. Instead, invest your thoughts each day so that they will lift life higher.

It's amazing what you can think, and even more amazing where your thoughts can lead. Think of life at its very best, and you're on your way to making it so.

Ralph Marston - The Daily Motivator

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 29th

Owning Our Energy

Learn to keep your energy inside.
  —From Women, Sex, and Addiction, Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.

For many reasons, we may have mastered the art of giving away our energy. We may have learned it when we were young because the feelings we had were too overwhelming to feel, and we did not know how to process them.

Much of our obsessing, our intense focus on others, is done to facilitate this "out of body" experience we call codependency.

We obsess, we babble, we become anxious. We try to control, care take, and fuss over others. Our energy spills out of us on to whomever.

Our energy is our energy. Our feelings, thoughts, issues, love, sexuality; our mental, physical, spiritual, sexual, creative, and emotional energy is ours.

We can learn to have healthy boundaries - healthy parameters - around our energy and ourselves. We can learn to keep our energy within ourselves and deal with our issues.

If we are trying to escape from our body, if our energy is spilling out of us in unhealthy ways, we can ask ourselves what is going on, what is hurting us, what we are avoiding, what we need to face, what we need to deal with.

Then, we can do that. We can come back home to live - in ourselves.

Today, I will keep my energy in my body. I will stay focused and within my boundaries. God, help me let go of my need to escape myself. Help me face my issues so I am comfortable living in my body.

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


I watch this behavior with my mother ALL the time. She is so anxious to avoid HERSELF that she fusses over others intensely. She can't sit still for more than 5 minutes (at 86 years old) & is constantly 'bored' and looking for something to do.  The house is immaculate, with everything lined up perfectly, not a thing out of place.  When another person enters the scene, she is all over him/her like white on rice, gushing and complimenting them, obsessing over their every word.  Once the person leaves, she is judging them by commenting negatively on everything they've said or done.  Nothing ever meets her standards, so she continues the search for perfection which constantly eludes her. 

I have been trained in co-dependency from the Queen herself, who does not realize her own behaviors. It took me a lot of years to see the dysfunctional attitude in MYSELF and to address it, in an effort to stop escaping from my own body.  It's taken me decades to feel worthy and comfortable in my own skin, not reliant upon others to dictate it FOR me.

Other people's opinion of me is none of my business.

When I find myself obsessing over something, or focusing my energy on another person, I step back & shoot up a prayer to God.  I recognize this behavior as debilitating and unhealthy, and I reel myself IN before I go too far in my quest to please others.  I am responsible for pleasing myself and God; nobody else.  My energy belongs to me, and it's not meant to spill out onto others as a means of escape. 

For today, I will keep my energy in my body. I will stay focused, through abstinence & awareness, and within my own boundaries.  God help me let go of my need to escape myself; help me to face my issues so I can enjoy the comfort of living in my body. 

For today, I AM good enough.

 No apologies

If you have hurt someone, then apologies are most certainly in order. If you haven't, then you have no need to apologize to anyone.

Be who you are, loving who you love, admiring what you admire, and valuing what you value. Instead of worrying about what other people might think, focus on what will bring you authentic fulfillment.

Be kind and helpful and loving toward others, but don't be a slave to their opinions. Live with richness, with originality, and with no apologies.

Make your own way through each day, taking responsibility for your actions and for your life. Be true to your highest, authentic values, doing what you know is right and good, creative and valuable.

Your life is unique and precious, so give it the respect and commitment it deserves. Your possibilities are amazing, so use your full efforts to bring the best of them unashamedly to life.

Live with true purpose and rock solid integrity. And you won't be wasting your time or energy on apologies.

Ralph Marston - The Daily Motivator

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 28th

Taking Care of Ourselves on the Job
It's okay to take care of ourselves on the job. It is not only okay - it is necessary.

Taking care of ourselves on the job means we deal with feelings appropriately; we take responsibility for ourselves. We detach, when detachment is called for. We set boundaries, when we need to do that.

We negotiate conflicts; we try to separate our issues from the other person's issues, and we don't expect perfection from others or ourselves.

We let go of our need to control that which we cannot control. Instead, we strive for peace and manageability, owning our power to be who we are and to take care of ourselves.

We do not tolerate abuse, nor do we abuse or mistreat anyone else. We work at letting go of our fear and developing appropriate confidence. We try to learn from our mistakes, but we forgive ourselves when we make them.

We try to not set ourselves up by taking jobs that couldn't possibly work out, or jobs that aren't right for us. If we find ourselves in one of those circumstances, we address the issue responsibly.

We figure out what our responsibilities are, and we generally stick to those, unless another agreement is made. We leave room for great days, and not so great days.

We are gentle and loving with people whenever possible, but we are assertive and firm when that is called for. We accept our strengths and build on them. We accept our weaknesses and limitations, including the limitations of our power.

We strive to stop trying to control and change what is not our business to change. We focus on what is our responsibility and what we can change.

We set reasonable goals. We take ourselves into account. We strive for balance.

Sometimes, we give ourselves a good gripe session to let it all out, but we do that appropriately, in a way meant to take care of ourselves and release our feelings, not to sabotage ourselves. We strive to avoid malicious gossip and other self-defeating behaviors.

We avoid competition; strive for cooperation and a loving spirit. We understand that we may like some people we work with and dislike others, but strive to find harmony and balance with everyone. We do not deny how we feel about a certain person, but we strive to maintain good working relationships wherever possible.

When we don't know, we say we don't know. When we need help, we ask for it directly. When panic sets in, we address the panic as a separate issue and try not to let our work and behavior be controlled by panic.

We strive to take responsible care of ourselves by appropriately asking for what we need at work, while not neglecting ourselves.

If we are part of a team, we strive for healthy teamwork as an opportunity to learn how to work in cooperation with others.

If something gets or feels crazy, if we find ourselves working with a person who is addicted or has some kind of dysfunction that is troublesome, we do not make ourselves crazier by denying the problem. We accept it and strive in peace to figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

We let go of our need to be martyrs or rescuers at work. We know we do not have to stay in situations that make us miserable. Instead of sabotaging a system or ourselves, we plan a positive solution, understanding we need to take responsibility for ourselves along the way.

We remove ourselves as victims, and we work at believing we deserve the best. We practice acceptance, gratitude, and faith.

One day at a time, we strive to enjoy what is good, solve the problems that are ours to solve, and give the gift of ourselves at work.

Today, I will pay attention to what recovery behavior I could practice that would improve my work life. I will take care of myself on the job. God, help me let go of my need to be victimized by work. Help me be open to all the good stuff that is available to me through work.

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

Well this reading is spot-on for me today! My work environment is SO toxic, that I've resigned and have 6 days left to go.  I have been unable to care for myself in the workplace, due to the horribly tense and ugly situation that exists, and so, I've removed myself from it.  Recovery, for me, means that I take care of MYSELF.  I am not a victim, and I deserve the best.  

Without the tools of recovery that I've developed over the years, I never would have been able to resign from this job. I would have been too fearful about money............about the ability to get another job...............I would have allowed myself to be victimized, believing I had NO other alternative.  I would have martyred myself, and become a bitter person in the process, like many of the other old timers working there. "If you can't beat em, join em"..........that would have been ME, and I thank God for realizing there is a better way.

Recovery isn't about food or diets.............recovery is about learning to embrace an abstinent lifestyle. Abstinence allows me to be all that I CAN be.........all that I'm capable OF being............and to live in joy and acceptance.  When I restrict my food intake, I am able to live in freedom and hope, one day at a time.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Food for Thought: August 27th

Accepting Reality

Failure, death, divorce, disease, and betrayal - these are all part of the world we live in. We agonizingly search our minds to figure out why, but are unable to come up with any satisfying answers. We pray for the serenity to accept the reality of life.

Previously, we tried to deny reality by overeating. What that did was make reality worse for us. Abstaining from compulsive overeating and working the steps of the OA program give us the strength to cope with reality and accept the things we cannot change. We often feel as though we are on a long uphill climb. Let's not forget that if it were not for abstinence and our Higher Power, we would be rapidly sliding downhill.

Whatever our situation, it is better to face it squarely than to delude ourselves with excess food. None of us escapes pain and suffering. By turning them over to our Higher Power, we are strengthened by our hardships, rather than destroyed.

May we have the courage and strength to accept life as it is.

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

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 26th

Making Amends

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  —Step Nine of Al-Anon

When we make amends we need to be clear about what we're apologizing for and the best way to say we're sorry. What we are really doing with our amends is taking responsibility for our behavior. We need to be sure that the process itself will not be self-defeating or hurtful.

Sometimes, we need to directly apologize for a particular thing we have done or our part in a problem.

Other times, instead of saying "I'm sorry," what we need to do is work on changing our behavior with a person.

There are times when bringing up what we have done and apologizing for it will make matters worse.

We need to trust timing, intuition, and guidance in this process of making amends. Once we become willing, we can let go and tackle our amends in a peaceful, consistent, harmonious way. If nothing feels right or appropriate, if it feels as if what we are about to do will cause a crisis or havoc, we need to trust that feeling.

Attitude, honesty, openness, and willingness count here. In peace and harmony, we can strive to clear up our relationships.

We deserve to be at peace with others and ourselves.

Today, I will be open to making any amends I need to make with people. I will wait for Divine Guidance in the process of making any amends that are not clear to me. I will act, when led. God, help me let go of my fear about facing people and taking responsibility for my behaviors. Help me know I am not diminishing my self-esteem by doing this; I am improving it.

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


I try to make amends quickly.........rather than letting the matter build up in my mind. "I'm sorry" goes a long way in a relationship, and helps me acknowledge MY mistake. Keeping things real and honest is very important in recovery, and making amends is vital for ME, more so than the person I'm apologizing to.

More importantly than making amends is for me to change the behavior that causes me the need to make amends in the first place! Working the Steps helps me change, from the inside out. I live in the present moment, instead of the regret of yesterday or the possibility of tomorrow. When I keep my eyes focused on my program, I can do things differently NOW rather than trying to fix it later.

For today, I will take responsibility for my behaviors.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Recovery Meditations: August 25th

~ Patience ~

There is no fruit which is not bitter
before it is ripe.

Publilius Syrus

There are some things in life you simply cannot rush. In the early stages of my disease, I went through life like a steam roller ... impatiently starting one project after another. If there was something in my life that depended on the actions of another for resolution, it was excruciating while waiting on the decision. As a result, sometimes decisions were forced. I have made many bad decisions because of lack of patience.

I have learned that sometimes we have to turn decisions over to others ... we have to let go and let others take control. We must wait it out and hope that our decision to let go was a good one. Many times it is. Sometimes it isn't.

I have become a very patient person ... and sometimes that is to my detriment. It can be hard to find a middle ground in the decision making process. Snap decisions aren't good. Neither are those we sit on forever.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will patiently wait on my Higher Power
to direct me ... to guide me ...
and to help me with the decisions I must make.

~ Mari ~

Procrastination plagues us all, at one time or another. But any activity that is worthy of our effort should be tackled by bits and pieces, one day at a time. We are too easily overwhelmed when we set our sights only on the accomplished goal. We need to focus, instead, on the individual elements and then on just one element at a time. A book is written word-by-word. A house is built timber-by-timber. A college degree is attained course-by-course.

I like to ask, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."  When I started exercising, I did so for 2 minutes, which was plenty. Little by little, I worked my way UP from there.

By the time we got to this program, most of us had accumulated a checkered past, much of which we wanted to deny or forget. And the weight of our past can stand in the way of the many possibilities in the present.

Our past need not determine what we set out to do today. However, we must be realistic: We can't change a behavior pattern overnight. But we can begin the process. We can decide on a reasonable, manageable objective for this 24-hour period. Enough days committed to the completion of enough small objectives will bring us to the attainment of any goal, large or small.

I can finish any task I set my sights on, when I take it one day at a time. Today is before me. I can move forward in a small way.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Each Day a New Beginning: August 24th

There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream - whatever that dream might be.
—Pearl S. Buck

No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights — and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.

Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.

Dreams in our earlier years often come to nought. They couldn't compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.

Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we've come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.

Today's dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won't let them pass, unnoticed.

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

I resigned from my full time job yesterday. My final day will be September 6th, my 4th wedding anniversary, oddly enough.

I feel that a new door is opening for me, because of my urge for growth. I will finally write my book, The Fat Girl Blogs, and have it published on Amazon.  Writing a book has been a dream of mine for decades, and I finally have the self-confidence to actually put that dream into action.

Recovery has given me resilience and a multitude of reasons for living.  Where once I devoted my life to food, and to shutting DOWN, I now devote my life to living and staying conscious.  Where once my dreams fizzled into nothingness because of self-pity, they now FLOURISH due to self-EMPOWERMENT!

I can do anything I set my mind to do.  My dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won't let them pass, unnoticed.  If my book is a 'failure', financially, it will still be a raging success, personally. The joy in life isn't found in the outcome of a situation, but in taking the LEAP itself!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Food for Thought: August 23rd


When my inside looked at your outside, I overate. Envy of what others seemed to be and of the possessions they had was a prime trigger for overeating, turning to food to compensate for an apparent lack. No amount of food can satisfy envy.

Why is it that the other person seems so much more fortunate, or talented, or happier than we? We are painfully aware of our own inadequacies and quick to envy whoever appears to "have it together." Looking at the outside image or mask is deceptive, however, and prevents us from seeing that underneath is a fellow human being beset with problems and difficulties just as we are.

Who we are, where we are, and what we have is God's gift to us. What we do with ourselves is our gift to God. The more we seek to do His will, the less we envy our neighbor's abilities and possessions. The peace of mind we receive through this program fills us with such gratitude that there is increasingly less room for envy.

Take away my envy, I pray.

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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Food for Thought: August 22nd

Emotional Abstinence

When our eating was out of control, our emotions were also out of control. Even after we accept physical abstinence from compulsive overeating, we may still go on emotional binges. This indulgence leaves us depleted and hung over and wreaks havoc in our relationships with those we love.

The Twelve Steps are our guide to emotional abstinence. They are the means by which we can live without being destroyed by anger, envy, fear, and all of the other negative emotions. Working the Steps frees us from our slavery to self-centered, irrational reactions, which harm ourselves and others.

Realizing the damage, which comes from hanging on to anger and resentment, we gradually become able to turn these feelings over to our Higher Power before they get out of hand. Accepting ourselves means that we can accept others for what they are without trying to manipulate them or expect them to be perfect. 

Controlled by our Higher Power, we learn to avoid emotional binges.

May I remember the importance of emotional abstinence today.

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

Compulsive overeaters are extremists........we tend to do NOTHING  'in moderation', not just limited to food behaviors. We react to everything in an emotional manner.  Through the program, we learn to stop 'reacting' to everything and everyone in an emotional fashion. We learn to stay calm and peaceful in our soul, so that the need to overreact dissipates. We become composed, carefully considering our options BEFORE having an immediate emotional reaction.  When God guides our life and we turn it over TO Him, there is no need to have emotional binges. 

When I feel anger, resentment or envy popping up, I turn it over to God to handle FOR me.  Being a slave to my self-centered, irrational reactions harms me AND everyone else in my life.  I was raised in a climate of drama..........everything was handled emotionally, and with lots of crying and raging & acting out.  I grew up thinking THIS was 'normal' behavior.  It's taken a lot of work to replace old behaviors & thought processes with new ones.  It doesn't just happen overnight, no matter HOW badly we'd like it to.

I was speaking to my sister last night, who's a self-professed control freak to the nth degree. She says how she's 'tried' to change but it's just NOT possible, period.  She thinks she can 'try' to change herself in short order, without putting in the time and effort. Reminds me of a cartoon I saw recently which said, "I've been dieting ALL day, have I lost weight yet?"

Nothing worth having comes easy.

For today, I will maintain my emotional abstinence just as I will maintain my food abstinence.  For today, I will not resort to extreme behavior of ANY kind.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Each Day a New Beginning: August 21st

With each new day I put away the past and discover the new beginnings I have been given.
  —Angela L. Wozniak

We can't recapture what is no more. And the minutes or hours we spend dwelling on what was or should have been only steal away from all that presently is. Today stands before us with promise. The opportunities for growth are guaranteed, as is all the spiritual help we need to handle any situation the day offers.

If today offers us a challenge, we can be grateful. Our challenges are gifts. They mean we are ready to move ahead to new awarenesses, to a new sense of our womanhood. Challenges force us to think creatively; they force us to turn to others; they demand that we change. Without challenges, we'd stagnate, enjoying life little, offering life nothing.

We each are making a special contribution, one that only we can make; each time we confront a new situation with courage. Each time we dare to open a new door. What we need to do today is to close the door on yesterday. Then we can stand ready and willing to go forward.

This day awaits my full presence. I will be the recipient of its gifts.

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

I am getting ready to resign from my full time job. I'm excited & anxious at the same time, because life as I know will be no more.  

So, last night, around 10:30 PM, I was feeling the adrenaline pumping through my body, thinking about the big changes that are upcoming in my life. Somehow, there is very little Fear at play, even though I know finances may be an issue. So I got out of my office chair and walked through the house. Something was flying around my dining room. It was a large white butterfly with orange spots on the wings! It flew right at me, and landed on the area rug. Up close & personal, it was the most unusual butterfly I've ever seen. It flew away and out of sight, then, and now I can't find it. Anyway, a butterfly signifies Transformation.........and I don't think it was a 'coincidence' that somehow, one made its way into my house and appeared before me while I was contemplating my life!

I know now that what I'm doing is the 'right' move..............and I'm not afraid of change and spiritual growth.  I will accept the challenges that lie ahead & be grateful for the gifts. I am ready to move ahead to new awareness, one day at a time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 20th

Honesty in Relationships

We can be honest and direct about our boundaries in relationships and about the parameters of a particular relationship.

Perhaps no area of our life reflects our uniqueness and individuality in recovery more than our relationships. Some of us are in a committed relationship. Some of us are dating. Some of us are not dating. Some of us are living with someone. Some of us wish we were dating. Some of us wish we were in a committed relationship. Some of us get into new relationships after recovery. Some of us stay in the relationship we were in before we began recovering.

We have other relationships too. We have friendships. Relationships with children, with parents, with extended family. We have professional relationships - relationships with people on the job.

We need to be able to be honest and direct in our relationships. One area we can be honest and direct about is the parameters of our relationships. We can define our relationships to people, an idea written about by Charlotte Kasl and others, and we can ask them to be honest and direct about defining their vision of the relationship with us.

It is confusing to be in relationships and not know where we stand - whether this is on the job, in a friendship, with family members, or in a love relationship. We have a right to be direct about how we define the relationship - what we want it to be. But relationships equal two people who have equal rights. The other person needs to be able to define the relationship too. We have a right to know, and ask. So do they.

Honesty is the best policy.

We can set boundaries. If someone wants a more intense relationship than we do, we can be clear and honest about what we want, about our intended level of participation. We can tell the person what to reasonably expect from us, because that is what we want to give. How the person deals with that is his or her issue. Whether or not we tell the person is ours.

We can set boundaries and define friendships when those cause confusion.

We can even define relationships with children, if those relationships have gotten sticky and exceeded our parameters. We need to define love relationships and what that means to each person. We have a right to ask and receive clear answers. We have a right to make our own definitions and have our own expectations. So does the other person.

Honesty and directness is the only policy. Sometimes we don't know what we want in a relationship. Sometimes the other person doesn't know. But the sooner we can define a relationship, with the other person's help, the sooner we can decide on an appropriate course of conduct for ourselves.

The clearer we can become on defining relationships, the more we can take care of ourselves in that relationship. We have a right to our boundaries, wants, and needs. So does the other person. We cannot force someone to be in a relationship or to participate at a level we desire if he or she does not want to. All of us have a right not to be forced.

Information is a powerful tool, and having the information about what a particular relationship is - the boundaries and definitions of it - will empower us to take care of ourselves in it.

Relationships take a while to form, but at some point we can reasonably expect a clear definition of what that relationship is and what the boundaries of it are. If the definitions clash, we are free to make a new decision based on appropriate information about what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

Today, I will strive for clarity and directness in my relationships. If I now have some relationships that are murky and ill defined, and if I have given them adequate time to form, I will begin to take action to define that relationship. God, help me let go of my fears about defining and understanding the nature of my present relationships. Guide me into clarity - clear, healthy thinking. Help me know that what I want is okay. Help me know that if I can't get that from the other person, what I want is still okay, but not possible at the present time. Help me learn to not forego what I want and need, but empower me to make appropriate, healthy choices about where to get that.

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

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Language of Letting Go

Letting Go of Shame

Shame is that dark, powerful feeling that holds us back. Yes, shame can stop us from acting inappropriately. But many of us have learned to attach shame to healthy behaviors that are in our best interest.

In dysfunctional families, shame can be tagged to healthy behaviors such as talking about feelings, making choices, taking care of ourselves, having fun, being successful, or even feeling good about ourselves.

Shame may have been attached to asking for what we want and need, to communicating directly and honestly, and to giving and receiving love.

Sometimes shame disguises itself as fear, rage, indifference, or a need to run and hide, wrote Stephanie E. But if it feels dark and makes us feel bad about being who we are, it's probably shame.

In recovery, we are learning to identify shame. When we can recognize it, we can begin to let go of it. We can love and accept ourselves - starting now.

We have a right to be, to be here, and to be who we are. And we don't ever have to let shame tell us any differently.

Today, I will attack and conquer the shame in my life.

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


I was raised in a shame-filled environment, where every action was closely scrutinized  to determine how it would look to others. A happy, 'normal' face always had to be portrayed to the outside world, in spite of what was really going on on the inside. I grew up watching a mother who'd run into the closet to hide when she was upset.............fortunately, something told me that wasn't the right behavior, and not to internalize it or believe it was 'normal' to do such things.  Fortunately, I didn't grow up to be an adult who goes into the closet to hide out in shame.

I don't blame my mother for her behavior, because she herself was raised in paralyzing fear, to mistrust everyone, including her own family.  I am proud to have broken that cycle of dysfunction with my own kids, rather than perpetuate it throughout the generations.

For today, I am able to identify shame & let go of it, agreeing instead to love myself AS IS.

I have a right to be here and to be who I am.  Today, I will attack & conquer the shame in my life.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Recovery Meditations: August 18th


“Some of your griefs you have cured
And the sharpest you still have survived ~
But what torments of pain you endured
From evils that never arrived.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a compulsive overeater I have lived my life in fear. I feared the apparent cruelty of the surrounding world. I feared to challenge the unknown and chose instead to seek safety in familiar "surroundings." I was afraid to have ambition and dreams.

My whole life I've battled an increasing waistline. I realized that I was stagnate in a world of pain and darkness because my fears of responsibility as a "slim" person sabotaged my efforts to lose weight.

I’ve learned that worrying about a situation doesn't change the outcome! My fears simply prevented me from moving forward. They clouded the real issues and hid the answers to my problems. Instead of expending so much energy into worrying and fearing an event, I could put it to much better use by dealing with the present realities in my life.

Surviving a situation provides added armor for the next battle. Overcoming a fearful predicament puts confidence in my stride towards my next goal. Faith is the opposite of fear. Having faith in my choices, abilities and ambitions will provide the steadfast pathway ahead.

One Day at a Time . . .
I try to remember that fear and worry only serve to chain me to the present. Faith can break the shackles and enable me to walk on to where I was heading.

~ Nancy


 " I realized that I was stagnate in a world of pain and darkness because my fears of responsibility as a "slim" person sabotaged my efforts to lose weight."  What a profound realization! I think many of us are in this situation........scared of the responsibility of keeping the weight off. What will others think of us if we were to regain? Why lose weight to begin with if it cannot be maintained?

When we live in Fear instead of Faith, we cannot accomplish anything useful. Why have ambition & dreams when I have no Faith in my abilities to begin with?

In many ways, it is easier & safer to live in Fear than it is to take a risk & develop Faith in ourSELVES.  We are so used to letting ourselves down that we have no idea what it would feel like NOT to!

Worrying is a waste of time & precious energy. Fear keeps me living in 'what ifs' and dwelling in the future instead of the present moment.  The present moment is all that's REAL anyway.  As a compulsive overeater, I tend to dwell either in the past or the future, where I can chew on my past 'mistakes' or the future, where nothing is certain.  I can worry over ALL the possible outcomes of a situation, leaving me in a position to try to COPE with events that aren't even REAL! No wonder I want to eat to numb myself.

For today, I will live in Today.  Yesterday is gone & tomorrow isn't here yet.  I have developed Faith in myself & in God, and together, we can do ANYTHING!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 17th

Healing Thoughts

Think healing thoughts.

When you feel anger or resentment, ask God to help you feel it, learn from it, and then release it. Ask Him to bless those who you feel anger toward. Ask Him to bless you too.

When you feel fear, ask Him to take it from you. When you feel misery, force gratitude. When you feel deprived, know that there is enough.

When you feel ashamed, reassure yourself that who you are is okay. You are good enough.

When you doubt your timing or your present position in life, assure yourself that all is well; you are right where you're meant to be. Reassure yourself that others are too.

When you ponder the future, tell yourself that it will be good. When you look back at the past, relinquish regrets.

When you notice problems, affirm there will be a timely solution and a gift from the problem.

When you resist feelings or thoughts, practice acceptance. When you feel discomfort, know it will pass. When you identify a want or a need, tell yourself it will be met.

When you worry about those you love, ask God to protect and care for them. When you worry about yourself, ask Him to do the same.

When you think about others, think love. When you think about yourself, think love.

Then watch your thoughts transform reality.

Today, I will think healing thoughts.

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

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Language of Letting Go
Rescuing Ourselves

No one likes a martyr.

How do we feel around martyrs? Guilty, angry, trapped, negative, and anxious to get away.

Somehow, many of us have developed the belief that depriving ourselves, not taking care of ourselves, being a victim, and suffering needlessly will get us what we want.

It is our job to notice our abilities, our strengths, and take care of ourselves by developing and acting on them.

It is our job to notice our pain and weariness and appropriately take care of ourselves.

It is our job to notice our deprivation, too, and begin to take steps to give ourselves abundance. It begins inside of us, by changing what we believe we deserve, by giving up our deprivation and treating ourselves the way we deserve to be treated.

Life is hard, but we don't have to make it more difficult by neglecting ourselves. There is no glory in suffering, only suffering. Our pain will not stop when a rescuer comes, but when we take responsibility for ourselves and stop our own pain.

Today, I will be my own rescuer. I will stop waiting for someone else to work through my issues and solve my problems for me.

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

Embrace the responsibility

You don't have to prove how good you are. Just be how good you are.

You don't need anyone else's permission to live your dreams. Give yourself permission, and inspiration, and a sincere reason, and go for it.

The quality of your life is not determined by what other people choose to think of you. It is determined by what you choose to think and do.

Stop wishing for someone to bail you out, or waiting for someone to give you a break. Give yourself a nudge forward, then get moving and keep moving.

Consider your good fortune at being able to act on your own behalf. Delight in the fact that you are responsible for the way your life unfolds.

Embrace that responsibility and all the good things it makes possible. Live that responsibility, and make your life live up to your very best expectations.

Ralph Marston – The Daily Motivator

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Food for Thought

Inner Tigers

What we fear facing and dealing with is often inside. We may transfer our fear and irritation to external circumstances and the people around us, when what we need to do is look inside. Usually, we are our own worst enemy.

Our fears go back to a time when we were very young and relatively helpless. We may still be afraid of rejection, of being inferior, of being hurt with no one to take care of us. We may have an irrational fear of economic insecurity, which comes from a time when we were aware of financial problems but were too young to understand them.

Whether our inner tigers are real or made out of paper, we need to face them instead of eating to appease them. As we recover from compulsive overeating, many of the fears, which we had tried to bury with food, come to consciousness. With the Power greater than ourselves, we are able to tame the inner tigers.

Secure in Your care, may I not fear self-discovery.

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Food for Thought: August 14th


We compulsive overeaters are experts at making excuses for taking the line of least resistance. Before we entered this program, we could always find a reason for eating. How many times did we say, "Just one little bite can't possibly hurt"?

It is hard to say no to ourselves and to other people, even though we may realize that saying yes would be hurtful to our health or our integrity. We think up reasons for going along with what other people want us to do, rather than "rocking the boat" by standing up for what we know to be essential for our recovery.

Often we convince ourselves by rationalizing that all is well when it is not. Our emotional and spiritual health requires that we examine honestly our behavior and our relationships. When they are not right, we need to take action to correct them.

By Your light, may I see clearly.

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

One little bite ALWAYS hurts! If I decide to eat sugar or white flour, I may as well be injection my vein with heroin, it will have the same effect. That one little bite will reactivate my addiction and lead me to binge.  I will jump back into the Pit without a ladder, wondering how and when I will be able to claw my way back UP!

My Name Is Chris & I'm A Food Addict (Blog, 4/2/13)
21 years ago I sat at my first AA meeting, thinking to myself, gee, I don’t belong here! I’m not as bad as these people. I am the wife of an important business executive……….I pray  there’s nobody I KNOW here………..or that knows ME! What if the wife of my husband’s tax partner is here? Well……..I guess if SHE’S here, then ME being here shouldn’t be all that big a deal, right? We’ll just look one another in the eye and shuffle our feet uncomfortably, as one would do in a crowded elevator…………..just look down or away……….smile politely and pray for that car to STOP and open the damn door already.

I didn’t know anybody at the meeting, nobody knew me, and there was no elevator. It was a shabby old house built in the 20’s, and the meeting was held in what was once the living room.

I did belong there, as it turned out, with about 20 other drunks, male & female, young & old, rich & poor, smart & simple.  Addiction knows no status, you see, it offers  equal opportunity to all.  It was just my Ego telling me I didn’t belong…….that I wasn’t ‘as bad’ as the others. Humility is what I learned in those rooms, all those years ago, and how necessary it is for recovery. Because hey, if my Ego gets in the way, it might start saying You’ve GOT This! Just Have One Drink, You’ll Be Fine. And then I wouldn’t be fine at all. I’d be off the wagon and back on my knees, enslaved once again to something that was bigger than me: addiction.

Some people on this website, and in the rest of life, dislike the word ‘surrender’ because to them it means ‘giving up’. Waving the white flag, historically, meaning one side concedes and admits defeat.  Yes, that IS what surrender means in all walks of life.  I give UP my control over booze and I admit defeat………yep, it’s stronger than I am, and I am weaker than IT.  Again……….the word humility pops up.  My ego tells me NOTHING and NOBODY is stronger than ME! Humility tells me otherwise. It speaks the truth by letting me know that I am powerless over certain things and that hey, it’s OKAY to admit that. Admitting this powerlessness is the first step to healing.

When I first got sober 21 years ago, I was still smoking cigarettes and overeating. I tackled the drinking, and once I got a handle on IT, I tackled the eating (for the umpteenth time) and then the smoking.  About 18 years ago, I had a handle on ALL of my addictive behaviors: overeating, smoking and drinking; what I refer to as the Unholy Trinity.  At that time, I was inspired to put together a sobriety reminder: a clear plastic zippered bag containing 1 cigarette, 1 candy bar, and one vodka shooter. Oddly enough, Bloody Mary’s were my drink of choice back then, so a vodka shooter was right at home with a Kit Kat and a Marlboro Lite. A piece of paper with The Serenity Prayer typed on it was also placed into that bag. When the urge to drink, eat sugar, or smoke cigarettes came on me, I’d visit that little bag in my dresser to remind me of just HOW hard it had been to get those 3 bad-boys corralled up and put to rest. I took that bag, and my Recovery, very very seriously back then.

I lost my sobriety again in 2000, when I found my birth-family and a nervous breakdown was threatening me mightily. By then, I’d started smoking again and eating sugar, too, but the final ‘failure’ was falling off the wagon. The smoking and sugar addiction I could sort of deal with, the drinking relapse was another matter. I’d let myself down BIG time, back then, and I was not in a good place, emotionally or spiritually. I went back to ALL of my drugs of choice and the little clear plastic zippered bag was disseminated one night when I really, really needed to smoke a stale cigarette that had been sitting around for years.  The candy bar had been devoured long before, in a weak moment, when I just ‘didn’t care’ about my weight or anything else for that matter.

It took me EIGHT more years to find sobriety and abstinence from sugar once again.  In June of 2008 is when I took on the 5/1, quit drinking cold turkey, and quit eating sugar in the same manner.  I was still smoking, though, up until December 4th of this year, when I quit, for GOOD, one day at a time (of course).  After quitting that nasty little habit, I re-awakened the sugar addiction & gained 14 lbs, as I blogged about recently.  Keeping all THREE under lock and key seems to be something I struggle with, historically.
Not long ago I went to Walgreens and bought a clear plastic zippered bag. I sat at my desk and typed The Serenity Prayer in size 16 font, printed it out, and cut it down to size to fit into the clear plastic zippered bag.

I’m getting all THREE addictions BACK into remission and I’m KEEPING them there nowadays. When I get tempted to eat sugar, smoke or drink, I can bring out my clear plastic zippered bag to remind me of why I DON’T want to succumb this time.  

Because, if I succumb again THIS TIME, it may take me ANOTHER EIGHTEEN YEARS to get these dreadful, hideous, miserably hateful addictions BACK INTO REMISSION and boy howdy folks, I will be 73 years old by then.  And I can tell you this for certain: I DO NOT have another ‘sobering up’ left in me. This old gal is DONE playing THIS game for GOOD.

I will live out my remaining years WITHOUT smoking, drinking or eating sugar. I will do it one day at a time by surrendering, YES SURRENDERING, my powerlessness over these three foul substances.  I will treat the Unholy Trinity with utmost respect and deathly seriousness.  I will never again utter the words, “What’s The Big Deal?” or “WHAT do you MEAN ‘trigger foods’?”  I will never again scoff at someone who says No Thank You to a luscious looking dessert or goes running away from a smoker, treating him as if he has leprosy.  I will never again delude myself that I can ‘handle’ A Drink, A Cigarette, or A Candy Bar.
I know better. Been there, done that, not going back to The Pit again (thank you Lifeisgood Cathi, my dear friend) Because the pit is dark and black……’s bottomless and it has no heart or soul. It just wants to swallow a person WHOLE and suck him down into its belly, never to be seen or heard from again.  And I’m not goin’ there, not this time.

So, if there is anyone out there that snickers at food addiction, insisting it’s not ‘real’ or ‘valid’, or certainly NOT such a bad thing like drugs or drinking or smoking, THINK AGAIN! I am here to tell you you’re right: It ISN’T as bad as drugs or drinking or smoking!

It’s far, far WORSE.

Not that the drinking & smoking albatrosses are ‘good’……they’re not…….but once they’re locked up, they’re out of sight AND out of mind.  Sugar is NEVER out of sight, and only occasionally out of mind, since our society deems it necessary to force it UPON us at every turn.  We can never be ‘rid’ of it entirely, at least whilst out of our own homes, but we CAN be done with it permanently nevertheless. That’s where I’m at right now; done bargaining with a substance that, to me, is poison.  

So, for today, I am grateful for abstinence from sugar, cigarettes & alcohol. I like to wake up every morning feeling GOOD about myself instead of miserable & hopeless. And if I suddenly feel the need to get into one of those addictive behaviors again, I’m going to visit my clear zippered bag to remember why I CANNOT.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Food for Thought: August 13th

Be Prepared

We need to be prepared for times when we will be tempted to eat the wrong kind of food. This may mean eating our planned meal before going to an event where the right food may not be available. It may mean adjusting our meal schedule so that we can wait to eat until after an event where the wrong kind of food is served.

In the past, we may have used the excuse of not hurting someone's feelings in order to rationalize a deviation from our food plan. No hostess should expect a guest to consume food to which he or she is allergic. We alone are responsible for what goes into our mouths. If we are faced with food, which will activate our illness, it is better to be hungry than to eat what makes us sick.

When we are willing to go to any lengths to maintain abstinence, we can find a way to deal with dangerous food situations. "No, thank you" is a very useful tool.

May I be prepared for times of temptation.

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

Preparedness is the name of the game for compulsive overeaters. Willingness to stick to that plan is vital, because we are as impulsive as we are compulsive. I have often given into a whim and stuffed a 'bit' of something into my mouth........which leads me to stay OFF plan for the rest of that day.  I didn't plan to do it..........I did it, instead, on an impulse. When I agree to put the Food Plan in charge, I do not pop something extra into my mouth, even when tempted to do so. Why? Because I refuse to get on that horrible roller-coaster ride back into the dark pit without a ladder!

I don't worry about hurting someone's feelings by saying No Thank You to dangerous food...........I DO worry about hurting MYSELF by saying Yes. The hostess will get over her 'hurt feelings', but I, on the other hand, may NOT get over my relapse.  It may take me weeks or months, or even years, to get back to my Food Plan of abstinence after one single diversion.  Food addiction is a funny thing that way..........once I wake up the sleeping giant, he's a bear to get back to sleep.

For today, I am willing to go to ANY length to maintain abstinence, which forces me to find a way to make a situation work instead of finding excuses for it not to.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Food for Thought: August 12th

The Beacon

There are times when we get tired and depressed or elated and confused. We are mentally uncomfortable, knowing that something is wrong but unable to pinpoint the trouble. Our first thought may be to reach for food, but we know that way leads to disaster.

We compulsive overeaters have a beacon light for our dark and confused moments. It is our commitment to abstinence. No matter how confused we may be, we can remember that abstinence is the most important thing in our life without exception. Whatever happens, we will not be lost if we hold fast to our abstinence. From the commitment, everything else follows. As long as we do not overeat, we will be able to find our way out of a difficult situation.

Our Higher Power gives us the beacon light of abstinence, and with it He gives guidance out of our perplexities. Patiently waiting until we clearly see His will keeps us from getting lost in the darkness of self-will.

Thank You for the beacon light of abstinence.

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

My natural INSTINCT is to turn to food in times of confusion or upset. Nothing I do can change those instincts, either. Abstinence and a firm Food Plan gives me another option, however, so I can override the instinct. I've developed enough tools in my toolbox to have a Plan B in force when my natural inclination is to soothe my anxiety with excess food. 

The worst mistake a person can make is to lose weight & believe they are 'cured' of their disordered eating. We are never 'cured', we just enjoy the peace of remission while we stay focused on our Food Plan.  If we divert from it, all hell breaks loose and we're thrust back into the dark pit of despair after taking that first compulsive bite.

Abstinence is my #1 priority; from IT, all good things flow.  Abstinence is my beacon way OUT of the haze and confusion that threatens to overwhelm me. When I am abstinent, I am thinking clearly and able to call upon my Higher Power to guide me.  If I am drowning in a whirl of excess food, I am not able to think clearly or to realize that God WILL help me out of the muck & mire.

For today, I pray not to get lost in the darkness of self-will, and to surrender my powerlessness over food.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition: August 11th


Our behavior is as absurd and incomprehensible with respect to the first drink as that of an individual with a passion, say, for jay-walking. He gets a thrill out of skipping in front of fast-moving vehicles. He enjoys himself for a few years in spite of friendly warnings. Up to this point you would label him as a foolish chap having queer ideas of fun. Luck then deserts him and he is slightly injured several times in succession. You would expect him, if he were normal, to cut it out. Presently he is hit again and this time has a fractured skull. Within a week after leaving the hospital a fast-moving trolley car breaks his arm. He tells you he has decided to stop jay-walking for good, but in a few weeks he breaks both legs.

pp. 37-38


Can't we compare taking that first compulsive bite to this man who gets a thrill out of jay walking????? I mean REALLY?! For today, I will not jump in front of a moving car!


Food for Thought
Sloppy Thinking
If we begin to entertain thoughts of slight deviations from our food plan, thoughts of former binge foods, thoughts that maybe once in a while we could eat "normally," we put ourselves on shaky ground. Our disease is never cured, and sloppy thinking can lead to a weakening or loss of control.

"Normal" eating for us is abstinence. Our food plan is what saves us from bizarre eating behavior. There is no such thing as taking a vacation from abstinence.

The less we think about food, the better off we are. To remember the so-called pleasure we once associated with certain foods may cause us to forget the inevitable pain and anguish which eating them eventually produced. We do not want to ever return to the misery of compulsive overeating.

Giving our minds to our Higher Power ensures positive, healthy thinking.

Take my thoughts, Lord, and straighten them out.
From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 10th

Letting Go of Perfection

As I journey through recovery, more and more I learn that accepting myself and my idiosyncrasies — laughing at myself for my ways — gets me a lot further than picking on myself and trying to make myself perfect. Maybe that's really what it's all about — absolute loving, joyous, nurturing self-acceptance.

Stop expecting perfection from yourself and those around you.

We do a terrible, annoying thing to others and ourselves when we expect perfection. We set up a situation where others, including ourselves, do not feel comfortable with us. Sometimes, expecting perfection makes people so uptight that they and we make more mistakes than normal because we are so nervous and focused on mistakes.

That does not mean we allow inappropriate behaviors with the excuse "nobody's perfect." That doesn't mean we don't have boundaries and reasonable expectations of people and ourselves.

But our expectations need to be reasonable. Expecting perfection is not reasonable.

People make mistakes. The less anxious, intimidated, and repressed they are by expectations of being perfect, the better they will do.

Striving for excellence, purity in creativity, a harmonious performance, and the best we have to offer does not happen in the stymied, negative, fear-producing atmosphere of expecting perfection.

Have and set boundaries. Have reasonable expectations. Strive to do your best. Encourage others to do the same. But know that others and we will make mistakes. Know that others and we will have learning experiences, things we go through.

Sometimes, the flaws and imperfections in ourselves determine our uniqueness, the way they do in a piece of art. Relish them. Laugh at them. Embrace them, and ourselves.

Encourage others and ourselves to do the best we can. Love and nurture others and ourselves for being who we are. Then realize we are not merely human - we were intended and created to be human.

Today, God, help me let go of my need to be perfect and to unreasonably insist that others are perfect. I will not use this to tolerate abuse or mistreatment, but to achieve appropriate, balanced expectations. I am creating a healthy atmosphere of love, acceptance, and nurturing around and within me. I trust that this attitude will bring out the best in other people and in me. 
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Perfection: What a Crock! My blog, 8/10/12

The maxim, “Nothing but Perfection” may be spelled Paralysis.
Winston Churchill

If I have to do everything Perfectly, why bother even trying? I can’t be perfect, no matter how much I’d like to be or how hard I try. Even when I stayed OP the entire time I was on the 5/1, I am quite sure I wasn’t ‘perfect.’  When I went out for dinner at least once a week, I didn’t take my food scale with me. So, being unable to weigh & measure my L&G meant that I was guesstimating my caloric intake. It was not ‘perfect’ nor precise. What it was was close enough. 

If I strive for utter perfection in my life, I wind up paralyzing myself.

What I do strive for is doing the best I possibly can.

Nowadays in Maintenance, I am not perfect either. What I am, though, is Committed to my food plan & the lifestyle change I undertook back on June 11th of 2008.  On that day nearly 3 years ago, I decided I was going to change my life because I was sick & tired of being fat & medicated because of my own bad eating habits.

I decided to use the 5/1 to teach me how to develop a routine to follow instead of relying on myself. I saw where that got me: to 225 lbs & a size 2X.

By no means am I perfect but I am Committed. There is a big difference between those two words, isn’t there?
If I have a bad moment with my food intake, that’s what it is: a moment. I get right back to my routine & my food plan if I veer off track momentarily.

The routine is my new lifestyle: eating 6 small, healthy meals a day & working out for 25 minutes after dinner every night. And climbing 4 flights of stairs at work 4 times a day. Whether I feel like it or not. And many, many times I do not feel like it, let me tell you. What I do feel like is staying thin & healthy, more than I don’t feel like exercising or eating right.

But motivation & ‘feeling like it’ has nothing to do with Commitment. And Commitment has nothing to do with perfection.
Once I ditched my ideals of attaining perfection, only then was I able to accept the fact that weight management is an ongoing process. We here at MF call it a journey.  Whatever it is, I can tell you what it isn’t: a struggle for perfection.
If a person strives for Perfection, he’s probably weighed down with the All-Or-Nothing mentality, too. You know…..the “If I Eat One Cookie That Means I Have To Eat The Whole Box Of Cookies” way of thinking? Because hey, if I eat that cookie, I may as well eat the whole box because I’ve already ruined the whole day & now I have to wait until tomorrow to start the damn diet again. The “Day One Again” mentality, which I personally detest. Every day of my life is Day One.  Every day is a new Day One to do the best I can at whatever I attempt. Every day is a new Day One for all of us, unless we don’t wake up that day. And, if we don’t wake up, we will no longer care about earthly matters anyway.

One day at a time, we can do anything. One day at a time, we can ditch the struggle for Perfection & accept the terms of reality. Reality is, we’re prone to being fat; we tend to eat too much; we tend to rather sit on the couch & watch TV than work out; and we’d rather eat what we want when we want to and still be thin & healthy.

When we ditch the fantasy & the struggle for perfection & accept Reality is when we get our heads into the game.
And this is one game that lasts for Life. If you made a mistake this morning, make a healthy choice now. If you ate a cookie, leave it at one cookie & don’t turn it into a Box. If you want to lose weight & get healthy, Make. It. Happen.

I believe you can.

Do you?

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 9th

Asking for What We Need

Decide what it is you want and need, and then go to the person you need it from and ask for it.

Sometimes, it takes hard work and much energy to get what we want and need. We have to go through the pains of identifying what we want, then struggle to believe that we deserve it. Then, we may have to experience the disappointment of asking someone, having the person refuse us, and figuring out what to do next.

Sometimes in life, getting what we want and need is not so difficult. Sometimes, all we need to do is ask.

We can go to another person, or our Higher Power, and ask for what we need.

But because of how difficult it can be, at times, to get what we want and need, we may get trapped in the mind set of believing it will always be that difficult. Sometimes, not wanting to go through the hassle, dreading the struggle, or out of fear, we may make getting what we want and need much more difficult than it needs to be.

We may get angry before we ask, deciding that we'll never get what we want, or anticipating the "fight" we'll have to endure. By the time we talk to someone about what we want, we may be so angry that we're demanding, not asking; thus our anger triggers a power play that didn't exist except in our mind.

Or we may get so worked up that we don't ask--or we waste far more energy than necessary fighting with ourselves, only to find out that the other person, or our Higher Power, is happy to give us what we want.

Sometimes, we have to fight and work and wait for what we want and need. Sometimes, we can get it just by asking or stating that this is what we want. Ask. If the answer is no, or not what we want, then we can decide what to do next.

Today, I will not set up a difficult situation that doesn't exist with other people, or my Higher Power, about getting what I want and need. If there is something I need from someone, I will ask first, before I struggle. 

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

A n odd suggestion: if we will look
once in a while at what we can do
to be truly miserable and in inner
turmoil, it can help point us in the right
direction more swiftly than lots of good
advice. If I’m feeling pretty contented and
calm right now, I may ask, what could I do
to mess this up? Once I know that, I know
what not to do. I even discover to do its
opposite. To be miserable, I can need
other people to make me feel complete
and then resent them when they don’t.
I can attach my own worth as a person
to material things. I can know about
treatment and meditation, and how these
make me feel better and cause my world
to be better, and still not practice them
because I’m too busy.
The more we treat (pray affirmatively)
and meditate (immerse ourselves in
oneness), the more creative ideas will flow
through us, resulting in being busier than
ever in our chosen endeavors. Want a
more successful business? Then get ready
for more customers, not fewer. Would you
like a loving relationship? This demands
ongoing involvement, negotiation, and
compromise with a partner and his or
her needs and wants. But, busy or at
rest, what brings us into the land of our
dreams, and allows us to remain there, is
regular spiritual practice of communion
with the Infinite.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 8th

Saying Yes

Yesterday we talked about learning to say no. Today, let's discuss another important word: Yes.

We can learn to say yes to things that feel good, to what we want - for others and ourselves.

We can learn to say yes to fun. Yes to meetings, to calling a friend, asking for help.

We can learn to say yes to healthy relationships, to people and activities that are good for us.

We can learn to say yes to ourselves, what we want and need, our instincts, and the leading of our Higher Power.

We can learn to say yes when it feels right to help someone. We can learn to say yes to our feelings. We can learn to identify when we need to take a walk, take a nap, have our back rubbed, or buy ourselves flowers.

We can learn to say yes to work that is right for us.

We can learn to say yes to all that will nurture and nourish us. We can learn to say yes to the best life and love has to offer.

Today, I will say yes to all that feels good and right. 

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

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 7th

Saying No

For many of us, the most difficult word to say is one of the shortest and easiest in the vocabulary: No. Go ahead, say it aloud: No.

No - simple to pronounce, hard to say. We're afraid people won't like us, or we feel guilty. We may believe that a "good" employee, child, parent, spouse, or Christian never says no.

The problem is, if we don't learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please. We may even punish others out of resentment.

When do we say no? When no is what we really mean.

When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.

If we're scared to say no, we can buy some time. We can take a break, rehearse the word, and go back and say no. We don't have to offer long explanations for our decisions.

When we can say no, we can say yes to the good. Our no's and our yes's begin to be taken seriously. We gain control of ourselves. And we learn a secret: "No" isn't really that hard to say.

Today, I will say no if that is what I mean.

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Each Day a New Beginning

They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.
—Dorothy Parker

Variety in experiences is necessary for our continued growth. We mistakenly think that the "untroubled" life would be forever welcome. It's the deep waves of life that teach us to be better swimmers.

We don't know how to appreciate the calm without the occasional storm that pushes us to new limits of ourselves. The calm following the storm offers us the time we need to become comfortable with our new growth. We are ever changing, refining our values, stepping gingerly into uncharted territories. We are forever in partnership in these new territories, let us not forget.

We long for challenge even in the midst of the calm that blesses us. Our inner selves understand the journey; a journey destined to carry us to new horizons; a journey that promises many stormy seasons. For to reach our destination, we must be willing to weather the storms. They are challenges, handpicked for us, designed to help us become all that we need to be in this earthly life.

The mixture of the calm with the storm is not haphazard. Quite the contrary. My growth is at the center of each. I will trust its message.

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


Problems are made to be solved!

Some of us spend more time reacting to the fact that we have a problem than we do solving the problem. "Why is this happening to me?" . . . "Isn't life awful?" . . . "How come this had to happen?" . . . "Oh, dear. This is terrible." . . . "Why is God (the Universe, an agency, a person, or life) picking on me?"

Problems are inevitable. Some problems can be anticipated. Some are surprises. But the idea that problems occur regularly need never be a surprise.

The good news is that for every problem, there's a solution. Sometimes the solution is immediate. Sometimes, it takes awhile to discover. Sometimes, the solution involves letting go. Sometimes, the problem is ours to solve; sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, there is something we can clearly do to solve the problem; other times, we need to struggle, flounder, do our part, and then trust our Higher Power for help.

Sometimes, the problem is just part of life. Sometimes, the problem is important because we are learning something through the problem and its solution. Sometimes, problems end up working out for good in our life. They get us headed in a direction that is superior to one we may otherwise have taken.

Sometimes, problems just are; sometimes they are a warning sign that we are on the wrong track.

We can learn to accept problems as an inevitable part of life. We can learn to solve problems. We can learn to trust our ability to solve problems. We can learn to identify which problems are trying to lead us in a new direction, and which simply ask for solving.

We can learn to focus on the solution rather than on the problem, and maintain a positive attitude toward life and the inevitable flow of problems and solutions.

Today, I will learn to trust solutions, rather than be victimized by problems. I will not use problems to prove I am helpless, picked on, or martyred. I will not point to my problems to prove how awful life is. I will learn to trust the flow of problems and solutions. God, help me solve the problems I can solve today. Help me let go of the rest. Help me believe in my ability to tackle and solve problems. Help me trust the flow. For each problem, there is a solution.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Food for Thought: August 5th

Future Phobia

Irrational worry about the future may have triggered eating binges before we found the OA program. Learning to live one day at a time is a necessary part of controlling our disease. Our instinct for security must not be allowed to run riot any more than the other instincts we are learning to control.

Trusting our Higher Power today ensures that we will trust Him tomorrow also. We do not know what the future holds for us, but we are assured of God's continuing care and support. To entertain irrational worries about what might or might not happen is to doubt the Power, which is restoring us to sanity. When we take Step Three without reservations, we give up our crippling anxieties.

We do not expect that life will be a rose garden in the future, any more than it is right now. There are problems and disappointments and pains to deal with. What we do expect is the strength to cope with whatever our Higher Power gives us, realizing that the difficult experiences are often the ones from which we learn the most.

May faith in You blot out fear.

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


To worry about tomorrow is to borrow trouble. When I worry, I play out all the possibilities of what may happen, and I try to cope with each of  How sane is such a thing? How can I possibly cope with situations that aren't even REAL? By drugs of choice are food and booze.  If I feel the need to blot out painful thoughts, then my instinct to practice addictive behavior wants to kick in.

Learning to live in the NOW prevents me from unnecessary & harmful worry.  If I agree to live in the moment, then I cannot project the future, nor will I try to cope with it today. I don't have a crystal ball, nor do I want one, to read into the future.  When I entered Recovery, I made a deal with myself to turn my will and my life over to God and to allow Him to direct my life, come what may.  Life isn't a bed of roses, nor is it a negative series of crises either.

For today, I accept what comes my way.  I try not to label events 'good' or 'bad', as there is a valuable learning experience to be had in ALL.

For today, my my faith in God blot out any fears that crop up.

 Momentum changer

If nothing seems to be going right, break the pattern by getting yourself going right. When momentum is pushing you backwards, make the choice to create some positive, forward-directed momentum.

Just because a few negative things have happened to you, doesn't mean you're having a bad day. It means you have the opportunity to make a meaningful positive difference in the direction of the day.

Instead of agonizing over the setbacks and disappointments, get energized and enthusiastic about the good things you can now do. Get energized and then get busy actually doing those things, taking positive action and getting positive results.

Be a momentum changer. Although the day may have started out in an unfortunate direction, that can end right now with you.

Any negative pattern you experience can only continue if you let it. Don't let it.

Stop the negative pattern, change the momentum and transform the whole day by choosing positive action. You have the power to be a momentum changer, so use that power to the benefit of yourself and all those around you.

Ralph Marston - The Daily Motivator

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Food for Thought: August 4th

God's Time

When we feel under pressure and fear that there will not be enough time to do the things we think we need to do, it helps to stop for a moment and remember that all time is God's. We may be wanting to do more than we should in the same way that we wanted to eat more than we needed. Exchanging compulsive overeating for compulsive activity is no solution to our problem.

Turning over our lives to our Higher Power as we begin each day allows Him to schedule what we will do and when we will do it. He knows our capabilities even better than we do, and He does not give us more to do than we can manage. To benefit from His guidance, we need to stay in touch with our inner selves and not get swept away by external demands.

In the past, we may have alternated between periods of non-productive lassitude and frantic bursts of activity. As we maintain ourselves on an even keel physically by abstaining from compulsive overeating, we learn moderation and order as God shows us how to use the time He gives us.

Please order the time which You give me every day.

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

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Language of Letting Go: August 3rd

Owning Our Power in Relationships 

So much of what I call my codependency is fear and panic because I spent so much of my life feeling abused, trapped, and not knowing how to take care of myself in relationships.

No matter how long we have been recovering, we may still tend to give up our power to others, whether they be authority figures, a new love, or a child.

When we do this, we experience the set of emotions and thoughts we call "the codependent crazies." We may feel angry, guilty, afraid, confused, and obsessed. We may feel dependent and needy or become overly controlling and rigid. We may return to familiar behaviors during stress. And for those of us who have codependency and adult children issues, relationships can mean stress.

We don't have to stay stuck in our codependency. We don't have to shame or blame ourselves, or the other person, for our condition. We simply need to remember to own our power.

Practice. Practice. Practice using your power to take care of yourself, no matter who you are dealing with, where you are, or what you are doing. This is what recovery means. This does not mean we try to control others; it does not mean we become abrasive or abusive. It means we own our power to take care of ourselves.

The thought of doing this may generate fears. That's normal! Take care of yourself anyway. The answers, and the power to do that, are within you now.

Start today. Start where you are. Start by taking care of who you are, at the present moment, to the best of your ability.

Today, I will focus on owning my power to take care of myself. I will not let fears, or a false sense of shame and guilt; stop me from taking care of myself. 

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

 As soon as we
learn that God does
things through us
(not for us), the
matter becomes as
simple as breathing,
as inevitable as

Agnes Sanford

 T he directory board at the mall has
an X that announces “you are here”
in relation to stores that we wish to
visit. So does the sign on the inside of the
hotel-room door, in relation to exits and
the ice machine. The car’s GPS zeroes
in on “here,” then requests a destination.
They all know where we are and where
we might go, but not why.
Imagine our GPS asking, “Why do
you want to go there? Have you thought
about this? Is it the best use of your
time? Is it congruent with your life’s
stated purpose?” Only in fiction are the
world’s signposts and guidance systems
this impertinent. They’re programmed to
assume that we know what we’re doing.
We reciprocate by knowing why we are
doing it.

We eat because we’re hungry and sleep
because we’re tired. In between, there
are a thousand things we do, or put off
doing, for reasons that may be vague to
us. We may never have considered that we
had the right, much less the obligation,
to explore our motives. We needn’t
interrogate them, just nicely ask them,
“What about this appeals to me?” Perhaps,
what we thought we wanted isn’t really
it. It’s been said that if we don’t know
where we’re going, any road will take us
there. If we don’t know why we’re going,
maybe what we seek has been right here
all along.


My inner world
beckons, and with
my lamp of faith, I
go see what’s there.
My mind is open.
Motivations behind
my words and
actions clearly and
gently make themselves
known to me.

 Invest in today

This day is an investment you're making in your life. Invest it wisely.

The things you do today can pay dividends far into the future, or they can create regrets that you'll never escape. With your actions, choose to create future rewards and satisfaction rather than future regret.

It is just one more seemingly ordinary day, and yet it is a vitally important part of your precious life. Treat this day with respect and appreciation for how much you can do with it.

Invest wisely and beneficially in today with your love, your gratitude, your attention, compassion and joy. Most of all, invest in today with purposeful effort.

Life can be truly beautiful, and today is your opportunity to create that beauty in your own special way. Life can be immensely rewarding, and today is when you get to work those great rewards into existence.

You cannot save today until later, so invest yourself fully in it while it is here. Life's richness is built one day at a time, so give your best to every one of them, especially today.

Ralph Marston - The Daily Motivator