Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 28th

Recovery Meditations: September 28th

“Those who have learned by experience
what physical and emotional pain and anguish mean
are a community all over the world…
One and all, they know the longing to be free from pain.”
Albert Schweitzer

Whether we isolate or are on the go constantly, whether we're in the disease or out of it, whether we've found all the Promises or we haven't, we are bonded for a lifetime by the disease of our addiction.

I was alone until I found other compulsive eaters. Yes, I had a family and friends and relatives and doctors and church and careers, but I was emotionally alone with this intricate, enigmatic, hellhole of a disease. The moment I met and connected with other compulsive eaters, my "real" life began.

One Day at a Time . . .
I share what I have learned with those who haven't.
I give what I have to give, and I get so much more.

~ Mari


Each Day A New Beginning

I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.
  —Golda Meir

Living a principled life is what the inner self desires. It's what God desires. And it's what the healthier ego desires. Living the program's principles is giving each of us practice in living a principled life, one that is free of guilt for our shortcomings.

Having principles assures direction. We need not ponder long how to proceed in any situation, what decision to make regarding any matter, when we are guided by principles. They offer us completeness. They help us define who we are and who we will be, in any turn of events.

As women, particularly as recovering women, we have struggled with self-definition. Often we were as others defined us, or we merely imitated those close by. Sometimes we may slip into old behavior and lose sight of who we are and how we want to live. It's then that the program's principles come immediately to our aid.

There is no doubt about how today should be lived. I will do it with confidence and joy.

Food For Thought

My Own Body

My body is where I live. Its size and shape is a matter between my Higher Power and me. No one else is responsible for my body. In the past, I may have permitted other people to influence what I ate and how much I weighed, but I now take full responsibility.

Other people may think that I am too fat or too thin, but that is their problem, not mine. I am learning what my body needs in order to operate at peak efficiency. I am learning to avoid the foods, which I do not handle well. What and how much I eat depends on my own preference and the requirements of my metabolism.

My body is a gift to me from my Higher Power. Maintaining it in the best possible condition is my response to God's gift. No one else can tell me how best to maintain my body, since no one else is living in it or receives its inner signals. If I honestly interpret the signals, which come from my body, I will stay abstinent and healthy.

Thank You for my body.

The Language of Letting Go


Here are some of my favorite prayers:

Help. Please. Don't.
Show me. Guide me. Change me.
Are you there?
Why'd you do that?
Thank you.

Today, I will tell God what I want to tell God, and listen for God's answer. I will remember that I can trust God.

Today's Gift

One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.
  —George Sand

"We always go get a hot fudge sundae after the school choir concert," the girl said. Her parents laughed because their daughter said always, and they had only gone to a school choir concert once. Then the parents realized that the girl really had a great idea.

"Yes," the mother said, "we always get a sundae because we like to make up new traditions. We'll have to be sure and do it tonight so we don't let the tradition fall apart before it even gets started!"

They all laughed together and started debating which restaurant had the best hot fudge sundae.

We all need to have special traditions with our families. We need celebrations that have nothing to do with official holidays. Family holidays can mean so much more to us sometimes because they celebrate our shared experiences in life and become the source of happy memories for a lifetime.

What tradition can I start today?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 27th

Recovery Meditations: September 27th

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect
before which difficulties and obstacles vanish.”

John Quincy Adams
When I first walked through the meeting doors, I wanted recovery and I wanted it now! Give me the magic wand, I’ll waive it, then get on with my life. At least that’s what I thought.

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn is the art of patience and allowing God to work within his own time while I do the footwork to the best of my ability. It is my belief that the universe and my Higher Power will order the next level of my physical recovery. Physical recovery does not grow without spiritual progress. This Program is a journey, not a crash-course in fad dieting.

When I struggled with bouts of pride connected to my levels of patience and God’s timing, I knew I was uncovering yet another character flaw that could delay my spiritual recovery. Spiritual recovery, as “Old-timers” have told us again and again, is the actual foundation of the program. The inner-person will eventually make its way to the outer-person.

One day at a time...
Today I will slow down, take a deep breath, and just remind myself that my Higher Power is in control and that my natural pattern will develop under His nurture, care, and control.
~ January


Each Day A New Beginning

The wisdom of all ages and cultures emphasizes the tremendous power our thoughts have over our character and circumstances.
  —Liane Cordes

"As we think, so we are." We are gifted with the personal power to make thoughtful choices and thus decide whom we are. Our actions and choices combine to create our character, and our character influences the circumstances of our lives.

Our personal mind power will work to our advantage when we think positively, or it will contribute to our disadvantage. Imagining our good fortunes will prepare us for them. Imagining the successful completion of a task heightens and strengthens the commitment we must make daily to it. Imagining the steps necessary to the successful accomplishment of any goal directs our efforts so we don't falter along the way. Our minds work powerfully for our good. And just as powerfully to our detriment, when fears intrude on all our thoughts.

The program has given me positive personal power; it lies in the relationship I have with my higher power. My outlook and attitude toward life reveals the strength of my connection to God. I will work with God and imagine my good fortune today.

Food For Thought

We Admit

Three of the Twelve Steps have to do with admitting. We admit that we are powerless over food and cannot manage our own lives; we admit our wrongs to God, ourselves, and another person; we continue to take inventory and admit when we are wrong.

Out of honest admission of our weakness comes strength. We are able to see ourselves realistically and with clarity. When we are humble enough to admit our wrongs, we get rid of the false front we had tried to maintain. This frees us to be who we are, without pretense.

When we admit our faults, we are cleansed. We no longer have to try to hide and cover up our weaknesses and mistakes. Instead of pretending to be perfect, we can be human and satisfied with progress.

We admit that we have a progressive disease, and we learn how to control it. We do not pretend to ourselves or others that we can eat like everyone else, because we are compulsive overeaters. We cannot manage our own lives, but there is One who can.

I admit that I am powerless, and I am grateful for Your Power in my life.

The Language of Letting Go

Temporary Setbacks

Sometimes, after we begin recovery, things in our life seem to get worse for a time. Our finances, our relationships, or our health may seem to deteriorate.

This is temporary; this is a normal part of recovery and healing. It may be the way things will be for a time, but not for long.

Keep working at recovery, and the trend will reverse. Before too long, things, and us, will be better than they were before. This time, the foundation will be solid.

God, help me trust You and recovery, even when I have setbacks. Help me remember that the problems are temporary, and when they are solved, I will be on more solid ground.

Today's Gift

Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
  —Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Don't we all want to fly away? Isn't there a better place out there away from home? The boy can't fly, but he can climb a tree and ride the wind. The girl, high on imaginary wings, flies to her own land of dreams. Even mothers and fathers, together and alone, need to fly - away from work, house, and the everyday same old things. But we all need to return as well. We need to know that home is the one safe place to land, that there we can rest, recover our strength, tell our tales to family and friends.

Our home is safe and comfortable, but if we never leave, even for a short while, we will never take the action necessary to bring our dreams to life.

What small comfort might I give up for today in order to make a dream come true?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 26th

Recovery Meditations: September 26th

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Joseph Campbell

It’s hard to give up old habits. Although my former solutions to dealing with stress, anger, and emotional and physical pain had never worked and only made the problems worse, they were familiar. I had high hopes the results would be different each time. I wasn’t too surprised when it didn’t happen because this was familiar ground.
Then I heard about this program, half-heartedly joined and began working the Twelve Steps. It was scary! Things began happening to me that I’d never dreamed possible. I was given abstinence! I had not planned for that to happen. How could I, when I had no idea what abstinence would really be like?
At first I felt very anxious, sure the abstinence would be snatched from me just as I was beginning to feel comfortable with it. While I enjoyed abstinence and not having to focus on my eating disorder's requirements, I often felt like I was in foreign territory without a map. I couldn't plan my life like I had before because my life was busy evolving in ways I couldn't imagine.
But the longer I worked the program, the happier my life became. To my utter shock I’ve recently discovered that I, a control freak and ultimate planner of everything, have begun to enjoy the unpredictability that my Higher Power has so graciously put in my life.
Before the program I never appreciated spontaneity; I couldn’t. Now, a day without plans is an opportunity.
One day at a time...
I will pray to let go of my will
and instead to be open to my Higher Power's will for me.


Each Day A New Beginning

Why is life so tragic, so like a little strip of pavement over an abyss? I look down; I feel giddy; I wonder how I am ever to walk to the end.
  —Virginia Woolf

As we look toward the hours ahead, we can be thankful that we need be concerned with only a single day's worth of hours. No more. What may come tomorrow, a decision that might be necessary next week, a big change in our lives coming next year, all will be handled with ease, when the time is right.

How fortunate we are, those of us who share this program for living! Our worries about the future are over, if we want them to be. We need to take only one step at a time. One day at a time. And always in the care of God. Relief from our lives of worry is immediate when we live the axiom, "Let go and let God."

Life does present us with tragedies, and we learn from them. They need not detour us, however. In fact, they strengthen us and encourage personal growth. And no experience will ever be more than we and our higher power can handle.

I will turn to the program and everything it offers today. Just today, and no more, is my concern.

Food For Thought

Character Defects
Beginning the OA program, we are inclined to feel that our problems and difficulties are largely due to circumstances and other people. The enemy seems to be outside. The more we work the Steps, the more we realize that our troubles are within, rather than without. Furthermore, we learn that the only person we can change is our self.

We see that the root of our difficulty lies in being centered on self instead of centered in our Higher Power. Our egos can take us only so far before we reach a point where continued growth demands that we begin to abandon them. What a relief to get rid of the anxiety, frustration, and fear that goes with an ego-centered life!

Our Higher Power removes our character defects as we become willing to let go of them. Honest awareness is our first task, and this is facilitated by maintaining abstinence from compulsive overeating. Abstinence gives us the honesty and the energy to change. As we change, circumstances and relationships improve.

I ask that You remove my character defects according to Your will.

The Language of Letting Go

Feeling Protected

Our task is not a naive one of feeling safe, of living and loving in a utopian world. One woman commented that our task is making ourselves feel safe while learning to live and love in a world that is unsafe.

We do not want to dwell on the danger for that gives power to the negative. Neither do we want to ignore them or pretend they don't exist.

If we were going to sunbathe, we would not be naive about the dangers from the sun. We know that harmful rays can burn. We would take steps to protect ourselves, so that we could enjoy the benefits of the sun.

That is our task in recovery.

This is what a woman, a helping professional, told me:

Picture a sunscreen surrounding you. Place it around yourself - not too heavy and thick so no light can penetrate, and not so thin that you are exposed to danger.

See yourself protected by a sunscreen that is effective. Make certain that the screen is open to the good. For a while, your screen was too heavy. It held back what you wanted. Now change it to let the good come through.

This is your screen for life and the world. See it. Imagine it surrounding you always. It wraps you in love, in comfort, in protection. No harm can enter. No negative energy can penetrate the screen.

Go in peace; go in safety. Go now, knowing you are protected. Go anywhere you need to go. The evil has been blocked; the goodwill comes pouring forth. You do not have to work so hard at protecting yourself. You can relax and enjoy life trusting that you are safe. Go without fear, for you are wrapped in love and protection. And you shall always be.

Today, I will envision myself wrapped in a shield that blocks the negative and harmful rays of the world, but it is constructed so that the good can enter.

Today's Gift

There is no hope of joy except in human relations.
  —Antoine de Saint Exupery

It is hard to imagine being really joyful and excited without our family and friends. We can imagine a birthday party with no one but us attending. Even if we got many gifts, we would feel empty if there were no one around with whom to share our excitement.

Our joy comes from each other. Even the hard times furnish us with wonderful memories for later in life. We share the good and the bad, and the rewards of both. When our lives together seem too difficult, when it's too hard to share, too crowded to think, when there are too many disagreements, we can find comfort by looking at one another once again and seeing all the ways we are truly alike, and what we share every moment that we sometimes take for granted--our food, our thoughts, the very air we breathe.

What are the things we share right now?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 25th

Recovery Meditations: September 25th

“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.” 
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I've never been a brave person and was always very fearful. I would watch movies where the hero would rescue the heroine, someone would climb Mount Everest or perform some feat of daring, and I would be totally in awe. I was afraid of the dark, of rejection, of failure and of most other things that I was convinced took courage. There’s no way would I go parasailing or deep sea diving as that seemed to require the courage that I lacked.
I didn't understand then that people who do those kinds of things are not totally without fear, but they have a way of overcoming their fear and still doing it anyway.
When I came into the program and learned that I would have to do an inventory and then, worse still, make amends to the people I had harmed, I was paralyzed by fear. Eventually I realized that, even though I feared doing these things, all I had to do was ask my Higher Power for strength and guidance and then do the things I'd most feared. Perhaps these weren't the feats of daring that I had seen heroes perform, but for me they were great victories and in being able to do them, I knew that I was developing courage.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to walk through my fear with my Higher Power at my side, knowing that I am developing the courage that I thought I lacked.
Sharon S.


Each Day A New Beginning

...we do not always like what is good for us in this world.
  —Eleanor Roosevelt

Most of us can look back and recall how we fought a particular change. How certain we were that we wouldn't survive the upheaval! Perhaps we lost a love or were forced to leave a home or a job. Retrospect allows us to see the good of the change, and we can see the necessary part each change has played in our development as recovering women. We've had to change to cover the distances we've traveled. And we'll have to continue changing.

The program and its structure, and our faith in that structure, can ease the harsh consequences of change. Our higher power wants only the best for us, of that we can be sure. However, the best may not always "fit" when first we try it. Patience, trust, and prayer are a winning combination when the time comes for us to accept a change. We'll know when it's coming. Our present circumstances will begin to pinch.

Change means growth. It's a time for celebration, not dread. It means I am ready to move ahead--that I have "passed" the current test.

Food For Thought

Don't Hang On

As long as we are alive, we will experience times of joy and times of sadness. Trying to hang on to the periods of elation and avoid the inevitable depression which each of us feels from time to time causes us to seek artificial stimulation. Using food to try to stay on cloud nine did not work, and neither does anything else.

By turning over our lives, we become willing to let go and move through the periods of joy and sadness as we come to them. Trying to hang on arrests our progress. Nothing is certain in this life except change, and when we stop overeating we are better able to deal with the variations in our feelings and circumstances.

Whatever our current mood or situation, we can remain abstinent. Abstinence gives our lives stability and order, in spite of changes. Being centered in the Power greater than ourselves keeps us from being overly affected by either elation or depression.

By focusing on You, may I move calmly through the times of joy and the times of sadness.

The Language of Letting Go

Peace with the Past
Even God cannot change the past.

Holding on to the past, either through guilt, longing, denial, or resentment, is a waste of valuable energy - energy that can be used to transform today and tomorrow.

"I used to live in my past," said one recovering woman. "I was either trying to change it, or I was letting it control me. Usually both.

"I constantly felt guilty about things that had happened. Things I had done; things others had done to me - even though I had made amends for most everything, the guilt ran deep. Everything was somehow my fault. I could never just let it go.

"I held on to anger for years, telling myself it was justified. I was in denial about a lot of things. Sometimes, I'd try to absolutely forget about my past, but I never really stopped and sorted through it; my past was like a dark cloud that followed me around, and I couldn't shake clear of it. I guess I was scared to let it go, afraid of today, afraid of tomorrow.

I've been recovering now for years, and it has taken me almost as many years to gain the proper perspective on my past. I'm learning I can't forget it; I need to heal from it. I need to feel and let go of any feelings I still have, especially anger.

"I need to stop blaming myself for painful events that took place, and trust that everything has happened on schedule, and truly all is okay. I've learned to stop regretting, and to start being grateful.

"When I think about the past, I thank God for the healing and the memory. If something occurs that needs an amend, I make it and am done with it. I've learned to look at my past with compassion for myself, trusting that my Higher Power was in control, even then.

"I've healed from some of the worst things that happened to me. I've made peace with myself about these issues, and I've learned that healing from some of these issues has enabled me to help others to heal too. I'm able to see how the worst things helped form my character and developed some of my finer points.

"I've even developed gratitude for my failed relationships because they have brought me to who and where I am today.

"What I've learned has been acceptance - without guilt, anger, blame, or shame. I've even had to learn to accept the years I spent feeling guilty, angry, shameful, and blaming."

We cannot control the past. But we can transform it by allowing ourselves to heal from it and by accepting it with love for others and ourselves. I know, because that woman is me.

Today, I will begin being grateful for my past. I cannot change what happened, but I can transform the past by owning my power, now, to accept, heal, and learn from it.

Today's Gift

Things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.
  —James A. Garfield

We could learn from the bears in the woods how to turn up opportunities. To nourish themselves, they turn over logs and stumps to get insects. When they smell honey, they will climb a tree after it, and when they see berries they will move branches aside to get at them.

Like the bears, we need to turn up things for ourselves. Perhaps we can enter a drawing or writing contest. Maybe we can try out for a team sport or the orchestra. By doing this, we take risks, which foster our growth and build confidence, and we turn our lives into fulfilling adventures.

Why wait for opportunity to knock when we can knock at opportunity's door. Whatever our interests, finding ways to enjoy them can make the most out of the opportunities around us.

What opportunities are available to me today?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 23rd

Recovery Meditations: September 23rd

EMOTIONS“A life lacking the emotional upheavals of depression and despair,
fear and anxiety, grief and sadness, anger and the agony of forgiving,
confusion and doubt, criticism and rejection,
will not only be useless to ourselves, it will be useless to others.”

Scott Peck
Because I have always thought of myself as such an ordinary person, as life moved along I was surprised to find so many emotional events happening in it. I have had severe periods of depression and despair; I have known fear, anxiety, anger and doubt. I have wrestled with grief and known the agony of rejection. I have been subjected to criticism and experienced firsthand the difficulty of forgiving those whom I once thought I would never be able to forgive.
What I have learned about life and recovery is that no one is ordinary, that everyone experiences emotions of all kinds, and what is important is that each of these upheavals are instructive and not wasted.
Whereas once I would block my feelings, I now allow myself to feel them. Instead of sweeping my emotions under a rug, I express them. Rather than blocking grief from my soul, I experience it ... then heal from it. When I am rejected, I try to move on by exploring the reasons why.
One day at a time...
I will turn my negative emotions into positive ones by transforming them into useful learning experiences both for myself and for others.
~ Mari ~


Each Day A New Beginning

Who will I be today? The "Cosmopolitan" woman, the little girl, the scholar, the mother? Who will I be to answer the needs of others, and yet answer the needs of me?
  —Deidra Sarault

We wear many hats. One aspect of our maturity is our ability to balance our roles. It's often quite difficult to do so; however, the program offers us many tools for balancing our lives.

Fulfilling some of the needs of significant others in our lives brings us joy. Our own needs must be given priority, though. We cannot give away what we don't have, and we have nothing unless we give sincere attention and love to ourselves.

In years gone by, we may have taken too little care of others, or we overdid it. In either case, we probably neglected ourselves. Most of us starved ourselves spiritually, many of us emotionally, a few physically. We were all too often "all-or-nothing" women.

Today we're aware of our choices. We've been making a number of good ones lately: We're abstinent. We're living the Steps. And we're choosing how to spend our time, and what to do with our lives. But no choice will turn out very well if we haven't taken care of ourselves.

I will center on myself. I will nurture the maturing woman within and then reach out. 

Food For Thought

Positive Leads

As our serenity grows, the clamor and confusion inside our heads die down. Instead of being pulled in many different directions and uncertain of which way to turn, we gradually discern the positive voice that leads us forward. Rather than trying to analyze all possible alternatives intellectually, we gain the confidence to choose the positive way without agonizing indecision.

To worry and speculate about the roads not taken is counter productive and wasteful of our energies. We pray that we may know the will of our Higher Power for us, and then we act according to the best of our knowledge. The more we practice listening to the still, small voice within, the more positive direction we will receive.

The mental calmness which we experience as we abstain from compulsive overeating clears away our former confusion. We may make mistakes, but as long as we can admit them and stay in contact with our Higher Power, we will continue to follow His positive leads.

Keep me on Your positive path.

The Language of Letting Go


Practice tolerance.

Tolerate our quirks, our feelings, our reactions, our peculiarities, and our humanness. Tolerate our ups and downs, our resistance to change, and our struggling and sometimes awkward nature.

Tolerate our fears, our mistakes, our natural tendency to duck from problems, and pain. Tolerate our hesitancy to get close, expose ourselves, and be vulnerable.

Tolerate our need to occasionally feel superior, to sometimes feel ashamed, and to occasionally share love as an equal. Tolerate the way we progress - a few steps forward, and a couple back.

Tolerate our instinctive desire to control and how we reluctantly learn to practice detachment. Tolerate the way we say we want love, and then sometimes push others away. Tolerate our tendency to get obsessive, forget to trust God, and occasionally get stuck.

Some things we do not tolerate. Do not tolerate abusive or destructive behaviors toward others or ourselves.

Practice healthy, loving tolerance of ourselves, said one man. When we do, we'll learn tolerance for others. Then, take it one step further; learn that all the humanness we're tolerating is what makes ourselves and others beautiful.

Today, I will be tolerant of myself. From that, I will learn appropriate tolerance of others.

Today's Gift

When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or the life of another.
  —Helen Keller

It is a great loss when we underestimate the importance of our efforts in the life of another. One man, who had to spend some time in a hospital, waited day after day to receive a card or a telephone call from those who cared. Some people, who he expected to call or write, did not. Others, who the man had not felt close to, and whom he did not expect to hear from, surprised him with their concern. He came to place greater value on those who had cared enough to call or send a card.

A little act, the best we have at that moment, makes a big difference to the person on the other end. Knowing this helps us make sure that all our acts, even the smallest, are as good as we can make them, because they all make a difference.

What small acts of those around me have made a difference to me?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 22nd

Recovery Meditations: September 22nd

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed
in the world as what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
Dissatisfaction has been part of my disease and it played a significant role in bringing me to recovery. It is the human condition to dislike where we are. Like many of us, I used to think that only some mystical, non-existent person, place, thing or situation would make me happy. If only my spouse loved me as I want to be loved; if only the boss would see and appreciate my contributions; or if only my house and children were perfect. I sat year after year speculating and fantasizing my life away.
The Serenity Prayer tells me to ask God for the wisdom to know His will for me. I lived in darkness and despair until I learned that my Higher Power is here. He is in charge. I must, through prayer and meditation, seek God's will and do the next right thing. I need to cooperate with my Higher Power to change my attitude. To that end, I do the footwork just for today.
One day at a time...
I will seek and accept God's will for my life.
~ Danny


Each Day A New Beginning

Anger conquers when unresolved.

Emotions need recognition. But not only attention; they also need acceptance as powerful dimensions of who we are. Their influence over who we are capable of becoming is mighty.

Respectful attention and willing acceptance of our emotions, whether fear or anger or hateful jealousy, takes away their sting. We can prevent them from growing larger than they are. Like a child who screams and misbehaves more and more fiercely until attention is won, our emotions grow larger and more intense the longer we deny their existence.

Our emotions bless us, in reality. They enrich our experiences. They serve as guideposts on the road we're traveling. How we "feel" at any single moment flags the level of our security, how close we are to our higher power, the level of our commitment to the program. They serve us well when acknowledged. On the other hand, when ignored or denied, they can immobilize us, even defeat us.

My feelings frequent my being, always. They steer my behavior. They reflect my attitudes. They hint at my closeness to God.

Food For Thought


During our dieting days, we probably spent much time getting on and off the scales. In OA, we are advised not to weigh more than once a month. Though we want to get rid of excess weight, we do not want to be obsessed with pounds and ounces. This program involves much more than weight control, and to make the scales our ultimate judge is to miss the mark.

If we are honestly abstaining from compulsive overeating and working our program, we will lose weight. The rate of loss will vary from person to person and from week to week. Even, and especially, when the scale registers what we want it to register, we continue to honestly abstain and work the OA program.

In OA, we are more concerned with the progress we make in controlling our disease than we are with our specific weight on any particular day. If our illness is under control, weight control will follow. Scales are useful for measuring physical progress, but they are not a god.

May I use the scales wisely.

The Language of Letting Go

Trusting Ourselves

Many of us believed that heeding the words of God or our Higher Power meant following rigid rules, an instruction booklet for life.

Many of us now believe differently. The rigid rules, the endless instructions, the exhortation to perfection, are not the words our Higher Power whispers.

The words of God are often those still, small words we call intuition or instinct, leading and guiding us forward.

We are free to be whom we are, to listen to and trust ourselves. We are free to listen to the gentle, loving words of a Higher Power, words whispered to and through each of us.

Today, help me, God; to let go of shame based rigid rules. I will choose the freedom of loving, listening, and trusting.

Today's Gift

Kindness and intelligence don't always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps.
  —Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Being human means we'll have hard times along with pleasant ones. Whether with friends, at school, or at home, we'll find reasons for sadness or anger as easily as for laughter. In every part of our lives, we're offered just what we need for growth.

Being the best we know how to be doesn't mean we'll escape confusion or pain. Through the troubling times we learn to trust in a Higher Power; we learn patience; we learn to let go and let God decide outcomes. The troubling times offer us growth and serenity, our keys to happiness.

What hidden gifts will I find in today's troubles? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 21st

Recovery Meditations: September 21st

~ New Worlds ~
Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. 

Anais Nin

Most of us are so compulsive at almost everything we do, that allowing people in to know our garbage of the past and present is unheard of.
You go to a meeting, find a new recovery friend and that friend opens a new door. You and that friend step through and WOW ... the world in that room looks great! Later at another meeting, you meet another recovery friend and another door is opened. You and your two new friends step through and you find an even better world view. This continues to happen meeting after meeting, step after step, room after room and your personal lives begins to look much brighter and more beautiful, like there really is hope.
Funny how it's still the same world but friends, recovery and Higher Power make it a much better worldly view.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will never end this beautiful cycle of finding new worlds as long as I never lose sight of my Higher Power, my recovery friends and my recovery program. 

~ Jeanette ~


Each Day A New Beginning

Praise and an attitude of gratitude are unbeatable stimulators . . . we increase whatever we extol.
  —Sylvia Stitt Edwards

What outlook are we carrying forth into the day ahead? Are we feeling fearful about the circumstances confronting us? Do we dread a planned meeting? Are we worried about the welfare of a friend or lover? Whatever our present outlook, its power over the outcome of our day is profound. Our attitude in regard to any situation attracting our attention influences the outcome. Sometimes to our favor, often to our disfavor if our attitude is negative.

Thankfulness toward life guarantees the rewards we desire, the rewards we seek too often from an ungrateful stance. The feeling of gratitude is foreign to many of us. We came to this program feeling worthless, sometimes rejected, frequently depressed. It seemed life had heaped problems in our laps, and so it had. The more we lamented what life "gave us," the more reasons we were given to lament. We got just what we expected. We still get just what we expect. The difference is that the program has offered us the key to higher expectations. Gratitude for the good in our lives increases the good.

I have the personal power to influence my day; I will make it a good one.

Food For Thought

Trusting Gut Reactions

Since we could not trust ourselves where food was concerned, we had trouble trusting ourselves in all aspects of life. We became divided internally and unsure of what we thought or how we felt or how we should act. We may have depended on other people to tell us what we liked, what to do, and how to do it.

It is with a great sense of joy that we become aware of our own individuality and preferences. If we experience a negative gut reaction to a certain person or activity, then we need to examine our reasons for continuing the relationship or activity. We do not have to like everyone, nor do we have to do everything. The sooner we become selective, the more we develop as individuals and the more integrity we possess. If we continually force ourselves to do things, which violate our inner integrity, then we are frustrated and growth is slow.

Gut reactions need to be examined calmly and intelligently. They are there to tell us something about ourselves.

Give me a healthy respect for my gut reactions.

The Language of Letting Go

Letting Go of Urgency

One thing at a time.

That's all we have to do. Not two things at once, but one thing done in peace.

One task at a time. One feeling at a time. One day at a time. One problem at a time. One step at a time.

One pleasure at a time.

Relax. Let go of urgency. Begin calmly now. Take one thing at a time.

See how everything works out?

Today, I will peacefully approach one thing at a time. When in doubt, I will take first things first.

Today's Gift

Silently one by one
in the infinite meadows of heaven
Blossomed the lovely stars,
the forget-me-nots of angels.
  —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tales told about the stars reflect a lot about the people who tell them. The constellation now called Orion was once called Hippolyta. Hippolyta was one of the Amazon queens. The Amazons were women warriors who had four leaders instead of one: two older women and two younger women. Everyone could benefit from the experience and wisdom of the older and the strength and vigor of the younger.

After Hippolyta died, they named this constellation for her to honor her and remind themselves of her wisdom and bravery.

We can draw a good lesson from the value the Amazons placed on the contribution each one could make, no matter how young or old. When we remain alert to the possibility of learning from people we hadn't seriously considered as teachers, we are reminded of our often forgotten value to others.

What can I offer in wisdom or strength to others today?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 20th

Recovery Meditations: September 20th

“You can't have everything.
Where would you put it?”

Steven Wright.
I’d thought marriage alone would heal all the hurts I’d gathered up in my life. My husband, also the product of a dysfunctional family, felt the same way. We quickly learned that our love for each other was not enough to fill our emptiness.
I was used to using food to temporarily fill my inner-holes; he was used to abusing another substance to fill his. Neither worked well, and we soon discovered that buying things we didn’t need would help to temporarily fill some of our hurts. Pretty soon we had a house that was full of things we’d bought that had given only a few moments of pleasure at best.
One of the benefits of program life is that I’ve learned to fill the holes within me in ways that really work. I want to make my life more simple and less cluttered. Three years later, I’m still getting rid of things we bought and never used again. But the best part is we can go to the mall when we really do need something and not feel the compulsion to buy something we don’t need. 
One day at a time...
I will use the lessons I've learned working the program to finally heal the hurts within me instead of looking for material things to repair these inner-holes.
~ Rhonda H.


Each Day A New Beginning

What difference does it make how I am treated by life? My real life is within.
  —Angela L. Wozniak

It is said that we teach people how to treat us. How we treat others invites similar treatment. Our response to the external conditions of our lives can be greatly altered by our perceptions of those conditions. And we have control of that perception. No experience has to demoralize us. Each situation can be appreciated for its long-term contribution to our growth as happy, secure women.

No outside circumstances will offer us full time and forever the security we all long for. And in like manner, none will adversely interfere with our well being, except briefly and on occasion.

The program offers us the awareness that our security, happiness, and well being reside within. The uplifting moments of our lives may enhance our security, but they can't guarantee that it will last. Only the relationship we have with ourselves and God within can promise the gift of security.

The ripples in my day are reminders to me to go within.

Food For Thought

A New Self-Image

As we lose weight, our self-image needs to change along with our body. We may have had a mental image of our self as a thin person, but this image probably did not go beyond the physical. If we continue to think of our self as the same confused, compulsive, childish person we once were, we are not facilitating our emotional and spiritual growth.

The OA program gives us the power to become a new person. If we see ourselves as daily growing saner, more serene, more confident, reality will reflect our inner vision.

Perhaps the most important change in our self-image involves our relationship to our Higher Power. Before, we probably saw ourselves as the center of our world and devoted our energies to protecting and building up our fragile ego. We were all alone in an unfriendly world. Now, we see ourselves as God's creation, subject to His purpose and plan. As we yield to His authority and accept His love, we find strength, security, and peace. By losing ourselves, we find ourselves.

Create in me a new self-image.

The Language of Letting Go


In recovery, we're learning to let ourselves go! We're learning to be spontaneous.

Spontaneity may frighten some of us. We may be afraid of the loss of control involved with spontaneity. We may still be operating under the codependent rules that prohibit spontaneity: be good; be right; be perfect; be strong; don't have fun; and always be in control.

We may associate spontaneity with acting out in an addictive, compulsive, self destructive, or irresponsible manner.

That's not what we're talking about in recovery. Positive spontaneity involves freely expressing who we are - in a way that is fun, healthy, doesn't hurt us, and doesn't infringe on the right of others.

We learn to be spontaneous and free as we grow in self-awareness and self esteem. Spontaneity emerges as our confidence and trust in ourselves increase, and we become more secure in our ability to maintain healthy boundaries.

Being spontaneous is connected to our ability to play and achieve intimacy. For all those desirable acts, we need to be able to let go of our need to control others and ourselves and fully and freely enter into the present moment.

Let go of your tight rein on yourself. So what if you make a mistake? So what if you're wrong? Relish your imperfections. Let yourself be a little needy, a little vulnerable. Take a risk!

We can be spontaneous without hurting ourselves, or others. In fact, everyone will benefit by our spontaneity.

Today, I will throw out the rulebook and enjoy being who I am. I will have some fun with the gift of life, others, and myself.

Today's Gift

Education should be the process of helping everyone to discover his uniqueness.
  —Leo Buscaglia

We are each special, which means there is not another person just like ourselves. Nobody looks just like us. Nobody's voice sounds quite like our own. And nobody thinks through a story just like we do.

Each of us has been created for a special purpose. Maybe it's for what we'll teach a friend, or the way we'll help a sister or a brother. Every day will give us chances to offer our special talents to others. Our being alive is God's way of proving that we're important to the family, the neighborhood, and the world.

What important task lies before me today?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 19th

Recovery Meditations: September 19th

“We must give alms.
Charity wins souls and draws them to virtue.” 

Angela Merici 

An important lesson in life is that in order to get something we need or want, we first have to give some of it away. If we want friends, we have to be a friend. If we want to be loved, we have to love. If we want recovery, we have to help others recover.
Then we begin to “get it.” The tingling excitement of hope is aroused in us. We discover an inner-source of power to live.
Giving service is as important to our recovery as are abstinence and working the Steps. It includes everything from organizing materials at a face-to-face meeting to hosting meetings online. It’s sharing our problems and our solutions on the loops, as well as sponsoring. Recovery is incomplete until it is shared by giving service to the program or to individuals. It’s remarkable how service brings us closer together, allows us to make friends, helps to end our isolation and gives that feeling of self-worth and confidence that we so desperately need. Simply put, service is as much a lifesaver to us as it is to those we reach out and touch.
I want to be a giver to the program so it is always available to those who will come after me seeking their freedom from this dread disease.
One Day at a Time . . .
I strive to give love, support, comfort, cheer and encouragement,
knowing it will come back to me pressed down, shaken together and running over. 

~ Dottie 

Each Day A New Beginning

...concern should drive us into action and not into depression.
  —Karen Horney

The role of victim is all too familiar to many of us. Life did us injustices - we thought. And we passively waited for circumstances to change. With the bottle we waited, or maybe the little white pills. Nothing was our fault. That we were willing participants to victimization is an awareness not easily accepted, but true nonetheless.

Victims no more, we are actors, now. And since committing ourselves to this program, we have readily available a willing and very able director for our role in life. Every event invites an action, and we have opted for the responsible life.

Depression may be on the fringes of our consciousness today. But it need not become our state of mind. The antidote is and always will be action, responsible action. Every concern, every experience wants our attention, our active attention.

Today stretches before me, an unknown quantity. Concerns will crowd upon me, but guidance regarding the best action to take is always available to me.

Food For Thought

Know Yourself

The OA program fosters self-knowledge on a practical, physical level as well as on the more abstract emotional and intellectual levels. We come to know what foods we can handle comfortably, how we can arrange our day so that we do not get exhausted, and which people we need to avoid if we are to maintain our serenity.

We had so little self-confidence when we were overeating that we were inclined to accept other people's ideas of who we were and what we should do. By trying to be and do what others expected, we may have lost sight of our inner selves. The emptiness caused by not knowing and respecting ourselves led in turn to more overeating as we tried to fill the inner void with food.

Self-knowledge requires courage and honesty. It involves admitting our weaknesses and mistakes, rather than pretending to be perfect. As we come to know ourselves - our preferences, needs, and goals - we gain strength and integrity. The Power greater than ourselves gives us the insight to know who we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Thank You for self-knowledge.

The Language of Letting Go


Sometimes, we act in a manner with which we are less than comfortable. That's human. That's why we have the words: "I'm sorry." They heal and bridge the gap. But we don't have to say, "I'm sorry" if we didn't do anything wrong. A sense of shame can keep us apologizing for everything we do, every word we say, for being alive and being who we are.

We don't have to apologize for taking care of ourselves, dealing with feelings, seeking boundaries, having fun, or getting healthy.

We never have to change our course, if it is in our best interest, but sometimes a general apology acknowledges other feelings and can be useful when the issues of a circumstance or relationship are not clear. We might say: "I'm sorry for the fuss we had. I'm sorry if what I needed to do to take care of myself hurt you; it was not intended that way."

Once we make an apology, we don't have to keep repeating it. If someone wants to keep on extricating an apology from us for the same incident, that is the person's issue, and we don't have to get hooked.

We can learn to take our apologies seriously and not hand them out when they're not valid. When we feel good about ourselves, we know when it's time to say we're sorry and when it's not.

Today, I will try to be clear and healthy in my apologies, taking responsibility for my actions and nobody else's. God, help me figure out what I need to apologize for and what is not my responsibility.

Today's Gift

Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God.
  —Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sometimes, in our families, we try to get parents or brothers or sisters to treat us the way we want them to, to do things we want them to. When they're upset or angry with us, we try to get them to stop, rather than allow them to be angry.

But our feelings are ours alone, and we are responsible only for how we feel. Those around us are not the cause of our feelings. We are.

This knowledge is a big responsibility, because we know we cannot blame others for our bad moods. But it is a fact. And this fact is also a wonderful freedom for us, for it means that we also have the power to make ourselves happy, no matter what goes on around us.

How can I make myself happy today?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Daily Recovery Readings: September 18th

Recovery Meditations: September 18th

“Fear is a sign – 
usually a sign that I’m doing something right.”
Erica Jong
When I first came into the Twelve Step program, I felt overwhelmed. Life overwhelmed me. My eating disorders overwhelmed me. My inner-pain overwhelmed me. Before I walked into my first meeting, I felt very alone.
My Higher Power has been good to me. When I entered my first meeting, I learned I was not alone. As I began to work the Twelve Steps, I learned that, while I had a lot of healing and learning to do, I would not be doing it alone. I have many friends who help me, but most of all, I have a relationship with my Higher Power that assures me constantly that I am loved.
Today, I don't often feel overwhelmed. When I do, I turn to my Higher Power and my friends, all of whom help me to focus on doing the best thing for my mental, emotional and physical health.
One day at a time...
I will remember
that even when I feel alone,
I have the love and help of my Higher Power.
~ Rhonda H.


Each Day A New Beginning

The future is made of the same stuff as the present.
  —Simone Weil

The moment is eternal. It is unending. When we move with the moment, we experience all that life can offer. Being fully awake to right now, guarantees rapture even when there's pain, because we know we are evolving, and we thrill with the knowledge. We are one with all that's going on around us. Our existence is purposeful and part of the whole of creation, and we can sense our purpose.

Nothing is - but now. And when we dwell on what was, or what may be, we are cut off from life - essentially dead. The only reality is the present, and it's only in the present that we are invited to make our special contribution to life; perhaps at this moment our special contribution is to reach out to another person, an act that will change two lives, ours and hers.

We must cling to the present, or we'll miss its invitation to grow, to help a friend perhaps, to be part of the only reality there is. The present holds all we need and all we'll ever need to fulfill our lives. It provides every opportunity for our happiness - the only happiness there is.

Abstinence offers me the gift of the present. I will cherish it, be grateful, and relish it.

Food For Thought

Bad Days

There are some days when we wake up in the morning knowing with a sixth sense that the day is going to be a hard one. These are the days when it is difficult to get out of bed, when we would prefer not to face whatever awaits us. There is no way around these days; we must get through them the best way we can.

Our most useful tool for coping with a bad day is abstinence. Nothing is impossible when we are abstaining from compulsive overeating. Often our problem lies not in the external events of the day but in recognizing a part of ourselves that has been hidden and repressed. We resist facing honestly what our Higher Power is revealing to us about our inner life.

When we are determined not to escape into food, we will come out of a bad day stronger than we were before. We reinforce our new way of living, which is to turn difficult situations over to our Higher Power and then act as He guides us, step by step.

May I be closer to You during the bad days.

The Language of Letting Go

Letting the Good Stuff Happen

Before recovery, my relationships were lousy. I didn't do very well on my job. I was enmeshed in my dysfunctional family. But at least I knew what to expect!

I want the second half of my life to be as good as the first half was miserable. Sometimes, I'm afraid it won't be. Sometimes, I'm frightened it might be.

The good stuff can scare us. Change, even good change, can be frightening. In some ways, good changes can be more frightening than the hard times.

The past, particularly before recovery, may have become comfortably familiar. We knew what to expect in our relationships. They were predictable. They were repeats of the same pattern - the same behaviors, the same pain, over and over again. They may not have been what we wanted, but we knew what was going to happen.

This is not so when we change patterns and begins recovering.

We may have been fairly good at predicting events in most areas of our life. Relationships would be painful. We'd be deprived.

Each year would be almost a repeat of the last. Sometimes it got a little worse, sometimes a little better, but the change wasn't drastic. Not until the moment when we began recovery.

Then things changed. And the further we progress in this miraculous program, the more we and or circumstances change. We begin to explore uncharted territory.

Things get good. They do get better all the time. We begin to become successful in love, in work, in life. One day at a time, the good stuff begins to happen and the misery dissipates.

We no longer want to be a victim of life. We've learned to avoid unnecessary crisis and trauma.

Life gets good.

"How do I handle the good stuff?" asked one woman. It's harder and more foreign than the pain and tragedy."

"The same way we handled the difficult and the painful experiences," I replied. "One day at a time."

Today, God, help me let go of my need to be in pain and crisis. Help me move as swiftly as possible through sad feelings and problems. Help me find my base and balance in peace, joy, and gratitude. Help me work as hard at accepting what's good, as I have worked in the past at accepting the painful and the difficult.

Today's Gift

I will, I will accept myself
With hope and fear and wonder
And what I have joined together
Let no man put asunder.
  —Dory Preven

There is a wonderful freedom in acceptance. When we accept ourselves, with all our imperfections, we can then begin to accept others just as they are. This is especially exciting when we apply this discovery to our own families. A family is like a bouquet of flowers arranged in a common vase. Each flower is different. One might be blue, one white, one a rose, one a chrysanthemum. But each adds to the beauty of the whole bouquet and enhances the vase that holds it.

It isn't important that we know why one flower is blue and one white. We don't have to understand how a rose becomes a rose to appreciate the arrangement. We just accept it for what it is. Acceptance of others does not mean agreement or approval. How boring if we only accepted those who reflected our own ideas and opinions! How dull to look upon a bouquet of exactly the same flowers.

Today, will I accept the differences between us as part of our beauty together?