Seventh Heaven

My experience, strength and hope in OA started with the first meeting I attended, September 5, 1991. I planned to stop by a friend’s on the way and then say, “Oh, it’s gotten too late to go.” I told my wife I was going, but I could talk, or rather lie, my way out of anything. My friend wasn’t home. Maybe he was out enjoying the nice weather—what a concept! I would have been out eating whatever. Looking back, what was cool is that I didn’t have to lie to my wife, myself or anyone else that day.

At the meeting, two OA members had lost more than 100 pounds (45 kg), and one had kept if off for over 10 years, the other for about a year. I had not witnessed that in my 48 years of life. They talked about not eating between meals, which I hadn’t experienced either. I always needed food or drink to tide me over until my meal, which could be in one minute or one hour. I stayed for the whole meeting and walked out of there in seventh heaven. I thought I would do OA for 50 pounds (23 kg) to get my wife and doctor out of my stuff.

That night I vacuumed down a banana. My name should have been Pat, patting myself on the back because it was not  a half-gallon treat. It was hard, as I was always eating nonstop. I heard later that the second hardest thing we do in OA is to go back to the second meeting, and that was 100 percent true for me.

At meetings each week, I bragged about how much weight was leaving my body, and my defects glared because I needed to be right. Thank God that only lasted for nine months and 68 pounds (31 kg) were gone. Then the work began.

I got a sponsor, bought some of those books, called in my food and wrote. The miracle happened.

I stepped up to be a sponsor, and I thought my phone would ring off the hook. But no one called or asked. I reminded myself, John, you are working your program not the program.

Today I am somewhat sane and happy, and I’m grateful. Everything I refused to do, I now do. When I heard, “get down on your knees,” I just got down on one. Now I get down on both. I’ve read over and over that resentments and anger will get you back in your disease. When I went into the hospital with a blockage, I said some bad things to many people, but I have now made amends.

Since February 1, 1997, I’ve written down my food. I went into the hospital with normal blood pressure and my weight was 171 pounds (78 kg). I thought I would lose a lot of weight since I was on liquids. When I came out my weight was 178 pounds (81 kg). So I spoke with a food sponsor, and now I’m back in a range of 170 to 174 pounds (77 to 79 kg). My top known weight was at least 281 pounds (128 kg).

The miracle is that I was mad at every-one except God—doctors, family and OA. I’ve heard the road gets narrower and believe that 100 percent today.

~ John F., Olympia, Washington USA
From Lifeline Magazine, July 2014