Be Encouraged

By God’s grace, today marks 36 years of perfect and imperfect abstinence, using a plan of eating and action plan. I was 47 at the beginning. I didn’t know I had a disease, and I didn’t know the disease was not my fault.

As I worked the wonderful Twelve Steps in Overeaters Anonymous, I began to feel better about myself, and I knew I had to continue with the tools. I learned to do only one day at a time. “Now” in the program means “no opportunity wasted.”

When I went to meetings, other members always welcomed me with open arms. They accepted me as I was, and I began to accept myself as an imperfect person too. The Twelve Steps didn’t say I had to be perfect, and I didn’t have to measure up to anyone. I knew I was in the right place at the right time.

OA members loved me when I was not able to love myself. Now I love myself with abstinence, a plan of eating and an action plan. When I joined in 1977, I weighed 313 pounds (142 kg). Now I am 138 pounds (63 kg).

I enjoy a fearless abstinence. The pessimist curses the abstinence. The optimist hopes it will change. The realist adjusts the abstinence and stays flexible. As long as I stay abstinent, every day I enjoy a spiritual lottery.

I am old enough to remember that at one time we did not have fitted sheets for beds, only flat ones. I am old enough to remember when there were no televisions. We only listened to the radio. Now at age 83, I am old enough to know that abstinence is my nest to rest. Compulsive overeating is do, do, do; abstinence, a plan of eating and an action plan are done, done, done.

In OA I have learned to trust God and let him surprise me. We can be active in our healing, but we must trust the process and our Higher Power.

We can observe dignity in portion control of each and every meal. It makes me feel good to weigh and measure food because “enough is enough.” When I eat more than what is enough, I know I am eating food that belongs to someone else.

A lasting abstinence and plan of eating require extensive preparation. This is why we have the slogan “One day at a time.”

I pray that you will be encouraged and uplifted with your abstinence and plan of eating.

— Mamie K., Monessen, Pennsylvania USA
From Lifeline Magazine, July 2014