I came to my first OA meeting in January 2008. I was obese, angry, unhappy, and scared. My father was abusive, my mother was morbidly obese, and our family dynamics were based more on criticism than acceptance. I learned to stuff my feelings with a critical nature, compulsive eating, and other addictive behaviors.
During the meeting I wasn’t sure how the program could work, but at the end of the meeting the leader said, “To the newcomer, we suggest you attend at least six different meetings to learn the many ways OA can help you.” So I decided to come back for five more meetings. I have attended this same weekly meeting at least forty-five weeks per year since then.
The physical change came after I studied the pamphlets A Plan of Eating and Dignity of Choice. I decided on the 3-0-1 plan of eating. By eating three meals per day on schedule and nothing in between, I averaged a weight loss of about one pound (.45 kg) a week for the first twenty-five weeks. At this stage, I reached a plateau and had to adjust the quantity types of food I was eating. I continued on and lost a total of 65 pounds (29 kg). I am maintaining this loss and am no longer obese. Now I can run and play and keep up with my grandchildren!
Because of my family dynamics, I grew up fearing a judgmental God. Working through the Twelve Steps has helped me develop a healthy image of a loving Higher Power. One day my God impressed on my mind that “I am a favorite child of his.” This psychic change, or spiritual awakening, has allowed me to have a peaceful life of happy and useful service to others.
The tremendous emotional healing I have received through the OA program is powerful. I no longer need to be critical of others, trying to build myself up by putting them down. I have learned to accept people as they are and to respect their wide variety of skills and abilities. The serenity I find in not trying to run the world or getting everyone to do things my way is a gift without measure.
I am forever grateful to the OA program and to all fellow OA members for transforming my life!
~ Anonymous, Minnesota USA