Holiday Tools

I am a grateful compulsive overeater, abstinent since I walked through the doors of OA fourteen years ago. Thank you, God!

I am maintaining a 33–35 pound (15–16 kg) weight loss, one day at a time. I have greater emotional and spiritual fitness than when I came. I live a life that is happy, joyous, and free; it’s a miracle I’m not obsessing about what to eat or about my sleeves being too tight around my upper arms (although they aren’t anymore). It’s a miracle I have conscious contact with a Power greater than myself, and I pray every day in thanksgiving.

OA literature reminds me that as the holidays approach, I need to return to basics and do what I did to stay abstinent during my rst holiday season. What worked for me then will work for me now: using the Tools. My food plan has changed throughout the years, and will continue to change as I age and my nutritional needs change, but I’ve always had a food plan.

I must always go to meetings and read literature, just as I did when I first started. As my emotional and spiritual needs change, I choose Step or Big Book meetings. As my responsibility to carry the message of OA becomes evident, I choose to attend Traditions meetings. Sometimes I need to hear the experience, strength, and hope shared in speaker/qualifying meetings too.

Members at meetings said that during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, they made more phone calls; some even called people on the day itself, and those people were glad to hear from them. I’ve tried it, and it’s true. People are glad to be remembered and glad to be reminded we’re in a Fellowship that helps us get through everything abstinently. I’m going to do it again this year. It will be the message I carry when I call a newcomer, my sponsees and sponsor, and at least one person I haven’t seen in a while.

At my first meetings, members told me that because holidays are few, we don’t get as much practice at being abstinent on them as we do every other day. People shared their imperfections and how, through their Higher Power, they found the willingness to continue their recoveries instead of going back out there
to eat. They told me that OA is the only place they continue to recover from their mental obsession. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous says, “Another power, stronger than ourselves, had to be found to relieve us of it, if we were to stop eating compulsively and stay stopped” (p. 3). I learn best when I see something demonstrated. The people at my first meetings showed me the only way to continue to recover was by “passing it along,” and they did, one day at a time.

“As the holidays approach, I need to return to basics and do what I did to stay abstinent during my first holiday season.”

Is this not an awesome program? To think that I can continue to learn, grow, and recover by just showing up. I wish you all the willingness to show up this holiday season.

— Lisa D., Salem, New Hampshire USA