~ FROM OUR ODAT ADMINISTRATION
I was asked to take on the role of the new Chairperson for
ODAT earlier this month, and am being gradually indoctrinated
into the job by Mari and Sande. Somehow, I think I am
probably only touching the tip of the iceberg, but it is an
honour to serve you, and in doing so help my own recovery.
I first found the Recovery loops three Christmases ago when
I had been very ill and couldn't get to a f2f meeting.
Going to the OA website, I was led to a Recovery meeting
room which is still there to this day. There I met the young
lady who was then the Coordinator for "Teens and Recovery"
(now TeensODAT). We got to talking, and I said I would
help her, as there was little activity. From there I found
the "Big Book and Recovery" loop, and with my deep love of
the Big Book, soon found myself loving every minute of the
sharing and study there. I became Coordinator of both loops.
Then, one other time, when Mari was suggesting people visit
"Pain and Recovery" (now PainODAT), I did, and again began
to give service that loop, where I am still the coordinator.
Last year, when my dad was dying, and I found it difficult
to cope, I asked if "Grief and Recovery" could be formed to
help people like me, who are coping with a loss, or an
impending loss. When Dad died, without that loop and its
strong support, loving understanding and care, I would have
found it much harder to cope. As it was, I had a firm
foundation, and after the initial bereavement continued to
So here I am, still Co-coordinator of these loops, and now
taking on the new role of Chairperson. I hope you will
find me approachable. If you see anything you don't like or
that needs doing, please do write and I'll be happy to help
or find someone who can.
One of the first jobs I took on was to visit all the loops
and moderate spammers and offensive mailers especially in
loops without a coordinator. This is something I hope
everyone is on the lookout for as we need to keep our loops
safe and comfortable.
Thanks for having me on board. Thanks for the
opportunity. Thanks for your loving support.
ODAT Committee Chairperson
~ FROM OUR TRG MEMBERS
Hi, I'm Helen, a recovering Compulsive Overeater, recovering
one day at a time for the past 23 years, 4 and a half months.
Although my mother gave birth to me in 1932, my life began
when I entered my first meeting. I recall seeing those who
weighed about 400 pounds, and I decided that perhaps I can
give them hope by sharing my experience.
I grew up in a very warm, loving home with parents who went
out of their way to see that both my brother and I had what
was needed. My brother was born in 1929, so it was hard
times for all. However, I do not remember there ever being
no food on our table or that we lacked clothing or shelter.
Both my brother and I are compulsive overeaters.
Unfortunately, he does not recognize it. As it is painful
to me, I need to let go of it and I have to the best of my
I was born and brought up in Toronto Canada, and moved to
Israel as a young adult; maybe I thought the change would
help!!!!!. As a child, I was what they called "pleasingly
plump." However, in those days a thin child was considered
a sick one. At about five years old I had my thyroid
tested and was given tablets, but later it was found out to
be an error and I should not have been given them. However,
for years I continued to blame my perfectly healthy thyroid.
When I was 11, my mother passed away from LUPUS. In those
days it was really difficult to recognize it; no cure or
way of controlling it. Today there is still no cure, but
it can be controlled with medication. I need to always
remember that I, too, have a disease with no cure, but
which is controllable as long as I take my medication
daily: do the Steps, pray, medidate, and last (but not least)
After my mother's death, I decided I could not rely on
anyone to stay around, and, therefore, I would not allow myself
to get close to anyone, At the time, I had a good father, a
very quiet man who could not express his feelings. When he
passed away at the age of 84, after losing two spouses, he
still could not express himself. I had loving grandparents,
but they had just lost their only daughter, though they did
have sons. I also learned very quickly that I do not
express my feelings. Also, my brother left home very young;
he also could not cope. Food was what I turned to, and I
kept gaining and gaining. I reached about 350 pounds and
uttered the famous last words, "I'll lose the weight as soon
as I decide I want to." The truth is I always managed to
lose if I made the effort; it always lasted long enough for
me to be photographed thin, and then I would start going up
again. Today I know I needed the fat for protection and for
the ability to cope. My family did everything they could to
help, but I was not ready.
My school work suffered because I was too stuffed up to
learn. I was always a very good girl and did as was
expected, but I was shy and withdrawn. There is no way I
would have shared with anyone what I am now sharing. But I
now know that if I want to keep what I have so generously
received, I need to pass it on.
Late in 1979, an alcoholic friend (sober about two years)
told me about O.A. which was quite new to her in Israel.
There was only one meeting a week, a three-hour trip from
where I live. Although it took me a few months to get to
the first meeting, I felt at home immediately. Also at the
time, we had no phones where I live, so together with this
same friend, I needed to get into the literature. Back then
there was only the Big Book and A.A s 12&12, so I needed to
do a lot of footwork. I took a food plan at that very first
meeting. At that time they were given out at meetings. Being
compulsive, I followed it so exactly that it turned out it was
a very bad one for me. True, I lost about 160 pounds in the
first four months, but that shows how bad it was for me.
I knew I needed to make changes and I feared gaining
weight, but I really had no choice. I did gain back
about 20 pounds, and since then I have held the weight lost,
and in the past year I have lost another 8-10 pounds. I AM
healthy; I do more now at my age then I did in my twenties
To those who are new or those who are still looking for
recovery, I can only say that, if it happened to me, it can
to you. Find what works for you and stick to it. If it
does not work, look for something else. There is a SOLUTION
and there is HOPE. If I managed to help one person, I feel
my effort was worthwhile.
I have already helped myself, just by writing this.
I pampered myself yesterday... I bought a Dirt Devil vacuum
sweeper...light weight; has a hose and other attachments...
'on sale'. Now to put this Devil together.
Also bought a PUR water filtration system, the small one.
Since my well-pump was replaced, my water has not been the
same so I've been buying cooking and drinking water. Now to
hook up the PUR filter.
Bought an upright Eureka Enviro Steamer Floor cleaner...also
'on sale'. While I was gone, a mouse problem developed in
my house. When I left for my 'daytrips' what I thought was
a problem taken care of and solved, developed again... So
I must have had a momma mousey left over. The house smells
terribly 'mousey'... and I trapped 13 mice the first night
home. Cocoa caught three the next two days, and I've now
caught four more... There must be a mouse hole someplace.
Those sticky-board-traps are well worth the money!!! Now to
use all my 'new tools' to clean up and try to get rid of the
Oh, yes, and my best 'Pampering Purchase' of all... :))))))
XCingular Wireless had a promotion going on in our New
SuperWalmart... Granny now has a 'new toy' to take on her
DayTrips. I bought the lowest 'Nation-wide'plan until I see
what I really need. Now those who are upset with me because
they can't chart my whereabouts should be happy... :)) My
sis will be the first I call... :)) When I learn how to use
it. :)) Spent four hours reading directions last night...
It's still in the box this morning.
Thank You God of mine... All of this brings me to the
'real' problems of my life... My 'old' work tools were worn
out, not doing the job... Soooo, it was time to replace
I found OA, these rooms of RECOVERY, these friends to lead,
hold, and share on this journey and some 'new tools' that
work... IF I use them!!! The Stink of my Stinking Thinking
keeps me in line when there are 'rats in my Belfry'...and
lets me know that whatever is there WILL multiply to
situations out of control... "Houston we have a Problem"...
So God, I leave the clean-up to You; to use Your 'PUR'
wisdom. Help me to "Stop, Watch, Listen" as You Control,
Help me to Stay Connected, to dial You at the moment of a
problem, to reach out to You first, then my sponsor, and finally,
these friends who know how it is, who share ESH to help one
another. Now be with us all; give the gifts of recovery
and Life... Thank You for Your Power, Stength, and Wisdom.
Thank You for Your Love.
...gathering all 'workable' tools. :)
~ LIFELINE SELECTION
~ I Didn?t Get It ~
When I walked through the doors of my first meeting, I knew
I was home. I had found unconditional acceptance and love.
After a few weeks, the warm, fuzzy feeling left, and reality
hit me. I did not get this program. What were those Twelve
Steps? They seemed like 100 Steps, so many to do. What was
abstinence? What do you mean give up the stuff I like?
Then there?s God! He doesn?t have time to spend on me. He
has more important things to worry about than my lack of
self-esteem and willpower.
Then I find out I?m supposed to get a sponsor, someone who
has what I want. Well, I didn?t see any point in that,
because I could do just fine by myself. (I had run things
so well up to this point.) Journaling was out, too. I?m
the world?s worst speller. How do you find time to do all
this stuff: call and correspond with people, write in a
journal, read and pray? I decided I didn?t have time to do
this, and off to the fridge I went.
Despite my strong willpower to resist the OA program, I
continued going to meetings. Maybe I didn?t get it, but
OAers were a fun group of people. I could identify and
share feelings with them. I enjoyed being part of something
wonderful, and they seemed to like me - warts and all. WOW!
I had friends for the first time in my life. I thought that
was all I needed. I didn?t need the rest.
Guess what? The program got me! It crept in through the
cracks of my well-built wall. Before I knew it, I wanted
God, abstinence and a sponsor in my life. As it turns out,
God has time for me - when I ask. There are only Twelve
Steps. And I discover that no one cares if I can?t spell
or write well. Journaling helps, too.
I have learned much from this program and from my friends.
Without the patient help of God and my fellow OAers, I would
not be headed in the right direction - toward a sane life. I
would still be spinning my wheels and mistreating the people
I say I love.
Thank you, God and everyone in OA. Without you, I wouldn?t
be where I am today.
? C.W., Bloomfield, Iowa USA
Overeaters Anonymous' Lifeline, August 2002