~ FROM OUR ODAT COMMITTEE ~
Dear ODAT/TRG Members,
We have had a very busy few weeks getting our new slate of Trusted Servants
ready for 2003. We are well on the way to having that completed, although
new volunteers are always welcome.
Below is a list of loops needing coordinators:
If you are interested in these jobs, or any other Trusted Servant position,
please write to me, Sande, at
and I will get right back to you.
- Discovery Kitchen
- OA Anon
In addition to the usual loop activity, we have recently begun two new
loops. The first is called Strong Recovery. It is for those who have
reached their goal weight and want support for maintenance. If you're
interested in joining this loop, send an email to
The other new loop, only a week old, is called Abstinence2003. It is for
making a daily commitment to physical abstinence on your chosen food
plan. Lots of support here .. and sometimes it's just the added extra we
need ... having somebody else to be accountable to. I know that helps me
along the way. If this loop interests you, please send an email to
Have an abstinent 2003!!
Join a new loop.
Remember how important daily gratitude is in your recovery.
Love to all,
ODAT Adm Chair
~ STORIES FROM OA'S LIFELINE ~
HOW IT WAS ~ WHAT HAPPENED ~ HOW IT CAN BE
The "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous says, "More will be revealed." I
denied my food problem so strongly that I rarely even noticed it. My life
was a tumult of drama and excitement from alcohol, drugs, sex, love, exercise
and sloth. My family excused my overeating by saying
I was just a growing boy as I filled out a large-boned, 6-foot-4-inch frame.
I was 15 when my parents divorced. After that, an insatiable appetite drove
me. In three months over summer recess, I gained 50 pounds. My friends and
teachers were shocked. I hated all the negative attention I received as a fat
high-school freshman. I soon discovered parties, girls, drugs, smoking, stealing,
rock concerts and work. The fat faded away, but my eating compulsion remained.
My anorexic years lay ahead. I kept busy and ate only once a day - sometimes
only once every three days. I exhausted myself with other compulsions.
The memory of being called a "fat fatty" shamed me.
In 1976, I joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Later, I wrote a Fourth-Step inventory
with my sponsor. I stared at the word "gluttony" and casually brushed over
writing anything. "No problem," I said. "I don't relate."
After an AA meeting, a group would go out for coffee and fellowship. I didn't
like drinking coffee, so I drank soda instead. For the next decade, I didn't
realize that soda, whether regular or diet, was nothing but liquid candy for me.
I soon was drinking two six-packs a day.
Overeating is patient and devious. One day a friend said he hadn't had
dinner. He ordered his and offered to pay for mine. Just like that, I began
eating my fourth or fifth meal of the day about 10 p.m. That went on for years.
At four years sober, I quit smoking and gained 50 pounds in three months.
Memories of school agony flooded in. A friend told me she had lost weight and
kept it off by jogging.
My friends advice was good, but more was better to me. Overexercising and
overeating as a reward became my daily routine. I would stretch, swim, bike and gorge. This vicious
cycle ended with my running the 1986 New York City Marathon. My overexercising
ended, but my overeating didn"t. I went from 184 pounds to 234 pounds in one year.
On January 7, 1987, I walked into my first OA meeting. The group name is Going Sane.
I just celebrated 14 years in OA and feel so grateful.
- S.B., Tucson, Arizona USA
Lifeline ~ Overeaters Anonymous
GOODBYE, "LARGER WOMAN"
Today I gratefully celebrate my 21st month in OA. Each month's anniversary is
still an event.
A clothing catalog dedicated to the "larger" woman just came in the mail
for me. I'm delighted and amused at this gentle reminder that I was a
larger woman before OA. Instead of a size 22, I now wear a size 10.
Today I am free from the burden of carrying an extra 65 pounds - free from the
burden of isolation, shame, insanity over food and the certainty that I am
the center of the universe.
Receiving this catalog reminds me to pause and express my thanks to my Higher
Power, the OA program and my fellow OAers. I have taken each of the Twelve
Steps with the help of my fellows. God has done for me what I could not do
for myself. It's true what we say: it works if you work it. I look forward to
continuing this lifelong process and sharing the joy of program miracles.
I'll gratefully toss this catalog into the recycle bin. Today I have
something better - 21 months of OA recovery and the Steps to hold onto it.
~ K.K., Ontario, California USA
Lifeline ~ Overeaters Anonymous
SURVIVING AND THRIVING
It took me a long time to admit that I am a compulsive overeater. I was angry
with people who said my eating was out of control. I realized that I was a
compulsive overeater when I found myself hiding food, eating in secret
and hoping no one would catch me. I was desperate; then someone told me about
a Twelve-Step program. I am thankful for that person. If she had not told
me about OA, I would not be the person I am today.
Fifteen months have passed since I first walked into the rooms of OA. As the
weeks and months went by, I began to see how this program works and how
it helps me survive. It gave me the willingness to take one day at a time.
I lost 43 pounds in eight months and have kept it off. I learned that I am
not alone and that I will survive as long as I remember to take one day,
one hour at a time. Thanks to all my OA friends, life is worth living once again.
~ T.L., Wagram, North Carolina USA
Lifeline ~ Overeaters Anonymous
~ DANNY'S CORNER ~
~ HAPPINESS ~
Oh my how my heart sings this morning as I sit here realizing You have granted me
another of Your marvelous days in which to enjoy my life. The newly risen sun
is so bright with clean, fresh, cool air to breathe, thanks. This man has
absolutely no idea as to why he has this current feeling of joy, however it
is readily accepted as another gift. There have been so many mornings in my
life filled with dread and fear of some unknown thing that never happened.
Just an empty void, filled with some unseen terror. Then, somehow the courage
to call an unseen God to dispel the unknown terror; thanks.
As I sit here with my java close by and the woman You sent to run my life
safely snuggled in her bed, I am complete and I am happy. Her ability to wake up
with that little girl smile and gentleness is something I am so grateful for, thanks.
There is a certain amount of wisdom forced upon me by the years I have lived.
I should say survived, because until I gave up being God I merely survived, and
now I may live, thanks. Yesterday I told You I considered myself the luckiest man
alive and this morning I know why and where I heard the phrase. It was spoken by
Lou Gerhig during his farewell to 60,000+ people at Yankee Stadium in the 1940's.
He knew he would die a slow, painful death, but was full of
gratitude for the short life he would have. Thanks for the memory.
My life has been blessed with role models, some good some not, but all are a
part of me. They have shaped and molded me as surely as You have directed,
and this bit of information is what gives me the feeling of happiness and joy
this morning brings. It is in fact those dark valleys that allow me to
appreciate the pure freshness at the top of the mountain, thanks.
Because I'm so full of life today and there are no contractors to deal with,
my thoughts turn to replacing the shower head which has seen better days and
in fact does not operate as it should. You know how poorly I do at fix-it stuff,
so stay with me on this.
Meanwhile, I'm ready for this day to unfold as You wish, and am prepared to
do my best with all You send my way. I will of course need the wisdom to know
and power to do same. Please watch over the family, friends, fellow loopies,
those who still linger at step three and the folks I just don't like.
And Why Not?
~ FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
~ THE SOLUTION ~
The solution to this disease is not simple. One has to remember: it's taken
a number of years to get where we are, and it's going to take as many years
to recover. Part of the recovery process is when we can see and acknowledge
our behavior. That is the start of the recovery road.
>From this day forward, we must be aware of OUR needs and ensure that all our
actions point to that end. We must have, and practice, rigorous honesty if we
hope to recover. Be patient, live and let God, and above all, let's be good
to ourselves. Here are some daily affirmations that will assist us towards
getting in touch with ourselves:
~ Ed & Marielle
- Just for today I will respect my own and other's boundaries.
- Just for today I will vulnerable with someone I trust.
- Just for today I will take one compliment and hold it in my heart for
more than just a fleeting moment. I will let it nurture me.
- Just for today I will act in a way that I would admire in someone else.
- I am a child of God.
- I am a precious person.
- I am a worthwhile person.
- I am beautiful inside and outside.
- I love myself unconditionally.
- I have ample leisure time without feeling guilty.
- I deserve to be loved by myself and by others.
- I am loved because I deserve love.
- I am a child of God and I deserve love, peace, prosperity and serenity.
- I forgive myself for hurting myself and others.
- I forgive myself for letting others hurt me.
- I am willing to accept love.
- I am not alone. I am with God and the universe.
- I am whole and good.
- I am capable of changing.
- The pain that I might feel by remembering can't be any worse than the
pain I feel by knowing and not remembering.
~ 90 TOOLS FOR ABSTINENCE ~
1. Stay away from that first compulsive bite, taking the 1st step daily.
2. Attend OA regularly and get involved.
3. Progress is made ONE DAY AT A TIME.
4. Use the 24 Hour plan.
5. Remember, your disease is incurable, progressive and fatal.
6. Do first things first.
7. Don't become too tired.
8. Eat at regular hours.
9. Use the telephone ~ not just after the fact but during too.
10. Be active - don't just sit around. Idle time will kill you.
11. Use the Serenity Prayer.
12. Change old routines and patterns.
13. Don't become too hungry.
14. Avoid loneliness.
15. Practice control of your anger.
16. Air your resentments.
17. Be willing to help whenever needed.
18. Be good to yourself, you deserve it.
19. Easy does it.
20. Get out of the "IF ONLY" trap.
21. Remember HOW IT WAS. Your last binge, the feelings etc.
22. Be aware of your emotions.
23. Help another in his/her recovery, extend your hand, listen.
24. Try to turn your life and your will over to your Higher Power.
25. Avoid all mood-altering drugs, read labels on all medicines.
26. Turn loose of old ideas.
27. If necessary, avoid situations/occasions centered around food.
28. Replace old binge buddies with new OA buddies.
29. Read the Big Book.
30. Try not to be dependent on another (sick relationships).
31. Be grateful, and when not make a GRATITUDE list.
32. Get off the "Pity Pot"...the only thing you'll get is a ring around your
bottom if you don't.
33. See knowledgeable help when troubled and or otherwise.
34. Face it! You are powerless over food, people, places and things.
35. Try the 12 and 12, not just 1 and 12 or 1, 12 and 13!
36. Let go and Let God.
37. Use the God bag and the answers: yes, no, or wait, I have something
in store for you. Don't forget to say thanks.
38. Find courage to change through the example of others who have.
39. Don't try to test your will power - give a compulsive overeater one
shovel and one pail
and in one hour he/she will need 100 wheel barrels.
40. Live TODAY, not YESTERDAY, not TOMORROW - projection is planning the
results before anything even happens.
41. Avoid emotional involvements the first year - you end up putting the
other person first and
lose sight of "your" program.
42. Remember food is - cunning, baffling and powerful.
43. Rejoice in the manageability of your new life.
44. Be humble--Humility is not in thinking of yourself more, but in thinking
more of yourself
less often. Watch your ego.
45. Share your experience, strength and hope.
46. Cherish your recovery.
47. Dump your garbage regularly - GIGO = Garbage In Garbage Out.
48. Get plenty of "restful" sleep.
49. Stay abstinent for you - not someone else - otherwise it won't work.
50. Practice rigorous honesty with yourself and others.
51. Progress is made ONE DAY AT A TIME, not 10 years in one day!
52. Think of trigger food as "someone else's food".
Say this aloud when you see the trigger food.
53. If you've had a binge, write down all your feelings the very minute you finish it.
Stick the list somewhere to read when you think you might binge again.
54. Never shop hungry.
55. Make no major decisions the first year.
56. Get a sponsor and use him/her -- don't just selectively share.
57. Know that no matter what your problems, someone's had them before. Don't
be afraid to
share, as a problem shared is one half-solved.
58. Strive for progress not perfection.
59. When in doubt ask questions. The only stupid question is the one not
asked. You weren't afraid to speak before, so why start now?
60. Use prayer and meditation...not just pillow talk; get on those knees.
61. Maintain a balance: spiritual, physical, emotional and mental.
62. Don't use other substances as a maintenance program.
63. Learn to take spot check inventories.
64. Watch out for the RED FLAGS ... things that give excuses for poor
behavior and inevitable relapse.
65. Know that it's okay to be human ... just don't eat over it.
66. Be kind to yourself; it's about time, don't you think.
67. Don't take yourself so seriously; take the disease seriously!
68. Know that whatever it is that's causing pain - it shall pass.
69. Stay as far away from the COMPLACENCY SYNDROME as is humanly possible.
70. Don't give away more than you can afford too, your abstinence comes first
and must be the
Number One priority. Protect it at all costs.
71. Take down those bricks from the wall around you; you'll be able to see
the daylight better.
Let people know who you are.
72. Get a home group and attend it regularly.
73. Know that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train,
but actually a ray of hope.
Drop the negativity.
74. Know that you are not alone, that's why the "We" is in the steps.
75. Be willing to go to any lengths to stay and be abstinent.
76. Know that no matter how bleak and dark your past may be, your future is
clean, bright and clear if you don't eat compulsively today.
77. Stay out of your own way.
78. Don't be in a hurry--remember "TIME = Things I Must Earn".
79. Watch the EGO. "EGO = Ease God Out".
80. Protect your abstinence at all costs. Keep the light on you.
81. Learn to listen, not just hear. Be open-minded and nonjudgmental.
82. Know that if your insides match your outsides, everyone looks good.
83. If the rest of the world looks bad, check yourself out first.
84. Gratitude is in the attitude.
85. When all else fails ... punt! Up the number of meetings!!!
86. Remember FEAR = FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL!
87. Remember FINE = Fouled up, Insecure/insane, Neurotic and Emotionally
imbalanced...watch the FINE.
88. Handle what you can and leave the rest, don't overtax yourself. You can
only accomplish so much in a given 24 hours.
89. Honesty and consistency are key factors in recovery.
90. Let the little kid in you out - learn how to laugh from the gut.