The Recovery Group's

12 Step Community Newsletter

January 2009 ~ Volume 10, Issue 1

 

CONTENTS

From the Editor
Founder's Corner
From the Administration
From the Executive Committee
From the Loops
From the Meetings
TRG Sponsor Program
Trusted Servants ~ Service
Newcomer Orientation
Big Book Study
Working The Steps in 2009
Spotlight Loops of the Month
Recovery ~ OA Recovery
ODAT ~ Isolation
Discovery ~ Kids and CoKids
Recipe of the Month
Recovery Stories
OA's Lifeline
TRG'S Recovery Writings
Qualifications
TRG's Trusted Servants
Serenity Prayer

FROM THE EDITOR:

Dear Serendipity Readers,

It wasn't all that long ago that I was 230 plus pounds and extremely unhappy with myself. It wasn't all that long ago that I was buying a size 42 x 34 pants, in desperate need of a 44 x 34 pant size, but unwilling to make the purchase because I knew if I did the weight gain wouldn't stop there. I tried everything looking for that quick fix. Hoping against hope that something out there would make me "thin" without the hassle of giving up what I wanted to eat, when I wanted to eat it. Nothing ever worked like I thought it would simply because I wanted the results yesterday, I was too impatient for tomorrow and today couldn't end fast enough.

Compulsive Overeating was destroying my life and my health. At 230 pounds, I couldn't climb stairs without shortness of breath. My job paid the price because I couldn't move fast enough. I wouldn't play with my children for fear I would look funny to those who might be watching. I had horses but I was unable to enjoy them because pulling myself up into a saddle was next to impossible. Above all, compulsive overeating was seriously affecting my own self worth, which in turn, kept me bingeing on food.

I know what it is like to eat past the point of feeling full. I've felt those feelings of guilt and remorse that always come after a binge. I know what it is like to swear off food forever. To say that this time it will be different. This time I will control my eating. Only to find myself eating the minute that feeling of being stuffed was relieved by just the tiniest fraction. I know what it is like to feel the despair and hopelessness that this disease brought into my life as a result of my inability to stop compulsively overeating.

I also know what a miracle recovery can be physically, emotionally and spiritually. Granted recovery is a journey but it is a journey like no other. Recovery has taught me a lot about myself. Who I am today is not who I was back then. I am learning to love myself as I am, and by doing that, I am able to love others for who they are, one day at a time.

This month's Lifeline summed up my life and my hope for the year 2009, in a few short paragraphs;

"Living one day at a time has always been difficult for me. I spent most of my time reflecting on the past or projecting into the future. Meanwhile, the present slipped away. I became aware of this character defect at a recent meeting.

"I told the group I was making a New Year's resolution. I said, 'This year I'm going to focus on living one day at a time.1 I burst into laughter as I finished the sentence and quickly changed my New Year's resolution to my 'new day's resolution.'"
~ M.A.C., Antigua, West Indies

May I always remember that today is all I really ever have.

Happy New Year To All,
Heidi L ~ Editor

FOUNDER'S CORNER:

Happy New Year, Dear Serendipity Readers, Have you ever ached for food but weren't hungry? I'm not talking about craving or overeating or bingeing on food. I'm wondering if you have had a need so deep for your drug of choice but the mere act of using it was impossible because you were already full. And so you lived with the ache of needing it until the time would come when you would be hungry enough to eat it. Or binge on it. Insanity.

There have been times in my life that whatever it is that food did for me was less strong than the compulsion ... Or the addiction. The desire for food I was unable to eat would give way to an uneasiness and I would find myself longing to be hungry so I could once indulge my overwhelming compulsion for food. This always led to overeating or, if the circumstances were right, a full blown binge. And because binges seem to beget subsequent binges, it would be just a matter of time before relapse reared its ugly head.

The above would make no sense at all to a civilian but I imagine there are many of you reading this who will understand exactly what I'm saying. I can see why the Big Book says the disease is baffling. All of the above and so much more can be summed up by these words:

To say that obesity is caused by merely consuming too many calories is like Saying that the only cause of the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party.
Adelle Davis (1904-1974)

This issue of Serendipity is devoted to a subject that most people think ... "if you have this, you have everything." Health! Compulsive eating doesn't just make one fat .. Or, in the case of anorexia, skinny. It affects our health. I don't know of a single illness or ailment that COE doesn't exacerbate in one way or another. I think we in the Recovery Group need to talk more about the health issues we confront as a result of compulsive eating. I live in a country where obesity is an epidemic, even among children. I hear stories from people who tell about going to their meeting and leaving it disheartened because they see men and women well over a healthy weight. I've been among them but felt at least I was recovering on a spiritual and emotional level ... And somehow, I justified the physical plateaus by saying "two out of three aren't bad." I don't do that anymore. I have found that when one leg of my three pronged stool is wobbly, it doesn't take very long for the other two legs to become wobbly too.

I hope that everyone who reads this will dedicate the year of 2009 as the year that they take better care of their health. Notice I didn't say go on a diet. I didn't even say lose weight. One thing leads to another and if we start really paying attention to our health issues, I believe abstinence and spiritual and emotional wellness won't be too far behind. The Recovery Group is going to do its part. If we learn more about addiction, the nutritional value of food, how to pace ourselves in today's fast world and how to "go within" and nourish that part of us that no one sees ... We'll be okay.

Here's to making this the healthiest year of our lives.

@-}-}-}--------
Love in recovery,
Mari

 

MONTHLY HAPPENINGS AROUND TRG

FROM THE ADMINISTRATION:

TRG Administration is especially busy at the beginning of a new year. Each trusted servant has been asked to either continue in their job or switch to a new job for the next year. As always, there are openings for those who know how service will help their programs.

A new step study is starting -- Shlomo led the last one and Dawn will be leading the 1st quarter study. Studies from 1996 through 2008 are on the web site -- www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/.

Newcomer's orientation has been changed from three month to two month sessions. A new one will start January 1st. If you are new to OA or to TRG, we recommend you complete the orientation. You will learn the answers to the most frequently asked questions -- how to get an online sponsor, how to attend an online meeting, how to share appropriately, etc.

TRG Administration would like to wish all members a recovery-filled year. The program does work if you work it.

Yours in Recovery,
Dodee & Nancy Lee
TRG Administration

FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:

The Recovery Group Executive Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being a part of our recovery home this past year. We are looking forward to this coming New Year and have been discussing even more ways in which TRG might support our 12 Step Journey of Recovery.

It has been another busy month in the Executive Committee. A total of 442 posts have been generated while discussing TRG business.

A few of the business matters acted upon were the appointment of a new Meeting Administration Coordinator and five new loop Coordinators, a two month format for the Newcomers Orientation Program was approved and the Trusted Servants list for 2009 was generated.

We wish you the very best in the New Year ahead as we all travel the road to recovery together.

TRG Executive Committee

From The Loops:

Many times we are asked by newcomers to The Recovery Group ... "what is a loop?" Loops are support groups and those who join them are called "loopies." We have many loops of just about every kind imaginable. If one can only join one loop, it should be a 12 Step General Sharing loop. Many prefer to be active in two loops, a general sharing one and another with a special focus in addition to their eating disorder. A third loop isn't really a "loop loop" because it's not specifically for sharing ... it's a study, a workshop, an orientation. You can find all our loops and their missions here. By clicking RECOVERY and ODAT, you can find our general sharing loops and our special focus ones.

The Recovery Loops are world wide and serve compulsive eaters who speak many languages. A special thanks to translators who make it possible for many resources of TRG to be available to all. After all, recovery is a special language ... A language of the heart.

From The Meetings:

Recovery Meetings are held every three hours around the clock beginning at midnight Eastern time. Dedicated meeting leaders volunteer to lead the meetings and many special focus and foreign language meetings are held. All regularly scheduled meetings are registered by Overeaters Anonymous and reflected on the OA website at www.oa.org. If you would like more information about meetings or to volunteer to lead a one hour meeting each week, please contact Terri and/or Tracy, the Recovery Meeting Coordinators at MtgAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org. If you would like to attend a meeting, here's the doorway.

 

TRG MEETINGS ~ CLICK DOORWAY

Midnight, 3, 6, 9 AM Eastern Time
Noon, 3, 6, 9 PM Eastern Time
Please arrive and leave on time.
OA Protocol observed during the meetings.
Type * to share
Type "done" when finished

TRG'S SPONSOR PROGRAM

Sending a big "thank you" to all of the TRG Sponsors who were so willing to share their recovery with others during the year 2008. We realize that many of our sponsors have reached their capacity so we are sending out a call to the larger TRG Community to please consider becoming an online sponsor in the New Year.

We will have many newcomers who will be in need of a sponsor. As they begin their journey in working the steps in January when the first quarter of "Working the Steps" begins online. If you are ready to give back to others what you have so generously received please let us know at:
Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.Org.

Remember you can sponsor up to the level of your own recovery. If you have worked the first three steps you have that to share with a newcomer.

To become a TRG online sponsor, here are the requirements:

1. We will need a short bio for our Sponsor Biography Directory. In a short paragraph or two simply tell a little about your recovery and how you sponsor. Please send it to us at:
Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.Org.

We have included a few sample bios at the end of this post to assist you in your writing if desired.

2. Once we receive your bio we will be adding it to the TRG Sponsor Bio list that is provided to TRG members who are seeking a sponsor. Your name and email address will also be added to the Sponsor Directory.

3. In addition, we will be adding you to our Recovery Sponsors loop. This is a loop where prospective sponsees can write looking for a sponsor. They can write to Recovery Sponsors in place of or along with requesting the Sponsor Bio's. When a sponsee writes to Recovery Sponsors, we encourage you to contact them if you feel it could be a match. To respond to an individual simply choose "reply"And your response will go directly to their address.

Here are a few sample bios you may find helpful in writing yours:

NAME ~ Email address
I am female, 39, and have been in OA several times. The most recently since June 2006. I have worked steps 1-3 and am currently on step 4. I can sponsor up to the level of my recovery. I am available as a Food sponsor, step sponsor, or both. I prefer e-mail contact only. I am single, have no kids, and live in the Midwest. If you feel we could be a match, feel free to write! Phone, snail mail, and e-mail.

NAME ~ Email address
I am a compulsive overeater. I have over 4 years in recovery and in ODAT I now have 9 months of b2b abstinence. I am also a diabetic, and the miracle of this latest abstinence is that the recovery is physical as well as spiritual and emotional. I am available through e-mail and will try to respond daily to messages. I have several versions of the 30 questions, and like that as a basis for working the first three steps. I am also willing for you to commit your foods to me for the day IF YOU DESIRE that, but it is not something I demand. If you are ready to be honest and are willing to begin the journey to the miracle of recovery, I am willing to walk that journey with those I sponsor.

NAME ~ Email address
Hello, my name is xxxxxx. I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater. I have been in OA since January 2005. I received my gift of abstinence in April 2005 while working the steps using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book. I will also use it to guide you through the steps. I am a married stay-at-home mother of 4. I am 25 years old. I started to compulsively eat in my late teens and my highest weight was 270. My main focus is on my Spiritual Recovery. Without it I don’t believe you can ever achieve physical or emotional recovery. I sponsor using the computer. Phone calls are difficult for me. Since I have 2 toddlers at home with me all day. I am available to chat on Yahoo, MSN, or AOL. I check my email several times per day. I do not have a strict food plan. For me abstinence is simply not eating compulsively. I know that a food plan is an important tool, and we will have to discuss food and eating, however, I would prefer not to have you report your food for each day to me. If you would like to chat further to see if I am the sponsor for you, feel free to send me an email. It works if you work it! May God Bless You In Your Journey.

We also have a website that has all of our past "WorkingTheSteps" on it. You may what to check it out for additional help.

WTS ~ Working the Steps:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/

Please check out this website to find out about our Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk Loop:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/sponsorsponseetalk.html
.

"...sponsors can talk with one another about various issues concerning their sponsoring. A sponsee with an issue can also learn various ways of dealing with problems that may arise in the sponsor-sponsee relationship by sharing with others."

To become a member just scroll down the website page and click where it says "Join Us."

OA offers a very helpful pamphlet on Sponsoring and also one on being sponsored. You can order them by going to this website:
http://www.oa.org/literature_catalog.htm.

Looking forward to receiving your bio.

With love and JOY in service,
Patt & Cate
TRG Sponsor Coordinators
Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.Org

TRUSTED SERVANTS

(The Satisfaction of Rendering Service)

As the new year begins, you will be receiving mail asking you to consider giving service to others via various trusted servant positions now open in our community. These unique opportunities can take as little as 15 minutes a week to many hours a day. They can require basically no technical skills to many. Requirements will depend on the specific job but the main requirement is to have the desire to quit eating compulsively and to serve others. Please contact TRGODAT@aol.com or
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org for further information.

One of our Trusted Servants sent me a quotation recently that I think is appropriate to use as we begin 2009 intent on filling every slot we have open with the most dedicated, tenacious, loving and hard-working men and women on the planet. You may want to highlight the words below and keep these heartfelt wishes close to you each day of the year.

"We wish you the strength to meet any challenge; the joy of knowing that you are loved; the satisfaction of rendering service; and the peace of a quiet heart." . . . . Author Unknown

Come join TRG's Trusted Servants. It could well be the best job of your life.

In loving service,
Mari

NEWCOMER ORIENTATION BEGINS TODAY

Session One of the OANewcomers Orientation begins today, January 1st, 2009 and it will be 8 weeks in duration. We will cover everything the newcomer needs to know in depth during the upcoming eight weeks:

BASICS

The Basics and the three aspects of Recovery, the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions, Sponsorship, Literature, Meetings, All about TRG: Website and Services, Service, How to Share, and A Plan of Eating. The Newcomer will receive questions on each topic and will respond only with their answers to the Orientation Session.

  • WEEK ONE ~ BASICS
  • WEEK TWO ~ SPONSORSHIP
  • WEEK THREE ~ 12 STEPS & 12 TRADITIONS
  • WEEK FOUR ~ FOOD PLANS AND WEIGHT ISSUES
  • WEEK FIVE ~ LITERATURE
  • WEEK SIX ~ MEETINGS
  • WEEK SEVEN ~ SERVICE
  • WEEK EIGHT ~ TRG, REVIEW AND GRADUATION

The 8 week Newcomer Orientation is held every other month:January 1st , March 1st , May 1st , July 1st, September 1st and November 1st.

We also have a "sister" general sharing loop, NewcomersToRecovery, where the newcomer can "let their hair down", a safe place to find love and support.

Parts 3 and 4 of the Orientation Program are our Newcomer Meetings and a Sponsor Program.

All Newcomers with a desire to stop compulsive eating are more than welcome to join us!!

Love In Recovery and Service,
Linda
Coordinator OANewcomers Program

BIG BOOK STUDY

The Recovery Group is pleased to announce the 2009 registration for those who wish to participate in a daily study of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Beginning on January 1st, members can have their choice of three different formats for discussions about our beloved Big Book.

BIG BOOK STUDY

Each day in our Big Book Study Group a leader will take you through a section of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book. You will find the Big Book itself on our website by chapters as well as a link to the latest edition of AABB.

The Big Book Study Loop is a study group which has as its mission to provide an additional area of recovery and support to COEs who appreciate the AABB, lovingly known as The Big Book. For OA members who want to thoroughly explore the Big Book from beginning to end we would be happy to have you join us.

BIG BOOK FRIENDS

In a warm, friendly environment, join other Big Book friends as Ray, the Big Book facilitator introduces weekly topics, shares his personal experience relating to the AABB and asks questions of the members so that they can share back to the group.

Copies of the Big Book are on our website or you can purchase one at your local meeting or by ordering directly from AA or OA.

BIG BOOK ONLINE MEETINGS

Please contact Linda, the Recovery Online Meetings Coordinator to request a schedule of all our 12 Step Meetings including special Big Book Meetings.
MtgAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

BIG BOOK WEBSITE

This site includes the following:

Mission of the Big Book Study Loop
Mission of Big Book Friends
Information about our BB Meetings
Direct Links for Joining Each
Autobiography of Bill Wilson
Links to 35 Personal Stories in the BB
A Big Book Search Engine
and
The following chapters:

The Doctors Opinion
Bill's Story
There is a Solution
4th Edition Forward
We Agnostics
How It Works
Into Action
Working With Others
To Wives
The Family Afterward
To Employers
A Vision For You

2009 WTS ~ WORKING THE STEPS STUDY

On January 1, we will begin the first quarter of the 14th year of WTS. Each quarter, there is a different Step Leader who guides a large group through a study of the Twelve Steps. As the leader shares his/her experience, strength and hope, the members of the group share back. Day in and day out for 90 days, the steps come alive in WTS.

AN INVITATION:

Dawn B. will be the Step Leader of the next study and she and WTSAdm cordially invite all of you who would like to work or re-work the Steps to come and join us. You will find links at the close of this letter which will give you a link to join as well as a link to our past WTS Step Studies. As you read our past leaders' shares, you will come to know them ... And you will find men and women just like yourself who know the struggles and the joys of 12 Step Recovery.

DAWN'S 12 STEP BIOGRAPHY:

I am honored to have been asked to lead the WTS Step Study this quarter. I came to the Fellowship via the Internet so consider it an important and vital tool to my recovery. I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater and have been in OA for four years as of March 2009. I was 400 pounds at my heaviest and had sleep apnea and constant pain in my hips, knees and ankles. I could not fit into normal clothes nor plane seats nor booths at restaurants. I wore no make-up, didn't do my hair and wore clothes that were either all black and baggy or so outlandish I stood out for a mile.

When I first came to OA, I was about 350 pounds. I was gaining fast as I was bingeing on a diet I had been on for two years. I was a virtual recluse with only one friend whom I had taken hostage and a separated husband who had thrown me out for another addiction. I hated me and everyone else.

I have - through working the steps, surrendering to a Higher Power, being as honest as possible, having a sponsor, a food plan, exercising, using the telephone, attending meetings, writing, doing service -released 175 pounds. I came into OA angry, bitter, resentful and lonely. I am now, one day at a time, none of those things.

I can now walk, dance, fly, scuba dive, run, skip, swing and laugh without the fear of being too big. I have a Higher Power who loves me. I have many friends whom I love dearly and I am continually working to release more of the emotional and spiritual malady which keeps me overweight.

I have daily contact with my Higher Power and am working through the denial and fear around my past in order to allow myself to become a healthy body weight. I am grateful to this program without which I would be dead today. It is as simple as that. OA saved my life.

I am blessed to be alive today thanks to OA and I look forward to walking with you in the next 3 months as your step coordinator.

Walking with you!
Dawn B

SPOTLIGHT LOOPS OF THE MONTH

THE RECOVERY DIVISION

RECOVERY

OUR MISSION:

To provide a safe and positive place, where people working the 12 Steps of OA, from all levels of recovery, can gather and get recharged and inspired so they can face the various challenges in their lives.

WHO WE ARE:

The OA Recovery Loop is a fellowship of members of The Recovery Group. Our focus is on recovery, and how we use the 12 Steps and Traditions of OA, as well as fellowship, to find recovery.

Our mix of recovery, provides a rich tapestry of fellowship. "Oldtimers" share their ESH (experience, strength, and hope) while providing a living example of how sanity can prevail. Those new to the program, or continuing to work the steps, share their "aha" moments with us, and remind us of just how far we have come ... And how important recovery is.

The people of OA Recovery Loop are "real" people, with "real" problems who are finding "real" solutions.

WHAT WE DO:

As in face-to-face meetings, we provide a daily topic on which members are invited to share, helping us to focus on the various aspects of our disease, so that we may continue to grow in our recovery. You are invited to share on that, or any topic concerning your recovery.

Difficulties are discussed, but in the context of discussing our disease, insight, how you apply program tools, traditions, etc., in overcoming these challenges rather than just venting.

You are welcome to introduce a topic in which you have been struggling; however, our members are discouraged from offering advice or engaging in crosstalk.

There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting by dedicated volunteers. The OA Recovery Loop is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues. Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer.

We hope that you will take this opportunity to join us, as we share our wisdom, our fellowship, and our recovery.

THE ODAT DIVISION

ISOLATION

There is every possibility that you are struggling with food issues and that you have become severely isolated. There is the possibility that you are in pain because you're sick and tired of blocking out the world by staying inside ... Yet you may not even realize why you do it. If you're here, it may be that you are hurting so much that you're just about ready to give up.

Through our very private and special place, we offer you solace and peace. We offer you anonymity and safety. No one will be in this group unless they have experienced life as a compulsive eater and as an isolator. We ask each member to introduce themselves and tell their stories upon arrival here ... And newcomers should expect to hear back from some of the most wonderful human beings on Earth.

Isolation members may use a program based upon the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. We belong to a group called The ODAT Group and our mission is not to replace face-to-face meetings but the reality is that our disorders make that sometimes impossible. We treat the food and weight problem and we acknowledge the isolation issues not as a lack of willpower or a defect, but as a disorder that can be arrested.

The 12-step program offers recovery for the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of compulsive eating. This same program offers insight to the need to socially isolate. We are not therapists nor are we a professional diet club. Our organization does not endorse specific food plans or diets and there are no professionals among us. In our 3D lives, we come from many places and life styles ... But in our recovery home here in cyberspace, we are bonded by the knowledge that we have a problem we did not ask for ... And that we do not want. Our food problem is exacerbated by the shame and anxiety heaped on us as we live our lives isolated from those we love. But we also know deep in our hearts that we will get better.

Our mantra is One Precious Day at a Time. And we affirm to ourselves daily that what we could never do alone, we can together.

THE DISCOVERY DIVISION

KIDS AND COKIDS

For those of us with children who have eating disorders or issues, the COKids Loop provides a welcome place to come and share our fears, hopes, what's worked for us, what questions we have. COKids is one of the first loops I joined in TRG because of my younger daughter and her eating disorder. It was wonderful to gain needed perspective by reading the coordinator's very helpful shares and to write about what was literally "eating" at me in the case of our daughter. COKids Loop welcomes any of us who have a child who overeats, undereats, excessively diets, or otherwise gives us cause for concern. This child could be your son or daughter or your niece or nephew, grandchild, someone you counsel or teach, perhaps a neighbor's child. We each have a lot of wisdom, strength, and experience to share, and COKids Loop is a great place for this. We are also looking for one or two coordinators for this loop. If you have an interest or would like more information, please contact me (Athena1442@gmail.com)

COKids Loop is designed especially for youngsters with eating issues/disorders/concerns. This loop is a safe place for a child up to teenage years to come to express their thoughts and feelings. (there is another TRG loop for Teens) Please let the young person in your life who could find Kids Loop healing know about it. Members have shared on many topics of interest to them ranging from school to their hobbies and interests. There is one adult advisor on the loop; the other members are youngsters.

Athena
Kids and COKids Coordinator

KIDS

If you've found us, it could very well be because you have something troubling you. And possibly it has something to do with weight. You may be overeating, eating the wrong kind of foods or even undereating. We are part of The Recovery Group and we understand eating disorders. Practically every member here has had the same painful experiences you may have had as a result.

You can get help for your eating disorder. By joining with other children who have the same problem as you do, by listening to what they have to say, by sharing some of your experiences with them, you will be amazed at what can happen.

Kids and Discovery is a place for you to talk about life, family, problems, joy and hope as well as eating disorders. This is YOUR Loop.

We want you to remember something ... What you kids cannot do alone ... You CAN do together.

You can join us by sending a blank email to:
KidsAndDiscovery-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

You will be welcomed with open arms.

COKIDS

COKids is a group in cyberspace dedicated to children ... Children who compulsively overeat ... Or who show signs that they may. We'd like to tell you a little about our Child's Journey to Recovery.

COKids is an organization of not just parents and grandparents of children with eating disorders, but also therapists, teachers, relatives and close friends of these innocent victims of our disease. We in COKids share with one another in a private discussion group the problems children encounter as a result of compulsive eating.

One purpose of the group is to determine ways to help our children recover from this disorder at an early age so that they will not reach adulthood hampered by this disease.

Another is to provide a forum using the advancing technologies of the Internet for the children themselves to interact with one another in supervised discussion groups of their own. A companion list called KIDS is available to these children.

You can join us by sending a blank email to:
CoKids-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

BEEF AND VEGETABLE KABOBS

Dietitian's tip: Marinating meat before grilling not only adds flavor but also reduces the chance that cancer-causing substances will form on the meat during grilling. Marinating also helps keep meat from burning and charring.

SERVES 2

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown rice
2 cups water
4 ounces top sirloin (choice)
3 tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 4 pieces
4 cherry tomatoes
1 small onion, cut into 4 wedges
2 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers

Directions:

In a saucepan over high heat, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep the rice from drying out. Transfer to a small bowl to keep warm.

Cut the meat into 4 equal portions. Put the meat in a small bowl and pour Italian dressing over the top. Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to marinate, turning as needed.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or a broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

Thread 2 cubes of meat, 2 green pepper slices, 2 cherry tomatoes and 2 onion wedges onto each skewer. Place the kabobs on the grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil the kabobs for about 5 to 10 minutes, turning as needed.

Divide the rice onto individual plates. Top with 1 kabob and serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis:
(per serving)

Calories 330   Cholesterol 50 mg
Protein 22 g   Sodium 370 mg
Carbohydrate 48 g   Fiber 4 g
Total fat 5 g   Potassium 620 mg
Saturated fat 2 g   Calcium 37 mg
Monounsaturated fat 2 g      
****MayoClinic Healthy Recipes****

Peace in Recovery,
Tina

MY ANNUAL EXAM

I went to the doctor for my yearly physical.
The nurse starts with the basics.
"How much do you weigh?" she asked. "135," I said.
The nurse put me on the scale. It turns out my weight is 180.
The nurse asked, "Your height?" "5 foot 4," I answered.
The nurse checks and sees that I only measure 5'1".
She then takes my blood pressure and tells me it is very high.
"Of course it's high!" I screamed.
"When I came in here I was tall and slender!
Now I'm short and fat!"
She put me on Prozac.
What a Witch!

OBESITY IS KILLING US

With rates of adult and childhood obesity increasing, authorities view it as a serious public health problem. Between 1980-2000, obesity among adults has more than doubled; obesity among adolescents has tripled. In the U.S., obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death after smoking. A poll is being taken in the Recovery Group and it is interesting to note that of approximately 2000 men and women, 78% so far, state that their weight is affecting their general health. If you would like to participate in this poll or to view it, click here. If you are a member of one of the Recovery support loops, this first week in January would be an excellent time to share with your fellow members how you are finding solutions using the 12 Step Program to reach and maintain a healthy body weight. It has been proven over and over that being a healthy weight is not a diet ... it's a lifestyle. Many doctors and nutritionists now use the BMI (Body Mass Index) to categorize the four classes of weight. Please ask your own doctor or nutritionist to determine your individual classification.

Ht Weight BMI Class
5'9" 124 lbs or less Below 18.5 Underweight
125 lbs to 168 lbs 18.5 to 24.9 Normal
169 lbs to 202 lbs 25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
203 lbs or more 30 or higher Obese

THE GOOD NEWS

There is some good news ... Actually some great news. Did you know that just by losing a small amount of weight is likely to produce almost immediate health benefits. In addition to just feeling better about yourself, losing as little as 5% of your body weight is likely to show improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.

For example, if you weigh 200 Pounds, a 5% weight loss equals 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the "overweight" or "obese" range for your height, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk factors for chronic deiseases related to obesity. So Remember Modest Weight Loss = Big Benefits.

Content Source:
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
,
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

GOOD MORNING POEM!

I would love it if you let your knees kiss the floor
It is a way that I know you intend to adore
The power that I am but that you cannot see
The power that knows all you can be
If you are honest and open and willing
To be a humble human because it really is quite chilling
To strive to be perfect for perfection’s world is lonely and cold
Rather in your effort’s be steadfast and in your faithfulness be bold
Today may be great or it may kinda stink
But I care more about how you think
Remember to offer up what you don’t want
You needed struggle forever with thoughts that hurt, scare, or haunt
I am here as are your sisters and brothers
Receive from them and give to another
We seek not to test you in these places you are wrong
But support you in growing and sharing your own special song.
So remember dear one who takes everything so to heart
For this day a simple conversation with me is a great start.

TIPS FOR BOOSTING YOUR E-MOTIONAL HEALTH

(1) Authentically Express Yourself
Go ahead! Give yourself permission to just be YOU! Say what you mean, mean what you say. Feeeeeel your feelings. That's right, let it all hang out! Stop trying to think, say or do what you think other people want from you. Let your outsides match your insides. Show the world who you REALLY are. Don't be afraid. You are beautiful, in every single way, just as you are. When you free yourself to be and share the "presents" of the real you, you open the door to improved health, authentic happiness and true E-motional intimacy.

(2) Remember: All E-motions Are GO[o]D
Contrary to popular belief, there are no "bad" E-motions. That's right, although we may label some E-motions as "positive" and others "negative," studies reveal that E-motionally healthy people express the full range of human E-motions, both "positive" and "negative," whenever and wherever appropriate. In other words, E-motionally healthy people don't just express "positive" E-motions. Sometimes it really is healthy to express "negative" E-motions as well. The key, however, is not to get stuck in the expression of either "positive" or "negative" E-motions, but to find balance in the authentic expression of both. Honor yourself and all your E-motions--keep it real!

(3) Learn to Forgive
Holding onto anger, bitterness and resentment for the wrongs another may have committed against you is equivalent to taking a poison capsule and waiting for the other person to die. It destroys you, rather than the other person. As such, forgiveness is really for you, not the other person. Forgiveness frees you from the disease and torment of all those painful E-motions. It doesn't mean you have to forget about what happened to you, but it does give you permission to let go of all the painful E-motions associated with it. Forgiveness is FOR-GIVING you permission to let go of the pain. It is FOR-GIVING you your freedom back. It is FOR-GIVING you the ability to move on.

(4) Learn to Accept the Unacceptable
Acceptance comes hand in hand with forgiveness. As with forgiveness, acceptance allows you to let go of all those painful E-motions trapped inside of you and associated with all those "unacceptable" circumstances in your life. And just as forgiveness does not necessarily mean forgetting, acceptance does not necessarily mean acceptable. In other words, you don't have to wait for those circumstances to become acceptable to you before you allow yourself to accept it. That day may never come. In addition, although you may accept any variety of life circumstances as they are, it doesn't mean you have to support or remain a part of them in anyway.

(5) Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude
Count your blessings. Learn to appreciate and savor the wonder-FULL aspects of your life. Focus on "the GO[o]D stuff!" Practice appreciative inquiry. Keep a gratitude journal. Adorn yourself with clothing, jewelry, other trinkets or perhaps even a tattoo that reminds you of all that you have to be grateful for. Discover the Master Key that opens all doors of possibility: join www.GoGratitude.com.

(6) Practice Optimism
Optimism is a way of looking at the world in a "positive light." Whatever the mind expects, or focuses on, it finds. Therefore, you may want to practice using positive words in your inner dialogues. Try to use only phrases such as "I can," "I am able," "It is possible," "It can be done," etc. Accompany your inner dialogues with feelings of happiness, strength and success. When you expect success and say "I can," you fill yourself with feelings of confidence and enthusiasm. Remember: It isn't what life brings you that will determine your level of happiness, but how you choose to "see it" that will. Is your glass half empty or half full?

(7) Make The Mind/E-motion/Body Connection
What you do--or don't do, as the case may be--with your body also affects your mind and E-motions. Eating healthier, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, laughing often and having lots of good sex can all enhance your E-motional health!

(8) Improve Your Stress Management Skills With Biofeedback
Learn how to deactivate your body's fight-or-flight mechanism, or "stress response," with biofeedback. There are many different personal biofeedback options now available on the market to help you improve your stress management skills. My favorites include:

(9) Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Let the frazzled and harried mother of three cranky kids go ahead of you in the checkout lane at the grocery store. Slow down and allow someone to merge in front of you on the expressway. Send an E-card expressing thanks to another for "just being" a part of your life. Be kind to others, whether friends or strangers. Do GO[o]D, feeeeel GO[o]D! Although we often believe we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act!

(10) Let Love Radiate
As my favorite band, the Goo-Goo Dolls, sings in one of its more recent albums, "The end of fear is where we begin... the moment we decided to let love in. There's nothing we can do about ... the things we have to do without. The only way to feel again ... is LET LOVE IN!" So go ahead: Open your heart and feeeeel GO[o]D!

(11) In-JOY Life
Enlighten-up! Play more! Have FUN! Be silly! LAUGH! Let loose. Be FREEEE! Do what you love! Love what you do!

(12) Stay Connected to The One in All
Be a part of, instead of a part from. Find someone, something to connect to that makes you feeeeel GO[o]D. One of the most important factors contributing to our E-motional health appears to be related to our ability to make and maintain strong, personal relationships.

Dr. Cindy, behavioral health & addictions expert, is a health psychologist from America's heartland where she practices her own unique brand of E-motional medicine. Highly regarded as a vibrant motivational speaker and compassionate counselor who comes from the heart, she is regularly featured as a health and wellness expert in print and on television. She is perhaps best known for her ability to keep it real with her down-to-earth, authentic style.

THE FEELING

By: Anonymous

Alone
It is an emptiness that fills your core and eats away at the soul within

Sadness
It pours from the body and fills the room, it comes in waves that never cease to destroy the old sands on which they incessantly crash

Pain
Throbbing, Stabbing, Ripping apart the inner child who searches for something to fill the void she feels inside

Existence
A state of being in which life is a show you have been invited to watch from miles away

Hope
The light that flickers in the distance revealing glimpses of life as it will be

Courage
The drive to keep going when your world has fallen to shambles and your left to pick up the wreckage on your own

Support
The warm tingle in your heart that appears during your darkest moments and reminds you someone cares and makes life worth living

RECOVERY
Devoting everyday to creating a fire out of the little light flickering in the distance, and letting it burn eternally melting the ice within.

COMPULSION AND EXERCISE

Hi! My name is Carrie, and I am a compulsive fill-in-the-blank. I've done every shameful behavior mentioned in the OA 12x12 and tried every diet and drug to lose weight. I am grateful today to be at a "normal," healthy weight; and to be physically strong, healthy, and fit—but it took me a long time and lots of work in program to get here.

Part of my recovery has been admitting that I am a control freak. Because I lacked trust in myself and everything else, I was desperate to control everything, and of course couldn't control anything—even myself. When I began dieting and exercising when I was 20, I wanted to control my body shape and weight. I thought having a certain appearance would make me happy and make life easy. I remember after I had been lifting weights for a little while, I saw a bulge in my arm—I did a double take in the mirror! It was a bicep, and I had never seen a muscle on my body before. This bicep was like a taste of a drug that I could never get enough of. No matter how much I worked out or dieted, I would never be six feet tall or have longer legs or weigh 120 pounds with a "perfectly" defined body. It's not my body shape. Much of my recovery has been accepting the weight and body shape that I have. Compulsive dieting led to bingeing, which led to compulsive exercise, which led to hunger, which led to eating, which led to dieting, which led to.... Well, you get the picture. My healthy weight and body are simply not what I had dreamed of as I was growing up.

A wonderful example of how I turned a healthy practice into a practice in compulsion is yoga. Yoga has now become a method of prayer and meditation, as it is meant to be; but when I started doing it seven years ago, it quickly became a method of weight loss and body control. I became obsessive about doing it a certain number of times a week and for a certain amount of time. Then, I became frustrated when it didn't feel spiritual! Another example is running. I began running simply because I never had been able to do it growing up. I was the slowest one in the class. I soon fell in love with jogging on trails in nature—another meditative practice. After some time, I felt I needed a goal... And decided to train for a marathon! When I began to run over nine or ten miles, it just became a practice in pain. Eventually I quit training, feeling defeated.

After a couple of years in program, the way I looked at exercise changed with the way I looked at dieting. First, I accepted my body as it was and is. Then I got food abstinent—refraining from compulsive eating and bingeing, and substances that trigger these, but no particular food (this is my abstinence). Then I looked at my physical activity. If my goals are no longer to change my body shape or size, then what are they? My goals are to be as healthy as possible and yes, to challenge my body to become stronger and more flexible so that I can enjoy activities and health well into my senior years. Keeping these goals in mind, I thought about what I really loved to do. I do love to lift weights because it brings me pleasure to see the musculature of my body and to be able to lift heavy bags and bundles of wood. Being strong is just plain fun. I do love to run because I love the feeling of running along a trail. I love to be fit so I can go on long hikes, and I like to sweat and feel I am cleansing my system, and that means doing cardiovascular activity. I also want to have a strong heart for many years. I love to do yoga because I feel such a strong connection to HP and because it inundates my body with oxygen and makes me feel limber and serene. I do NOT love competing, or feeling like I have to be the strongest or thinnest or fittest woman in the room. I do NOT love conforming to some distorted ideal of what a woman should look like, whether a fitness model or runway model. I do NOT love having a plan or system such that, if I miss a work out, I feel like a failure or that I have to "make it up."

Being healthy and fit in recovery means listening to my body—taking a day off when I'm hurting badly, doing slow work when I'm tired, and yes--challenging myself when I'm up for it! As a compulsive everything-ER, I can't just switch my compulsion from one addiction to another and think that it will "fix" me. The other compulsions will always be there just under the surface. I must do everything to the betterment of my program and spiritual practice. Thanks to working the program around exercise and food, I accept and even love my body as it is—and I am rewarded by reaching beyond the limits of what I thought I could do before, but only in HP's time.

Thanks for listening and being here!
Carrie

SEARCHING

By Joseph Trimachi

In the midst of all my madness,
As I seek solitude.
There’s a residue of sadness,
As I survive the mood.
I’m running around in circles,
Searching for a quiet space.
My eyes can’t see it my feet can’t find it,
Must be an inner place.
My feet are standing still,
My head is running fast.
Which one is my heart with,
How long can my spirit last?
I just need to surrender,
And get out of this fight.
As I seek out my opponent,
I see no one in sight.
As I walked by a mirror,
I took a moment to look.
Of all the thievery of my dreams,
I was looking at the crook!
Happiness is an inside job,
For which my feet will never find.
Without the guidance of my heart,
And the presence of my mind.

FROM OA'S LIFELINE

LIVING IN NEVER-NEVER LAND

At a recent OA meeting, a friend mentioned the word “footprints.” My compulsive overeater mind heard her say “food prince.” This made me realize that a food prince was exactly what I once had. Being terminally unique, I always wanted to be a princess, and a princess needs a prince, right? Food had been my prince for many years, so why not a food prince (FP)? FP was always there for me. FP took care of me and made me happy. FP fulfilled me when I was lonely and soothed me when I was sad. FP rejoiced with me when I was happy and became my best friend. I loved FP. Food was my purpose in life; I lived to eat!

Sadly, the story does not have a fairy-tale ending. A time came when FP did not make me happy. The results of eating extra food made me unhappy. I was fat. I wanted to be the princess, have a fairy-tale life and do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I wanted the world to be just the way I wanted it to be. I did not think the laws of the universe should apply to me. I should be able to indulge my fantasies and not be responsible for the consequences.

Finally, I reached a point when I hated the effect of the extra food on my body. I could not fit into my size 18 jeans. I could not cross my legs. I couldn’t walk up or down stairs without getting exhausted. I wore only loose and shapeless clothes. I was very uncomfortable in my body.

That was why I came to OA—because I had a little (60-pound-plus) weight problem, and I wasn’t happy. That was when food started to become less of a prince to me. I no longer thought of food as a lover and friend, but as sustenance to my body. I no longer expected food to take care of my every need, and I began to take care of my own needs. I sought professional therapy and worked the Twelve Steps to find out who I was. Sure enough, I am not a princess, and food is not a prince.

The journey that is my program is much better than a fairy tale. It has not always been smooth sailing and happy times, but it has been reality. It has given me my life and shown me sanity. I don’t have a food prince today. I have a Higher Power that is much better than FP ever was. I have the Fellowship of OA to support me, and I have my sponsor to guide me. I no longer live in a make-believe world because my world is much better than I could have imagined. I’m maintaining a 65-pound weight loss, and I’m comfortable with my body for the first time. This didn’t happen magically or overnight, but it is a miracle. I have been working this program for 11 years, and I know that I will continue for the rest of my life—if I want to keep my recovery. With the help of my Higher Power, I am abstinent today. OA has no fairy tales, but amazing miracles. I am eternally grateful that I found my miracle in OA.

P.T., Bartlesville, Oklahoma USA
From OA's "Lifeline"

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COORDINATORS AND MEETING LEADERS

QUALIFICATIONS

All Coordinators and/or Meeting Leaders of The Recovery Group shall:

  • Be working and living a 12 Step program.
  • Have been a member of TRG for a period of no less than 3 months.
  • Read and commit to TRG's Guidelines and Traditions.
  • Read and understand the Trusted Servants' Training and Sharing pages.
  • Coordinators shall read their loops' mission statement and the Coordinators' Website.
  • Mentor with an experienced Meeting Leader and/or Coordinator.
  • Commit to serving until the end of the term, which currently is December 31 of each year.
  • Leave their Trusted Servant position mid-term only in the event of an emergency.
  • Have access to a personal computer.
  • Be personally responsible for all services needed by their support group or delegate others. Commit to recruiting, training and supervising them. (Please ask Mtg. Adm. or TRGAdm. for a list of specific duties expected of our Meeting Leaders and Coordinators.)
  • Please communicate with MTGAdm (Meeting Leaders) or TRGAdm (Coordinators) immediately when a member requires moderating. TRG Coordinators and Meeting Leaders shall be patient and correct people regarding inappropriate sharing privately and in kind, gentle and loving ways. In the event of blatant spam, porn or misconduct, Coordinators and Meeting Leaders should take immediate action. Meeting leaders shall remove such members from the meeting, while coordinators are to contact TRGAdm and report that a member needs moderated. Both Coordinators and Meeting Leaders shall send a detailed report to their respective administrators once the emergency has been attended to.
  • Be an example for others by sharing personally in a 12 Step Way, not using inappropriate signatures on TRG communications, and, if at all possible, writing your members individually and privately as your time permits when you think a note would be appreciated.

If interested in giving service ~ please send an email to:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

The 2008 Coordinators & Meeting Leaders

TRG has six divisions and our support groups each fall in one of these divisions: Recovery, ODAT, Discovery, Special, Meetings and Business.

Click on the link below for the directory of all of
TRG's Coordinators and Administrators:

TRG'S COORDINATORS & ADMINISTRATORS

God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change;
The courage to change the things we can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul
is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."

Your Support Group Would Like to Hear From YOU!

Serendipity wants to you to use our writing resources to inspire you to share your own personal experience, strength and hope with your home support loop. Sharing with your fellow coes is an act of service and often without your ever realizing it, your words may touch someone deeply and be responsible for a significant change in their life.

Opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of Serendipity Newsletter, or of The Recovery Group.

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