A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


November 2004
Volume 6, Issue 11



ser*en*dip*i*ty ~ (noun) First appeared 1754:
the faculty or phenomenon of finding
valuable or agreeable things not sought for.


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SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Letter to the Editor'


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SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Serendipity Article'


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FEATURED ARTICLES





~ FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM ~

Dear Serendipity Friends,

Happy November, everyone! We hope you enjoy this issue of Serendipity. There have been many contributions to this edition from our members all over the world and it has been a joy for the Serendipity team of reporters, proofreaders and others to assemble it.

In addition to reading all about activities in the various parts of our community written by the dedicated leaders of their groups, we have some interesting and heartfelt articles from our members about sexuality and how this has been affected by compulsive eating. In addition we have poignant recovery stories from some of our members and a wonderful article about something we're very proud of ~ The Discovery Kitchen. We've even included for the first time a non-fat recipe. Members of Overeaters Anonymous are finding it interesting that more and more as time goes by, OA is speaking about food issues and plans of eating and that is a giant step in the right direction since a healthy plan of eating is so much a part of our life.

So as the weather becomes crisp and summer breezes become only a memory, read on. Also, take a moment to write to us and let us have your letter to send to our members in our December "LETTERS TO SERENDIPITY."

In loving service to Serendipity subscribers ~
The Serendipity Team





~ QUOTATION OF THE MONTH~



"I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,
the astonishing Light of your own Being."

~ Hafiz



~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~

~ THE TOOLS OF RECOVERY ~


Dear Friends,

In Overeaters Anonymous, we define abstinence as "the action of refraining from compulsive eating." It is very difficult, if not impossible, to recover from eating compulsively if we do not use some or all of OA's eight "Tools of Recovery."

The first of the eight tools is "A Plan of Eating." Our plans of eating are as individual as we are; however, even though varied, whether our plan is rigid or flexible, there must be a plan. There are so many ways to devise a good, healthy, tasty, wonderful plan of eating, and any time spent on this will be worth it. Many of us consider our plan of eating a gift we give to ourselves. We put it in writing, keep it in a safe place, work with our sponsors and soon incorporate it into our daily lives.

In December, I would like to write to you about the second Tool of Recovery ~ Sponsorship. Who knows ... by using these first two Tools of Recovery during the food-oriented holidays coming up in the two months ahead, we can be ready to begin 2005 in better shape than ever. Armed with our Plan of Eating and a Sponsor, we will be well on our way to the miracles we've all been promised.

Happy November, Loopies.

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





~ LETTERS TO SERENDIPITY ~


~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
ADMINISTRATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

~ FROM THE TRG ADMINISTRATION ~

The Recovery Group has been blessed with a wonderful group of trusted servants. How would you like to join them? We will be sending announcements in the near future looking for new trusted servants.

There are over 60 email loops in TRG, more than 10 meetings a day and administration jobs.

The address to use to contact TRG Administration is:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org.

If you have any questions about TRG or you'd like to volunteer for service before the pitch goes out, please contact us.

Submitted by:
Dodee, Administrator
Mary W and Cody, Apprentice Adminstrators

http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

Note: TRGAdm is the administrative arm of The Recovery Group. The TRG administrator works daily with two apprentices, the Recovery Advisory Board, the Recovery Intergroup and the coordinators of each division of TRG.

~ FROM THE RECOVERY LOOP DIVISION ~

Our "general sharing" support groups are called the Recovery Loops. These loops are the cornerstone loops of TRG and the very first ones. Many members of these loops share daily with other members and many times long lasting friendships begin here.

Some newcomers come to us and ask "what is a share?" "How do I know what to share about?" and "what is a good share?" The Recovery Loops are OA loops and a "good" share is one about some aspect of recovery. Ideally, a member will write according to the following formula:

How was it?
What happened?
How is it now?

When we share experience, strength and hope according to that formula it reminds us of where we are or have been, what we did about it and the promises resulting from our twelve step recovery program.

The Recovery Loops
http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: RecoveryLoopsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ FROM THE ODAT LOOP DIVISION ~

Our ODAT loops are as varied as the many persons that find these rooms of recovery in their search for help from compulsive eating. One of these loops, for instance, is the WLS ODAT group. Weight Loss Surgery is a place where those who have had this surgery, and those who may be contemplating it, can discuss their 12-step program and their choices in a safe and understanding environment.

Another group that may be of interest to you is the Depression ODAT loop. This is a very caring group of people who share their program of recovery with others who also deal with depression.

These are only two of the many special interest loops in the ODAT Division of the Recovery Group. To see what else is available for you as you work your 12-step program, please go to:
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/.

It's been another busy month for the ODAT Loops. They are growing each month, but we are still in need of many Trusted Servants. If you are interested in volunteering please write to:
ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

And send a blank email to:
TrustedServantPool@yahoogroups.com

Submitted by:

Nancy, ODAT Division Head
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/
Please send to: ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

~ FROM THE DISCOVERY LOOP DIVISION ~

The loops of Discovery are continuing to thrive and grow. Discovery Kitchen is a loop where people can discuss food, recipes and food plans freely. Since so many loops restrict the discussion of specific foods, this has become a safe haven for open questions and discussions about specific issues. Elsewhere in this Serendipity issue is a feature article about the Discovery Kitchen and one of the recipes found on its home page.

Exercise & Discovery is a small but friendly group of people who have incorporated exercise as part of their recovery. Here, we discuss all aspects of our recovery and check in to report our daily routines. We don't require a rigorous workout routine to join, and we have everything from daily aerobics to weekly physical therapy. All are welcome!

On the kids side of things, Cody is the Coordinator for both Co-Kids and Kids & Discovery. Kids & Discovery is a loop only for kids and trusted servants. It is a warm safe place for children with eating disorders to discuss their recovery, and is moderated by Cody, so there is always adult supervision in the rooms. Co-kids is a loop for parents, grandparents, or basically anyone who needs help helping a child who eats compulsively. Parents can reach out to each other, and together with Cody, all work together to help our children. All in all, it is great that we have these loops for people to discover and find when they are in need!

The Yellow Brick Road is an unmoderated loop where folks can journal, chat, or just have a safe place to talk to each other or their HP. If you need a place to write, vent, or share your story, this is the place for you!

Submitted By:

Cody and Mary W.
Discovery Loops Coordinators

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/
Contact: DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ TRG/OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~

We were sorry to lose Danielle as part of our administration team last month, due to ill health. Thank you, Danielle, for your willing service and we all hope you are feeling better soon.

We need more meeting leaders!! Currently we have 56 leaders from all around the world but there are still quite a few meeting times that don't have designated leaders. Leaders are especially sought from outside the USA and anyone wishing to give service and help their own personal recovery can contact Cindy (via
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org) for the list of available meeting times. For those who are not aware, we have special foreign language meetings, in Spanish and Italian. Anyone wishing to join these meetings can contact MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org for the meeting times and information. The meeting topics now coincide with the Twelve Steps in Twelve Weeks Study sponsored by WTS ~ Working the Steps Loop. Each of our meeting leaders choose their own sub-topic relating to the particular step for the week. This topic system replaces the alphabetical topic system which finished strongly, thanks to Nody's expert topic creativity with the difficult letters...XYZ!!

Until next time...

Love and hope in recovery,

~ Terri, Barry and Christine
On-Line Meeting Co-Coordinators

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/

Contact:
TRG Online Meeting Leaders' Group: MeetingTS@yahoogroups.com
TRG Online Meeting Administration: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org




~ REACHING OUR ONLINE MEETINGS ~

GETTING TO THE MEETINGS

The doorway to the meetings is at the top of the page at
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org. All you have to do is click it, and you'll be in the meeting room. The times are 12 noon, 3PM, 6PM, 9PM, 12 midnight 3AM, 6AM, and 9AM. These are Eastern times, and all meetings are held in #Recovery on IRC with a doorway located at: http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org.

Another way to reach the meeting webpage is directly, at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meetings/

For AOL members, there is the direct link to #Recovery: #Recovery on StarChat.Network. AOL users need to first go to the Meeting website, and look at the special instructions for AOL users before they can fully participate in the meetings or they can go to: http://www.starchat.net/aol.php

#Recovery is the meeting room for Recovery Group. There is a doorway to #Recovery on the Recovery Group website: http://www.therecoverygroup.org. The meeting room can be directly accessed by going to either of these sites:

http://www.starchat.net/recovery or
http://www.starchat.net/chat/?chan=recovery
You can find other helpful information, including on-line meeting protocols at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html

CAN YOU SPARE AN HOUR A WEEK?

We need your help for a wonderful line-up of online meetings. We will be working on a schedule of meetings every three hours around the clock every day, and are well on our way to meeting that goal. This will make it possible for those in time zones around the world to participate both as leaders and attendees. Will you help by volunteering an hour or two or three a week? It's easy, it gives you a good feeling by helping others, and it's fun!

Prospective meeting leaders must be actively working the Steps to the best of their ability and belong to at least one Recovery Loop. Although abstinence is not a requirement, many find that being abstinent allows them to better focus on the meetings.

If you are interested in being a meeting leader, please contact MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org,
and you will be given further guidance. We hope as many of you as possible will write us back and let us know you can help. Please don't be shy ... meetings are easy and rewarding to lead.

We will get back to you as quickly as possible.



~ FROM TRG'S SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

Dear Recovery Group Members,

Here are some tips on sponsoring and being sponsored. In OA, sponsor and sponsoree meet as equals. The process of sponsoring is this:

  • A compulsive eater who has made some progress through working the 12 steps of recovery shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another compulsive eater who is willing to receive the gift of abstinence by working the "proven, workable method" that OA offers.
  • A sponsor can answer those questions that come up between meetings with other compulsive eaters.
  • Choose a member with whom you can talk freely and confidentially, and ask that person to be your sponsor.
  • And remember, OA members who have recovered the gift of abstinence want to share what they have been given, because their own recovery is strengthened when they share it with others who are receptive.
In the Recovery Group, we maintain an up to date list of members who are willing to share their recovery with those who ask. You can receive this list of Recovery Group Sponsors by writing to
TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org. Be sure to let them know the *name* of the Recovery Group to which you belong.

http://recovery.hiwaay.net/sponsors.html

Submitted by:
Patt and Cate, TRG Sponsor Coordinators
The Recovery Group Sponsor Group Trusted Servants

To become a sponsor, or with questions, contact: TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~

     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/
      / \   / \   / \
One of the most important services of the Recovery Group is the Telephone Angel Program. Members volunteer to make it possible for a member of the Recovery Group who needs help immediately to call them. The telephone angels are from all over the world and a directory is sent out monthly to our members by Cody, who manages this service for our community. For a copy of the Directory, to volunteer or for more information, write Cody at
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org and put Attention: Cody Re: Telephone Angels on the subject line.



~ SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS ~



  • November 15, 2004 ~ Deadline for December Serendipity Articles
  • December 1, 2004 ~ Deadline to rotate service
  • December 31, 2004 ~ End of 2004 Term of Service
  • November 25, 2004 ~ OA Online Meeting Marathon #Recovery
  • December 25, 2004 ~ OA Online Meeting Marathon #Recovery
Future Announcements should be sent to: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com



~ FROM OUR TRG MEMBERS ~



If you would like to submit a share for publication in an upcoming Issue of Serendipity please send your submission to: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ( Subject: TRG Members Submission).

~ SHARING WITH ONE ANOTHER IS SERVICE ~

A few days ago I read a post by a fellow loop member who thanked someone for their share, saying, "It was exactly what I needed to read!"

It struck me how many times I have seen just that kind of reaction, even when the post they were referring to hadn't stirred me very much. Of course, it didn't have to. Not every post does, and that's the beauty of the OA program.

Just as in real-life meetings where a person's share can bless one or many as God wills, every online post has the potential to be a blessing to someone.

In face-to-face meetings, service opportunities are clear: You can be a greeter, stack chairs, provide literature to members, or keep them informed about meeting schedules. In online groups, service opportunities are not as obvious. However, each of us has an individual story, which, put into the context of our common struggle with food, can make a difference in someone's life.

Don't think that your part of the story doesn't count. Your post will probably touch someone, and sharing it may even touch you. Finding out that someone else is in the same boat as I am always helps me realize I'm not alone, and putting my thoughts and experiences into writing helps me to see my situation more clearly.

I wrote the following poem to say thank you to those who have and will continue to share their "experience, strength and hope" unselfishly,

With love in recovery.

Keep coming back, and keep posting!

~ Donna

~ "SHARING" ~

I read your post this evening
As you shared your words with ease.
Your words a mirror of my soul.
Your encouragement brought me peace.

Some days I go to meetings.
For today, the Web's the place
Where I make my God-connection,
Where I sense God's power and grace.

Don't think your words are trivial.
Don't say, "I'm not that smart."
Together we can do what can't be done alone,
And all of us have a part.

Each of us has our own special voice.
Each of us is here for a reason.
We are all on the road to serenity.
It will always be "progress season."

Sometimes I need prayer, and your words soothe my soul.
Sometimes I need joy, and your smile cheers me.
Sometimes I just need to know I'm not alone.
When I read your posts, God's spirit nears me.

I read your post this evening.
I'm thankful that you're here.
You give service in your honesty.
Your struggles are so clear.

Keep coming back! One day at a time!
We need each other; that's true.
For today you have helped me just by being here,
And I'm grateful. God's blessings to you!

~ Donna

EDITOR'S NOTE: Serendipity staff writer Donna is a member of two e-mail loops. These loops are online support groups in which people share their recovery "experience, strength and hope" through daily posts and e-mails. She reports she spends about ten minutes reading and responding to the posts each morning and an additional 15 to 30 minutes at night as needed.

~ Compulsive Eaters and Portion Control ~

More is not better. Fast food restaurants are beginning to realize that; however, most restaurants don't. There is an obesity epidemic, and yet when we go to a restaurant, it seems they have not yet heard the news. In this article, buffets won't be discussed ... but for a compulsive eater who is active in the disease, walking into the doors of a restaurant serving a buffet can do great harm to a plan of eating.

With the busy lifestyles of most of us now, it may be necessary to eat out a lot. A typical restaurant portion might be two or three servings, and that's before the rolls and the chips ... before the dessert and all the other extras.

Gleaned from health wire reports, here are some tips for portion control. Take what you like and can use, and leave the rest.

  • Share everything - appetizers, entrees and, of course, dessert.
  • Split the entree and order an extra side salad.
  • Ask for a lunch portion, even if it's dinnertime.
  • Ask for a child's portion or a senior portion, even if you're neither.
  • Ask for a to-go box when the food arrives, not after you're full. Then put half away for tomorrow before you start to eat.
  • Pause periodically during the meat and judge whether you feel full. Many times compulsive eaters aren't aware of that feeling automatically. Don't go by whether you've cleaned your plate.
  • If you know you're going out for dinner, eat small meals during the day so you don't arrive at the restaurant hungry.
  • Eat from a small plate, using your dinner plate as a serving platter, and you won't feel as if you have to finish it.
  • Even if you start with a good portion plan, having a drink or two may impair your resolve to carry it out.

~ Derek's Story ~

Hi, I'm Derek, and I'm a compulsive overeater. I can't ever remember being "normal" with food. I always remember being the biggest, even at junior school. One of my very early memories (I was around 6 years old) is of walking home from school and being bullied by an older boy - won't go into details here - but the point is that after I made it home, I know that I ate to "get over" it. In a way, that seemed to be a pattern in my life - food was my friend and comforter.

This "friend" was with me always. As a lonely child, isolated and never feeling part of the crowd, I turned to food as an escape. I would bunk off school, and hide in my bedroom with some "treats." Going to work, I discovered booze as well, and though I'm not an alcoholic, I used booze like I used food, to hide behind. I never felt I fit in at work either - I always felt like an outsider who didn't understand what "they" all understood. But (I admit now) I was good at what I did, I got married and had 2 children, I did all the stuff that people do, I bought all the things that people buy. Eventually I was a middle manager with an expense account in a busy job that took me to work in Edinburgh (I live in London). I also had an ever-increasing weight problem.

I have tried many diets, - all work, for a time - my first diet was when I was 15. At that time I stopped eating sugar for the first time. Looking back with hindsight, that was one occasion where I forced myself to eat properly. Although it felt good, I missed my "friend" and soon found ways of sneaking back there.

In my 20's, my activity and stress levels were such that I maintained my weight. At that time I was "large."

In my 30's, I yo-yoed a lot. When the stress was there, I would lose weight, but then it would come on again afterwards.

By my 40's, I was at the top end of "Extra Large," and I no longer lost weight with stress, or maybe I didn't feel it anymore. I did feel some stuff though, like self-loathing, lack of worth, envy, hatred of others and myself. I had burst through the psychological barrier where I could no longer get clothes from "ordinary" shops, but had to go instead to the specialist Bigger Man outfitters. It was odd there, because I was not the biggest in that shop, an unusual occurrence for me!

I had all but given up on diets at this stage. I did try the Atkins Diet and lost 8 pounds in one week, but put on 12 the next week. I started one more round of Weight Watchers for Men, but that lasted about a day. I was a hopeless case. I could not stop eating, I hated myself for doing it, I felt a failure.

Then 18 months ago, someone on an on-line chat asked if I'd heard of Overeaters Anonymous. I hadn't, but it had occurred to me in the past that I was addicted to food, so I went and found the website. You probably know it - there are a set of 15 questions to answer, and it says, "If you answered yes to more than three, you may have a problem with food." I said yes to 14. For the record, the question I answered "no" to was, "Have you ever been treated for a food related condition?"

I went to other websites, found on-line meetings and e-mail loops, eventually picked up the courage to go to a f2f meeting. I soon found that when people started sharing their stories, they would be telling my story! People who I would have said had nothing in common with me (on the outside) were EXACTLY like me (on the inside). I was Home :))))

Oh! it's not all been roses and a sudden transformation into a Brad Pitt look-alike (although I'm working on that - LOL). I wanted what I saw OA people had, but for a time I wasn't willing to do what they did. I guess, as the BB says, I was looking for an easier, softer way. But eventually, I got more serious, got a sponsor, worked the steps to the best of my ability. I found it easy enough to accept that I had an obsession of the mind, but I doubted that I had an allergy of the body. With my new self-knowledge, I could eat one piece without it worrying me - I thought!

Actually, I am a hopeless addict - and I proved that to myself one last time after the close of a project I was working on (at least I pray it was the last time I need to learn that lesson). I had spoken to my sponsor and assured her that I would just have salad and some fish at the party we were going to. But I didn't. I had something which I now see is a trigger food. After taking this first compulsive bite, I went on my final (I pray to my HP) binge. The next day I woke with a food hangover, feeling like crap, and knowing that I had to get serious about this or I was doomed. That was almost six months ago (October 28th is my six month Abstinent birthday!!)

Today I can see the Promises coming true in my life. I am making friends and my relationships are improving. Since being in program I have lost 40 pounds, gained a Higher Power who loves me unconditionally, been to meetings, retreats and conventions. I have people in my life who love me and who I love. I've even found that I can love people I don't even like very much! I HAVE found a new freedom and a new happiness. I give service whenever I can, because it is insurance against the time when I might think that a Bacon Double Cheeseburger and Large Fries will solve a problem, or if I ever think that "just one" is an option for me.

You know, just last weekend, my son brought in one of those large bars of chocolate and left it open on the table for all to share (he's a good kid, really!). None of it got into my mouth, and it was there for a whole week before the three normal eaters in my house finished it. That is amazing. And it wasn't a struggle for me not to sneak it - it was not mine to eat. I am at last willing for my HP to take away my food obsession. All I need to do is the footwork for not taking it back!

For anyone who has made real all the way down here, thank you for being such an important part of my recovery.

I love you guys,

Derek


~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~

~ Sexuality ~

The Body

My Body - a Wasteland,
A place of neglect, of abuse
of uncaring indifference where
nothing grew except to grow
larger, each day.

In some small places creativity
tried to seep through the cracked and
useless earth, in the forms of Poetry,
of Writing, of Painting and other Art Forms,
But these moments were short-lived in
a place of such annihilation, of despair and
total neglect.

Then came a day - when a new Light began to Dawn,
A new Understanding of this wasteland,
An Understanding that whatever is created is
Created from Love, and
that even This Place has something of value,
something of worth,
And a Reclamation began - a reclamation of
this wasteland I call my body.

A recognition of the true Beauty that has been
there for all of my life,
And a recognition that the responsibilty for
the neglect, was mine,
And the responsibility for
the Reclamation was mine -
And no one except my Creator and I
Could do this for me.

So in Gratitude I begin,
this day and every day that comes,
To water and to feed, to nourish and to
Love, to care for and to cherish this
Remarkable Body.
This Body - No Longer a Wasteland.

Lynda G.



Dear Friends ~

I was touched when I read the above poem written by a compulsive eater who had endured what many of us have with our perception of our bodies. It has taken me many decades to be able to write the words which follow.

Our bodies are beautiful. They truly are. For those of you who raised your eyebrows when you read that, maybe you have been listening all these years to rhetoric that says your body is NOT beautiful.

Look right now at your hands. Look at each of those ten fingers with little creases in each of them and the smooth nail on the end. Is that not beautiful? If you were at some sort of Trade Show and they displayed a model of just one of your hands, would there not be crowds and crowds of people around you exclaiming how beautiful and functional and perfect it is?

Put your hand on your hair. Take both of your hands and run it through each side of your hair. There is nothing more beautiful than our hair ... all colors and textures ... and so many things we can do to it to make it even more beautiful. Shampoos and conditioners ... beautiful bows and barrettes ... hair colors, frostings ... special haircuts. But the main thing is that when you put those beautiful hands up to that beautiful hair it is just all so awesome.

Feel your stomach and your chest. How soft everything is. How flexible and perfect. So what if it has wrinkles or folds. It's still soft and flexible and perfect. Is there anything more beautiful than breasts... no matter how small or large? Another item in a trade show that would be state-of-the-art in terms of function and design.

Our legs. My legs were the only part of me that didn't match the other parts of me. If I'm overweight, they're normal but if I'm not overweight they're skinny! Legs are just wonderful things. The knees and the calves leading to our feet. Rivaled only by the hands, the feet are incredible.

And then there is that other part. Explore it. Wonder at it. Get your lover to do the same. It's wondrous. It's awesome. God created it. It has a purpose. We need to learn it's purpose. And to have that purpose fulfill us.

"When my beloved first stands before me naked, all open to my sight, there is a feeling throughout the whole of me; awe. Why? If sex is no more than an instinct, why don't I simply feel horny or hungry? Such simple hunger would be quite sufficient to insure the propagation of the species. Why awe? Why should sex be complicated by reverence?"
   -Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
I believe, of everything I have ever read in The Road Less Traveled, these are the most beautiful words I have ever read by Dr. Peck. It is poetry in motion ... spirituality at its best and says volumes about sex as God has created it. The human body to someone in love is awesome. During those moments of a sexual encounter it is even more so.

Just imagine, though, if one is ashamed of their body. Try to imagine if one has been made to feel his/her body is not beautiful. In that event one of the most beautiful gifts God has ever given to us can turn into a nightmare. Instead of ecstacy, it can cause us pain. Rather than happiness, we are embarrassed. Instead of tranquility and peace, great anxiety.

Because our disease manifests itself with layers of fat, we have been socialized to believe that this is ugly. It really isn't. I had a strange experience a few years ago with my doctor ... a well-known gynocologist. I've known him for quite some time and he was about to do an endometrial biopsy on me and as one who talks with his hands a lot, he began rubbing my stomach. (Now don't laugh at this ~ this is just the way he is.) I was laying on his surgical table, he was rubbing my tummy and it felt good.

As he did that, he was oblivious and I laughed and said something like "Jeez, I wish you would give lessons to my husband" and we began to talk about sex and foreplay and body image. He then told me to lay down someday and take my hand and do to my tummy what he was doing. I did. It was wonderful.

And I thought about how much more interesting foreplay it would be than our backs . . .

~ Anonymous



PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL



The beauty of the OA program is the fact that a person can come from any background, religious or not, and benefit. We have members who are Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Wiccan, etc. We all come for the primary purpose of recovery and we use a Higher Power that works for us individually.

Weight watchers, Nutra-system and most other diet based programs focus on losing the weight as the only problem. That is, if we lose the weight then the problem goes away. We are all here in our Twelve Step program knowing that it doesn't work that way for the disease of compulsive eating.

OA teaches us that this is a three-part program ... spiritual. physical and emotional. If we focus on the spiritual first then emotional, the physical part of recovery will fall into place. It usually doesn't work the other way around.

In my personal experience in this program this has been true for me. I have been in and out of this program for 13 years and no matter how hard I tried I kept focusing on the weight more than the other aspects of this program and as a result of that I ended up going back to bingeing. When I finally accepted I had to focus on the spiritual and emotional aspects as well. I finally began to truly recover and now I am abstinent. The fact that this was a spiritual program really helped me because I did not have to believe in someone else's Higher Power. I could choose my own. That alone opened up many doors for me.

~ Lisa



~ THE DISCOVERY KITCHEN ~ DIGNITY OF CHOICE ~



The Discovery Kitchen is a wonderful place "to share recipes, food plans and food ideas with those seeking recovery in our Discovery Group Community." This is the official statement of the mission of this group. In actuality the group is a warm and wonderful place filled with warm and wonderful people willing to share what they do with food to recover.

Because OA does not have an official food plan, as professional weight loss programs do, some people can get confused with what to eat and what not to eat. Now the pamphlet, "Dignity of Choice" has some suggested food plans for those who want guidance. Even with these we are left with choices. How do we plan to eat 4 ounces of protein and 1 carbohydrate serving? This is where menu planning comes in.

As a person who has been trying all of her adult life to keep a healthy weight and failing most of the time, I have a collection of fat-free, low-fat and low calorie recipes that is immense and which I love to share. It is the sharing that helps us to release that "terrible bondage of self," and eat abstinently.

Food plans and food choices and food ideas can be shared enthusiastically in this setting. Most OA meetings are not focused in that direction. Another wonderful tool is the book, "Abstinence", an Overeaters Anonymous publication. This book is so valuable that one of the meetings in my area focuses on reading and discussing it.

As it says in the Mission Statement of The Discovery Kitchen, "This loop is open to all compulsive eaters world-wide . . . The archives are searchable, our recipes are in the public domain and our home page is located at:
http.//www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/kitchen/."

~ Jeanne



~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~




~~THE TWELVE STEPS ~ STEP ELEVEN~~

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him<.I>, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.



~~ THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ~ TRADITION ELEVEN ~~

Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and other public media of communication.




~~ BIG BOOK QUOTE ~~
BIG BOOK READING
STEP NINE: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

"If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -- sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."

~ c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-84. ~


MY SHARE...(From Myrlene, Big Book and Recovery Group)

I wanted to put the Promises on for the beginning of the new Serendipity Newsletter. I think it is an apt lesson, because it tells us that if we read the Big Book and work the 12 Steps that all these good things will gradually be ours.

I am here to profess that it is true. I've only been in Recovery Program for two years. I always knew there was something missing from my life, that I was just not getting something that needed to be there, like a piece missing from a puzzle. After I started studying the BB and doing the 12 Steps, I was just amazed at how much better I was starting to feel. I reached what some called the "Pink Cloud." It was as if someone had taken an enormous weight off my shoulders and I felt lighter. My whole spirit was lighter and happier. I can't tell you when it started, but that it happened to me. I can suddenly handle problems that used to baffle me and cause me a great deal of unhappiness and misery.

I'm not done yet. I have Progress, not Perfection, but I want those who are just beginning to know that these writings are true. It can be yours, as it is mine and anyone else who decides to go on this Journey.

May your Higher Power/God bless you on your journey, too. You'll never be sorry you started to make it.

Love in Recovery,,
    Myrlene


~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~

~ November Meditations Calendar
~
(http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/november.html)

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:
RecoveryMeditationsList-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org





~ OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
6075 Zenith Ct. NE
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
USA

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/index.html
E-Mail Address ~ info@overeatersanonymous.org

"I put my hand in yours ...
and together we can do what we could never do alone."
~ Rozanne, OA CoFounder ~


~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~

Newsletter Editors ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Email Subscription)
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Letter to the Editor)
Sponsor Coordinator ~ sponsors@therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Meeting Coordinator ~ MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Recovery Group Founder ~ Mari




TRG ADMINISTRATION
(
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org)

TRG ADMINISTRATOR
Dodee

TRG ADMINISTRATOR APPRENTICES
Cody and Mary W.

TRG ADVISORS
(TG Advisors are past administrators of The Recovery Group)
John, Patt, Sande and Cate
TRG DIVISIONS
RECOVERY LOOPS: Dodee
ODAT LOOPS: Nancy
DISCOVERY LOOPS: Cody and Mary W.
FOREIGN LOOPS: Dodee (Acting)
TRG OA MEETINGS: Terri, Barry and Christine
TRG SPECIAL SERVICES: Dodee (Acting)
THE SERENDIPITY TEAM MEMBERS
Marty
Terri
Sarah
Debbie
Shauna
Karen
Lisa
Jeanne
Penny


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


~~ The Serenity Prayer ~~

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.


What we could never do alone ~
We can do together.

One day at a time, ~
One step at a time.




Disclaimer


The Recovery Group and our newsletter has as its mission and purpose that of carrying the message of recovery to those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating. We are an anonymous organization and follow the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous; however, we are not affiliated with that group. Your articles, announcements and information are welcome. All opinions in this newsletter represent only the opinions of the writers and not necessarily that of The Recovery Group or OA, Inc.

The Trusted Servants of Recovery

Volume 6 Issue 11 © Copyright 2004 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.