Leader's Introduction

My Dear Friends in Recovery,

Here is my story in a nutshell: I'm a retired 68 year old woman and I've been a member of OA for coming on 27 years. During this time, I have had abstinence and have also relapsed. During this time, I have been in relapse more often than abstinence. I am sober 24 years and free from nicotine for 22 years. I started a new abstinence (Nov. 2014) with a wonderful sponsor and things are going well. . All of the doubts, fears, anxieties, depressions, sadness, etc. etc. that you feel in your life whether you are new to recovery, returning or going deeper into the steps, I know those feelings well. Our stories may be different, but the feelings are the same. I was a worrier and those worries were as compulsive as my eating. And so, my life was unmanageable, perhaps it didn't look so much from outside (I was overweight, but holding things together....or so it seemed), but 'within' I was truly a wreck. Negative thinking, resentments, worries about the future and depression and guilt about the past were my constant companions.

There is a way out for folks like us. It is through abstinence from compulsive overeating and working the 12 steps.

In the past when I have relapsed I could so easily see how the sentence above was true. When I am abstinent and living the steps (now that I have worked through them), my life is beyond anything I could have imagined. I could imagine "things" but I could not imagine the peace and serenity that is mine to have.

For your information:
Here is the OA definition of abstinence: "Abstinence in Overeaters Anonymous is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional and physical recovery is the result of living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve-Step program."

I strongly suggest that you work these steps abstinently in order to receive their full benefit. Keep it simple. Talk to your sponsor. I made a list of the foods and ingredients that I compulsively overeat and the food behaviors around compulsive eating and eliminated them from my plan for eating each day, one day at a time. I find that having a food plan is important and so I use one of the food plans suggested by OA and have modified it to fit my own health needs. If you don't have a sponsor, it's important that you do so. He/she will help you with your food plan as well as help guide you as you take the steps. My relationship with my sponsor is paramount for my recovery and I am very grateful.

I live by that motto: "Keep it simple". The next 12 weeks we'll go through the 12 steps in a simple but hopefully meaningful manner. I suggest you read at least one of these books as we move along. "Alcoholics Anonymous" which is available to read online at this website: http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous, "The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" which is available to read (Step One) at this website: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_step1.pdf and "The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous" which is available to purchase at this website: http://bookstore.oa.org/.

Step One will be sent Monday, April 9th and then resent on Thursday April 13th. For the most part (except for Step 4) we will be taking one step a week.

Back to you:

1. Please introduce yourself.

2. Will you commit to working all of the steps in this step study?

Thank you for being part of this 12 Step Workshop and for being part of my recovery. Feel free to contact me using the email below or by calling me.



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