The Third Step Prayer:
God, I offer myself to Thee to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always! Amen.
Principle of Step Three:
In Step Three we learned faith as we made the most important decision we had ever made, the decision to trust God as we understand God with our will and our lives. Practicing the principle of faith today means that we will no longer go through life acting however we feel like acting at any given moment. Instead we will look to our Higher Power for guidance and strength as we face each decision.
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous: Page 104
My Step Three:
Hi, I am Cindi, a compulsive overeater.
Step Three is the step that changed my life from being an active compulsive overeater to being abstinent and in recovery. How did that happen?
I joined OA online in January of 2002 and I weighed 300 pounds. I got a sponsor, joined an online step study and began to work my way through all Twelve Steps. I became a sponsor just as I started to work on Step Four – my moral inventory. I went to an online meeting almost every single night. I read literature and reached out to others. Sounds good, right? Yet, in December of 2003, I still weighed 300 pounds. Clearly, something was wrong. I worked what I thought was a good program, yet I was not getting anywhere.
My online sponsor talked to me and I told her I was “taking a break” from program over the holidays. What I meant was that I was going to binge my brains out then come back on January 1. Hehehe! My sponsor said NO. Huh? What do you mean no? I can leave if I want to do so. She said that if I left I would never come back. I tried very hard to convince her that I would. My sponsor said if that happened, and she very much doubted it would, then she would no longer sponsor me. I would have to get another sponsor. I loved my sponsor! Up to this point, she had been so kind, so caring, so encouraging. Why was she giving me such a hard time? But she meant it, if I left and came back, she would not sponsor me. I would have to get another sponsor. Sheesh! So, I told her I would stay but I wasn’t very nice about it. Still, my sponsor quietly shared with me that she saw something in me that made her believe in me.
Six months later, on May 31, 2004, I preplanned my meals for the next day. I had never done this before. I had been willing to write down what I ate that day but never preplanned. But I had been praying every day, all day long, a prayer that went like this, “God, grant me the willingness to do whatever it takes to have good recovery.” I prayed this multiple times a day. I continued to pray, over and over and over. I wanted to be abstinent. I wanted to be in recovery. I wanted to be a better person. I wanted to feel better about myself. I wanted freedom from food obsession. I also decided that the next day I would begin a round of 90 meetings in 90 days, another thing that I had not been willing to do in the past two and a half years of working program. You see, it is what I was NOT willing to do that was hold me back from recovery.
On June 1, 2004, I woke up and ate my breakfast. I felt different. I went to work and ate my lunch I had made at home. When I got home, I ate my dinner. Then it occurred to me. I had no obsessive food thoughts. They were gone! I realized something that still gives me chills today. The moment, the exact moment that I became willing to do whatever it took to have good recovery was the moment that God stepped in and relieved me of my thirty-five-year obsession with food. I was finally free! God could and would if He were sought. And, oh yea, I had to be willing.
I do want to admit that I was scared to death that someone or something would take away my new-found freedom. I told no one what had happened except my OA friends and sponsor. I didn’t want anyone to jinx me. That summer was a roller coaster of emotions. All those hidden feelings kept coming to the surface and I spent many times on the floor sobbing my heart out. On the other side, I felt such momentous joy! I was abstinent! I was freed! I was actually IN recovery!
It took about ninety days for me to realize that nothing was going to take away my recovery as long as I worked the Twelve Step program daily and be willing to do whatever it takes.
What I would love to have happen is that everyone in this step study pray for the willingness and find it as I did. What is holding you back from working a full out Twelve Step program? Because that is exactly what you need to do.
I love who I am today. I love wearing normal sized clothing. I love knowing that I am the best that I can be. I came to program to lose the weight. What I found was so much more! Before program, I never knew I could write and speak so well, especially in front of a crowd of people, but I do now. Leading this step study is reinforcing my own program so that I feel stronger in my recovery.
Step Three: Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him. It truly is a decision well worth making. Although food was my best friend and constant companion for thirty-five years, abstinence and recovery are so much better!
To help comprehend the questions, please read Step Three in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA.
You may also read, in the Alcoholics Anonymous book, the chapter titled, How It Works, pages 60 through 63, as well as page 417. (Fourth Edition)
1. Faith is the principle of Step Three. How much faith do you have in your Higher Power? Do you believe that God could and would if He were sought? Explain.
2. Have you ever known freedom from food obsession? What are you willing to do to have that freedom?
3. Is there anything in program that you are not willing to do? If so, do you realize that is what is holding you back?
4. How do you make a decision? What is involved? Explain.
5. What happens with all the submerged emotions when you are abstinent? What can you do to deal with those feelings?
If you have any questions, please email me at:
Put WTS in the subject line. Thanks!
Love in Recovery;
The Twelve Steps