First of all I would like to say that I put a few events on the calendar so you may want to check there. There’s an event as soon as tomorrow.
Next I would like to say HI! to my lovely oa’ers and happy March! I love March. Maybe it’s because of daylight savings time which I love but others tend not to. Maybe it’s spring cleaning (well no). Or maybe it’s sort of a rebirth. The trees are starting to get their leaves, the flowers are blooming (and the pollen) or just that it’s warmer and there’s not an ice storm going on. Speaking of which, I hope everyone made it through alright. I was blessed enough not to lose electricity but I know there were many, including my parents, who lost electricity for several days. Since I’m talking about rebirth, etc, it may be the right time for me to rededicate myself to my program; do all the things that I know will help my program like outreach, service, using the basic tools and “saying the serenity prayer, doubling up on my meetings, saying the 11th step prayer, and working with others “(Sandy Beach).
I had someone contribute (and all of you can do that too) who would like to remain anonymous. Hoping everyone is well.
Anne (with an e not annie :))
How do you know if you’re ready?
The first time I ever shared in an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, it went something like: “I haven’t been ready to address my weight, and I’m not sure I am now. There is something stopping me, but I’m not sure what. One of the things I don’t want to let go of is the cute clothes I’ve collected.”
Leave it to me to bring the humor. I just can’t help being myself, warts and all, silly thoughts and all, honesty and all.
For years, I didn’t know how to approach my weight. During casual conversations with relatives and friends about holiday weight gain or pandemic weight gain, I would squirm and shuffle when they would mention things they were doing to improve. If they would say they were trying a keto diet, I would softly smirk. If they said they were going sugarless, I would nod. Sometimes, I didn’t have an answer at all because I knew there was something holding me back deep down inside.
How could I begin to address the problem I was facing? In order for me to reach my normal weight, I would have to lose 100 pounds. It seemed like a mountain to climb, a challenge too big to face. I didn’t know where to start, and I knew the inherent weakness when my answer to that conversation was, “Yeah, I need to get healthy, too.”
I knew I had no intention of doing such a thing, and I certainly didn’t know how. My food issues didn’t begin with carelessness over the holidays or boredom during a pandemic. In fact, my unhealthy relationship with food began even before my weight issues did. As a child who had little oversight, I indulged in an anything-goes buffet of my own creation, fueled heavily by sugar. By adulthood, those habits were fully ingrained.
Like most of my OA peers, I had tried every diet imaginable before determining there had to be a better way. I also knew a better way would ultimately mean confronting the issues that had wrecked my life for so many years – traumas, losses, lack of self-love, being stuck – and I didn’t want to face any of it. That, in a nutshell, is why I hadn’t been ready.
For many of us, overeating is an issue of the mind first and foremost, and the body follows. Being ready to reform my relationship with food would mean being ready to confront the mental weight I was carrying around, as well as the physical weight.
Who wants to do that? How fun would that be? The truth is that change isn’t always pleasant. If inner peace came so naturally to us, we wouldn’t struggle to begin with. For some of us, serenity is something we must actively work at every single day.
Being ready to lose weight equates with being ready to make a mental shift. Not everyone who comes to OA will be ready for that change the first time they arrive, and that’s OK. Everyone’s time frame is different, and every person’s recovery is unique.
Today, I know that despite the difficulties in making that mental shift, the rewards are rich and encouraging. It feels good to rid myself of mental and physical baggage, and for the first time in my adult life, the scale is moving in the right direction. Each small victory gives me hope for the future. And I now have a growing toolbox of resources and fellows to help me face whatever lies ahead.
Will there be bumps in the road? Of course. But I’m grateful I made the decision to give OA a chance, and at some point along the way, I became ready to make a change.