March 12, 2021
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.
February 23, 2021
So I’d like to start this post off with a quote from Mr. Hollands Opus. The reason is because I was in a group and we were discussing the need for sponsors. According to a well known OA speaker, a sponsor is not required to work the steps. But it sure makes it easier. If you’re in an unfamiliar forest, you can eventually get out. I might get out. It may be hours, days, weeks, even months, but you will get out. Now if someone hands you a compass, you’re more likely to get out sooner. If you have a guide, it would be a piece of cake (sorry). I think of a sponsor as a compass and a guide. Someone who has been where I am (the forest, the wilderness, the desert) and made it through alive. Why wouldn’t I have a sponsor to shorten that time of being lost. With that being said here is a quote from the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus that made me think of the compass scenario:
Principal Jacobs: Mr. Holland! Just the man I was looking for. We’re forming a textbook committee for next year’s curriculum. And I would like to have your ideas and suggestions. We meet next Tuesday night in the library.
Glenn Holland: Oh, I’m sorry, Mrs. Jacobs. I’m… I’m very busy on Tuesday night.
Principal Jacobs: Uh-huh. You know, for a good four or five months now, I’ve been watching you, Mr. Holland. I’ve never seen a teacher sprint for the parking lot after last period with more speed and enthusiasm than his students. Perhaps you should be our track coach.
Glenn Holland: Mrs. Jacobs, I get here on time every morning, don’t I? I’m doing my job the best I can.
Principal Jacobs: A teacher is two jobs. Fill young minds with knowledge, yes. But more important, give those minds a compass so that that knowledge doesn’t go to waste. Now, I don’t know what you’re doing with the knowledge, Mr. Holland, but as a compass, you’re stuck.
Here is some words of wisdom from Atiya and I’ve also added some pearls of wisdom.
Atiya Mosley (email@example.com)To:you (Bcc) DetailsListen and Learn. February 14, 2021
Listen (to my HP, Healing Path) and Learn (the next indicated action). Listen (to my inner self) and Learn (what I need and what’s important to me). Listen (to my sponsor) and Learn (how to accept humanness). Listen to (you) and learn (how to practice spiritual principles in all of my affair). Listen (at a meeting) and Learn (the hope of recovery).
Thanks for teaching me how to listen and learn. Happy Day of Love!
Atiya M. Durham, NC, USA919-302-1030 (please not texts)firstname.lastname@example.org
Atiya Mosley (email@example.com)To:you (Bcc) DetailsHonesty February 6
-Spiritual Principle of Step One
A significant area of my dishonesty is omission. I am very skilled at manipulating the truth. A few weeks ago, I was given credit for organizing a special event with former OA trustees of color. I am also responsible for an amend arising from the same event.
Although I invited a speaker who is no longer in OA, I did not share this information with all of you. I wanted OA members to attend. So, my announcement implied that the group of us holding the event were on our way to being a registered OA service body. This was true (and has happened). Yet, when the former trustee who is no longer in the fellowship shared matters that some considered outside issues in addition to her experience, strength and hope, I justified (in my mind) that this was not an “official OA” event. I can’t have it both ways!
I apologize to all of you for intentionally omitting information and for my dishonesty. I invite your loving feedback on ways to make this right.
Atiya M.Durham, NC, USA919-302-1030 no text messages firstname.lastname@example.org
January 9, 2021
New blog post from Atiyah:
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
This week I was sharing with an OA member about some of my recent spiritual experiences. When my partner and I stopped living together about two months ago, I began to do step work with a friend who is in OA and AA. I have been having “deep and effective spiritual experiences” as the result. When speaking with this OA member this week, she expressed gratitude that I shared with her that, 14 years into recovery, I was still working the steps. She said that she sometimes thinks she will reach a point when step work is not necessary. My understanding is that step work is always optional. I can be as insane (and fat) as I want to be!
I was working on automating my distribution list during my vacation and planned to send out the prior reflection that way. However, I did not finish. Instead, today you get two shares.
Saturday, December 26, 2020 – Through is the Way
On Christmas Eve, I was at the grocery store as an act service. While there, I purchased dinner for my partner and I. I purchased something that I have eaten many times in recovery, but not from this particular store. As I was eating my meal, something tasted sweet. I noticed the taste and finished eating my meal. Nothing came of it until the next morning. After my meditation, while on my elliptical, I called a friend in OA and my dinner from the night before came to mind. So, I shared with my friend about tasting something sweet during my meal. After we hung up, I had the first “sense memory” (a term I recently learned from my sponsor). It was of a food item that we had in our kitchen, which I had no plans to eat. I then felt a wave of shame and fear; shame that I was thinking about a food and fear that I triggered something by my dinner the night before.
I then called a second person in OA. While the phone was ringing, I realized that I was likely feeling vulnerable (which led to the shame and fear) from sharing with my friend and from acknowledging my humanness. I have learned that sharing is an antidote to shame. After I shared the above on this second friend’s voicemail, I had my second sense memory. This time it was of a beverage that we have in the fridge, which I have no plans of drinking. I then called my sponsor and left all of this on her voicemail. During the voicemail message to my sponsor, I affirmed my commitment to abstinence and stated that I have a plan of eating which I intend to follow. I then remembered that I have an HP now (following a spiritual experience on Monday) that I can turn to. I ended the call to my sponsor and had a heartfelt connection with my HP (Healthy Presence). Part of that connection involved me recognizing that I went through (the feelings of fear and shame). And that is my message to myself and to all of you. The only way that I choose to go today is through! Whether it be painful thoughts, feelings or memories; whether it be my own actions and behaviors, today I choose to face my truth and go through it, no matter what. I thank you all for going through it with me!
I am grateful that my Christmas day was filled with love, joy, peace and most importantly physical, mental and emotional abstinence! I hope the same for each of you!
OA love and hugs,
Atiya M.Raleigh, NC, USA919-302-1030 (no text messages please)email@example.com
January 4, 2021
Yay! It’s a new year. Time to put the past in the past. Anyway. I did not have a great start to this year. I had over 200 days of abstinence and I had a couple of slips. So. What is going on? I have several explanations.
One starts with a show I like to watch called Blue Bloods. One of the main things that drew me to the show was the sense of family. Every Sunday the family that is highlighted comes to Sunday dinner. It’s not just the food but the conversations and sharing, even if everyone is in a bad mood. On one particular episode, the discussion was “how did I fail this week”? The older members of the family were really gung ho about the whole thing. One member told of how she lost a case (she’s a lawyer). Another member told how he misjudged someone. However, the younger members were like “Awww do I have to? Why can’t we discuss something I at which I succeed?” So finally one of the older family members explained that it’s succeeding or winning is great but it doesn’t teach you anything. When you screw up you learn from your failures.
On that note how did I fail? There are several reasons but I think the number one reason is I let up on my spiritual program. And as we know:
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.” (Big Book p 85)