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Compelling Benefits

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I have been reading Lifeline for years and have loved many articles, but this is the first time I felt compelled to respond to an article. I really loved “You Just Might Be” (February 2019), which lists off many indicators, in a humorous way, to tell if you’re abstinent or not. I could relate so much!

The first time I recognized that I was abstinent—and not just in my eating but in my living too—was when I went hiking with my new baby and husband. I was only a month or so abstinent, but I packed in my planned lunch and snack, and we had a great time. The recovery I noted was that when we got home after a long day, I went straight to putting things away just like the article says, so I knew that this program was much more than just not eating compulsively. (In the past, I would leave things undone or not go hiking at all!) And like the article mentions, I too would fall asleep on the couch without brushing my teeth after eating too much. So today I know I’m abstinent when I brush before bedtime.

The author also states so beautifully the other benefits of abstinence such as being grateful, the ability to apologize, caring for others, and much more. Here’s a few of my own. You might be abstinent if: Your dishes are washed daily and your laundry kept up. You say yes to being a speaker and “commence to outgrow fear”. You weigh yourself only twice a month just for information; it’s not your god. You answer your phone when it rings and don’t screen your calls. You honor your commitments and take your service positions seriously. You eat your meals moderately, mindfully, prayerfully, and gratefully because that is all you will eat until it’s time to eat again.

And, you just might be abstinent if you listen to your intuition and write that letter to Lifeline instead of procrastinating. Thank you, OA!

— Heather S.

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