Home Abstinence How I Work It—Today

How I Work It—Today

5 min read

In 2003, I was in my 30s and I couldn’t stop bingeing. In spite of the fat, depression, headaches, stomachaches, diarrhea, and isolation, I just couldn’t stop. So I came to OA, got a sponsor, and started weighing and measuring my food.

My goal was to work the program intensely for one year and “get it.” (I had always been a good student, so I’d apply myself!) After a year, I thought, I’d be healthier, thinner, and ready to start dating again.

But things didn’t go as I’d planned. For the next few years, I couldn’t stay abstinent for more than ninety or 120 days. Then I’d relapse and eat compulsively for months. After much struggle, I’d get abstinent again. This happened several times.

I learned from these awful experiences. I noticed my return to destructive eating was triggered by emotional disturbances. In those moments, I would reach for the food and not be able to stop. The process was painful and humiliating, but I finally understood what powerlessness meant. I could not control my disease, and, in spite of my best intentions, I could not control my recovery.

That understanding was a turning point for me. I had to let go of my “one year of abstinence” goal; I had to stop counting days. I realized that all I could do was focus on being abstinent today.

I was very lucky to find the two-hour OA-HOW format then, a very structured approach to program. I was asked to establish a food plan, weigh and measure my food, call my sponsor and three fellows daily, and read and write every day. I was also encouraged to go to at least one meeting every week and do service.

It was a lot of work, but it helped me. When I started to focus on today (instead of getting one year of abstinence) and when I decided to do whatever my sponsor asked me to do (even if I thought it was ridiculous), something finally clicked. I surrendered. One day at a time, using the OA-HOW format, I’ve stayed abstinent for ten years. I’m maintaining a weight loss of 75 pounds (34 kg).

Being abstinent gave me the stability to work on other areas of my life. I finally finished my degree and was offered a full-time job, which gave me opportunities to travel. I’ve been to France, Italy, Mexico, and Spain; different places in Africa, the Caribbean, and South America; and many different states in the USA. On each and every trip, I brought my OA program with me. I brought my scale and measuring cups. I stayed in touch with my sponsor and my fellows through calls, emails, and postcards. And thanks to my HP and the program, I stayed abstinent.

I used to only read Lifeline, looking for insight and hope. Today, I am grateful to write my story and share how focusing on today made all the difference.

— Anonymous

  • Surrender Happens 24/7

    When I came into OA, I was on the edge of a mental breakdown. I’d tried everything to stop…
  • True Freedom

    When a fellow OA member suggested I reflect on what true freedom looks like for me, I disc…
  • Day or Night

    I need a traveling program, one that is available to me 24/7. I have used our website, oa.…
Load More Related Articles
  • Low-Tech Outreach

    I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…
  • Available to Everyone

    Here are a few ways I carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. I print out OA’s C…
  • Radio-Active

    I was listening to a commentary about obesity on our local radio station. The commentator …
Load More By admin
  • Thirty Days!

    I’ve reached my twenty-ninth day of abstinence. Tomorrow will be my weighing day and my hi…
  • Heard and Answered

    A month ago, I had a visit from my friend. We had been saying for a long time that we shou…
  • It Can Happen to Anyone

    On April 24, 2019, I lost my mother very unexpectedly due to a stroke. About a month after…
Load More In Abstinence
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Low-Tech Outreach

I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…