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Need–to–Dos

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These are things I do to maintain abstinence:

  • I have a sponsor.
  • Although I often complain, procrastinate, and argue, I eventually become willing to do what my sponsor asks.
  • I work the Steps with my sponsor.
  • I call my sponsor almost daily to commit my food to him.
  • I have a food plan.
  • I know what abstinence means for me: three meals a day, no snacks, no sugar, no binge foods.
  • I use a diabetic food list to eat healthy.
  • I read product labels and make every effort to buy foods with no sugar.
  • I weigh and measure my food.
  • On my good days, I prepare appropriate food in advance so I don’t graze or eat a pre-meal meal.
  • I record what I eat every day.
  • I go regularly to my doctor and talk about my health, food, and weight loss.
  • I meet with a nutritionist and will continue to do so as long as I need to.
  • I meet weekly with a personal trainer.
  • I exercise three times per week most weeks.
  • I attend at least two OA meetings per week—three when I can.
  • I join in fellowship with other OA members both in and out of the rooms
  • I do service by leading meetings, giving my number to others, and making myself available to talk to others.
  • When I’m in need, I call others in program.
  • I read daily from the Big Book.
  • I pray and meditate throughout the day.
  • I tell others outside the program that I am in OA and talk about my experience in program.
  • I remember I am blessed. My children and family are proud of my progress and worry less about me.
  • I remain grateful I can put on my own socks and tie my own shoes.
  • I remain grateful for the Fellowship and that life is filled with new relationships instead of isolation and loneliness.
  • I maintain my memory of the fear and despair I felt in the hospital on December 10, 2012, when I finally realized I was powerless over food and that my life had become unmanageable.

I am not perfect, and I do not wish to appear arrogant by doing the things on this list. I do all these things because I need to do them. Without them, I would slowly return to the food and be consumed by my disease.

— John P., Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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