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You Just Might Be

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Half my family is from a very small town in Kentucky, and redneck jokes are often shared at family events, no matter how many times I roll my eyes in protest.

Recently, during one of my daily conversations with my sponsor (the kind you think will be simple but turn out to be amazing) I shared about a mini-vacation from which my husband, son, and I had just returned. I made a joke about “if, after a vacation, you immediately unpack your bags and do laundry . . . you might be abstinent.”

When I’d been in the food, I’d often come home from vacation completely full of sugar and regret. Bags would be unpacked “later”—sometimes weeks later—and laundry would be done “as soon as I feel better.”

I went on to share that I often think of these jokes, filling in with “You know you’re abstinent when . . .” Almost immediately, my sponsor suggested I complete some of those jokes and share them. Since one of the fill-ins could now read, “You know you’re abstinent when . . . you are up for a new challenge,” I decided to take fingers to keyboard and do it.

You know you’re abstinent when . . .

✓ You no longer get bagged meals through a window.
✓ You consider trying something as weird looking as quinoa. You really know you’re abstinent if you like it!
✓ You name your disease (mine is named Hopper).
✓ Your trashcan has a one-way entry—things only go in, not out.
✓ Your family and friends all know you will not share your meal—it’s weighed and measured! You want it all.
✓ You “splurge” on butter lettuce.
✓ You make a to-do list and actually DO it.
✓ You find yourself admiring other people’s pretty food containers and lunch bags.
✓ You break out a scale at a restaurant.
✓ You find yourself saying things like, “I just love my measuring cups.”

If you feel stuff—a lot . . . you might be abstinent.

If you realize there’s more than one color of apple, and “berry” isn’t just a flavor of candy . . . you might be abstinent.

If you brush your teeth at night (because you actually stop eating before you fall asleep) . . . you could very well be abstinent.

There’s a good chance you’re abstinent if: you have a new passion for life; you are present in each moment; you say “Sorry” and mean it; you ask, “How are you?” and care.

If you’re grateful, if you have dates with friends instead of food, if you’re open to growth and change, well . . . you just might be abstinent.

Fill in your own!

Jessica H., Tampa, Florida USA

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