Home Anorexia & Bulimia Balanced Prescription

Balanced Prescription

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My first OA meeting was in 1980. I was a college student, sick from bouts of anorexia and bulimia, and afraid I would not be “as sick” as others in the rooms.

Sure enough, my first impressions were that I was different; I was the thinnest and youngest in the room; and maybe I didn’t belong there. During the meeting break, a newcomer approached me, looked me up and down, and said, “What are you doing here?” I thought, “See! I don’t need this.”

I am thankful I noticed a few other things at that first meeting. I saw many smiling, accepting people of all shapes and sizes. I heard the speaker share about her powerful physical, emotional, and spiritual transformations. I was grateful when a woman asked if I needed a sponsor. The sanity I found at my first meeting was enough to keep me coming back for the last twenty-eight years.

It’s ironic that my path to abstinence was full of the same struggle between being unique and being common. I tried numerous food plans and heard, “If you want what I have, do what I did.” My interpretation was “eat only what and when I do.” It took several years to find a food plan that honored my unique metabolism and lifestyle and didn’t feed into anorexic or bulimic behaviors. Food addiction has a variety of symptoms, as all illnesses do, but the “medicine” is a plan of eating prescribed for the individual.

After many years of continuous abstinence, I realized my impulsive, negative reaction to my first OA meeting was just another symptom of the disease. The warmth and camaraderie at that meeting were ways Higher Power was reaching out to me. By listening to that healthy, intuitive, HP-inspired voice, I live a life that balances humility with independence.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State Intergroup, January 2009

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