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My Replacement

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I began Overeaters Anonymous in February 2014 after becoming desperate. I was scheduled for a double knee replacement later in the year.

At 240 pounds (109 kg), I was told I must lose at least 50 pounds (23 kg) for a successful recovery. I tried and I couldn’t, because I was depressed for three years after being fired from my job and had a mental block when it came to weight loss. I was an emotional wreck; fear consumed me as I considered a major operation in my physical condition. Finally, I remembered that Overeaters Anonymous is based on the Twelve Steps, which I knew to be spiritual from reading them many years ago, and I knew I needed God.

Although I had many confusing and negative thoughts during the first few weeks, the program became clearer after I got a sponsor. I learned my food triggers and eating behaviors that led to my unmanageable life. I made a food plan and followed it pretty well, not perfectly, but I did make progress and lost 15 pounds (7kg) in three months.

Working with my sponsor, I took a look at my past and the emotions I had experienced since childhood related to religion and spirituality. I was amazed to find, despite the negative experiences, there were many affirming times throughout my life that outshined the negative perceptions I’d gathered. It was a refreshing eye-opener.

In one meeting, I learned the difference between submission and surrender. After, I understood how surrender, unlike submission, means relaxation, freedom from strain, and freedom from conflict. That understanding was music to my ears as I worked Step Three, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” The following prayer welled up in me from a new gratitude:

“Oh God, let my eyes always be upon you, your work in this world, and upon my life. As I look back upon my life and emotions related to memories of you, you have always been with me, sustaining me in every aspect of my life. You cannot fail. You are wonderful in my sight. I remember all my lifelong struggles to submit in ways that involved ‘me,’ as if I could do anything on my own. I know by experience, you have proven how vast is my freedom and how blessed I am when I surrender all to you. Help me now to hold on to nothing. You make things out of nothing. You turn evil into my good blessings. You make my problems as though they are not. There is only freedom in you. That is where I want to be. Guide me daily in my steps, oh God, that I may be wholly surrendered to you. Amen.”

— Pam R., Bakersfield, California USA

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