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A More Beautiful Way to Live

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What in the world is spirituality anyway? I’d had a good upbringing in my family’s religion, but had no more spirituality than I had control over my eating. The God I grew up with was not personal to me, more like an ethereal image that I couldn’t grasp or really even believe in. He was from a book, rather than in my heart.

Developing a relationship with a Power of my own choosing was a game changer. As I took the first three Steps and wasn’t compulsively overeating, there was a sense that maybe there really was a Power greater than me and greater than food, and that would make this whole OA thing work. Suddenly I didn’t feel powerless anymore. I had a new Power who would keep me sane and abstinent. All I had to do was believe.

I don’t have to overeat anymore; I truly believe that. If God can’t take away my desire for overeating, then I’ve got the wrong God because that would mean that food is the only power greater than myself! When I grasped that concept, I knew that at least the eating problem would be over.

I believe that the most spiritual thing I can do on a daily basis is stick to my abstinent plan of eating, because if I don’t, then food is my god. Morbid obesity and suicidal thinking was my way of life when food was god, so I’m grateful beyond words for the desire to be abstinent. I no longer need to worry about eating compulsively, really. In addition to cementing my relationship with God on a daily basis with beautiful Eleventh Step morning disciplines, I look for ways to be helpful to others. That is a more beautiful way to live than refrigerator surfing.

There are occasions when I’ll get a thought about food when I shouldn’t. Heck, I did that for most of the forty-three years of my life before OA, and it is a pretty ingrained habit. Now, I no longer have to buy into a fleeting thought. Overeaters Anonymous has nine Tools of Recovery and they are a vastly better substitute. I can pick up the phone instead of the fork. Easy-peasy.

Telling on myself is underrated. If food thoughts persist, and I tell someone else whether by email, text, sharing in a meeting, or an actual phone call, then all the power in that thought drains out like magic! It works. I always share this with anyone who asks about how to move through food obsession; I tell on myself and then go find somebody to help. Get out of that self-centered thinking!

— Gerri

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