Home How OA Changed My Life The Brave Person in the Mirror

The Brave Person in the Mirror

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After being a full-time mom to four children, I find myself at a new stage in life; I am now able to travel with my husband when he travels for work. It is wonderful, yet at every hotel or motel, every resort or lodge, big or small, fancy or casual, I consistently find myself confronted with one kind of furnishing: mirrors. Lots and lots of mirrors. Full-length mirrors. Full wall mirrors!

Having been a compulsive overeater for as long as I can remember, I don’t have many mirrors in my own home. In fact, I have never owned a full-length mirror, and I certainly never wanted one in my bathroom. My highest recorded weight was observed by a nutritionist a couple of years prior to my starting OA in 2011; I weighed 324 pounds (147 kg).

Our program starts at Step One: overcoming denial. Because OA is a threelegged program (physical, emotional, and spiritual), my Higher Power has been systematically addressing my denial across all three arenas.

When I look in a mirror just after a shower, I see my real physical body—so many places I have never wanted to look. I see my whole physical self from all different angles. It’s both familiar and unrecognizable, comforting and shocking. I work a physical program in OA.

I’ve become aware of all the feelings that come up. How do I feel about what I see in the mirror? What do I call myself? Ugly? Beautiful? Old? Changing? Do I have any value? Is it too late to be better? I work an emotional program in OA.

Finally, how does my relationship with God fit into all this? What are my spiritual beliefs? Where do I place my hope? I am again offered an opportunity to admit that I am a compulsive overeater, powerless over food and food situations. Will I press into my Higher Power, a being greater than myself, as I stand naked, having so many feelings, thoughts, and questions? I work a spiritual program in OA.

After about five years in the wonderful Fellowship of OA, I have lost about 55 pounds (25 kg). I have met the most courageous men and women. It takes a lot of bravery to look in the mirror and really see one’s true self. It takes help from this Fellowship to work through the physical, emotional, and spiritual issues of life. I have sponsorship, accountability, a food plan, a daily action plan, meetings, literature, and service, one day at a time. I am a work in progress, and I am well on my way.

Thank you, Higher Power, for OA!

— Anonymous

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