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Life Transformed

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OA not only changed my life but this recovery program also gave me a life worth living. Before I became abstinent from sugar, compulsive overeating, and compulsive food behaviors, I lived a life in food, using it constantly to manage and escape feelings and stress. I’d never want to go back to the way it was before I found OA, and one day at a time, I will not.

Before I came into program, I used food to calm myself. I’d work twelve-hour days, then come home and binge. I didn’t know how else to stop the revving engine. I took in much more food than my body needed, using it to reduce the anxiety, anger, and resentment I felt toward others. I’ve since learned that work itself can be an obsession, and it turns out I don’t have to work that long and hard. I’m actually more productive if I don’t.

The year 2016 was pivotal for me. My mother died suddenly at age 77. She had diabetes, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol—all ailments I shared. I was morbidly obese and had emotionally, spiritually, and mentally checked out. I was killing myself with sugar and food and didn’t know how to stop. I knew I could not face yet another diet failure. I longed to be a real part of my little grandchildren’s lives, to make a place in their histories. I’d reached a bottom with food and knew I could no longer live like this. I became as willing as Bill W. to say, “I am ready to do anything, anything!” (Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 63).

Through this program and my Higher Power, I have released 68 pounds (31 kg). I’ve been at maintenance weight for one year and no longer have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or joint pain. I have energy. I’m productive at work, happy, and, most of the time, serene. I can wear clothes that fit and feel confident that I look good in them. Is my body perfect? No. Yet, I’ve decided I will never again hate my body as I did for so many years. I will love my body completely for all it does for me. It looks exactly the way it’s supposed to look.

I no longer use food to cope with my anger, anxiety, stress, relationships, job, or life. I now have a program. When I have resentments and fears, I turn them over to my God; I pray, talk to people, and write. Through the Tools, the Steps, this Fellowship, and my Higher Power, I’ve transformed my life. I’m much closer to being the person I want to be in this world. All my relationships have improved.

Today, I love myself enough to take care of myself. I no longer work twelve-hour days and binge to calm down. After work, I come home and rest. I use meditation daily to stay on the right track. OA comes first, so I take my program on the road when I travel. I ask for what I need. What people think of me and my program no longer matters. My life is full and today I have hope for a future.

I wake up in the morning and ask God what he wants from me. What is his will for my day? I get quiet and listen. I ask for direction. I keep a prayer list and pray for people I know are struggling. I talk to my sponsor every day. I give her an honest review, and she gives me feedback. I listen. I am honest and open. I am willing. God wants me to be kind and loving to others. He wants me to provide service, not only in this program but also to people in my life. What do they want? What do they need? I get out of my own selfishness and self-centeredness when I can be of service to others.

My life, especially outside of work, is meant to be lived. I now walk and hike and bike. I can visit Europe and walk for miles without getting winded or having pain. I can lift my grandchildren and get down on the floor to play with them. I can walk into a room full of people and feel confident in who I am. I can be who my Higher Power wants me to be.

I would not be living this wonderful, full life without this program. Thank you, God, for OA.

— Susan, Ohio USA

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