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Ideals in Action

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I’ve been working on my food ideals (how I want to behave around food) and asking God to help me. Since I forget sometimes how good it feels to take actions that deny my disease’s power, I want to write them down on a night when God gave me the willingness to act according to the ideals I’ve been thinking about.

How does it feel not to lick the plate?
I only lick my plate when I’m alone because I’m ashamed that I do it. I feel relieved that there was no part of my dinner behavior tonight that I wouldn’t have done in front of others. I wasn’t hiding any behaviors; after all, I can’t hide them from myself!

How does it feel to weigh my salad ingredients?
Freeing. I felt so sane and so neutral toward food, putting back the parts I would have eaten while I chopped other vegetables. Compulsive behaviors, such as eating while preparing food and eating while standing up, corrode my serenity and sanity just as much as eating sugar does. My willingness to use the food scale is a blessing, and I feel so calm and free from obsession when I sit down to a weighed meal.

How does it feel to keep my meals simple?
Not as depriving as I expected. I am a food lover, so I try to spruce up my meals in any way possible: Wouldn’t it be better if I added some of this? And a few of these? And just a shaving of this, and a sprinkle of that? Recently, I was traveling and didn’t have all these extra bits. The simple meals were just as satisfying and far less distracting. Tonight I left many extras in the fridge and the cupboard. Dinner was still enjoyable, and my plate was not as busy.

How does it feel to eat slowly?
Difficult, but worthwhile. I often sat down and wolfed my food, which felt gratifying at the time but then made me uncomfortable, sometimes for hours afterward. Tonight I set a timer and paced myself so my meal took twenty minutes. This slow pace goes against my impulse, but it also sets me free.

What I appreciate about this program is that I immediately feel the benefits of taking action. I don’t have to wait for a week of perfect adherence to these food ideals. I feel better after one meal. It worked tonight, and if I remain in fit spiritual condition, it can work tomorrow.

My spiritual fitness today depends upon my listening to podcast meetings (where I live, there are no face-to-face meetings), completing a Tenth Step, and giving what I have found in program away. Thank you for being part of my recovery today.

— A.M., Ramallah, Palestine

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