Home Relapse The Choices We Make

The Choices We Make

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I have experienced the 100-pounder (45-kg) status twice: first as a newcomer, and three years later after a six-month relapse. Recovering, I reached a 30- to 40-pound (14- to 18-kg) loss and then plateaued. I felt like nothing was working.

Desperate people are willing to take desperate measures. I finally admitted I needed help from a food sponsor, who was willing to take my calls in the evening. I tipped the scales at 211 pounds (96 kg). If I was not willing to do something different, I was afraid I would be destined to remain at that weight—or higher.

Here is a list of things that helped me release another 77 pounds (35 kg):

  • Believing God wants the best for me, including a happy, healthy, and sane body, mind, and spirit.
  • Doing whatever service I can, whenever I can, within all levels of the OA service structure.
  • Sponsoring people through the Twelve Steps, helping to keep my spiritual house in order.
  • Attending a minimum of two OA meetings every week no matter what.
  • Calling my sponsor every week and sending additional emails. Working on forgiving, so I can love myself.
  • Seeking professional care from as many as eight outside specialists who are helping to heal me.
  • Reading, writing, praying, and meditating with OA’s meditation books, namely, For Today and Voices of Recovery, which help heal my insides.
  • Writing and praying in the morning. I express my gratitude daily to my Higher Power for my abstinence and for the willingness and ability to stick to my plans of eating and exercise.
  • Meeting every week with my nutritional therapist, who reviews my body fat percentage, weekly goals, and daily food log. We discuss any changes for the next week, and she leads me in a visualization that helps me accept my new body.
  • Establishing boundaries between my food and the food my family insists upon eating. Sometimes I have to move tempting food out of sight or stay out of the kitchen. • Accepting that this is a day-at-a-time, meal-at-a-time program, and sometimes I can only handle it in ten-minute increments.

If I have learned anything in almost twelve years of working the OA program, I’ve learned it comes down to choices. Every time I go grocery shopping or prepare a meal, I make choices. I can follow the suggestions of my sponsors and nutritionist. I can listen to my head or listen to my body.

“When faced with too many options,” a sponsor once told me, “choose the one most closely related to God.”

This is the first time anyone has taught me what it takes to maintain my new body. I am choosing to surrender this entire process to a power greater than myself, and I trust God will let me know when the time is right for me to do something different. Until that day comes, I keep doing what I did yesterday, because it seems to be working.

—S.S., Sunnyvale, California USA

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