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Aspire More and Think

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As a returnee to OA after many years of “research,” I discovered the action plan Tool. I love it. Here’s an action plan I made for myself: To get and stay abstinent, I ASPIRE MORE and THINK.

When I feel an oncoming urge to eat compulsively, I:
A—Allow six minutes before eating. I set timers in the kitchen and other places I might go for extra food. During this time, I ask myself if I really want to eat.
S—Steep a cup of tea or make a cup of hot water with lemon to sip. I keep teas that I like in a tin by the fridge and put some in baggies to keep in my other eating places.
P—Pray for abstinence and to be relieved of the compulsion to overeat. I post a prayer on my fridge. I change it periodically so it doesn’t become overfamiliar and invisible.
I—Inhale deeply five times. Rest. Inhale deeply five times more.
R—Read something, especially program literature. I keep a program book in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag! I keep literature in other eating places too.
E—Examine the last thoughts I was having, things I was doing, and things going on just before I got an urge to overindulge. I jot down my last thought in a notebook.
M—Make a program call. I keep numbers on the door of the fridge and in my eating places.
O—Okay whatever feelings I am having. I post sticky notes with positive affirmation messages, like “Feelings are okay,” and change them often.
R—Remember priorities and long-term goals. I list them and post them.
E—Escape to another room and modify the triggering situation. For example, I start doing my nails while I watch TV, or I turn off the TV. I go to bed and rest, or I dance, stretch, and exercise for a few minutes using upbeat music.

Also, I don’t forget to THINK:
T—Thank my Higher Power for each time and each day I stay abstinent.
H—Heap praise on myself for making the next right choice.
I—Involve my OA family, my Higher Power, and other supportive people in my struggle with this cunning and baffling illness. I choose people who help me, not ones who shame me. The phone is my friend. I call lots of different people so I won’t wear anyone out.
N—Never give up, because the miracle is happening.
K—Keep trying my best. And I keep coming back!

— Stephania S.

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