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Baby Steps Up the Mountain

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Recently I learned I needed to change my plan of eating for my health. Okay, how do I do that? Power through, right?!

If I could control my eating I would never have come into Overeaters Anonymous almost thirty years ago. Before that, I tried: I tried every diet in every magazine. Every night, I planned to start this or that diet the next morning. I was absolutely sincere in my intention. Every night I binged accordingly. I participated in three major, external diet programs, and the day I would hit goal weight, I’d start bingeing, because surely this time I wouldn’t regain the weight! It was entirely magical thinking.

I arrived at OA angry, knowing I was out of control, particularly with certain foods and situations. “Knowing what was healthy for me” and “being able to eat sanely” had no relationship with each other. Plus, I was a loner and proud of not being a joiner, so just leave me alone.

In OA, baby steps were enough. They felt like climbing mountains. Get a sponsor, call her, and do what she suggests. Are you kidding?! But it worked. One day at a time, notice what was working. Was there any change for the better in food, feelings, attitude, or behavior that day? Say, “Thanks, Higher Power.” Start reading the literature: pamphlets, books, Steps, stories. One day at a time, start a conscious relationship with a Higher Power by taking baby steps of prayer and meditation, which are practical conversations with Higher Power. Be honest. Read a page from Voices of Recovery or For Today each morning. If I want Higher Power’s help, I need to crack open the door. Make a plan of eating daily, however loose or exact.

Recovery is all one day at a time, whether one has been attending meetings for a week or thirty years. (I attend at least two meetings a week.)

Recently, my plan of eating was changed. For a few days I just tried to railroad through. (I am headstrong—that hasn’t changed.) After getting tired of throwing myself against a brick wall, I spoke with my sponsor and sponsees about it. I started taking baby steps, the same baby steps that have worked for thirty years, around this small change that seemed so impossibly mountainous. I surrendered the change to my Higher Power, a Higher Power who loves me and wants what’s best for me. It’s working.

— Cate M., Aptos, California USA

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