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Working Wonderfully

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I have been in OA now for over twenty-eight years, and I have come a long way. When I first came into the program, my food plan consisted of eating very little—I was a starve-and-binger. At the meetings I attended back in those days, there was no clear process for how to pick a food plan. I had a sponsor who did not take my food, so I really just continued doing what I had always done, except now I had someone to talk to about what was going on in my day that made me want to eat.

As time moved on, I went through the stages of trying all the food plans that are now listed in the pamphlet Where Do I Start? Everything a Newcomer Needs to Know. (On some weeks, I would fluctuate from one plan to another.) I think I was one of those people whom you could consider “constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 58). I did manage to drop quite a bit of weight but never really had peace about my food.

After some years, I did find a plan of eating that worked for me. I have also come to see using a plan of eating as a way of life. It has given me the ability to recognize portions, to embrace discipline, and to be free from obsession and the cravings. Being honest with myself has meant really taking a look at which foods are my trigger foods and then not even keeping them in my home. Using a plan of eating has given me the freedom to live my life outside of the food, to enjoy socializing, and to be a better mother, wife, worker, and friend.

My plan of eating is my roadmap to freedom. I make choices each day. I write my food down. I find praying before each time I eat tunes me in to God and to the fact that I am connected to the universe when I have balance in my life. My food plan allows me to function in all the other important areas of my life.

When I am in the food, nothing and no one matters, so I have to be diligent on a daily basis. The first thing I do each day is ask God for another day of abstinence, and I thank him for the day before. My mornings are for me: I connect to my Higher Power, I write in my journal, I read my daily books, and I plan my food.

Having a plan of eating means that I plan the meals for the week and make a shopping list before I walk into the grocery store, and then I portion my foods out. Yes, it is a lot of work, but what I realize is that starving and bingeing was also a lot of work: hiding my food, lying to others, sneaking and trying not to get caught, isolating and drawing the blinds, not answering the phone, not doing my best at work, and on some days, lying and not even showing up for work.

So if I weigh it all out, the work it takes me to be on my plan of eating allows me freedom to live a life beyond my wildest dreams. Being off my plan only allows me to go back to the isolation, depression, weight gain, and self-loathing.

It does not take much time for me to see that the work to stay on my plan of eating is not work at all, but a wonderful way of life that gives me a life.

— Roz R., Venice, Florida USA

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