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Entrusted Not Expert

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Am I a worthy ambassador for OA?

About a year ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer at a public event alongside a high-profile spokesperson for my company: a registered dietician. Before her presentation, I shared with her why I’d wanted to meet her and work with her. I greatly admire her work in teaching the public about healthy eating while trying to work for a corporation that is dominated by companies that make unhealthy foods. I shared with her my experience with compulsive eating and explained my recovery, which, for me, is based on abstinence from sugar and working the Twelve Steps of OA.

During her talk, she shared with the audience that I had lost 60 pounds (27 kg) and kept it off for four years. She said if anyone wanted to know how I’d done it, to speak with me after the presentation. One woman (yes, only one) asked, and I quietly told her that I attend OA meetings. She did not ask more—I’m not even sure she heard me. I was busy passing out literature and samples from the dietician’s presentation, so it was hard to talk.

I was also very insecure that I might have broken anonymity. No one used my last name, but I was associated with my company’s event. That experience really made me evaluate whether I was a worthy person to stand before a public group and say, “I go to OA.”

Recently, some OA members and I have been contemplating doing a couple of public information meetings. We planned one at a local college and one at a medical center that does weight-loss surgeries. We would also like to reach the psychology department staff and the medical center’s doctors, nurses, and students. I have agreed to be a speaker.

What is different for me this time compared to last year is that today I rely more heavily on HP to give me the words that should be said and to prepare the audience’s hearts and minds to accept what HP wants them to hear. I am not the expert or “Ms. OA”; I’m just another member whom HP has entrusted with the message of recovery. May I use it wisely!

— Edited and reprinted from Common Bond newsletter, Western Michigan Intergroup, May/June 2014


OA’s Professional Exhibits Fund can provide money to help your group or service body participate in professional conferences. Visit oa.org for more information.

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