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Spiritual Growth

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By the time I reached Overeaters Anonymous in December of 2005, I weighed 110 pounds (50 kg). I was about 20 pounds (9 kg) below the ideal weight for my age and height. I had never been overweight, but for years I struggled with under-eating, and experienced a brief stint of anorexia during high school.

Since I joined OA, I have worked with different food and Step sponsors. After reaching my goal weight, I was abstinent for my first three years in OA. However, as I neared the end of my third year in OA, I began having occasional slips, accidentally eating spoiled food and then getting rid of it. These slips occurred after big bouts of self-pity or gratitude deprivation.

My sponsor, the editor of our local OA newsletter, was gracious and reminded me to write a gratitude list, pray, and write about what led to each slip. When I stopped to look at how I had contributed to my slips, I realized I had stopped calling my sponsor, reading the OA literature, and using the Steps in my daily life.

When I used the Tools a little bit each day, I stayed abstinent. What an amazing way of life! I then started emailing my food to my food sponsor. I reached my goal weight and have stayed there thanks to OA. This is the longest I have been at my goal weight, and I am grateful.

Our A New Plan of Eating pamphlet states on page 1, “The basis for stopping our compulsive eating behaviors—and staying stopped—is spiritual growth. We achieve this by working the Twelve Steps of OA and learning to live according to the principles underlying them.” This is so true! In order to stay abstinent, my spiritual growth must continue, no matter what.

When a recovery-from-relapse group started in my area, I gave service as the group’s timekeeper. In giving this service, I heard many members share their experience, strength and hope. I came away from the meetings knowing in my heart I am not alone and a better way of life exists than what I had before OA. I used to hide, eat food out of trash cans, drive miles in the middle of night to satisfy a craving, starve myself, count calories, take diet pills, binge and purge. Now I eat three moderate meals each day and email my sponsor accurate lists of the foods I eat. If I have a slip, I don’t beat myself up with criticism. Instead, I humble myself to pick up the spiritual Tools of OA.

Slips are God’s way of reminding me that I still have room for spiritual growth in OA, and that is why I keep coming back. I hope this helps!

— Marga

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