Home How OA Changed My Life Before and After

Before and After

6 min read

Before OA, I lived a life based on self-centered fear. I was always concerned with what you thought of me: Was I too fat? Too incompetent? Too uninteresting? Too shy? I avoided social situations, stayed home, and numbed out with TV, alcohol, and food. Now, I work daily to outgrow my fears. I face them with courage and ask God to remove them—I no longer say “no” just because I’m scared. Today, I can speak to large groups, teach at my church, sponsor people, and even ice skate. I feel so free and capable.

Before OA, I lacked purpose, direction, perspective, and gratitude. Now, amazed to be sitting in this miracle of recovery, I can see my blessings and count them. I learned I have a part in my own unhappiness. When I fall into self-pity, now I know I need an attitude adjustment. I used to talk endlessly about my problems, but now I talk about the solutions OA offers: Steps to take and Tools to use to overcome any difficulty. I’ve became willing to take suggestions and follow directions.

Before OA, I had false pride: I presented a certain image to the outside world and kept my struggles secret. Now, I am more honest with people, and maybe I can help others be real too. When my disease was at its worst, I wasn’t working, just rapidly gaining weight by overeating, playing video games, and watching television all day. After OA, I let go of these behaviors, and now I’m not tied to the TV—a mini-miracle!

I used to be so addicted to food that I couldn’t even diet. Because of OA, I have maintained a weight loss of 87 pounds (39 kg) for over nine years. Today, I have a consistent food plan. I have regular mealtimes, I pray before my meals, and I tell my sponsor what I am eating. I abstain from sweets comfortably. Because I have worked the Twelve Steps, I have been relieved of food obsession, and I am a free woman today.

Before OA, I was lazy, and my physical state was deteriorating. I suffered from high cholesterol, acid reflux, lethargy, and mild depression; I was inactive and morbidly obese. After OA, my body mass index and cholesterol numbers moved into normal ranges. I’m more fit to perform my job, and I also work harder around the house and yard. I have done hot yoga, and recently, I ran a 12-kilometer (7-mile) race.

I start my day on my knees in surrender. Before OA, I used prayer for emergencies only; now, I rely on my HP’s strength throughout the day. When I answer the phone, I ask HP to join us. Before meetings, I ask that I hear and share what’s needed. I ask for God’s will to be done, not mine.

After OA, I’ve learned I do not know what’s best for me or others. I see I’ve caused harm and I make amends. I still make mistakes, but I am asking God to remove those shortcomings and show me what to do and be. To stay in fit spiritual condition and abstain from compulsive overeating a day at a time, I work the Steps and Tools to the best of my ability.

It’s really God-discipline, not self-discipline. God is truly doing for me what I could never do for myself. Thank you, OA.

— Heather

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