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Visible Attraction

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My first OA meeting was during the summer of 2012, following more than forty years of dieting, starving, bingeing, purging, abusing laxatives, and compulsively exercising. After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and periods of extreme anorexia, my weight had once again ballooned, rising to 220 pounds (100 kg). Since childhood, food and the number on the scale had been my only sense of a Higher Power.

Miraculously, abstinence came within the first few months of attending meetings. With the help of a loving sponsor and Step work, weight was miraculously released from my body. I have now maintained a weight loss of over 75 pounds (34 kg) for a year and a half. At work, many people asked how I lost it and what my secret diet was. I simply stated that I was trying to eat healthy food. What I really wanted to do was post signs around the office to promote OA, but I knew that this is a program of attraction, rather than promotion. I often wondered how I could actively attract others without promoting dieting.

An answer to that question came when I went to an office retirement party with people who had not seen me since the initial weight loss. Although my weight was still the same, people commented that something else was different. They said there was a noticeable tranquility about me, and a look of peace, happiness, and serenity on my face. I knew then that what they saw was recovery and not simply physical weight loss. Emotional stability and spiritual growth had become visible! I felt peace in my heart. Anger, fear, pride, and unhappiness were no longer visible. I realized that this is what it means when we say we are a program of attraction! The gifts of humility and gratitude given to me that night made it feel lovingly safe to tell anyone who asked that I was a member of Overeaters Anonymous and that it saved my life.

One of the miracles of recovery that continues to attract others is how my food really is in its place now. I openly talk about how food nourishes my physical body, which gives me the energy to grow spiritually and emotionally. I thank my HP for the bountiful abundance of available food that nourishes my body, mind, and spirit. This is the serenity of recovery that others see in me.

Today, I feed my body as HP would feed me. Today, food is safe, life-giving, and life-sustaining. HP is more than qualified to decide what weight is healthy for me. When people ask how I got abstinent, I state that I did not get abstinent. Abstinence was given to me. I became willing to receive this precious gift and I keep it by using the Tools and being of service to others. What a gift. One day at a time, hand in hand, we get better.

— Cathy G., Ontario, Canada

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