As Is

5 min read
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I thought I was living the dream— smack-dab in the middle of OA Paradise! I was abstinent, I’d lost weight, I attended meetings, and I was working my program. All was good. I remember hearing about the “honeymoon” abstinence, that one day I would take a step backward before I would be able to move forward again. I felt it simply could not happen to me.

I worked in retail and was always on my feet. Meeting quotas was stressful, and there was pressure to perform. I had difficultly manipulating someone into buying something they did not want. I found myself thinking about food to help me get through the stress, but I didn’t lose my abstinence.

I dreamed of working in an office again, where I was familiar with phones, computers, alphabetizing, and sitting a lot, and my dream came true. My food was good, three meals a day with no sugar or white flour. My meetings had to change to accommodate my new work schedule, and I missed the love and support of members from my old meetings. Once, I felt sorry for myself, but I still didn’t lose my abstinence.

I continued to work my program, but because I went from walking around for six hours a day to sitting for six hours without changing my food, I began to gain weight. Before I knew it, I had gained 15 pounds (7 kg). I was mortified!

My husband said he would take over cooking if I would clean, and I jumped at his offer. But his cooking was not as light, and after a few months the pounds had grown to 35 (16 kg). I still wasn’t eating sugar, but I was eating differently and exercising less.

I realized my new job came with its own set of stressors, and I soon began to think that food would ease the stress. Another 15 pounds (7 kg) returned—I ate no sugar, but portions and meal times had grown. I began to panic. My head began to play the old tapes: “I’m a failure; I’m not good enough!”

I shared all this at my meeting, and I was immediately surrounded with love and support. It brought me to a place where I could accept myself “as is.” I found the courage to change my daily action plan and tweak my food plan. By the grace of God, I now walk for thirty minutes each day and have cut back on portions. The pounds are coming off, but more important, I feel happy again. I now have the hope and faith I need to continue to grow in whatever direction God has planned for me.

— Liz B., Chicago, Illinois USA

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