I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.

Yesterday was filled with beautiful things, and today may be just as wonderful.  I have lots to do today in preparation for returning to work tomorrow.  Family visits and my daughter’s birthday preempted my attendance at a couple recovery meetings in the past week, but I hope to make it to tonight’s.

I’m not weighing in regularly, but only about every three weeks or so.  Today, I got on the scale and found myself 4 pounds low.  The added activity my new bicycle provides may account for some of this unintentional weight-loss.  I won’t sweat it, but will add something to my workday plan of eating so that I finish in the upper half of my daily target for a while.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Cultivate humble gratitude that you were fortunate enough to find out what was wrong with you before it was too late.” — Before You Take That First Compulsive Bite, Remember…

My attitude is one of the few things of which I actually do have control.  An attitude is made of three things: thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  To cultivate a new attitude, I need to make changes in at least one of these three factors.  The worthwhile attitudes that help me get the most out of life are humility, openness, and willingness.  From humility comes gratitude, from openness comes acceptance, and from willingness comes action which, when combined with belief constitutes faith.  The great thing about these attitudes and their counterparts is that they can be practiced in reverse and still take effect.   For instance, I can either take a posture of humility which makes me grateful, or I can demonstrate gratitude and, from that, learn humility.

One of the practical ways I cultivate humble gratitude is to spend moments in thankful prayer for those who have come before me in Overeaters Anonymous – my sponsors, the fellows who welcomed me into the rooms, the writers of our literature – and for the pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous before them.  I thank God for helping them to blaze this path, and I thank Him for leading me to find it behind them.  Another way I live out my gratitude for recovery from this disease God has helped me to identify is to follow the program of recovery diligently, representing it as best I can, and reaching out to others whom God may be directing on a similar course.  While cynical philosophers may claim that “living well is the best revenge,” humble gratitude is the posture I can take that allows God to miraculously turn my living well into a tool of service, as the best amends I could ever make to myself and the lives I touch.

From Proverbs 18:

20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.

21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

The power of words cannot be overstated.  God spoke and all Creation took shape.  Similarly, as we confess with our mouths our spirits are re-born, and through prayer are continually formed.  What we declare we become.  This is why it is so important that we spend time affirming what we know and encouraging one another.  These two verses seem to help complete each other and, as promising as fulfilled satisfaction sounds, contain a warning that there is a speech that kills.  It is the speech with which many compulsive overeaters and addicts are far too familiar: the nay-saying self-abasement and character assassination we perpetrate on ourselves.  Regardless of whether we direct negative criticism at ourselves or others, it goes down in gulps to our inmost being and rots there, leaving us writhing in self-pity and fatal despair.  Such toxic mouthfuls have no business in the abundant life of recovery.  From such poison fruit I will abstain!

Heavenly Father, help me to help and never harm with the words I speak.  Whether in mind, tongue or script, use the utterances of my soul as a mouthpiece for Your healing, loving Spirit.  Free me from criticism!

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 50:

Isaiah spoke of Israel as the child of a wife sold for a debt, who would not answer when the Redeemer came to collect them to Himself.  In the middle of the description of the Lord’s Servant, who would offer His back to be beaten and his beard to be pulled out in the face of His accusers, there is a word about His connection to the spoken word of God: 

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”

The desire of my heart is to be instructed by God to be useful to Him and helpful to others.  I would like to follow the pattern of the One about whom this was written, and to have my ears awakened to the Word of God.

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 13 and 14:

“My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.”