I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Today, I found myself trying to come up with a valid excuse for not going to the gym. While I lay in bed, having stopped the “go to the gym” alarm on my phone, I began to pray, “God, I offer myself to You, to build with me and to do with me as You will.” And then it hit me: I can’t be molded by the Master if I refuse to get on His wheel. Merely getting up today was an act of worship, and submitting to God’s will instead of my own regarding my healthy action continued the worship. I am looking forward to continuing my acts of worship in the cathedral of His presence everywhere I go.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
The fat was only the physical manifestation of the cocoon I had built to isolate myself from the pain of living. What I really needed was a Higher Power to control my life and help me deal with my feelings, fears, and insecurities.
Fat is hate’s physical form, in the body of a compulsive overeater. It is a manifestation of all the resentment, fear, worry, and anxiety we build up as we work our way through all the disappointments and regrets of life. With each one, we become a little less willing to extend ourselves or allow ourselves to be open to the reach and vulnerability of anyone who resembles those who have hurt us in the past. Eventually, as resentments grow, the number of people we are willing to trust dwindles to zero, and we find ourselves despising everyone in existence. Even a knowledge of the saving grace of God does not seem to cut through the layers of isolation we build for ourselves when that amount of hate accompanies it. In order to be free, we have to address our hurts, acknowledge them and the obstacles between us and the application of that saving grace, and reach out for the God who freely gives it. I knew about God, but I never really allowed Him to know me in a meaningful relationship. I imagine that most of us cut off God first of all our relationships. Most of us have some erroneous belief that, in order to have a relationship with God, we have to be perfect or, worse yet, apparently perfect. Nothing could be farther from the truth. God demonstrated that we were worth dying for, not when we were perfect, but while we were in the midst of our most disgusting sin.
From Proverbs 16, NIV:
1 To humans belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
9 In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
The promise of help here overwhelms me! As a man with character defects revolving around speech, I find this very personal. As much as I want, wish, will and worry myself about taming my tongue, the proper thing to say will come from God, not me. Likewise for my actions and progress through life according to verse 9. Why be timid about taking a step when the Lord will plant my foot where He will? Where God firms a step, what could threaten its security?
From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Peter 4, NIV:
2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Verse two, which speaks of those of us who suffer in the body, encapsulates my recovery since I took Step Three for the first time. The rest I could not overlook because it is so instructive. I found all the highlights of my purpose, power and provision mentioned here along with some help for my speech issues. Somehow I cannot imagine God using some of the words that spew from my mouth! They do not bring God praise but, especially as I am now known more for my faith than for anything else about me, they serve to detract from my witness and mar my testimony.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 8:
No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions.
*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.
† For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.