Abstinent Today:

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

fiesta plateThe only non-sweet item on my abstinence food list is nachos.  I also make it a practice to refrain from dairy, although that is not a matter of my food abstinence but a response to my sinus condition.  So when my son announced he wanted to gather at a Mexican cantina for his birthday celebration, I found an opportunity for selfless action.  A saving grace was that he wanted to meet at an hour well past my dinner time.  I enjoyed the company of people who were crunching one of my old binge food favorites like they were taking breaths.  To watch the behavior of those eating them made me believe these little toxic crisps must have an effect on the brains of most people, and not just me.  Still, I sat quietly in the room, in the company of my family and his friends, pleased to see my son happy.  And I was just fine!  I proved to myself, yet again, that a together celebration does not have to be about food, even if it is surrounded by the stuff.  I had as much or more fun as anyone there.

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Once we compulsive overeaters truly take the Third Step, we cannot fail to recover.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 27

“Why,” one might ask, “would this be true?”  When we really and truly make a decision to turn our will and our lives totally over to the care of God, we stop asking ourselves, “What can I do for me?” and begin asking, “What, God, would you have me do, or eat?”  If I am really living on that basis, and if my understanding of God is that His will for me is perfect, I will not do and eat the things that are only recreational or toxic, but will consider myself reserved for the premium fuels and behaviors I believe the Creator would recommend.

So what about the, “As we understood Him” part?  I’ll tell you: anyone can get this as long as they appreciate that the God of their understanding is the Creator.  Even if your understanding of the Creator is nothing more than a big kid in the sky with an oversized chemistry set, you would have to expect that His desire is for His creation to thrive.  No one constructs a project with the hopes that it will cease to flourish, die and rot. If you can accept that little supposition, you can apply enough of the principle of Step Three to reach recovery.  My hope is that everyone’s understanding and relationship with God will advance from this rudimentary concept as they continue living the rest of the Steps.

 

From Proverbs 23, NIV:

1 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what[a] is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.

These three verses, saying number seven of thirty, seemed appropriate given my experience last night.  I’ve digested this before, but let me just say that verse 2, applied spiritually and not physically, is what is necessary to survive such situations.  Slaying the desires of the flesh allows the spirit to remain unsullied by the deceptive delicacies of the self-indulgent.  No one who knows the Author of the Bible would presume to believe that it was a call to suicide or threats thereof!  This also goes to prove that God’s will for our eating is not in the deceptive, empty foods, even when they are rich delicacies.  I will remember that the next time I hear someone refer to a pastry as “divine.”

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 John 2, NIV:

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Here is the beautiful promise of practicing Step Three in all our affairs: not just a physical body that looks more like the intended creation, but an abundant life that goes on even after that body passes away.  Everything that ails my physical body is temporary, just as any physical strength or ability I develop is also temporary.  The wealth and the accumulations with which I surround myself will all turn to dust, but my love for the Father remains.  As I demonstrate that love by loving those around me, I can find myself empowered to grow in that love, not by my strength or will, but by the Light of Life, who reigns in me and provides all that I need to sustain me.

As God continues to reveal to me glimpses of the next chapter in my life, I find myself invigorated with passion to let go of the things about me and reach up for this direction, strength, and affirmation that I am in the Light of His will and applying my resources to His purposes.  It’s exciting!  Just in time too – school starts again for me Monday.

 

From Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 40:

It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly.  To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation.  Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower.  We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us.  To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.

Footnotes:

*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.

‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous:  “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’

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