This is a journal of my recovery – my coming over from insanity to serenity. Recovery is a result of working and living the steps of Overeaters Anonymous. My disease says, “Forget what’s right, I’m doing what feels good!” My recovery says, “Forget what feels good, I’m doing what’s right!” Therefore, I will intentionally act on life, rather than react to it according to my emotions. I will have a plan, and follow it when possible; and otherwise calmly seek God’s guidance for a sane and loving action response, always bearing in mind my commitment to help someone and harm no one.
I abstain from:
- Eating outside planned meals;
- Sweets, cakes, ice-cream, and nachos; and from
- Total disregard for planned consumption limits (the “Forget it, I’m eating!” response).
In Overeaters Anonymous (OA), The Statement on Abstinence and Recovery (WSBC Policy 1988b, Amended 2002, 2009 and 2011) has been revised to include the italicized words at the end of the first sentence: “Abstinence in Overeaters Anonymous is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional and physical recovery is the result of living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve-Step program.” Many of us have found we cannot abstain from compulsive eating unless we use some or all of OA’s nine tools of recovery to help us practice the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. (From www.OA.org)
III. Action Plan
The tools of recovery help me achieve and maintain abstinence as I live and practice the twelve steps and their corresponding principles in all of my affairs. If my serenity is interrupted, or if I drop a tool, it does not mean that my abstinence or recovery is lost. I define “recovery” as a graduation from insanity to serenity, first in my eating, and then in the rest of my life. The tools are important and useful, but they are still merely tools and do not constitute my abstinence. An action plan is a formulated strategy for living abstinent and in recovery. (See OA’s definition here.) My Action Plan contains sub-parts and includes certain tools of recovery:
A. A Plan of Eating: “We are not a diet and calories club…” OA is a fellowship of spiritual recovery, not a community of commiseration! My individual plan of eating is based on limiting my caloric intake and timing my meals to avoid hunger. My sponsor and I have decided I should keep a healthy margin of plus or minus 100 calories in each daily limit. Using LiveStrong’s suggestions as a guide, I have come up with a target of 2300 calories per day (plus or minus 100), making my healthy range 2200-2400 per day. I ration my meals as follows: breakfast (500-700 cals), lunch (600-700 cals), supper (700-900 cals), and my metadjustment (200-400 cals). I have begun logging my food online HERE. I am committed to live my life as healthy as God gives me the power to, doing what I know to be right rather than what I feel like doing. I believe a healthy PoE is defined as what one will eat, as opposed to what one won’t (abstinence). To that end, I have developed a list of foods I will try to include as a regular part of my dietary intake. (Click HERE to view my “superfoods” list or HERE to view a typical day’s menu.)
B. Physical Fitness – I plan to take the stairs for any climb of two floors or less. Whatever exercise regimen I do I will always remember that exercise is a requirement for living and not an excuse to eat more. I will not trade extra exercise for more food.
C. Spiritual Fitness – OA is a fellowship of spiritual recovery, not a community of commiseration! (“If tempted we recoil from it as from a hot flame…That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.” AA, p.84-85) I plan to start every day in gratitude to God for my life and my abstinence. Then I will commit the gift of my day back to God. I will ask Him to help me to help someone and harm no one each day, regardless of whether I, myself, feel helped or harmed. I will spend time each morning reading the Bible, studying closely to find God’s word for me that day. I will spend time earnestly seeking His wisdom, that I may be better equipped to serve those with whom I have contact. I will close each day with an honest review of my day, examining my success and being honest in my failures. I will forgive myself and strive to improve the next day. (HERE are some of the Psalms and verses I meditate on through my day that make my Steps 10 & 11 work for me.)
Serenity Prayer (the original, long version)
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.