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A Skewed Self-Image

Step 7:  “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

In the OA Workbook (which is suggested to be used while working the OA Steps along with a sponsor) several questions are presented in Step 7.   Two are

1)      What is my self-image?

2)      How does my self-image keep me from finding true humility?


…they say that the people who come into the rooms of OA are either homicidal or suicidal.  They say that the people who find themselves in OA have usually tried every single option to control the food by way of decades of yo-yo dieting, muscle-crushing exercise, binging and purging, restricting, and self-made promise after promise that “this time it will be different”.  Thus, by the time people walk into the rooms of OA they are literally in emotional shreds.  And I can attest to that!

When I first went to OA I did not want to be there.  I had just left a 5 month stretch of Weight Watchers and had begun Atkins.  WW PointsPlus program was what I had tried.  Counting was a nightmare and I constantly picked sugary foods to count my points with.  Worse, because I couldn’t leave sugary stuff alone, I had begun to really hate myself.  Atkins – I hadn’t given Atkins enough time to declare if it works or not but, by day 4, I was not feeling right and I knew that I was going to crack and eat something other than protein very shortly.  I shared with the OA group what I was doing and how confused and hopeless I felt.  “When I look in the mirror,” I said, “I cringe and I just hate myself.”

Everyone just nodded, and several suggested to me, “Keep coming back.”  After the meeting I spoke with one of the women and she advised that what I felt was normal for a newcomer.  She said, “As compulsive eaters, we have a very warped perception of our bodies.  I’m free from self-loathing today and you can be free, too.”

See, I don’t know about you, but my problem goes way beyond a little dieting.  I have to get into RECOVERY to feel (and see) results.  Losing some weight (for me) is not enough because  I have a completely warped sense of reality.  Food is but a symptom of my real problem and my real problem is ME.  The 12 Steps focus on my recovering and, when closely examined, we see that the word ‘food’ is only used one time – in the first step – and the rest is focused on my emotional and spiritual recovery.

Steps 6 & 7 are the meat and potatoes of recovery.  “If you think you are a compulsive overeater, give yourself a chance for recovery by trying the OA program. Our way of life, based on these twelve steps and twelve traditions, has brought us physical, emotional, and spiritual healing that we don’t hesitate to call miraculous.  What works for us will work for you, too.”  -OA 12 &12, Intro

See you at the next meeting and if nobody has told you today that you are loved…then hear this, “YOU ARE LOVED!”

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