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Recovery Is Not A Diet

Today is a great day to reflect on the truth that no matter how much abstinent time I have acquired in OA, no matter how many steps I’ve worked, friends I’ve made, or weight I’ve lost (or, respectfully, gained), I will always have the compulsion to act out in my food allergy. Most days this concept baffles me. While my lingering compulsion is abstract and easily deniable, some things smack my face right back into reality. For example…

I couldn’t even believe my email ‘inbox’ this morning! It was the most perfect reminder that my life outside the rooms of OA is unmanageable and…well, crazy. It’s totally and perfectly nuts. Here is the list of emails in my inbox as of 1/9/12:

  • BIGGEST LOSER: Ashley lost 183 lbs! The next Biggest…
  • WeightWatchers.com: PointsPlus® 2012 is here! Come back…
  • Atkins Special Savings: Dear Lauren L, Where have you been l…
  • No-Diet Weight Loss: Loss 30+ pounds with no diet and no e…
  • The Dr. Oz Diet Plan: This week you can re-join for FREE and…
  • The ACAI BERRY Diet Works: An amazing little fruit that only grows…
  • JennyCraig.com: Mariah Carey lost weight with Jenny C…

I mumbled, “Wow.” That was all the response that I had for having an inbox filled with those emails. It made me sick to look at them. I felt a sensation that I hadn’t experienced in quite a long time. It was a blend of defeat, bitterness, loneliness, and desperation. Worse, those were all the feelings I often experienced when cycling through diet after diet, sometimes being successful and other times flunking right from the start. Regardless, the weight always seemed to come back and, no matter how skinny I got, I never once liked my body. I never could figure out why I was plagued by horrible nightmares of yo-yo diets and negative feelings – and I even hated myself for hating myself.

I started deleting the emails like a clicking maniac. One, after another, after another…click click click. And then, I saw one other email, right below all the diet advertisements that (for the record) I had voluntarily signed up to receive before I started working the OA program. And that email was from a woman who attended a meeting with me just last week. Hope and awe entered me and with a swiftly beating heart I opened that email. It read:

Lauren,

Hey, girl! How are you? Thanks for what you said at the meeting. I agree that my spiritual fitness is totally everything. It trips me out, like, when I think about all the dieting stuff I ever tried. I feel so free today. How cool is it that recovery is not a diet and yet, thanks to the program, I’m successful at losing weight and I’m happy? Haha! I love OA. Let’s get coffee soon.

Love,

[Anonymous]

Thank you, my brothers and sisters in OA! You keep me abstinent and teach me how to trust my Higher Power. I love you all so much! The promises of OA are true and real! Thank you for my recovery!!

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