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How OA Changed My Life


Working the OA program has brought many changes into my life. When I read the Steps, I recognized my self-centeredness. Life was just about me, my inability to accept myself, my low self-esteem and my self-hatred. I started to act as if my way of eating was the symptom of a disease compulsive overeating and not my fault. This comforted me, although sometimes I still forget it.

When I realized I was not alone, I could see other people. Forgetting about myself and trying to make someone else happy, just for today, became a new way of looking at life. The tools - telephone and writing - helped me out of my food-induced isolation. My environment and life are the same as before OA, but today I am aware of things around me, and happy moments don't slip away -I can taste them.

I actively participate in my life. I know how to deal with dangerous moments, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Steps and tools help me relate to my environment. I can even make decisions. I cry, I laugh, but I don't have to comfort myself with food.

I must be careful with my physical recovery because when I am well, I tend to forget I am not a normal eater. This can throw me back to old habits, such as trying to control my weight and wishing to lose more. This is not what OA is about. It is not a diet club. Losing the weight is an outcome of my recovery, but it should not be the only goal. My experience teaches me that wanting to control my food sends me back to my compulsion. To continue recovering I need only to follow the Twelve Steps and not forget that I am a compulsive overeater.

Sending a big hug and my gratitude for Lifeline, from which I always get something that helps in my recovery.

-Reprinted from Lifeline magazine