When I began this trek 6 years ago I was at a place of total despair regarding my weight and food in my life. I'd dieted for over 25 years - dieted my way to 268 pounds, a stay in the hospital on the verge of a stroke from high blood pressure, and a pretty miserable existence. I wanted things to be different, I'd bargained with God, I had truly tried to eat sanely. But I got worse and worse over the years until I was totally hopeless. I remember thinking, "I might live 30 more years. Damn."But I guess God had different plans for my life. He gently introduced me to GS - actually twice, but I didn't listen the first time. The second time must have been right. I listened, I attended my first GS meeting, and they told me I could leave abstinent. I didn't have to wait until Monday, or after vacation, or until Hell froze over. I could start then. I also heard there was a physical part to my disease - it was more than food being out of perspective in my life, but that I might be sensitive to refined carbohydrates. Geez, what a thought. I immediately knew those grain products were my drug of choice. That's where I always turned when I couldn't stand my diet any longer. I also heard there was only one bite I didn't have to take - the first one. I didn't have to worry about eating it all. That still helps me today. I also heard HOPE. Hope that there was a solution - one I could live with for life. Sure, it's one day at a time. But, it was that HOPE for real change that spoke to me. I saw people whose lives were different. And that's what I wanted.
So, I stayed. I listened. I embraced the program as it's written with no modifications. Not my way. And I left that meeting abstinent.
I'm often asked today how I have the will power or discipline to do what I do. I offer one biggie in hope that it might help someone out there. I MADE ONE DECISION. I decided to be abstinent and work this program. I do not revisit that decision for weddings, vacations, holidays, Thursday... I decided ONE time to do life the GS way, and I don't ponder other options. I just don't. And I believe that's made the biggest difference in my being able to do this day in and day out. And, to support that decision, I attend meetings, read literature, make daily contact with my sponsor, pray for help and for thanksgiving, work the steps, and am rigorously honest about my food. God does for me today what I could never do by myself.
How is life different today? First, I'm truly not sure I'd be alive today. My weight was continually climbing; blood pressure had become an issue. Who knows? But I can compare today with 6 years ago and the 25 years prior. And I'll take today! In the past 6 years I've traveled lots (including 2 weeks in Europe - it certainly can be done.) Fitting into the airplane seat has been no problem (I mention that in light of the current news regarding extra charges.) Thank You God that's not me today and my prayer goes out to those suffering as I do remember that physical uncomfortableness and the humiliation of taking up more than my fair share of space. Yesterday I went shopping and bought two new sassy outfits - size 6P - just for the sheer joy of buying them! A treat for me! Shopping used to be pure Hell. The only criteria for me used to be, "Does it go around me" - certainly never a thought about how I looked. And I have taken on a summer project of building a deck on my house - all by myself! Thank God I have a body that can do such a thing today. I revel in playing with my 17 month old grandson - down on my hands and knees, crawling, chasing, giggling, loving - could I do this at 268#? No way. And I won't have the mental anguish as he grows up of wondering if he's embarrassed to be seen with his Grandma. I always worried about that with my children.
These are a few of the outer gifts of abstinence. They're real, but they're not what give my life its quality and depth today. In addition to the physical recovery, the above gifts, today I'm recovering emotionally and spiritually as well. I met a loving God in program and was led back to church. This has become one of my greatest blessings and I will continue this loving relationship for a lifetime and beyond. Thank you AA/OA/GS. And today I practice the principles of the program to the best of my ability in my daily challenges. Today when frustrations and obstacles present themselves, I process them rather than react to them. I look for my part, if changes need to be made by me, or if acceptance is required. I ask for help - a listening ear. I pray. And I make decisions that are thought out wisely. Sometimes I'm called to be assertive, sometimes forgiving, sometimes accepting and trusting... This is how I think now! What a gift. I seek balance in my life! I'm experiencing the promises on a regular basis.
To all of you who do what I do: Thank You! It's only because I'm not alone that this works for me. You're all miracles. Now it's on to an abstinent day, a day filled with living between 3 w&m meals. I'm so blessed.
Kansas City GS Community
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