Dear Friends on the Journey,

My name is Mari and I am a compulsive eater and grateful that there are so many others who walk this daily journey with me. One of the "others" is a friend and co-worker whom I grew to know and love from the inside out. His is going to be an amazing journey that began barely seven months ago and I have his permission to cross post part of his story from his home-loop. Gary is our beloved webmaster and has worked with me day in and day out to give you a website we hope you're proud of. This man who sings like an angel, writes a journal that makes me cry and has the kindest heart God ever gave to a human being is someone very special but stays in the background. In this share you will have a peek into the beginning of a journey of a compulsive eater. He is but one in our community who lives life one day at a time .... and in reading his journal we read a little of our own ... or what someday our own will be.

"I have been abstinent now for 7 months, have lost over 225 lbs. have been able to go out to regular meetings, walk about half a mile a day, and last week, another milestone..... for the first time in 10 years, I have begun mowing my own lawn again."

Gary A ~ The Recovery Webmaster

Dear Journal,

Well, it's been an interesting couple of weeks since my last update. Having been witness to the intense feelings of self-centeredness and lack of acceptance of people around me, I have been able to practice acceptance of the "things I cannot change," willing to believe that the "things I can change" is really only one thing... and that is my ability to alter how I react to what happens to me.

I, and most of the people I know, have labored their lives under the misconception that Life will be fair. (I make this point to my daughter on many occasions.) I have learned in my time here that Life is random and the only variable (call it control if you will) is my "perception" of the events that I am witness to and that happen to me.

In the poem "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann, he says,
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

That is the acceptance I work on, believing that things are as they should be, and all the natural laws are at work, and my goal is to gain some understanding of them as they relate to me. One law which took me years to gain a modicum of understanding of is, "No change, no change!", and for me that meant that as long as I was eating for emotional reasons, I would always be consumed with thoughts of food. Until I put food in it's proper place, that of sustenance for my body, I would always be perplexed and baffled by the control I allowed it over me.

None of my flaws have been let go without them being covered with claw marks! I tried to customize this 12 Step program for 10 years because I didn't like it the way it was. I balked at even having a food plan because I told myself that "I could still eat my favorite foods if I wanted, I would just have to limit the quantity, no big deal, I would just have to summon up my will power to just have a set amount."

I refused to accept that 'for me' certain foods created in me an 'unnatural' response and so I should avoid those foods. oh no, not me, I 'liked' that food, 'needed' that food, 'craved' that food, I couldn't just stop eating it. I would feel so deprived... oh poor me that I can't eat that food anymore. Never mind that (after a while) I felt better when I didn't eat it, that I was able to lose weight when I didn't eat it, that my thinking was clearer when I didn't eat it... I only knew that I "NEEDED" that food because without it I had to actually feel something, had to put up with being agitated and stressed and uncomfortable because I had developed no other coping skills for life's situations.

My way of working this program over those 10 years added 250 lbs. to my body. I'd say my "experiment" didn't work out too well.

I finally, almost a year ago, decided I couldn't do this on my own, and made the decision to change, to seek help, but, like the 3rd step, my decision had no effect because I still did not change the things I did.

I am in awe by the power of denial! I was dying, realized it, decided to change so I could live longer, but was unable to make a real commitment to take the action required to accomplish what it was I stated that I wanted. I had a person approach me about being my sponsor, (it's usually the other way around I know, but I was so grateful because I have a real challenge asking for help) and I said yes, because I knew I needed one. Yet I balked at making the necessary changes for another 4 months and she has stayed with me and is one of the most wonderful, gentle souls I have ever known.

I have been abstinent now for 7 months, have lost over 225 lbs. have been able to go out to regular meetings, walk about half a mile a day, and last week, another milestone..... for the first time in 10 years, I have begun mowing my own lawn again. I'm no speed demon, it took me almost a week because the lawn was a couple of months overdue, but I did it, it is a major workout, but I can feel myself getting stronger and building my stamina and am beginning to look forward to being able to do other physical activities outside the home...My 10 year old daughter is impatiently hopeful also... :-)

Even more important than the physical recovery, I am happy with my life as it is today, hopeful that it will continue to improve, and those promises in the Big Book are already coming true for me, and as it states, I'm not even half way through yet... :-)

I have begun taking pictures at the urging of my sponsor and keeping a journal of the milestones I am reaching... there seem to be more and more to write in there.... while every day hasn't been serene and joyful, those days just help me appreciate the ones that are all the more. I now have some new coping skills, rudimentary still, but they'll get better.

I pray for the continued strength to work this program, the insight to remember the path I came from and recognize it again when I start down it, so that I may more quickly take corrective steps.

Thank you all for being there, your shares have meant a great deal to me. Thanks for letting me share.

love and hugs,

Dear God,

Bless Gary as he continues on his journey ...
Let your Earth continue unfolding as you have designed it ...
And in your time, please give each of us the beautiful gift of abstinence.

The Recovery Group

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