From the NoVA Intergroup Chair

Dear Friends in Recovery,

When I first came into the OA rooms in March 1999, one of the main tools I relied on as I struggled to get abstinent was the amazing OA pamphlet “Before You Take that First Compulsive Bite, Remember.” I carried that literature in my purse for years. Now I carry the pocket version (called ‘Think First’) in my wallet, and it still serves me well.

The very first suggestion is to use the tools and to take action to quiet the obsession and craving—go to a meeting, call someone in program, give service, talk with my sponsor, read program literature, and write about the feelings under the urge to eat. I would bargain with myself that if I still wanted to binge after reading the pamphlet and taking some/all of the suggested actions, then so be it. What I began to learn was that if I surrendered to these suggestions, the feelings would pass. And it really worked for me, when I worked it (the times it didn't were those when I willfully chose to pick up the food before finishing the reading or taking an action). And one day at a time it continues to be a recipe for a peaceful heart, a clear mind and a healthy body.

I believe—from my own experience over the last 17 years, and from the experience of many others for whom this disease is in remission through working the steps and traditions and using all of the tools—that an abstinent life is absolutely possible. In fact, it is guaranteed in our literature: “Once we compulsive overeaters truly take the Third Step we cannot fail to recover.” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 27).  

Remember, together we get better!

Jess W.