￼Great Grateful for Dignity I first entered OA in 1990 after failing at various diets over the years. At that time, I’d gained back 60 pounds (27 kg) after a diet plus an additional 8 pounds (4 kg). I got the phone number for OA in New York City and was told where to find a meeting. When I walked into that meeting, I was in a fog, barely able to pay attention to anything going on around me. I was busting out of my clothes, which Big were dirty and ripped, and I may not have showered that morning. Everything was just too hard to do.
At that meeting I found instant identification and knew I had come home. It took ten years to get abstinent, although I always had sponsors who all tried to get me through the Twelve Steps. After ten years, I surrendered and accepted a plan of eating from a licensed dietitian. She gently removed the foods from my plan that caused the “phenomenon of craving.” I earnestly worked the Twelve Steps of OA, and remained abstinent for thirteen years. Due to an illness, I changed my plan of eating, and I began to pick at food without telling my sponsor. I finally got honest with her and put myself back at day one. I have now had two years of blessed abstinence.
Over the course of all these incredible years, I have received many gifts I am grateful for every day. I have a Higher Power of my understanding. My thinking has cleared. I went to college for the first time, after age 40; earned two degrees; and passed an advanced licensing exam. I work in a helping profession. I possess the gifts of compassion and perseverance, two of my favorite character assets. I am grateful for knowing my character defects because I got to know all about myself through working the Steps.
I have friends today and no longer have to be alone. I ask for help and never have to pretend to know things I don’t really know. I have freedom from the compulsion to overeat, and I treat others as I would have them treat me. I have maintained a 118-pound (54-kg) weight loss over the course of fifteen years, despite the brief relapse. I feel my emotions today, and I am grateful for all of them, even the painful ones. I have faced losses with humility and support from my fellows, friends, and coworkers. I have done service in my group, intergroup, region and gone to the World Service Business Conference. I shower daily, fit into my clothes year after year, and go to the doctor and dentist for all my checkups.
Living in gratitude gets me through the tough stuff. I came in as a lost, over-weight, unhealthy girl with unlaundered and ripped clothing, and OA turned me into a woman of dignity and integrity. I thank you all for my life.— Andrea F., New York, New York USA