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Transforming Behaviors

In OA I have learned that if I want to stay away from my trigger foods, I need to first list specific foods and food behaviors that cause me difficulties. I have spent a lot of time being honest with my sponsor, my Higher Power, and myself so I could achieve and maintain abstinence. When I feel my plan of eating beginning to get loose, the first thing I do is look at these lists and see if anything needs to move from an abstinent “green” list to a non-abstinent “red” list. (There is no “yellow” list.) The spiritual Principle of honesty is key to this dignity of choice. I believe this method also holds true when working Steps Six and Seven. Having taken the Steps in order, I can look at my patterns of behavior from my inventory in Step Four and write a red list of behaviors that I want my Higher Power to transform. If I get stuck at recognizing behaviors, I can easily look around at people in and out of OA and see many behaviors I do not wish to copy. I can also write a green list of behaviors that I wish to strive for. I do not believe my Higher Power removes my character defects. I believe they are transformed. I believe we give them different jobs. For example, stubbornness becomes perseverance. Even judgment, put to good use, becomes identification. Our own Tool of sponsorship tells us to find someone who has what we want and ask how he or she has achieved it. I like to add, “and then do it!” My character defects don’t just stay transformed; they swing like a pendulum. I often feel like my defect of being controlling has transformed into fine organizational skills, and then something happens and I am right back wanting things my way again. I have learned that when I I need to take a good look at it because if it’s hysterical, then it’s historical. I ask myself, “When have I felt this way before?” I take time to pray, write, meditate, figure out things, and soon I become again the person my HP intends me to be. I have been in OA since 1989 and have given away over 200 pounds (91 kg). After twenty-three years of trying to do things my way, I finally realized that I need to listen to people who are maintaining abstinence and do what they do. I really began to work my program and stopped trying to get away with things. Half measures avail me nothing. Full measures avail me recovery. I am guaranteed a daily reprieve as long as I work a daily program of recovery. — Anonymous, Massachusetts