When I arrived at my first OA meeting, I weighed 320 pounds (145 kg). After 21 months of abstinence, I have lost 160 pounds (73 kg) and have been blessed with a new life, a life that has allowed me to visit my parents in the Caribbean. I had delayed the trip for five years because I didn’t want them to see my physical and emotional state.
On my return, I was bogged down with two heavy, awkward suitcases, as well as my backpack and handbag. When I arrived at the check-in desk, I had 120 pounds (55 kg) of luggage and had to pay a small fortune for the excess.
Laughing, I realized my entire luggage didn’t weigh as much as the weight I had lost in OA! I couldn’t even move one suitcase, let alone both! How in the world did I ever carry that much weight around? And that doesn’t take into account the enormous amount of emotional baggage I have let go while working the Twelve Steps.
I didn’t mind paying the excess charge because I am happy with my new clothes, which go with my new physical image. I had bought these clothes after months of having OA friends threaten to burn the “fat” clothes I had been holding up and onto with pins and belts, fearing the new emerging me. I plan to throw out the old clothes and make way for the new, just as with my program. I have thrown out many old ways of thinking to make way for the new emotional and spiritual peace I feel—just for today.
My recovery is miraculous, and I am blessed and grateful to OA for the impact it has had on my life. Every day I give thanks. My Higher Power has released me from the prison into which I had locked myself with 25 years of compulsive overeating and yo-yo dieting. I can be at peace with myself, the world, and—just one day at a time—food.
I can “let go and let my Higher Power,” knowing that whatever happens, I will be okay because I am not and never have been alone. Each day I grow and learn, and I am at last growing up.
As for my excess baggage, somewhere along the way I lost it and hope never to reclaim it. That would be too high a price to pay. When I carried that excess weight on my body, I never had to pay an extra charge to haul it onto the airplane. How life has changed. Once again, I give thanks.
— Reprinted from Lifeline magazine