My Story

Finding a Better Way

On the Eve of the New Year 2010, I once again find myself at a precipice. Looking back over the past few years I realize that finding a better way to live takes effort and action. Change is not something that comes easily to me and I have to take steps, sometimes baby ones to move in the right direction.  I’ve learned a lot over this past year and am grateful for the experiences, the lessons, the personal growth and the understanding that I’ve gained.  The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that life is a journey and you never know what will come next.  The best hope I have is that I will be equipped to deal with whatever comes my way.  That I will continue to have the inner strength, the courage and the grace to face life’s inevitable adversity . That I can recognize the good things and know I’m worthy of happiness and love in my life.  HOW I live my life has never been more important to me and I’ve come to appreciate the acronym HOW as it says it all – Honesty – Openness – Willingness.  If I live my life practicing these three simple principals I will have a richer more authentic life than I could have ever imagined.

Who knows what lies ahead? I only hope for calmer waters in 2010.  I’ve come to believe the only way to achieve a goal is to work on it each day, even if it is the smallest thing – just one small action will help propel me closer to the realization of my dreams.  My hope is this blog will help me keep my eye on the mark and I will be able to look back over 2010 and say WOW what a year!

One Year Ago

I started a blog which I called “The Thin Side of Myself” one year ago (December 2008).  My idea was to write on a regular basis about my journey to change my lifestyle and my life.  I thought that finding the thin side of myself would be like discovering the real woman inside my body/head.  I had all kinds of great plans but found little time to write.  I did however make some major changes in my life and found some measure of  success and a way out of the craziness of dieting and over eating.  How I did this is I decided to adopt my strategy of when I successfully quit smoking.  I had tried numerous times to quit and always ended up back at it.  I became a closet smoker and only smoked when I was alone.  I spent a lot of my time thinking about where, when and how I would have my next cigarette. I had a few people I would smoke with – fellow smokers who happily supported my habit. Just when I was almost totally convinced I would never find my way out of my smoking addiction someone told me that every time I tried to quit got me one step closer to being successful.  So one New Year’s Eve many years ago I proclaimed “I won’t have another cigarette for one whole year and if I really want a cigarette I can have one but only on New Years Eve.”  This worked and for many years I looked forward to and faithfully smoked my one cigarette a year.  When I would tell people how I quit – many times I’d hear -” I could never do that – one puff and I’d be back chain smoking in no time.”  The point is you know yourself best and the hardest thing is to figure out what will work for you and when you think you’ve finally found the answer – then you actually have to do it. The good news is: I haven’t had a cigarette in many years ( at least 5 or 6 yrs) and now have no desire to.  I would never have believed it but I am cured of my cigarette cravings and actually hate smoke and the leftover rank it leaves behind.

So what does my quit smoking strategy have to do with my desire to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle?  One year ago I proclaimed ” I am not eating chocolate in any form for ONE year” and “I will not drink alcohol in any form for ONE year” I decided if I could cut some food items out of my life that were complete calorie wasters I would ultimately lose weight.  Simple enough strategy, however I underestimated my affliction and although I was successful in not eating chocolate and drinking  wine – I replaced them with peanut butter and other sugary foods.  If your interested in reading my very small blog posts from last year  they are available (insert link) In a nut shell I’m proud of my accomplishments but I didn’t lose much weight.

Finding Over Eaters Anonymous

A very good friend confided in me that she was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and was attending AA meetings. I was absolutely stunned and said I never saw her as having a problem – not even a little bit of one.  She explained to me how she used alcohol to numb herself and to escape the stresses in her life and how the 12 steps of AA was helping her get her life back.  My oldest sister was attending Al-Anon meetings and I began to hear more about 12 step programs and how they worked.  My friend invited me to attend a ceremony along with her sponsor to mark the date and time of her abstinence from drinking alcohol and be a witness to her declaration. It was a blessing and a truly beautiful and deeply meaningful ritual for all of us present.  After the ceremony I told my friend and her sponsor that I could relate to what they were dealing with, the only difference was that my addiction was to food – not alcohol. My friend’s sponsor told me of an Over eaters anonymous meeting that was just down the hall from a meeting she attended and said maybe I should look into it. My life took a  ginormous turn back in May 2009 when I went to my first OA meeting.

The First Step

Walking through the door of my very first OA meeting was very intimidating for me.  I wanted to excuse myself and say – I’d made a mistake, I was just curious, I told myself I never had to come back.  I told myself that my problems weren’t as big as some other peoples and therefore my problems weren’t important. I talked myself right out the door a number of times.  I didn’t stop attending and I always try to take in a meeting at least once a week. More if I have the time and a meeting is available.  (work in progress -to be continued


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