My OA Weight Release Journey: Happily Ever After…?


March 18, 2024

My OA Weight Release Journey: Happily Ever After…?

“And they lived happily ever-after.”

I grew up on fanciful fairytales and the happy-endings of Disney movies. How many of them ended with that famous one-liner?

 “And they lived happily ever after.”

In coming into OA (after years of binge eating, sugar addiction, and endless fixing with food), my belief was that when/after I reach “goal weight” my life would be lived in this state of “happily ever after.”

After all, wasn’t that what was causing my deep dissatisfaction? Waiting for my ship to come in? The gold at the end of the rainbow to appear? The birds to sing, the music to play? And living in full technicolor, instead of black and white? To live in the ultimate “ahh” feeling I had found in the food and eating?

I was looking forward for that day!

No one ever told me how wrong life could go in recovery.

Only positive pitches. How naïve and damaging for the newcomer.  I wish people told the truth. Those gone before us, please tell us: life isn’t always fair, that we WILL experience loss, trauma – life’s full spectrum. Tell us what we will encounter, and how to navigate life on life’s terms as we trudge the road of happy destiny. How, precisely, does one stay abstinent and not collapse inside our eating addiction seeking relief? That – to this compulsive eater – is a positive, or at the very least, a very honest and reality-based pitch.

Abstinent members: get cancer, go through lay-offs, endure bankruptcies, divorces, deaths of loved ones, betrayals, loss, grief, shattered dreams, etc. So, too, do those who aren’t abstinent! So, what’s the point? Where’s the payoff and my  “happily ever after”?  How is this fair?

A sponsor once said, “We eat over anything, everything and nothing. We can also stay abstinent over anything, everything and nothing.”  There are no more binge worthy events. In AA they say they say: stay sober no matter what.

Wow! Wait…what? Wow. Really? You sure? What about in an emergency?

What I have come to learn, and accept, is that I am not immune from living in this broken world. Abstinence does not “immune” me from systemic inequalities, unjust systems and broken people, toxic family dynamics, loss, trauma, betrayals.  No one is immune. Abstinent or not. It rains on everyone.

Welcome to life.

Welcome to the seasons of life, the mysterious fractals of life.

Welcome to life on life’s terms.

There is also exquisite beauty, passion, adventure, mystery, hope, love, joy, and connection.

A deep peace that surpasses circumstances, people, places, and things.

Living in OA recovery from compulsive eating does not guarantee a happily ever after Disney movie ending.  It DOES, however, guarantee to set me on a path, provide access to a way or design for living, that when practiced as a way of life, will grow deep roots into my internal meeting place with LOVE. The safest place on earth. Inside this heart body temple. Here, I am rich in comfort, peace, stability, courage, clarity, humility, joy, connection, and dare I say it? Love.

Connection to my authentic self, Higher Power, each other, and Mother Earth.

Bill W, AA founder, comments on this truth in Chapter 12, page 112, of Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

“Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?”

The answer is a resounding YES!

Further he writes, “…we see monotony, pain, and even calamity turned to good use by those who keep on trying to practice AA’s Twelve Steps.”

Is this not the true happily ever after I had been hungering and yearning for?

A happily ever after inside… in spite of… no matter what.

Isn’t this the essence of a prayer so many of us across the world say at the end of each meeting?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Courtney, Mt. View