What Do You Mean By “Doing the Footwork?”


April 16, 2021

What Do You Mean By “Doing the Footwork?”

Soon after I got into OA, I heard “Let go and let God.” Later it was “Just do the footwork.” I tried to understand how I was supposed to turn things over to my Higher Power, but also do the footwork. I couldn’t figure it out. What was the difference between taking back control of something and just “doing the footwork”?

Do the footwork in OA

Eventually, I did come to understand. Awareness came with one of the first loving acts I started to do for myself. I started to wear my lap belt when I drove. I have the automatic shoulder strap seat belt in my car, but for years I would never use the lap belt. I figured, “Oh well, I want to die anyway, why bother.” My husband would remind me to put it on when I was in the car with him. Occasionally I would do so just to appease him, but I never told him my thoughts.

Soon after working the steps I began using my seat belt. Amazing!

Sometimes I would reach down and touch it just to remind myself that, yes, I do love and care for myself. That was such a difficult sentence to say to myself the first time.

Eventually, I started saying, “See HP, I’m doing the footwork.” It was comforting to know that I was taking some positive action on my part, and communicating with my HP too. I remember the old-timer’s saying “Faith without works is dead.”

Eventually I began doing a lot more things as I started working the steps that would be considered “the footwork”. I found myself making my bed in the morning, I pulled the drapes, I began answering the phone, sometimes I even placed the calls! I continued using the other tools of the program: meetings, literature, writing, anonymity, and service. I used the tool of sponsorship and got a sponsor. Soon I became a sponsor. Though I was releasing weight, I still struggled with the tool of “plan of eating”.

When I lost my sponsor, I had to be vulnerable once more and reach out again and get another sponsor. This asking for help part was really hard for me. But I said I would go to any length, right? Still, God works in his own way and his own time. Most recently, with the help of my new sponsor, I started developing and using a plan of eating that was right for me and all my allergies.

But the most important action, and the hardest, I took was asking for help when I need it. Whether it’s from my sponsor, another OA’er, or my HP. Now that’s doing the footwork. And it keeps me abstinent. These days I always use my lap belt. When I do so, I feel the love of my HP returned.

Such a small gesture, putting on a lap belt, but now it contains so much significance. It’s like a quick little prayer or meditation. Plus, it makes me realize how far I’ve come in this program.

Recovery Slogan: If God is your co-pilot, SWITCH SEATS! ~ Anonymous

By Lisa, Grateful OA member

What is your personal story of recovery in OA?

Please send your story to blog@oasv.org. We look forward to hearing from you and to sharing your story of experience, strength and hope with others on this amazing journey of OA recovery from compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps.