Reflections from Unity Day

Unity Day 2015 was filled with helpful ideas about working the program and living in the solution one day at a time. Over the next few weeks, we’ll reflect on some of the most powerful ideas shared so that those who attended can hear them again, and those unable to attend can consider them as well. Today, weight “loss.”

One of our speakers said that they don’t like to talk about weight “loss.” That’s because when we lose things, it means we have a desire to find them again. But who among us wants to find the pounds we’ve shed in OA, whether it’s one or one hundred? Many of us have heard the funny but deadly accurate statement in the rooms: “I didn’t lose the weight—I know just where to find it.” We all know where to find it; it’s in the first bite.

Many members instead talk about releasing weight. When we cling to the weight it means we are clinging to our old, ineffective solution to life’s troubles, overeating. When we release the weight, it means we are on a journey toward trusting our Higher Power more effectively. Trusting a Higher Power and pursuing a food-based coping strategy are mutually exclusive. This is why one of our speakers today told us how spiritually painful it was during relapse to have a belly full of food and a mind full of program.

We might also hear members talk about “taking off” the weight. This can also be a powerful metaphor for us in recovery. Our bodies may be projections of our inner feelings, and those around us can tell that we are trying to protect ourselves from psychic pain through compulsive eating. We wear our disease in a way no other addiction does. Everyone can see that we are blocked from what the Big Book calls “the sunlight of the spirit,” except, perhaps, for us. But imagine us stepping out of our oversized bodies as if they were simply garments. It would be much easier for that spiritual light to shine on us and be reflected back out to the world.

Lastly, there are things in program we would never want to lose. Our abstinence, the fellowship of our OA friends, the feeling of usefulness that comes with service, the joy of living with a mind not clouded by our substance. When we do lose them, we search desperately because we are in pain without them. The great news is that we will never lose OA itself. It is always here for us. It will always help us stop eating, relate with others who share our problem, find a spiritual solution to anything that comes along, and pass it along to others as it was freely given to us. We never need to be at a loss again.