A Story of Recovery:

What’s Normal?

I’ve been in the FA program now for over six years and it’s been such an interesting ride.

I remember when I first came into Program, I was willing to go to any lengths to be in a right sized body and not to be crazy about food anymore. I bought my scale, had my food written down, and all my groceries were in the refrigerator, I had my meal plan and I was ready to go for the week – only to find myself back at the store a day or two later because I didn’t have enough veggies. What?!? I ate them all?!? They didn’t turn to green slime in my ‘crisper’? This was a new phenomenon. So off I went, weighing and measuring my food, calling my sponsor at 6 am every day, going to three meetings a week and doing everything possible to stay abstinent.

Every now and then I would think “How in the heck can I do this for the rest of my life?” “What about when I have kids?” and other concerns. Each time, an outreach call to a fellow would remind me: “Just do it for today.” And this brought peace. I just did it for one more day. It’s amazing how each of those “just for todays” has compiled into six years of living a weighed and measured life. Not only did the weight fall off and stay off, the sick thinking fell away as well.

I’m truly joyful and at peace with my Program. Little by little I knew how many veggies I would need for the week, I discovered quick cooking styles, and batch cooking my food became like second nature. At first I was nervous about packing and bringing my food with me. What would people think? But doing so allowed me to live life. I repeat “live life!” Not eat my way through life’s experiences. I am actually present in my life today. It hasn’t always been easy, and there have been many “life experiences” along the way (moving, illness, divorce, getting laid off, new jobs, going back to school, now dating again) but the great part is that I’m awake, aware and enjoying each new experience.

There is so much freedom and so much life to be lived between meals. So if you are new and feel like you will spend the rest of your life chopping, shopping, calling strangers and chopping some more, please trust that it all becomes like second nature. Having this easy structure creates such freedom. I am currently completing school to be a licensed health coach so I can help those who aren’t food addicts find peace and wellness. And you know what? In studying over 60 dietary theories, I have discovered that what we eat is “normal” and what we do for ourselves is what people strive for. We take care of our bodies. We nurture our souls. We forgive and move forward. Most interesting to me is that people want what we have. Fresh, simple, real food, peace in our souls and joy in our eyes.

Growing up, I just wanted to be someone special. Then when I started FA, all I wanted was to be normal. For a long time I thought I would always be a little “weird” by eating so healthy and doing this “FA thing”. Well, six years later I realize I’m normal after all. I put my program first and everything else falls into place. I can travel, eat out with my family and friends, take road trips, go hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and dancing. I live a healthy, happy, normal and authentic life. So just for today I keep chopping away! Abstinence is a beautiful gift that today gives me a new story for my life.


This story was originally published in the connection Magazine. Subscribe to the connection Magazine for more stories of recovery. Or submit your own story of recovery.