Many of us would agree that what one person defines as "sober" eating can send another into relapse. So why do we not share the same sentiment when it comes to body size? Why do we judge those as "not abstinent" when their size does not match our personal vision of physical recovery?
As an anorexic/bulimic and over exerciser, I was brutal to my body, trying to get it to stay at a size that I had decided was "right-sized." In recovery, I found that I had a very hard time letting go of what physical recovery looked like for me. What program has taught me, through working the Twelve Steps, is that this is a program of action. I do the footwork and leave the results to my Higher Power. And that includes my physical recovery. My abstinence is sober eating, which to me means putting food in its proper place. I feed my body the nutrition it needs to be healthy so I can do HP's will for me as I walk through my day. Sober eating also means that I do not use food or compulsive food behaviors to avoid my emotions or escape from life. I live life on life's terms. And I leave the results to HP. I trust my Higher Power to take care of the size of my body - the one that I was born with. Not the one I tortured myself to try to obtain. Freedom from the obsession includes letting go of my vision of what a right-sized, abstinent body looks like. The size of my clothes or the number on the scale does not matter. If I am eating a sober meal plan, then I am abstinent.
When I came into program, one of my core beliefs was that the size of my body determined my value to the world. What program has taught me through my step work is that the size of my body does not reflect my worth to this world, and neither does it define the depth of my recovery. My value to the world is based on HP's will for me: to be of service to others. Program promises me freedom from food obsession, and a life of usefulness. It does not promise to make me a certain size or shape.
Love and tolerance is our code. (I prefer love and acceptance, myself.) Love and acceptance includes our own bodies, as well as those of our fellows, regardless of shape or size.
Alice W. – Region 1