Step One – the Spiritual Principle is Honesty. One of the definitions of honesty is "adherence to the facts" or "sincerity." This seems like the perfect spiritual principle for Step One to me. To truly understand that I am powerless over food and my life is unmanageable, I needed to be honest with myself about my life.
To be honest, I do not think I really believed Step One when I arrived in OA. I came to OA after being in another 12 Step program for almost a year. I could understand and believe Step Two – Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. I had seen that step work for members of the other program. So, when someone there mentioned OA to me in reference to my overeating, I was immediately interested in finding out more about the OA program.
But I do not really think I took Step One for several years after I started coming to OA meetings. I certainly did not get abstinent consistently until I had been in OA for about eight years.
The bottom came after I had been living up near Mt. Hood, outside of Portland, Oregon, for about a year. During the summer while I worked at a camp for handicapped children, I had been wonderfully abstinent. It felt easy to be abstinent – I just ate the three meals per day they served in the dining hall, no sugar and no wheat and NO snacking.
Then, at the mid-summer OA retreat, I realized I really needed to be close to the OA program and to OA people to stay abstinent during the rest of the year. I could NOT do this by myself; I was powerless over the food. I decided I needed to move back to Portland, where there were more meetings and more OA people around me. I could not do my life by myself. I had to be honest with myself and with other people. That is when my first abstinence started.
Margie - Region 1