Sunday 7 November 2010

Life Lessons That Need To Be Learnt!

Many of you will know that I am in a 12 step fellowship for my food problems. I am a food junkie and at least once a week I say ‘Hi, I am Michelle and I am a compulsive overeater’. I sit in a room of anything between 2 and 20 people who all share the same problem with me. We all look completely different; people can range from a size zero to a size 50 and more… Some of us overeat, some under eat, some binge and purge, some are exercise bulimics and some people have a combination of food related problems but fundamentally we all have issues that lead us to thinking food just might be the answer to today’s problem. Of course we are wrong but that does not help our warped logic.

So with the aim of becoming whole again: spiritually, physically and emotionally we embark on this 12 step programme which will become a part of our lives forever. Each day we have to work to be abstinent from the act of eating compulsively, we have to read useful literature, we have to pray or mediate to a power greater than ourselves (and for me this is God but it does not have to be for you, it can be anything. For many people it is the power and love they share in the recovery room with their group) and we have to reach out to fellow sufferers.

I have been in this fellowship for about 18 months now and to the untrained eye you might be fooled into thinking that the programme does not work as I am still fat but that is where this programme differs to any diet you have ever heard of before, losing weight is not the be all and end all. I have made some amazing friends, people from all walks of life. People that the old prideful, snobbish Michelle might never have met. Each one of us in the fellowship is from a different walk of life, some are unemployed, others doctors, some are off work due to ill-health and others like me balance being a parent and working part-time in a good professional career. When we are in fellowship together we all stand equal and I love that. It teaches me humility and it teaches me about some of the wrong perceptions I used to have about life.

When I became a Christian about 9 years ago I started to see changes in myself. I became a nicer person basically and much of that was because I was reading lots and working on my own character defects. I am a lover of anything of a self-help nature. I have been known to read Life coach yourself in a week, Soup for the soul,They f##K you up! and of course many amazing Christian resources too like the Purpose driven life.

What being in fellowship has done is allow me to explore myself even farther. Each day I read literature that comes to me via email, web forums, podcasts and in approved books and some of the things I have read have changed my thinking enormously. I know that even if I stopped going to my meetings I would still read this literature because all the readings are so based on Christian principles that they apply to everyone who wants to be a good and decent person.

Over the coming weeks I plan to share some of the snippets with you from my readings as they make a lot of sense and offer good advice for a sound life…

So here is today’s thought for you –

Whatever men attempt, they seem driven to overdo --Bernard Baruch
It's usually very difficult for us to bring balance into our lives. We may find it hard not to put in overtime at work. We may be obsessed about housework or garden work to the extent that we work long hours at it. Whatever we do, whatever we have, whatever we want, it's usually not enough for us.

Any activity or commitment needs a certain amount of time, concentration, and energy. But some of us may be too absorbed in physical fitness to notice we are always tense, always on the go. Some of us may be so obsessed with money that we take on additional work, not noticing we are often hard to get along with. Some of us may be so fascinated by a hobby that we ignore people in our lives who need our time and attention, too.

We need to recognise the obsessive areas of our lives and begin to make changes. It may mean assigning time limits to different activities. Or it may mean altering our schedules, even letting go of an activity. Now is the time to begin to bring balance into our lives, gently and gradually.

I know I need more balance in my life. What are some changes I can make to bring the scales more in balance?