Twelve Step Meditations for Atheists

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

Twelve Step Meditations for Atheists by Laura M. at Amazon.comFor the past four months, I have been working on a meditation book for atheists. The twelve step programs are so god-heavy that it’s really hard for atheists to recover. I wrote this book to help others through this process. You can see it here:

I am so grateful to Overeater’s Anonymous and I truly believe they saved my life, but at the same time, I wasted ten years trying to solve my eating problems on my own all because I knew that twelve step programs are very god-oriented. I am here to tell you that it is possible to find recovery without losing your atheism. If you are avoiding going to OA, AA or any other twelve step program because you don’t believe in god, stop it. Go right now. Find a meeting and get yourself the recovery you deserve.

No god required.

Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.


The Universe Will Reward You

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I truly believe this is true:

The universe will reward you for taking risks on its behalf. Shakti Gawain from The Quotations Page

It reads:

The universe will reward you for taking risks on its behalf.

  • Shakti Gawain

The “taking risks on its behalf” part is difficult, especially when the reward hasn’t surfaced yet. You need to be persistent and keep on taking those risks for the universe and it will reward you. The reward might not be quite what you were expecting, but every time I have put myself out there, the rewards have been worth it.

What risks could you take today that would get you where you would like to be?

  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising a little bit
  • Being nice to strangers
  • Being nice to people you know
  • Being nice to the people who hate you
  • Work on your dream, even if it’s just a little bit
  • Learn a new language, just five minutes a day
  • Give a little extra effort in your job

None of these seem like risks when you look at them, but they really are.

  • When you eat healthy, you skip the bingeing, starving, purging or treats that you normally would have had.
  • When you exercise, even a little bit, you might be sore the next day.
  • When you’re nice to strangers, acquaintances or enemies, there is a very real risk that they will be mean to you back. Do it anyway.
  • When you spend time on your dream, even just a little bit, you get that much closer to achieving it or failing. It’s the risk of failure that makes most people do nothing instead.
  • When you learn a new language, you open up a plethora of possibilities, from job opportunities to travel. The only problem is that it’s HARD. Risk the hard to experience the rewards.
  • When you give a little extra effort on your job, you risk no one noticing, or, even worse, they’ll expect it out of you from now on. Just keeping doing that little extra, however, and you will find yourself in a much better position than before.

EVERY positive action has a risk, but they are worth it. Maybe not in the way you’re expecting, but you WILL be rewarded for your risks. So take them!


Acceptance Is Not Submission

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

This quote really helped me when I was accepting the fact that my eating is disordered.

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it. Kathleen Casey Theisen from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you’re going to do about it.

  • Kathleen Casey Theisen

Last year in October, I came to the stark realization that my brain was BROKEN and there was never going to be a cure for this hunger I have all the time. When I watched The Skinny on Obesity, I realized that I have ZERO control over my eating. Here are those videos from the University of California here:

These videos left me in a pretty hopeless state. I realized that I was going to be hungry all the time and that there was nothing I could do to fix my brain.

After a year and 59 pounds lost, I am no longer hopeless. My brain is still broken and my unnatural hunger kicks in at times, but my life is much more calm now because of Overeater’s Anonymous. They also believe that disordered eating is a disease that is currently incurable. This acceptance of my problem has helped me so much over the last year.

For so long, I refused to accept that I had a disease. I refused to accept that I couldn’t control my eating. Somehow, that made me feel like I was giving up. I thought acceptance was a cop-out. It was a way to pass off the blame on my broken brain.

Instead, it has freed me to take action that has worked when everything else did not. My brain is broken. I’m going to be hungry and want to eat at times when I just don’t need food. In fact, I can’t trust my hunger signals at all because they are almost always wrong. Accepting this helps me devise ways to work around it, with methods like Re-feeding.

Accepting that I am sick and will probably never see a physical cure in my lifetime has helped me get 59 pounds closer to a healthy weight. It has done what nothing else has been able to do for me for the last ten years.

If you are feeling like you just have NO control over your eating, then get yourself to Overeater’s Anonymous and get a sponsor. That simple statement has literally saved my life this year and it can save yours as well.

Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.


Naked Ladies and Food

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

A funny thing happened to my thinspiration Tumblrs and RSS feeds. They turned into naked ladies and food. I don’t know what happened, but instead of inspiring images to help me stay on my program, all I see now are naked ladies and food.

This is NOT thinspiration. It's Porn. From Starling Fitness

This is NOT thinspiration. It's Food Porn. From Starling Fitness

Now, my biggest question is this: Did they change or did I? I used to see pictures of healthy, nearly naked women and get inspired to exercise. Now, they just look like porn to me. I used to see pictures of food and think that I could use a new recipe to mix things up. Now, they just look like food porn to me.

Did the nature of the photos change or am I different somehow? I don’t know, but all of my favorite Tumblrs are useless to me now…

Original Images Via:


The Little Touches

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I saw this quote and it made me realize that it doesn’t take a HUGE effort to get healthy and stay there.

It is just the little touches after the average man would quit that make the master's fame. Orison Swett Marden from The Quotations Page

It reads:

It is just the little touches after the average man would quit that make the master’s fame.

  • Orison Swett Marden

It doesn’t take grueling workouts or starvation to get to a healthy weight. You just have to KEEP GOING. It’s the Christmas season and it’s the time when everyone quits their healthy diet and exercise and proceed to gain ten to fifteen pounds. If you just add those little touches to your masterpiece, you wouldn’t have to face grueling workouts and starvation in January.

DON’T QUIT right now. THIS MONTH is the “little touch” to your program. Just like that extra effort that a master painter would make to her work, this is your little touch to your program. The average person quits during December, but keeping up with your eating and exercise routine is the difference between you and the average person. It’s what will make you a master.


Don’t Break The Chain 2015

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

If you are keeping track of your exercise, abstinence or any other good habit, you might like this Don’t Break The Chain calendar the Karen Kavett made.

Don't Break The Chain 2015

If you keep track of things in an 8.5″ X 5.5″ planner, like I do, then here is one that will print up on Letter Size paper and fit in your planner:

Don’t Break The Chain 2015 8.5″ X 5.5″

Karen Talks about her calendar here:

This is a better video talking about not breaking the chain:

So, whether you are tracking your exercise, abstinence or work habits, here is a pretty little calendar for you to keep track of things. Hope you like it!


Twelve Tips To Shed Pounds: Not What I Needed…

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I saw this poster on Symphony of Awesomeness. It’s from an article on PostiveMed and it reminded me of how it felt to be so desperate.

12 Tips To Shed Pounds from Starling Fitness

Here are the 12 Tips:

  1. Water: Drink lots of it. Before meals and between meals. Dehydration often masks itself as hunger.

  2. Eat Your Calories: Don’t drink them, except for healthy smoothies. No sodas (even diet)or most juices. Eat your fruit when possible, the extra fiber helps you feel full.

  3. Use Smaller Plates: And a bigger spoon or fork. Trick your body into thinking you are eating more food. If you see a plate filled with food your brain thinks, “Wow, I just ate a whole plate of food.”

  4. Pile Up Your Food: Heap your food into a tall pile, same philosophy as above, a tall pile of veggies looks much bigger.

  5. Veggies First: Put your vegetables on your plate first. They should cover about half of it.

  6. Make It Look Bigger: If you eat half a chicken breast and save half for another meal, cut it the long way so it looks bigger.

  7. Spice It Up! Spicy food fools your taste buds into being more satisfied with smaller amounts. Tip: Sprinkle popcorn with a spicy pepper blend, delicious!

  8. No Fad Diets: Starvation mode freaks your body out so that it holds onto every fat cell for dear life. In case you need it later.

  9. Love Yourself: If you don’t love yourself heavy, you won’t love yourself skinny either. It’s not a magic fix-all for problems, you did not get heavy overnight, you will not lose it overnight either.

  10. Change Your Life: There is no magic cure, the ONLY way to lose weight and keep it off is to consistently burn more calories than you take in. It’s a life change, not a two week change.

  11. Make It A Mantra: Today I will eat food that nourishes my body and makes me feel good I will do some gentle exercise to stretch my muscles because I deserve the best I can do for myself.

  12. Keep Track of Inches: When you think you have hit a plateau in weight loss its your body exchanging fat for muscle. Muscle tissue is half the size of fat and burned calories more effortlessly.

These are all valid tips, but not ONE of them could help me when I was at my worst. Eating disorders don’t need tips. I could drink water and use small plates, but that didn’t stop me from bingeing. I didn’t need tips. I needed a complete overhaul of my spiritual and emotional life. Going through the steps with my sponsor gave me that and I work on it EVERY day now.

The funny thing is, when I take care of the emotional and spiritual side of my life, I don’t need to worry about the physical aspects. I don’t want to binge. I don’t need tips to shed pounds. They just came off because I didn’t feel the CONSTANT need to eat anymore.

Every time I see tips like this now, it’s just reminds me of how hopeless I felt before I found Overeater’s Anonymous.

Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.


Find Your Greatness

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on LiveToTheBeat and it made me say, “YES!”

Find Your Greatness from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Find your greatness.

I don’t want to see some genetically blessed person in my motivational posters. I wanna see THIS guy! This guy is inspiring! He’s sweating! He’s working hard!

The next time I think about blowing off my incredibly easy workout, I’m going to have THIS guy in my head. If he can do his workout, then so can I.



By Laura Moncur @ 12:18 pm — Filed under:

Over the last year, I have lost 59.8 pounds by keeping my bingeing at bay and walking a slow twenty minutes a day.

But, I’m getting weak…

I talked about this a little over a month ago here:

So, I added some weight training every other day to my workouts. Here is my list:

Start out PATHETICALLY Slow from Starling Fitness

It is EMBARRASSINGLY trivial. It’s PATHETICALLY slow. It’s so little weight and so few reps and only ONE set! It takes nine minutes. But when I think about my weight training days, I don’t dread them anymore. I tell myself that it’s hilariously easy, so it’s no big deal.

For me, right now, it’s more important to be consistent than to challenge myself. I have challenged myself. It made me thinner, and then it made me binge. I’m going to try gentle and consistent and see if that works out better for me. It sure did with slow walking every day with the dog. Maybe it will with the weight training as well.


Please Do Not Mention Specific Foods

By Laura Moncur @ 3:11 pm — Filed under:

In the Overeater’s Anonymous group that I attend, we have a sentence in the meeting format that says, “Please do not mention specific foods in this meeting. If you are having trouble with specific foods, please discuss them with your sponsor.”

Please Do Not Mention Specific Foods from Starling Fitness

I have heard this phrase in many meetings, so it’s not that unique, but I really don’t know how I feel about it. I have so many conflicted feelings.

I am no one else’s Higher Power

I don’t think we should be bossing other people around. I don’t think we should be telling people what they can and cannot share. We are so isolated in this disease that when we tell others what they can share, it puts up a wall that I really think shouldn’t be there.

I don’t want to hurt anyone

At the same time, I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to trigger them. I don’t want to make my friends in my meeting uncomfortable. If I mention food that is on my plan, it might not be on someone else’s plan. In fact, it might be a former binge food. I don’t want to cause anyone any pain.

I can’t shield you from temptation.

Then again, ANYTHING I say could be a temptation for you. It doesn’t matter WHAT I say, whether I’m talking about healthy food, exercise or other behaviors. There is nothing I can do to prevent you from being tempted.

I was reading in Alcoholic’s Anonymous (the Big Book) in Chapter 7 Working With Others and it said:

In our belief any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.

So many people have tried to control my eating, now they want to even control my talking about eating.

A big part of my disease stemmed from the fact that I was starved by my grandmother as a child. When people try to control what I can say about my food, it kind of reminds me of that. In fact, you could say that it triggers me.

The Big Book talks about that, too. (Chapter 7 Working With Others)

We are careful never to show intolerance or hatred of drinking as an institution. Experience shows that such an attitude is not helpful to anyone. Every new alcoholic looks for this spirit among us and is immensely relieved when he finds we are not witch-burners. A spirit of intolerance might repel alcoholics whose lives could have been saved, had it not been for such stupidity. We would not even do the cause of temperate drinking any good, for not one drinker in a thousand likes to be told anything about alcohol by one who hates it.

It’s NEVER about the food.

Just like my sponsor says every time, it’s never about the food. If you want to eat something just because I mentioned it in my share, that has NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with you.

This is what it says about that in the Big Book Chapter 7 Working With Others:

Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so. We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status.

Romancing the Food

Then again, if someone is going on and on about a specific food, it’s an indication that they aren’t spiritually fit. It’s called, “Romancing the Food,” and it means that you’re just setting yourself up for a binge. Limiting shares to focus on the positive and not the specific foods, might actually be helpful.

Control is one of my character defects

I have a BIG problem with control. The desire to control myself, others and my environment is one of my biggest character defects, so I have to be on the lookout for anything that feeds it. Telling other OA members what they can and cannot say is something that my desire for control likes very much, so it can’t be good for me, even if it prevents me from being triggered.

Principles Before Personalities

It seemed like our Twelfth Tradition might have been the answer to this question. It reads:

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

If we place principles (what is right) before personalities (people’s feelings), then it seems like we shouldn’t be limiting what our members can share. Then again, if we place principles (the desire to stop compulsive eating behaviors) over personalities (what people want to share), then we should limit their ability to mention specific foods. And I’m right back where I started.

I Don’t Know What’s Right

After all this research and thought about this issue, I don’t know what is right. I don’t want to hurt someone else. I don’t want us to control what people can and cannot share. If I was asked what I thought our group should do, I literally wouldn’t know how to answer.

Original Image Via: Disease Proof – The anatomy of a binge

Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

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