Since entering OA almost a year ago, my body has changed. A lot. I don’t weigh myself anymore because I obsess over the number, but I have gone from a size 28 (pushing a size 30) to a size 20.

It is hard for me to accept. It is hard for me to be kind to myself and acknowledge my worthiness to be in a smaller body.

I’m closer to a healthy body weight, but the healthy body image is definitely a work in progress. My sponsor reminds me continuously that the purpose of Twelve Steps is to heal spiritually and mentally – the physical recovery is but a side effect of the internal recovery. I believe the quest for a healthy body image will assist me in accepting my body size whatever Mama Brigid wills it to be – just for today. As long as I am abstinent and work my program, everything else is up to Mama Brigid.

That being said, physical recovery is extremely hard for me to cope with at times. It is a source of constant prayer, as I ask for Mama Brigid to take away my difficulties, so I may be of more use to others and that others may be inspired by my recovery.

Replacing my desire to run in fear from a smaller body with Mama Brigid’s will for me to be at peace with a healthy body size is difficult. I struggle a lot to remember my worth, my value, my inherent right to live a healthy life of peace and serenity.

Happily, I went to my first live yoga class 2 months ago which has helped immensely with body acceptance over the past week and a half. I have done yoga for years, but always at home. Always alone. I stayed away from yoga studios for fear of being surrounded by judgmental pretzels.

An OA friend told me about a yoga class that happens inside of a historic cathedral where I live. I went to the class, and she warmly welcomed me as did everyone else. There was no sense of judgment. It was blissful acceptance and pure wonderment as I practiced in a sacred space full of stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. I didn’t worry once about my butt being up in the air during down dog or my inability to hold plank for as long as others. As the yoga instructor said, “If the pose isn’t available to you, please replace it with a variation.” What a simple, profound concept.

Body acceptance isn’t fully available to me, so I do a variation. I act as if. I pray. I meditate. I do service. I work my program. I reach out to others. I am honest. I am abstinent. Mama Brigid will take care of me.

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