Today (Friday, April 11) makes DAY FIVE of continuous recovery (ODAAT) — which means I’ve made it beyond the ever-important “first 72 hours” that I discussed in a previoius journal entry. So now what? What must I do to continue to grow in my recovery process? In a nutshell: pretty much more of the same things that I did during the first 72 hours…and a few more things as well.

Specificially, I need to continue to work Steps 1, 2, 13, 10, 11 & 12 on a daily basis I don’t believe that it is possible to “graduate” from needing these Steps EVERY day of my recovery journey. These Steps keep me in touch with the reality of my addiction and helps me to connect to the support I need to keep moving forward, ODAAT.

In addition to sticking to the foundations of my recovery, I also can now move from having a mostly singular focus on the food intake part of my addiction to looking more closely (and working, not just thinking about it) at the exercise avoidance part of my addiction.

Avoiding Physical Exercise Can Be As Addictive As Overeating

While I definitely did some physical exdercise during the first 72 hours of my renewed recovery effort, I was careful to NOT overdo it. Nothing abour recovery is a “race”…the “Slim-Slow approach” is safer, saner and far more permanent (ODAAT, of course) than the “Slim-Fast approach” could ever hope to be (CLARIFICATION: “Slim-Slow” and “Slim-Fast” are NOT references to SlimFast weight loss products! Rather this is a play on a phrase from Eddie Murphy’s original The Nutty Professor movie).

Over the course of the past five days I gradually (remember, this recovery stuff is NOT a race and I do NOT have to compare the pace of my progress with that of any other addict!) increased the amount of time I spent exercising. Here’s an example of the gradual progress I made this past week: I regularly visit a certain library branch. I began by parking my vehicle as close as I could to the building entrance…and each day I would park one or two spaces farther away from the entrance the day before. I also began to intentionally walk a greater distance inside the building each day, so that by today I am walking from one side of the building to the other side.

Small progress? To be sure. But every bit of progress counts!

I think most of us addicts have a voice inside that I would call my “inner bulimic” and/or “inner anorexic”. This/these voice(s) tell us that NOTHING we are doing in our recovery is “good enough” or “fast enough”. Most of us addicts have fought the nagging notion that we aren’t “good enough” in most areas of our lives. We just NEVER felt good enough. We NEVER felt that whatever we did was all that great. Can you relate to these thoughts and feelings?

One of the truly WONDERFUL things that happens in recovery is that we begin (no matter how slowly) to appreciate all of the progress we make. It helps me to have other addicts there to share positive feedback each time I reach a milestone in recovery. I need their positive words to replace the negative voices of my inner critics.

Because I now value the seemingly sloooooow progress that I make in my recovery (it has taken me YEARS to get to this point), I now realize just how horribly toxic the message is that is spewed out by the weight-loss industry! Promises of “faster”, “quicker” and “sooner” weight loss results appeals to that wounded side of myself that never feels quite “good enough”. “If only I could lose that much weight that fast then it would really count…then I would really have something to be proud of!” The truth is that ALL of my progress counts, no matter how long it takes to achieve it.