Recently at a meeting, one woman sheepishly admitted to giving up decaf skim lattes because they were taking up more space in her preoccupations than her higher power. She said this with amazement at the ease with which she had forsaken her spiritual well-being. Turning to me, she added, "Can you believe that?" Well, yes, I could. It's how I've lived most of my life.

Back at my house, I carefully unfolded a brand-new placemat and a matching cloth napkin. Suddenly, I remembered a young waif of a woman from the meeting who said, "I know I'm not much, but I'm all I think about." As I continued setting the table for one, I glimpsed the reverse logic: The more worthy I become to myself, the more valuable I could be to others. But as they say in the program, "One step at a time." For now, just sticking to my food plan is a big deal. And I pray not to be left alone with a bowl of pasta.

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