This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


The Simile of the Car

heart car


In my 12 step program for food addiction we are offered a simile. It goes like this. When we drive our car, and the gas gauge gets close to empty, we stop to fill it up with gas. We don’t overfill it or underfill it. We fill it with a measured amount. And we don’t then stop along the way at every gas station to top off. Similarly, in our program, we eat our weighed and measured breakfast and use that food as fuel until lunchtime. And so it goes. Three weighed and measured meals a day with nothing in between, no flour or sugar.

That’s simile #1. Here’s where I keep the riff going on the simile of the car.

2. When I’m driving, I occasionally glance in the rear view mirror to see what’s gaining on me and what’s around me. I use that information to take action. I don’t drive looking backwards constantly. I look slightly ahead and glance back. Similarly, program tells me to stay in the present moment. I remember where I’m coming from. I consider my plan for where I’m headed. And I glance back to notice when resentments or regrets are gaining on me so that I can take appropriate action.

3. When I’m driving, I occasionally look at the cars to my left and right. I don’t stare at the driver next to me to see what she is eating or how much she weighs. I don’t roll down my window and lean out to tell her that she might be a food addict and what she can do about it. I keep my eyes on my own part of the road. Similarly, program tells me to keep my eyes on my own plate. What other people do is not my business.

4. When I’m driving, I look for the signs that tell me how to abide by the law and stay safe. I keep to the speed limit, stop at red lights, and look for pedestrians, so that I can get where I’m going without hurting myself or others. Similarly, I do my best to follow suggestions that program and my sponsor offer me for how to stay in good relationships, avoid self destruction, and live in peace, happiness, joy and freedom.

5. When I’m driving, in order to pay proper attention, I don’t drive when I’m sleepy, distracted or intoxicated. I pull over to take a nap or send a text. Similarly, in order to have good awareness, I’m told to practice 30 minutes of Quiet Time daily. I no longer drink copious amounts of alcohol or distract myself with fantasy. I use my CPAP machine so that I’m rested. (I just realized, I’m literally putting the oxygen mask on myself first!)

6. When I’m driving and it’s time for a regular check up or the car is making a funny noise, I take it to a really good mechanic whom I trust. Similarly, I’ve found a sponsor who has experience, strength and hope. I call her regularly and we examine my life and listen for any funny noises. I ask my Higher Power for help with life, because life keeps happening and I’m not perfect!

7.  When I’m driving, I’m always grateful to reach my destination. Similarly, I’m grateful to have found my 12 step program. It’s a solution that works for me. Thank you, G-d.

Love & Light,


P.S Here’s an anthem that I love –  Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car.

7 Comments to The Simile of the Car

  1. Theolyn's Gravatar Theolyn
    May 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Valerie, I like your comparison between the things we do as we drive and the steps of your food addiction program – a very interesting analogy.


  2. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    May 10, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Wow, excellent use of a shiny red transport that gets you where you plan to go!

  3. Em's Gravatar Em
    May 10, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    So funny … when I first saw the title, I thought it said “The Smile of the Car.”

    I know there’s a simile in there somewhere!

  4. Em's Gravatar Em
    May 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    😉 right back atcha!

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