Sunday, May 8, 2011

12 Stepping it up

Now that I have realized I am an addict, I have been trying to learn about the recovery process. I know a bit about the 12 Step program but does it apply to a food addiction? According to Overeaters Anonymous it does but I wonder. What exactly are the steps?

1. We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
That is an easy one. Yes, I am powerless over my addiction. Unmanageable? That is a very strong word. To me that means my addiction has made me unable to work, bathe myself or even get out of bed. Yes, I have health problems relating to my addiction but can I consider my life as being unmanageable? Certainly the potential is there and at times I have felt out of control but I don't think I am at the unmanageable stage just yet...or maybe I can't admit it.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This would imply that I have been insane for much of my adult life. Was I? Am I still? Coming from someone who knows insanity, I would have to say I am not, nor have I ever been insane and I am a bit offended by this step. Maybe I am taking it too literally or I haven't taken this step yet.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. I've done that but you know the old adage...God helps those who help themselves. Besides if all it took to have a healthy body is turning our lives over to God, or your own particular Higher Power, we would all be healthy! We still have considerable work to do.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. I'm not sure how to do this. I have morals but aren't morals subjective? I'm sure the average mobster, has a different set of morals than I do. I'll have to go back to this step once I have figured it out.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Yes, admission complete. I am addicted to food.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. See #2! I just don't think it is that easy. I don't think I'll wake up tomorrow defect free. That is a process that may take years.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Isn't this the same as #6? I think so.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Who has been harmed by my addiction? The proverbial starving children of China? I don't think so. I certainly have as my health has been effected. I think my daughter has probably been hurt the most. She had gone through her childhood with a fat mommy and, though she has never said anything, I'm sure there were some schoolyard insults. How do I make amends to that? I can become a healthy mommy but that can never change the feelings she had when the insults were hurled at her.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. I am certainly trying to do that by becoming healthy so I can be a mommy for a long time to come but just how? I'm still thinking about that one.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. OK, I can do that.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. OK, I can do that too.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs. I did not have a "spiritual awakening" as the result of these steps. Does that mean I have to start all over again? I have a message to compulsive overeaters and I hope I can help too. But I am re-thinking the 12 step program for this particular issue.

All in all...Does the 12 step plan work? I'm sure it probably does for some. I know many a drinker that has achieved success in their sobriety by following these steps. I am guessing there are quite a number of folks who are successful in their food addiction as well, but for me I am thinking...not so much. I think group support is helpful and I get that support from a group that does not follow a 12 step. I think it is important to educate myself in a healthy lifestyle and learn to identify and control the behaviors that put me in this position. So, in conclusion, 12 stepping is not going to be my plan of action.

**My week in review:

*Tracking 1 - did not track at all. I gave myself 1 because I thought about it!
*Exercise 9 - I walked most days but I think I need to incorporate a little more activity in my days
*Eating - 8 - I am doing much better at thinking before I eat.

*lost 1.25 pounds (this is actually a 2 week period, but still good!)


  1. I am just this side of thrilled to see you questioning these steps. Having gone thru them to deal with my own addiction(s) I have a different understanding of them that I won't go into here.

    Being an addict means the addiction takes precedence over everything. You're always calculating how you'll find that next bite, where you'll stash the candy you bought to chow on later, justifying the purchase of that cheesecake you're not going to share, to name a few of my own issues. lol

    For me, I've definitely found peace in meditation and the Geneen Roth books have rocked my world to the point of tipping over and almost sinking, to finding my way through the changing tides and churning waters of my emotions.
    Keep meditating, pondering and become aware of when you're eating, what you're eating, how you're eating and why you're eating.
    And keep asking questions!

  2. I have some of those same issues, lol! I bought Women, Food & God several months ago and I have not read it yet. It is sitting on my nightstand and I have been putting it off. I am working on opening the cover and getting started. Thanks for your input on her and your support! I really appreciate it.