From Overeaters Anonymous Website:
https://oa.org/newcomers/how-do-i-start/program-basics/twelve-steps/

Twelve Steps

“Our way of life, based on these twelve steps and twelve traditions, has brought us physical, emotional and spiritual healing, that we don’t hesitate to call miraculous. What works for us will work for you, too.”

The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  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.
  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 was doing my step work on separate posts and I will still do that but will also combine them here so that I will see a progression.
*************************************************************************************
OA | Step 1 Work | 30 March 2017
********************************
“We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

I am working on my steps via Lawrie C’s Step Study Guide suggested by my sponsor, Vanessa.

In the first section he asked us to make an “analysis of our eating” by answering a few questions.

What are my binge foods?

  • What foods are your absolute favorites?  I have some favorite foods that are not binge-worthy food so I won’t list them here.  I am listing my favorite binge-worthy foods.
    maple-frosted donuts, cinnamon rolls, apple fritter donuts, other types of donuts, cookies, candy, potato chips, cheetos,  cokes or other sugary drinks, cheeseburgers and french fries, chicken nuggets, pancakes and sausage, pancakes and bacon
  • What foods put you in a zone (at various times)?   all of the above
  • What foods can’t you imagine giving up?  all of the above
  • What foods do you eat until there is nothing left?  all of the above except for cheeseburgers and french fries and pancakes and sausage or bacon – usually when I get full I can stop with those for some reason.
  • What foods do you find yourself eating while simultaneously saying to yourself, “I have to stop eating this!” but you don’t?   all of the above except for cheeseburgers and french fries, pancakes, sausage, and bacon.
  • If you’re overweight, what high-calorie/non-nutritional foods do you find yourself eating a lot of?  all of the above

What is the common ingredient(s) in all of the above foods?   It seems as he suggests that the only common ingredient to all of them is FAT.

When you look at the list of foods, is it the foods themselves or what you put on them for taste that can make a difference?   Well basically none of these have anything added by me – except pancakes – lots of butter and syrup to keep them from being too dry.    Also although I didn’t put oatmeal in the list I know that I put way too much butter and sugar in my oatmeal when I eat oatmeal.

For your favorite list of foods, imagine taking away one ingredient at a time – what is the ingredient that suddenly makes the food uninteresting to you?   Or imagine substituting one ingredient for another, like whole-grain flour rather than white flour, or artificial sweetener for sugar – what is the substitute that makes the food suddenly uninteresting to you?   Well although I like plain glazed donuts they are not quite as interesting as maple-frosted donuts or cinnamon roll or apple fritter donuts.  I don’t like any artificially sweetened things at least not sweetened by like the old time sweeteners.  I don’t mind coconut sugar.  I don’t mind things sweetened with like pear juice or other fruit sweeteners.  They still taste great!  Potato chips stop interesting me the harder they get.  I’m not as much into the baked ones or the kettle ones.  Cookies and candies – yeah sugar being taken away makes them not so interesting.  The more sugary a cookie, the less likely it is for me to be able to put the bag away.  An example would be that I do like vanilla wafers but they are not as sugary as sugar wafer cookies.  I would be less likely to stop eating the sugar wafer cookies than the vanilla wafers.  Burgers are less yummy (but still yummy) without the cheese or without condiments for sure.  Chicken nuggets do not sound as appealing if the breading was off of it.

Once you isolate a particular ingredient, imagine eating that ingredient by itself without anything added to or mixed with it.  Imagine eating a bag of sugar, a bag of flour, a pound of butter. Could you eat none of it, some of it, all of it?   Could eat none of flour by itself nor butter by itself but I could eat sugar by itself.  I wouldn’t be able to eat a whole bag but I could definitely eat a few teaspoons of it.

Do you generally eat food that have been livened up with sauces or gravies  or condiments that contain sugar, flour or fat or a combination of these?   Is taste an issue with you?   No not really livening up things except with butter on pancakes and sugar and butter in oatmeal.  Most of these binge-worthy items are prepackaged, premade things.   Taste is an issue, yes.  If something did not taste good, I definitely would not be eating it.
*************************************************************************************
OA | Step 1 Work, cont’d | 01 April 2017
**************************************
A continuation of earlier Step 1 Work:

Figuring out my binge eating behaviors (ingrained & volume issues)

Are there particular chewing behaviors you notice?
I notice that I enjoy having something to chew when I am working.  It seems to help me stay focused on getting the work done.

Do you need to chew all the time?
Mainly when I am trying to focus on work.  I have ADHD so it is very hard for me to focus at times even though I am on ADHD meds.

For some reason having something to snack on and chew on helps me focus.  If I am just watching television I do not have the urge as much.  If I am just wasting time on the internet I do not have the urge as much.

Have you had a lot of dental work done because you grind your teeth or chew a lot?
Yes, I do grind my teeth a lot.  I do not know if the dental problems I have are because of just the grinding or if chewing a lot added to it.  I also have developed TMJ Disorder and will be being treated for that in the next few months.

Are there particular textures that seem to be common?
Crunchy seems to be a common texture when binge-eating.

Are there particular times you seem to overeat ANY kinds of foods, not just your binge foods?
Yes, when out to dinner or lunch, I tend to want to finish  my plate if the food tastes good.  If I am not really enjoying the taste of the food, then I can stop earlier.  Even sometimes at home, I put too big a portion on my plate and I tend to try to finish it all – again if it tastes good.

Can you leave something on your plate or do you have to eat it all?
I can leave things on my plate unless it tastes really really good.

Do you have any way of knowing, whether or not you ever pay attention to it, when your body really doesn’t need any more?
Yes, my body screams that it doesn’t need any more.  If I am eating from a plate, it is easier to stop but if I am eating snack foods from containers or bags, it is harder to stop even if I am stuffed.

Is there any eating behavior always leading to overeating that you just can’t imagine giving up?
hmmm … eating behavior always leading to overeating … I cannot think of an answer for this question so I guess the answer must be no?

Do you need to feel filled all the way up?
I seem to.  Once I feel hungry, I want to eat something a.s.a.p.  I know I need to learn to live with being hungry from time to time.  That is what “normal” people do.  Of course, sometimes I am not hungry at all.  I just know something is there and I want to eat all of it!

The next part of his step study will be Step 2.  Lawrie says, “Step 1 is about Powerlessness and Despair and Step 2 is about Power and Hope.”

to be continued ….
************************************************************************************
OA | Step 2 work | 03 April 2017
********************************
Step 2
“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”

The first thing Lawrie C’s asks us to write is a list of emotional reasons to return to foods we shouldn’t be eating and/or emotional reasons to return to eating behaviors that we know we should not be indulging in.

Emotional reasons for returning:

His first four resonate with me so I am putting his first four here and then will add any of mine that I come up with.

1.   I’m very depressed.  What will make me feel better?
2.   I’m very happy.  How can I celebrate?
3.   I’m lonely.  What would make me feel better?
4.   Too many people love me.  What will make me feel better?
5.   I’m nervous at work because I am afraid I’ll make a mistake.  What will help me focus?
6.   I’m apprehensive about working on a project that I know I need to be working on?  What will help me get started and continue focusing on the project?
7.   I’m happy that I’m out to lunch or breakfast with a friend and that makes me feel celebratory.  What could make me feel even more celebratory?
8.   I am feeling very anxious today.  What can calm me down?
9.   I made a mistake at work.  What can make me feel better?
10. I had an argument with my boyfriend and feel sad and/or angry.  What can make me feel better?
11. I am very frustrated.  Stuffing my face will make me feel better.
12. I am very annoyed.  Stuffing my face will make me feel better.

Stupid reasons for returning:
1.   I want what I want when I want it.  I’m a rebel.
2.   I’m old so why not enjoy my last years by eating whatever I want?
3.   I already screwed up by eating something I shouldn’t have, so I’m just going to eat some more.
4.   I went into the dollar store and spotted all my snacks that just kept begging me to buy them and take them back to work with me.
5.   I ate a salad for lunch so I can have that yummy dessert.
6.   My boyfriend and I are out to eat so I should treat myself and eat whatever I want.
7.   I have left the house or work in my car.  What can I grab to eat that I cannot eat in front of my boyfriend?

My plan of action against returning to these old behaviors and/or foods:
1.   Make sure when I do my weekly shopping that I purchase the foods I need to help me stay on my food plan.
2.   Eat breakfast at home every day.
3.   Make your lunch every day and take to work for lunch that day along with the various healthy snacks on your food plan.
4.   If my mind starts thinking about food even if it is thinking about food in the future, immediately either get up and walk outside and/or around for a minute or two OR write in my journal immediately about what I’m feeling, what triggered the thought.
*************************************************************************************
OA | Step 2 continuation #2 | 06 April 2017
******************************************
My sponsor asked me to add two more lists to my group of lists:
************************************************************
#1 Abstinence Plan – Food & Behaviors
#2 Plan for maintaining abstinence and talking back to ‘non-abstinent’ cravings while working the steps
*************************************
#1 Abstinence Plan – Food & Behaviors
*************************************
FOOD to maintain abstinence from

*** Donuts
*** Cookies
*** Chips
*** Candy
*** Cokes (or any sugary drink like that)
*** Frozen Coffee Drinks
*** Fast Food
****************************************
BEHAVIORS to maintain abstinence from
*** Going through a drive-through or going into a store to buy something just because I got out and about in my car
*** Eating until I feel so stuffed I can’t breathe
*** Sneaking food in my purse to take upstairs to my home office so I can secretly eat
*** Obsessing over what I’m going to eat next whether it is healthy or not healthy
*** Eating as soon as I feel hunger even if it is not time for my next time I can eat on my food plan
*** Thinking that since I am eating out, I can eat and drink whatever I want because it is a “treat”
*************************************************************************************
I binged.  My sponsor has told me I have to start all over with Step 1

OA | Step 1 (again)| 24 April 2017

“We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

What are my binge foods?

  • What foods are your absolute favorites?  My favorite binge-worthy foods are:  donuts, cookies, candies, and chips although I can binge with any food – even healthy foods.
  • What foods put you in a zone (at various times)?   all of the above
  • What foods can’t you imagine giving up?  all of the above
  • What foods do you eat until there is nothing left?  basically any and all of the above – I can literally be stuffed to the gills and yet there are still some cookies left in the package and I will push myself sometimes to just finish them.  It’s a death wish.
  • What foods do you find yourself eating while simultaneously saying to yourself, “I have to stop eating this!” but you don’t?   all of the above plus anything unhealthy I find myself saying, “I have to stop eating this!”
  • If you’re overweight, what high-calorie/non-nutritional foods do you find yourself eating a lot of?  all of the above

What is the common ingredient(s) in all of the above foods?   It seems as he suggests that the only common ingredient to all of them is FAT although sugar would be the most common probably among the cookies, candies, and donuts.

When you look at the list of foods, is it the foods themselves or what you put on them for taste that can make a difference?   the foods themselves – the maple of the maple frosting on the donuts, the cinnamon and sugar of the coffee rolls, the chocolate and different fillings of the candies.

For your favorite list of foods, imagine taking away one ingredient at a time – what is the ingredient that suddenly makes the food uninteresting to you?   Or imagine substituting one ingredient for another, like whole-grain flour rather than white flour, or artificial sweetener for sugar – what is the substitute that makes the food suddenly uninteresting to you?   artificial sweetener for sure makes the food uninteresting to me – taking away the maple frosting on a donut would make it only slightly less  interesting.

Once you isolate a particular ingredient, imagine eating that ingredient by itself without anything added to or mixed with it.  Imagine eating a bag of sugar, a bag of flour, a pound of butter. Could you eat none of it, some of it, all of it?   could not each flour by itself – could not each butter by itself – can eat sugar by itself (not a lot but i have been known to down a tablespoon of sugar).

Do you generally eat food that have been livened up with sauces or gravies  or condiments that contain sugar, flour or fat or a combination of these?   Is taste an issue with you?   not into sauces and gravies that much but I do add a lot of butter on pancakes, baked potatoes, and a lot of butter and sugar to my oatmeal.  I had mentioned before while doing step 1 that most of my binge-worthy items are prepackaged, premade things or drivethrough fast food things.   Taste is definitely an issue.  If it didn’t taste so good, I am sure I wouldn’t eat it.

Figuring out my binge eating behaviors (ingrained & volume issues)

Are there particular chewing behaviors you notice?
I seem to like to be constantly chewing.  I like to be eating something while I’m working.  It makes me feel like it helps me focus.

Do you need to chew all the time?
It seems to be the case but mainly when I am trying to focus on work.

Have you had a lot of dental work done because you grind your teeth or chew a lot?
Yes, I grind and grit my teeth a lot.  I now have TMJ Disorder and am getting treatment for this.

Are there particular textures that seem to be common?
chewy for sweets and crunch for chips and things like that

Are there particular times you seem to overeat ANY kinds of foods, not just your binge foods?
Yes sometimes if something tastes really really good, it is hard for me to stop eating it – like leftover spaghetti.

Can you leave something on your plate or do you have to eat it all?
Yes I can leave something on my plate if I am stuffed and/or not enjoying the taste of the food.

Do you have any way of knowing, whether or not you ever pay attention to it, when your body really doesn’t need any more?
My body does tend to let me know when I have had enough.  Sometimes I can stop and sometimes I just keep shoveling it in even if I am feeling sick.

Is there any eating behavior always leading to overeating that you just can’t imagine giving up?
I cannot think of anything.

Do you need to feel filled all the way up?
Yes.  If I feel the least bit hungry, I get nervous and anxious.

The next part of his step study will be Step 2.  Lawrie says, “Step 1 is about Powerlessness and Despair and Step 2 is about Power and Hope.”

*************************************************************************************
Some things from my sponsor:

1) Write on the Facebook page every day, all day if you need to– it stops eating behaviors and keeps program top of mind
2) Ask for support. Admit you are struggling– it’s good to do it. Your post can help someone today. Watch what happens, people even SAY your post helped them sometimes. And often it is your most vulnerable shares that help people identify in. You might save a life today by bringing them the surrender they need.
3) Give support. You DO know what to say– I am sure of it. Even if it is, “I understand” or “I read your post and am sending hope/ love/ prayers/ good tidings etc.”
4) Listen to podcasts and OA speakers. You will learn a million things.
5) Get your Big Book out and start replacing every ‘alcohol’ word with ‘food.’ That helped me a ton at the beginning. I ought to go back to it myself– I stopped the project a few months back, but I do see it as a life’s work to make that Big Book ‘my own’ by changing all of the relevant words in alcohol to food words.
6) I’ve asked that you email me daily– I’m still asking that. If you don’t know what to say, tell me: “I don’t know what to say” or “I am lost.” But NOT writing is a big set up for guilt and failure. It’s not a big deal to email– but it is a big deal NOT to email, if you think about it.
7) Challenge yourself in program.
8) Email, text, call others.

Advertisements