By sisa
4/9/2008 10:21:50 AM
Step 1 - Action Step — Admit the problem; seek help; attend meetings
How do I do it? I have to eat to stay alive, right? If it was any other addiction, I could just do without it and be done with it. Food is in my face all the time. I have to buy it, put it away, cook it, and serve it to my family. I'm constantly around it. And it's driving me crazy!!!! My first thought of the day is, "Today, I will only eat when I am hungry." Then I blow it mostlly in the afternoon, or at dinner and eat just to "fit in" even with my own family. And it's one thing that is socially accepted. No one can tell that it's an addiction and not really frowned on. I've just started, can you tell? The first step is a good place to start. How has anyone else coped and succeeded?


Here's a suggestion    
"A good sponsor might have you write out a chronology of your addiction. If it's can begin at the earliest memories of using food to medicate yourself. Continue on through each and every event that left an imprint on your memory up until the most recent experiences that brought you to the LDS program or this website. Why do we do this, you may ask? We need to really understand. Are we addicts? We need to destroy any sign of denial. When we take this chronology of our using behavior and share it with someone else we see ourselves in a more true light. It's hard to deny it when it's right there in black and white staring up at us.
Personally, before I worked this Step- somewhere in the back of my head I thought that maybe, just maybe this thing wasn't as bad as other people at those meetings. Maybe I just needed to read more scriptures or change my job or this or that... When I shared my First Step with my then-sponsor, I was pretty embarrassed but never was it more apparent that the person I was reading about had a SERIOUS problem. No, it was more than just a was an addiction. No doubt about it. Looking back on my life I could see that I repeated this same behavior time after time even though it was taking everything from me; I could see that I had truly wanted to quit years ago but I was powerless over the addiction. I could see that even though it appeared that my life was manageable at times, it was, in fact completely out of control and without some Divine Intervention I was bound to continue in this addiction.
Having these important realizations for yourself are the essence of working the First Step.
Anyone coming into the program can read Step One and think it applies to them but it's another experience, entirely, to KNOW deep down inside, without reservation, that I'm an addict.
Ironically it's a wonderful experience. It explains everything! Of course; Now it makes sense!
This heart-deep realization is the reinforced concrete foundation of our recovery. It is the reason we continue to trudge on through the remaining Steps. Because we found out that we were addicts; and addicts need TREATMENT for their disease.
The "Heavenly-Father ordained" treatment is the remaining Eleven Steps.
Good Luck."
posted at 16:53:04 on April 10, 2008 by Anonymous
"Thank your for your input. I live in an area that does not have meetings and I'm doing this on my own. I got into this because of my son who is going to AA meetings. If he has enough courage to overcome alcohol, I felt encouraged to do the same with food. I'm assuming that I should go to my bishop to start up recovery meetings. Is that right?
Today, even though I started to overeat, I actually pushed the plate away and left food on it. I guess any improvement is better than none at all."
posted at 14:35:03 on April 11, 2008 by sisa
Do something else...    
"When my husband was first working to overcome his addiction he chose something to do any time he felt tempted- he memorized scriptures. Friends who have stopped smoking have also used licorice or suckers to help curb cravings.

Maybe keep a water bottle by and take a drink whenever you feel the urge to eat? Something to help you get through the cravings?"
posted at 12:14:51 on April 14, 2008 by sophie
"It's been a long while since this thread, so I have to check and see other places to find out how you are doing. I hope it is well. There are a couple bits of advice above that I wanted to reinforce. First, I haven't mentioned much here, because I have a VERY verbose blog elsewhere. But even there I don't mention my weight problem because of other pressing addictions. But I have had a serious food addiction as well. Over the last year of dealing with the truth that I am an addict, I've lost 65 pounds. It is all related. Here are the two things I would strongly suggest.
1. Realize you are an addict. It doesn't have to do with food. It is self-medication. It is an addiction. You have to deal with that. The food just happens to be your medication of choice. When I started attending the meetings, it was to give someone else a ride. I wasn't an addict - a sinner yes - an addict no. She ended up not being able to go to the meetings because of work. I kept going. I think... it saved me. I am an addict.
2. Do something else - absolutely, but not just something to take your mind off the craving - something to combat the craving. Remember that the craving isn't for food, it is to feel better - for whatever reason you may have. Try writing down everything you are feeling, why you want to eat, why you are angry (and, believe me, you are most likely angry and like me - as a good member of the church - are unwilling to accept that), what you need to heal. Write everything. I fought for years. I refused the counsel of the brethren to keep journals. I would not put in print my nightmares. My healing started with writing. Find something healthy to fulfill the craving and combat the destructive behavior.
I know it is hard when you feel you are alone, but you are not. In my group I discovered that you would be surprised who else is fighting the good - YES the GOOD fight!"
posted at 17:49:16 on July 21, 2008 by bhean
Weight Watchers...    
"I decided to do Weight Watchers online.. it is so awesome!! it is only about 15 dollars a month... it doesn't really help you to "get rid of food" but it helps you control what you eat. I love it! I feel so much more in control of what I eat! It doesn't mean you have to starve! You can eat what you want with out starving yourself... you just snack on carrots or an apple instead of M&M's and ice-cream. I've lost almost 20 lbs in 3 months. I may be sounding like an ad.. but it really helps me to feel in control of what I put into my body. It's also helped me with my other addictions, I have felt like getting in control of my food addictions has also helped me to control my physical addictions. It's great I feel healthier and happier."
posted at 18:17:55 on July 21, 2008 by Anonymous
Phone meetings    
"Are you aware that there are call in groups? They are out of Canada, but anyone can call. They are held Sundays 7 pm Pacific Time, Tuesdays 7:30 pm Mountain Time, Wednesdays 7:30 pm Pacific Time, and Thursdays7 pm Pacific Time. Number is 1-877-453-7266 Password for each is 7735. Hope this helps!"
posted at 19:02:39 on September 3, 2009 by sistershan
Turning away from food    
"It has been really hard for me to do this first step. I hate gaining weight, feeling heavy and tired, not being able to wear the clothes I want to wear but I have had a really hard time seeing my overeating as an addiction or sin. Overeating is so socially acceptable especially at church socials! It's not like chemical addicition or an addiction to pornography or gambling or some other vice. It's perfectly legal and available everywhere. On top of that, I have to eat to survive so I can't just stop. I think it would be easier to just stop instead of learning to eat in moderation. I can't "just say no" becuase the temptation never goes away. So when I have tried to control my overeating, I"ve focused more and more on food--what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat, when to eat. My focus has always been on me--what I want and what I can't have. In the end, I always went back to my drug of choice--food because it was legal, accessible and perfectly acceptable. I could be around other people, enjoy a good time with my family and friends and even get praised for the food I prepared so lovingly and thoughtflly. And the whole time I was indulging in my addiction. I see now that the great sin I have been committing has not only been as an unhealthy and ungrateful steward of my body and of the gift of food. But the great sin has been that I have been using my food drug and my focus on food to medicate myself during stress and anxiety instead of turning to God. I have been rejecting God as my source of strength and comfort and depending on food. That is the sin! The answer has to be on learning to turn my focus from food to the things of the spirit. To understand that I need to not deny myself the comfort I seek in food but to find comfort in Christ. It's a totally new wayof looking at myself, my gluttony, and my relationship to the Lord. It's turning away from food and turning to God."
posted at 19:53:39 on November 2, 2010 by trusting
Very good points    
""I see now that the great sin I have been committing has not only been as an unhealthy and ungrateful steward of my body and of the gift of food. But the great sin has been that I have been using my food drug and my focus on food to medicate myself during stress and anxiety instead of turning to God. I have been rejecting God as my source of strength and comfort and depending on food. That is the sin!"

Those are some great points, Trusting. I think we are all guilty of that same thing. It's time to let God take over our lives and comfort us."
posted at 22:03:03 on November 2, 2010 by BeClean
posted at 18:08:23 on November 13, 2010 by sharon
Being a Food Addict has turned out to be the best thing in my life.    
"It's been so rewarding to read the food blogs on this site. I especially appreciate what Trusting had to say as it summed up so well, my experience with food as an appropriate and acceptable substance to abuse. Once I was able to accept that I was no different than those "other people" ie. alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. then things began to slowly change. I personally feel that this is how Heavenly Father finally got my attention. Until that point I'd used food to answer all of my own prayers for comfort, entertainment, social interaction, you name it. I was first led to OA in answer to a prayer and attended for ten years. This is where I got my own testimony of the Atonement and also the rude awakening that I didn't trust Heavenly Father AT ALL, not in intimate details of my life. I now attend the church 12 step meetings here in Las Vegas as well as CEA-HOW meetings which I have found helpful because they define what abstinence is when it comes to a food addiction because this is the one addiction that you must come into contact with three times a day. But it has all been worth the effort and not just because I get to wear attractive clothes now-its more than that. I have clarity that I never had before. I actually work at staying close to Heavenly Father because I can actually see Him in my life-these were never a part of my life "before". So, keep at it, go to meetings, get a sponsor, read, pray, write just like it all says. Cheryl"
posted at 00:54:05 on December 5, 2010 by Anonymous    
"heal your hunger has a lot of great ideas"
posted at 23:02:09 on December 13, 2010 by Anonymous
Active Blog    
"Is there anyone intersted in working on food addiction together? This blog looks like it has been quiet for quite a while....."
posted at 17:38:04 on January 18, 2011 by SeekingPeace
I am ready to admit that I have a problem....    
"with food addiction, but not sure what to do about it. I use food for every emotion that I have - happy, sad, angry, frustrated, joyous, bored, etc... I have tried to figure out what I'm missing that food seems to temporarily satisfy but haven't had much luck. The area of food addiction seems to be one discussed very little on the site and I'm sure there are plenty of people who struggle just like I do. I need your suggestions, comments, ideas on how to get started."
posted at 14:06:56 on April 24, 2011 by momlittle3
Momlttle and seekingpeace    
"I wanted to recommend a really incredible book. It is written by Colleen Harrison and she struggled with food addiction. It's called "He Did Deliver Me From Bondage" by Wyndhaven Publishing. I used her book to work the Steps 9 years ago for an alcohol and drug problem. It was extremely instrumental in changing my life. I used her book and worked the 12 Steps with a sponsor who had been through the Steps himself. I have been clean and sober for 9 years. Colleen has a wonderful take on the 12 Steps through mormon eyes.

My main point would be to please seek out help from another person who has found recovery from food addiction. It is every bit as heartbreaking as the other addictions. It carries the same shame and guilt as other addictions and some would argue it has the highest mortality rate. There is HOPE. We don't have to suffer inwardly and be alone with our self-loathing. The problem seems huge and insurmountable but when you go to someone and ask for help, it is instantly cut in half. Each Step we take in recovery seems to cut the illness in half. You'll notice that it doesn't matter how many times you cut something in half, you are always left with a half to work on. But it becomes do-able, and our lives begin to get better. I have witnessed incredible recovery from food addiction through the years. Several people come to mind from my ARP group. They got to work on the inner vessel and in time, they were shining examples of recovery and spirituality. Overeaters Anonymous has an excellent track record, too. You are not alone. People are in your exact same shoes at this very moment, and people are also much further along the road to recovery who haven't binged on food for years. It's these people who are waiting for you to ask them for help. For them to work a proper Step 12, they need to walk you through the program. It's the only way they can keep the gift that was given to them. Good luck!"
posted at 16:12:23 on April 24, 2011 by Anonymous
"I have been seeking recovery from food addiction for about 3 or more years now. I have been to the LDS Recovery Group meetings on and off for the last year and a half. The meetings have helped immensely and taught me valuable things about myself and brought me closer to Christ and Heavenly Father. I still find myself struggling, though. I believe that my set backs have been 100% my responsibilty, my lack of faith, my inconsistency in working the steps sincerely. I also have OCD that has manifested itself as religious scrupulosity among other ways, which has posed an additional challenge in facing this addiction. I find it difficult to separate messages from the Spirit and my OCD thoughts sometimes and have gotten myself hung up and thus stuck on little details that don't necessarily matter and are not conducive to recovery. Someone wise I know once called this pattern figuratively "tripping over carpet fibers." I have made progress with the help of Jesus Christ and people he has put in my path to strengthen me. I feel, still, that I would like to find a sponsor who is in recovery from food addiction/overeating specifically. Someone I could commune with and be accountable to in addition to being accountable to the Lord. Someone who understands what I am going through with food because, as many here have stated, food is a unique drug in that complete "abstinence" in't possible. It is a necessity of life; it's food in excess and eating to self-medicate as opposed to trusting that God can heal and actually going through the actions of submitting to Him DURING the critical moments in temptation, not just proclaiming that I trust Him but only turning to Him in guilt AFTER I have indulged in my addiction time and again. I have tended to struggle with this pattern. I am grateful for the insights posted on this forum. I am an addict. I have OCD, but I am a child of God. There has got to be a way out of this. Does anyone have suggestions as to how 8 can find a sponsor?????? Much thanks and I will honestly pray for you all in your recovery even though I don't know your names or faces. I ask for your prayers as well."
posted at 22:55:10 on September 7, 2011 by Anonymous
I know what to do, but I don't want to do it    
"I have been in the ARP for about 3 years now for my food addiction. I worked through the manual by myself at home until last year when I humbled myself enough to go to the meetings. It would take too long to describe all the miracles that I have experienced as I've been in this program. The peace I feel in my life is amazing. Having said all that, I feel that I've reached a plateau. I'm not able to progress past a certain level and feel very discouraged. The last week or so I've slipped into same old habits and I feel scared. I continue to ask myself what is missing. The 2 things that come to my mind are a sponsor and service. I can honestly say that I know what to do to work through my triggers. I know that if I work the steps and go to the Lord in prayer, He will strengthen me. I know He will help me work through any triggers. The only problem is, sometimes I don't want to work through them. I don't want to turn towards God and allow Him to fill me with the nourishment that will never leave me wanting. I don't want to partake of His fruit. I want to eat to fill my needs. I know it's prideful. I know its wrong. But sometimes I don't care. That is my biggest obstacle right now. Can anyone empathize? What do you do when you don't want to work the steps?"
posted at 20:43:45 on February 9, 2012 by Ana
Dear Ana    
"What do I do when I don’t want to work the steps? I go to more meetings. Usually something I hear at the meetings inspires me to get into action. I think the prompting you keep getting to get a sponsor is good as well. If you are having trouble finding one with a food addiction, just find one that you feel a connection to. AA advises that your sponsor be of the same gender. That is probably more important than the same addiction of choice. Hopefully between more meetings and talking with a sponsor you can get the motivation to face whatever is blocking from working on the steps. The prompting to do service will help pull you out of yourself and as long as there is balance, will help you resist temptation. At least that is my experience. As long as I am getting my dailies in, working the steps and attending all the meetings I need, service is probably the next biggest thing in my recovery."
posted at 20:46:23 on February 12, 2012 by justjohn
Im 19 and I think I have a food addiction...    
"I've been severely neglected by my parents and have, within the past year and a half, finished reading the Book of Mormon and gained a testimony of it's truth. I'm terrified of going to church. Im uncomfortable in church clothes and with my body. I don't like dresses. I'm unsure about my sexuality. My unmarried siblings are having children and are starting to abuse them too. I don't know what to do. I want to lose weight and join the air force to get away from here, but I can't fight the urge to overeat. I think I've devloped a type of anxiety because of my abuse.

Because of my addiction and my family, It's caused some problems with me concerning suicide. It's really hard for me to pray and read the scriptures!! I'm so scared and filled with anxiety all the time, I don't know how to start to change!! I need to get away from this house and make something of my life, I don't want to become like my siblings or kill myself. I was born in the church, but never consistently went. I've never read the bible.

I want to change so bad, but I feel ashamed of myself and scared to pray. I feel like I'm letting God down. I know so much about the gospel! I don't know how to control my overeating. I don't know how to take care of myself! I'm scared that once I start, things will be good at the beginning, but I'll screw everything and go back to my addiction, like usual. I don't know what to do at all."
posted at 18:03:43 on February 24, 2012 by Anonymous
Food Addiction    
"I'm about to graduate with an undergraduate degree in Nutritional Science. I don't think this makes me an expert on the topic of nutrition, but I think I've learned a few key points on the topic that might help those who struggle. Personally, I'm a normal weight individual who enjoys exercise a lot, so I cannot directly relate to overeating and being overweight. I can only repeat what I've heard on the subject.

People with food addictions need food to stay alive, just as people with sex addictions will need sex if they wish to keep the human race alive. I once heard a therapist compare sex addiction to water. You need water to survive, to bathe, to wash your things, etc... but you don't want water to flood your whole house. You want it to stay where it belongs. The same holds true with sex. You need it to procreate, but the point of life is not sex. You don't want sex to preoccupy your every thought and to dictate your every move.

I believe the same holds true for food. We need it to survive, but we don't have to have it every moment, and we don't have to overeat every day. One of my professors shared a story of a woman she's working with who has a serious food problem. This woman can follow a strict diet for three days, and then something will make her very sad, and she'll order four whoppers and sit down and eat all of them within an hour. At other times, this same woman will come home from work and eat an entire package of oreos to relieve stress.

As stated, we have to eat to survive, but we clearly don't have to eat four whoppers or a package of oreos to survive. My professor explained that nutritional advice can only go so far with people who have food addictions because most people with food addictions already know what they should and should not eat. The real key is getting people with food addictions to a therapist. The vast majority of food addicts struggle with feelings of inadequacy and histories of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

I hope this helps."
posted at 10:36:22 on February 25, 2012 by ETTE
Dear Anonymous    
"Just for background I am a major reprobate who has relapsed countless times. First of all those negative thoughts you are having all come from Satan. Your Heavenly Father isn’t disappointed in you and even if you go back to your addiction you aren’t letting Him down. He is excited about your efforts to come to him! He loves you more than you can possibly understand, particularly right now. His feelings for you are nothing like you have experienced from your family and others here on this earth. I understand how you feel. Bad relationships with earthly parents can screw up how you think God must feel about you. There isn’t any truth to it. God wants nothing more than to wrap you in His arms and comfort you. The path you have already started will eventually enable you to feel that love. As someone told me at my first meeting, “We all have a hole and we are trying to fill it with something.” You use food and I have used sex. It doesn’t matter what we use. The cure is the same. Start working the 12 Steps. Find meetings that will work for you and attend them. If you need counseling find somebody that helps and go to them.
I have a minor food addiction, but my wife is about 5’4” and over 300, so I can empathize with you to some extent. It is hard not feeling good about your body particularly with what the media pushes on us. I would encourage you to attend church despite your fears and feelings. The more time you spend with the Spirit the easier it will be to ignore Satan’s lies. You are loved! We all love you. You are a princess of a Heavenly King! I pray that you will someday see yourself as your Heavenly Father and Mother see you! They are proud of your efforts to change your life for the better. Keep going!

Love, your brother,
posted at 18:37:19 on February 27, 2012 by justjohn

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"I need not define your specific problem to help you overcome it. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it violates the commandments of the Lord, it comes from Satan, and the Lord can overcome all of Satan’s influence through your application of righteous principles. Please understand that the way back is not as hard as it seems to you now. Satan wants you to think that it is impossible. That is not true. The Savior gave His life so that you can completely overcome the challenges you face. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990