Honesty, Openness and Willingness


In our TRG/ HOW group we work the 12 Step Program and the food plan we are choosing to use in that program is the HOW food plan. This is a very disciplined plan of eating and takes a stricter commitment to weigh and measure everything that is consumed.

HOW is worked with a sponsor. Questions relating to your food should be discussed privately with your sponsor or privately with another HOW member through private email. Not on the loop. Please read the HOW guidelines for participating in this loop: http://www.therecoverygroup.org/odat/how/index.html

If you are a compulsive eater who wishes to follow the H.O.W. program, we invite you to join our H.O.W. discussion loop.

HOW offers a disciplined and structured approach to compulsive overeaters who accept the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as a program of recovery. The HOW concept is based in the belief that our disease is absolute, and therefore, only absolute acceptance of the HOW program will offer any sustained abstinence to those of us whose compulsion has reached a critical level.

To be certain, much of our strength is found in the structure of meetings and in the daily adherence to the program as it is written in our literature. We also firmly understand that, after our recovery has begun through abstinence and the taking of the first three steps, our further surrender to the additional steps of recovery offers us a promise of happiness, contentment, and achievement in all areas of our lives.

We insure our continued abstinence from compulsive overeating by being forever aware that God is doing for us what we have never been able to do for ourselves.


A general guideline for your participation in HOW is that the HOW Loop is like a HOW 12 Step Meeting. Just as in a HOW meeting, the HOW list is mainly to express positively our experience on HOW abstinence. Sharing your personal ESH means using the "I" form rather than "we" or "you" as much as possible. Avoid lecturing or advising other members.

HOW is appropriate for:

  • Qualifying by telling what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now with regard to your food addiction and your abstinence.
  • Sharing your personal ESH using the "I" form on an issue or theme raised in another member's email. However - just as in a face-to-face meeting - avoid cross talk. Cross talk means responding to a particular person's share by explicitly referring to the person or to their share. This can occur when you email the HOW loop instead of the individual, when you address your email to the individual, when you mention the person's name, or when you quote or respond to specific points in their share. (If you have a problem with something a person has said in a post, please contact the person privately to discuss it, or bring it to the attention of the coordinator.
  • Referring to specific parts of the AA or OA literature and quoting a sentence or two - just as in a HOW meeting. You may also mention other literature or resources you found useful in your abstinence. However - just as in a meeting - do not quote extensively from any literature, You may instead offer to send the material to individual members who request it from you.
  • Making HOW related announcements about meetings, events, resources, etc.
  • Asking HOW related questions - although not for asking questions about the definition of abstinence. Those are for your sponsor. Appropriate questions include how to stay abstinent under particular circumstances, etc.
  • Asking for support, if you are struggling, or asking for phone numbers, available sponsors, resources, etc.

Please do not mention other members' names on the HOW list unless:

  • You want to congratulate them on their HOW anniversaries.
  • You are thanking individuals for their service to the HOW community.
  • They specifically give you permission, and you explicitly state this in your message.
Things to avoid:

  • Using another HOW Loop's member's name without permission, or in referring to her post.
  • Referring so explicitly to another member's post that your post was effectively a direct response to hers.
  • Replying to another member's post on the HOW Loop instead of individually.
  • Attacking another HOW member.
  • Quoting extensively from another member's share.
  • Including extensive quotes from any source.
  • Replying to the HOW Digest or message, including the entire Digest or the previous post in your own message.
  • Mentioning specific foods by name. Just as in a HOW meeting, we do not mention foods, abstinent or non-abstinent, because this can trigger food thoughts.
  • Asking questions about or discussing abstinence definitions that should be directed only to your sponsor.
  • Lecturing or advising others rather than sharing your personal Experience, Strength, and Hope.
  • Attacking the HOW program.
  • Posting material with no relevance to HOW abstinence.
  • Forwarding messages to non-HOW members without getting permission from the original sender.
  • Posting chain mail, virus warnings, or commercial messages. The HOW Loop is not appropriate for advertising your products or services whether related or not to HOW abstinence either explicitly in the body of your message or implicitly in your automatically appended signature. Including your job title or company name in your automatically appended signature is acceptable.

When in doubt, or if you have any questions about these guidelines, please ask the moderator before you post.


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