Step One



"We admitted we were powerless over food ~
that our lives had become unmanageable"



Step One Contents:

Introduction
Part 1 and Questions for Journaling
Part 2 and Questions for Journaling
Part 3 and Questions for Journaling
Part 4 and Questions for Journaling
Part 5 and Questions for Journaling


Step Navigator:

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Index
Next Step
Step Two


Step One ~ Introduction

"We admitted we were powerless over food ~
that our lives had become unmanageable"


Hello, My Dear Friends,

My name is Shlomo and I am a compulsive overeater living in the solution ODAAT by the grace of my H.P. and the Twelve Step program. I am grateful for this opportunity to open the new millennium by leading the Step One Study on this loop.

What I say in OA and on the loops are my private opinions, my interpretation, and my ESH. I am not an expert on anything and that includes the Steps and the Traditions. I share on what works for me because sharing is part of my way to progress in my recovery. And you, fellow travelers, take what you need and leave the rest.

The way leading a step is done on this loop is by sharing and then writing some questions for journaling.  All of us are invited to join by sharing and answering. I will answer the questions myself during the week.  Next week God willing, we will have another set of questions on Step One, and this will continue until the end of January.





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Step One ~ Part 1

"We admitted we were powerless over food ~
that our lives had become unmanageable"


My name is Shlomo and last time I checked, which was a second ago, I was still a compulsive overeater and I am sure I will be a compulsive overeater the rest of my life.

When I first came to OA about 14 years ago, the leader of the meeting shared about being a victim of abuse, and how OA helped him to get over it and lose weight. I went home after the meeting thinking that OA was a support group for victims of abuse who overate because of it. Since I was not an abuse victim I thought that this was not the place for me. It took me quite some time to try going to meetings again, and to understand that we share a problem that has nothing to do with outer circumstances, but with how we react to them. I reacted by compulsive eating no matter what the circumstances were. They could be happy or sad, painful or pleasurable, my way of dealing with life manifested itself in the symptom of food sedation.


So what was THE problem to which OA offered a solution?  Was it my being very much overweight.  It was a very serious health problem for me. I could not walk two steps without stopping for air. I was suffocating in my sleep at night.  My cholesterol level and blood pressure where sky high.  The doctors said I could have a heart attack or a stroke any minute.  But this was not THE problem.  Was my problem that I didn't have a right plan of eating?  I thought so. But it was not THE problem.  Was the problem that I did not find the right doctor or nutritionist? This was not THE problem either.  People in OA said that our problem was an illness called compulsive overeating, and that we were insane.  They said that the solution to our illness was a Higher Power.  This Power will make us sane again, whatever that means.  It sounded really nuts to me.  Me insane? Just because I want to lose a few pounds?  Well, a lot of pounds, I thought to myself. Who are you to tell me that I am insane just because I like eating?  And this God you are talking about, if he exists I better stay away from him since he is responsible for all my troubles. Maybe if he forgets about me for a little while I will feel better.  And who are you people to tell me that I have a new illness.  Don't I have enough of them? And if you are so clever and know everything, why are not all of you thin and cured of this alleged illness.

So I set out on a quest to find the answers. I was helped in this by a sponsor and by the literature.  I found out that there is an instruction manual that explains THE problem and how to solve it.  It is called Alcoholics Anonymous and nicknamed the Big Book.  I read other books too, which were very nice like the OA 12&12, the AA 12&12, and others. I listened to tapes of workshops, and went to a lot of meetings and workshops. finally with the help of my sponsor, my fellow travelers and the literature, I found out the answers to the question that bothered me:  what is the real problem dealt with in OA.

It took me some time to understand that there was a problem, and it was not what I thought it was, when I came to OA.. Then it took me some more time to admit to myself and to others that I have this problem. then I really understood and internalized step 1.  It is interesting to note that the steps are written explicitly only in the fifth chapter "how it works " in the BB.  The first four chapters and the "doctors opinion" deal with explaining what the problem is and what is the solution.  In going over my quest I will follow the method of the BB, since I find it the best way to understand what the steps are all about, and exactly how to work them and recover.  So I begin now with part one-questions for the first week.
 




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Step One ~ Part 1: Questions

"We admitted we were powerless over food ~
that our lives had become unmanageable"




In this part let us share on some introductory questions on the subject of "where I was." 1.  There is a slogan "denial is not a river in Egypt."  What is meant by denial?  Was I in denial before I joined program? Or even in program?

2. It is said that isolation is part of our problem. Was it part of mine?  And what about my family and friends?

3. Before OA, did I binge, overeat, purge, starve myself? How did I try to deal with it? What were the results?

4. What was my state just before I came to OA, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?

5. How did I happen to come to OA or the loops and what made me stay?

Have a nice day, and happy journalizing and, of course, a happy new millennium.

Shlomo.
 
 


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Step One ~ Part 2


"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."


The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered. AA TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 21-22.

Hi Fellow Travelers,

My name is Shlomo and I am a COE living in the solution one day at a time by the grace of my H.P. and the twelve step program. I have the privilege of leading step one this month.

First some words written by Bill W. the AA cofounder, taken from "As Bill Sees It" page 242.

"After failure on my part to dry up any drunks, Dr. Silkworth reminded me of Professor William James's observation that truly transforming spiritual experiences are nearly always founded on calamity and collapse. "Stop preaching at them ," Dr. Silkworth said, " and give them the hard medical facts first. This may soften them up at depth so that they will be willing to do anything to get well. Then they may accept those spiritual ideas of yours, and even a Higher Power."

I am going to follow the good doctor's advice and quote the description of the problem from the BB. In quoting I change alcoholism to compulsive eating and alcohol to allergic food substances. From the BB the chapter: "The Doctor's Opinion," a description of the physical aspect of the disease: "They cannot start eating allergic food substances without developing the phenomenon of cravings. This phenomenon as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity." page xxviii

Description of the vicious cycle resulting from the mental and physical aspects of the disease. The words in parenthesis are my comments: "Men and women eat allergic food substances essentially because they like the effect produced by those substances. The sensation is so elusive that while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false (insanity may be defined as inability to see the truth). To them their compulsive eating life seems the only normal one.

They are restless, irritable, and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few bites of allergic foods -- foods that they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again as so many do (yielded to their obsession), and the phenomenon of cravings develops (cravings develop after eating allergic foods.), they pass through the well known stages of a spree (binge), emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to eat allergic foods again. This is repeated over and over (they cannot hold to their resolution because the obsession overcomes them), and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery." page xxvi

From the chapter "There is a Solution:"

Again a description of the physical aspect of the problem: "We are equally positive that once he takes any allergic foods into his system, something happens, both in the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop. The experience of any compulsive eater will abundantly confirm this." page 22.

Descriptions of the mental aspect of the problem:

"These observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first bite, thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion. Therefore the main problem of the compulsive eater centers in the mind rather than in the body." page 23.

"There is the obsession that somehow someday they will beat the game." page 23.

"At a certain point in the eating of every compulsive eater, he passes into a state where the most powerful desire to stop eating allergic foods is of absolutely no avail." page 24.

"THE FACT IS THAT MOST COMPULSIVE EATERS, FOR REASONS YET OBSCURE, HAVE LOST THE POWER OF CHOICE IN EATING. OUR SO CALLED WILLPOWER BECOMES PRACTICALLY NONEXISTENT. WE ARE UNABLE AT CERTAIN TIMES, TO BRING INTO OUR CONSCIOUSNESS WITH SUFFICIENT FORCE THE MEMORY OF THE SUFFERING AND HUMILIATION OF EVEN A WEEK OR A MONTH AGO. WE ARE WITHOUT DEFENSE AGAINST THE FIRST BITE." page 24.

The famous psychiatrist Dr. Jung tells an alcoholic whom he tried treating for a period of one year. "You have the mind of a chronic alcoholic. I have never seen one single case recover, where that state of mind existed to the extent that it does in you." page 27.


 


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Step One ~ Part 2: Questions



"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."

In this part let us examine the physical and mental aspects of our problem. Suggested reading: the Big Book, OA 12&12 step 1 , AA 12&12 step 1.

1. What does the BB mean by the words allergy and cravings. Do you think you have this allergy? Have you experienced cravings? What preceded the appearance of your cravings?

2. How do I determine my allergic food substances? Write a list of your allergic food substances. Will this list change with time? Get smaller or bigger, and why?

3. What is meant by the word obsession? What is the obsession of the compulsive overeater? Do/did you have this obsession? How does/did it manifest itself?

4. We call ourselves compulsive overeater/eaters. What is a compulsion? What characterizes you as an obsessive compulsive person who is a compulsive overeater/eater?

5. "It is no great trick to stop eating compulsively; the trick is to stay stopped." BB page 554. Why cannot understanding of the nature of my problem help me to stay stopped.

6. What is a slip? What is a relapse? What is the difference between them? Describe some of your experiences with them. What do you think caused them?

7. Did you try getting help from a psychologist or a psychiatrist or an eating disorder expert? Why do you think they could not help you recover from your compulsive eating?



Have a nice day.

Shlomo

 
 


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Step One ~ Part 3


"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."



SET ASIDE PRAYER ~

God, please set aside everything I think I know about myself, the Twelve Steps, the Big Book, the meetings, my disease, and you, God, so I may have an open mind and a new experience with all these things. Please let me see the truth.

Hi Fellow Travelers,

My name is Shlomo and I am a COE living in the solution one day at a time by the grace of my H.P. and the twelve step program. I have the privilege of leading Step One this month. In this part we continue with the description of our problem as written in the BB. In quoting, I change alcoholism to compulsive eating and alcohol to allergic food substances. The words in parenthesis are my comments.

From the BB the chapter "More About Alcoholism" we see instructions on how to work step one appearing for the first time: "We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were compulsive overeaters. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion (inability to see the truth-insanity) that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed." page 30.

Our illness is progressive. "We are convinced to a man that compulsive overeaters of our type are in the grips of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse never better. We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make compulsive overeaters of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse." page 30.

Compulsive overeating is a disease that has to be self -diagnosed, mainly because of my denial. "We do not like to pronounce any individual as a compulsive overeater, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest restaurant and try some controlled eating of your allergic food substances. Try to eat and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take you long to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it." page 31.

Description of the insanity inherent in this disease. "In some circumstances we have gone out deliberately to eat our allergic foods, feeling ourselves justified by nervousness, anger, worry, depression, jealousy or the like. But even in this type of beginning we are obliged to admit that our justification for a spree was insanely insufficient in the light of what always happened. We now see that when we began eating allergic foods deliberately, instead of casually, there was little serious or effective thought during the period of premeditation of what the terrific consequences might be." page 37.

"However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where allergic foods have been involved we have been strangely insane." page 38. (insane means mentally impaired, an inability to see the truth, and obsession is a mental impairment, and an inability to see the truth.)

Self-knowledge is of no help because of my obsession." But the actual or potential compulsive overeater, with hardly any exception, will be ABSOLUTELY UNABLE TO STOP EATING COMPULSIVELY ON THE BASIS OF SELF KNOWLEDGE. This is a point we wish to emphasize and reemphasize, to smash upon our COE readers as it has been revealed to us out of bitter experience." page 39.

There is no mental or physical cure. The only solution is a spiritual one. "Once again the COE at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first bite. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power." page 43.

This is the conclusion of this chapter. Since I cannot conquer my obsession and no other human being can help me overcome my obsession, I have to get help from a Higher Power.

From the chapter "We Agnostics":

Another self diagnosis of the disease. "If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely or if when eating allergic foods you have little control of the amount, you are probably a compulsive overeater. If that be the case you may suffer from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer." page 44.

The solution is a spiritual experience.

Our problem is lack of human power to deal with our disease. "Lack of power that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES." page 45.

Seems quite logical that if we are powerless and no human power can help us, we have to find another power to help us. "Well, that's exactly what this book (BB) is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem." page 45

That's quite exciting. A book that promises to set up a meeting with my H.P., who will solve my problem. I know it happened to me, so what the book promises really works if I work it. But we have to study some more aspects of the problem in order to completely internalize step one. This will happen next week. Now to the questions.


 


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Step One ~ Part 3: Questions


"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."


In this part let us continue to examine the physical and mental aspects of our problem. Suggested reading: The Big Book, OA 12&12 step 1 , AA 12&12 step 1.

1. The BB tells us about the insanity of this disease. What is the insanity the BB talks about? Do/did I have this insanity? How does/did it manifest itself?

2. The BB calls compulsive overeating a progressive illness. What is progressive about it? How did this progressiveness manifest in your life?

3. The BB suggests a number of ways to convince myself that I am a compulsive overeater.

a. "Step over to the nearest restaurant and try some controlled eating of your allergic food substances. Try to eat and stop abruptly. Try it more than once."

b. "If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely or if when eating allergic foods you have little control of the amount, you are probably a compulsive overeater."

Have you tried what the BB suggests? What are your conclusions?

4. I define abstinence as not eating compulsively and not wanting to eat compulsively. Not eating compulsively by use of my self will I call white knuckling.

a. It is inherent in the disease that white knuckling is bound to fail. Has your experience validated this statement?

b. Have you experienced the kind of abstinence defined here? The BB tells us that only a spiritual experience can conquer our illness. Did you have a spiritual experience?

5. The instructions for working step one are: "We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were compulsive overeaters. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed."

a. Have you conceded to your innermost self that you are a compulsive overeater, and are different from other people?

b. It is said that step one is the only step that must be worked 100%. Is this condition really so important? Why?



Have a nice day,

Shlomo

 
 


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Step One ~ Part 4:


"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."



RIGHT NUTRITION PRAYER

Dear God
Teach me to eat rightly
and for the right reasons.
Keep me
from eating badly,
and from overeating.
Bless me,
that everything I eat
will nourish me,
strengthen me
and protect me.
Let my food sources
create in me a wholeness--
physical balance,
mental and spiritual.


Hi Fellow Travelers,

My name is Shlomo and I am a COE living in the solution ODAAT by the grace of my H.P. and the Twelve Step program. I have the privilege of leading step one this month. In this part we continue with the description of our problem as written in the BB.

So far we have gone over the physical and mental aspects of the problem. Now it is time to consider the spiritual aspect of the problem. In my opinion, the spiritual aspect of the disease is of the utmost importance and holds the key to all the rest. Another thing to consider are the promises which give us hope of recovery. In quoting I change alcoholism to compulsive eating and alcohol to allergic food substances (or trigger foods or alcoholic foods). The words in parenthesis inserted in the quotes, are my comments. I share my interpretation, my understanding and my opinions. Other interpretations and opinions are, of course, welcome. The only criterion that is important to me is the question: does it work for me? If it does, then fine. If it does not , I ask my H.P. for guidance and work to change accordingly. So take what you need and leave the rest.

From the chapter "We Agnostics."
A description of some of the spiritual aspects of the problem. "We were having trouble with personal relationships, we could not control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we could not make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we could not seem to be of real help to other people." page 52.

From the chapter, "How it works."

The Twelve Steps appear for the first time on page 59, only after explaining in detail the nature of the problem and the proposed solution. Step One "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (food) - that our lives had become unmanageable." Page 59.

This Step consists of two parts.
a. We admitted that we were powerless over food.
b. We admitted that our lives had become unmanageable, not just with food.

"Our description of the alcoholic (compulsive overeater), the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholics (compulsive overeaters) and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism (compulsive eating).
(c) That God could and would if He were sought ." Page 60.
These three ideas sum up all the explanations of Steps One and Two. When I am convinced of these ideas I have worked these steps.

Here is a detailed description of the spiritual aspect of the problem. "Selfishness-self-centeredness! That, we think is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self delusion, self seeking, and self pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate." "So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics (compulsive overeaters) must get rid of this selfishness. We must or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God's help." Page 62. Notice that the BB does not say that drinking (compulsive overeating) will kill us. But that selfishness will kill us. Drinking or compulsive eating is just a symptom of the problem . Trying to get rid of the symptom is of no use. We have to deal with the root of the problem and only then the symptoms disappear.

After presenting the Twelve Steps for the first time on Page 59, the BB explains what we will achieve by working them. What we achieve is written in Step 12; namely, a spiritual awakening as the result of the steps. But here on page 63 is a detailed and very encouraging description. "We had a new Employer (God as we understand Him). being all powerful, He provided what we needed if we kept close to him and performed his work well (worked all the 12 steps. this is a package deal I have to work all 12 steps in order to recover.) We established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. more and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life (the root of our troubles is our spiritual illness, namely, selfishness-self centeredness. This is a program of progress, expansion and growth. With time our selfishness becomes less and less and our contribution to life more and more.) As we felt new power flow in (we admitted we were powerless over food in Step One and here we are promised that we will feel a new power flow in. That is quite a promise. We did not have the power to stop eating compulsively and stay stopped but if we work all the steps we are promised that we will have power. The power of our H.P. will flow into us, and we will be able to stop eating compulsively and stay stopped as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully (in the second part of Step One we admit that our lives had become unmanageable. Here we are promised that we will be able to face life which means that we will have a manageable life, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter (fear is the source of all my character defects . The opposite of fear is courage, and courage stems from faith and trust in my H.P. I am promised here that I will begin to lose my fear as a result of beginning to establish conscious contact with my H.P. This is a process of progress, growth and expansion which is nourished by my daily step work. We were reborn." BB Page 63. Working all the steps gives me a new beginning. Free from my obsession with food, being able to face life successfully, outgrowing my fears, establishing a conscious contact with my H.P . I am now ready to begin living as God intended. "We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous and free." BB Page 133. The BB writes all this in the past tense. It happened to the hundred cofounders of AA and it can happen to anyone who works the 12 Step recovery program.

The BB continues with more descriptions of the spiritual aspect of our illness:
"Our liquor ( trigger foods) was but a symptom. so we had to get down to causes and conditions." Page 64. "Resentment is the "number one" offender. It destroys more alcoholics (compulsive overeaters) than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick." page 64. So resentment is part of my spiritual illness , and even a major part.

More about the damage caused by resentment which is a big part of our spiritual illness. "...this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol (food) returns and we drink (overeat, binge) again. And with us to drink (overeat, binge) is to die" Page 66.

Another part of our spiritual illness is fear, since a person who has faith and trust in God , is not afraid. about fear "this short word touches about every aspect of our lives. It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it." Page 68.

Another major part of our spiritual illness is harm done to others which causes us to be filled with remorse and guilt even if we don't admit it to ourselves. "If we are not sorry and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink (overeat, binge). We are not theorizing. These are facts of our experience." Page 70.

"We feel that a man is unthinking when we says that sobriety (abstinence) is enough." BB Page 82.
Without abstinence we can be in recovery but it sure is not enough to keep us in recovery. Bill W. the AA cofounder expressed it beautifully in the book "As Bill Sees It," page 94.
"The chief purpose of AA (OA) is sobriety (abstinence). we all realize that without sobriety (abstinence) we have nothing. However, it is possible to expand this simple aim into a great deal of nonsense, so far as the individual member is concerned. Sometimes we hear him say in effect, "Sobriety (abstinence) is my sole responsibility. After all, I am a pretty fine chap except for my drinking (compulsive eating). Give me sobriety (abstinence) and I have got it made! As long as our friend clings to his comfortable alibi, he will make so little progress with his real life problems and responsibilities that he stands in a fair way to get drunk (binge) again. This is why AA's (OA's) Twelfth Step urges that we "practice these principles in all our affairs." We are not living just to be sober (abstinent); we are living to learn, to serve, and to love.

Now we come to the tenth step promises that say that if we keep in a fit spiritual condition on a daily basis our obsession with our trigger foods will be removed on a daily basis. This is called the miracle of the program. So don't leave, Folks, before the miracle happens and stay for it to continue. "And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even allergic food substances. For by this time (after arriving at Step Ten), sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor (trigger foods). If tempted we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor (trigger foods) has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it (from this comes the saying "don't leave before the miracle happens.") We are not fighting it .. neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality, safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. we are neither cocky nor are we afraid. that is our experience. that is how we react so long as we keep in a fit spiritual condition." pages 84-85. " we are not cured of alcoholism (compulsive overeating.) What we really have is a daily reprieve, contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition." page 85.






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Step One ~ Part 4: Questions



"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."


Suggested reading. Big Book, AA 12 & 12, OA 12 & 12.
These questions deal mostly with the spiritual aspect of our illness, and with the promises which fill us with hope.

1. All the Steps, including Step One, are written in the plural, and in the past tense. Is there a special reason for this?

2. What is the spiritual aspect of my disease of compulsive overeating?

3. Ours is a three fold disease, physical, mental and spiritual. How does the combination of those three aspects make me powerless over food?

4. The second part of Step One is: and our lives had become unmanageable. If I have a nice family and a nice job and a lot of friends and money, how can I say that my life has become unmanageable?

5. Here are three pertinent ideas:

(A) That we were alcoholics (compulsive overeaters) and could not manage our own lives.

(B) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism (compulsive eating).

(C) That God could and would if He were sought. BB page 60. According to the Big Book, when you are convinced of (a) and (b) , you have worked Step One.

Are you really convinced of (a) and (b)?

6. Some of the Promises on page 63, are as follows:

"As we felt new power flow in..., as we discovered we could face life successfully..." BB page 63,

to me this means that Step One is a reference point. When I joined program, I was powerless over food and had an unmanageable life. Working the program changed all this on a daily basis, since these promises have materialized.

What is the meaning of these promises to you?

7. Some of the Tenth Step promises in BB page 84-85 are. "sanity will have returned.. . we will seldom be interested in liquor (trigger foods). If tempted we recoil from it as from a hot flame..., the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us."
"We are not cured of alcoholism (compulsive overeating). What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual conditions."

To an alcoholic, these promises mean that alcohol is out of his life on a daily basis.
We compulsive overeaters have to continue eating. So how do these promises relate to us?

8. "When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically." BB page 64.
What is the meaning of this sentence to you?

Have a nice day.
Shlomo



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Step One ~ Part 5:



"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."


A nice prayer for Step 1.

HEALER OF LIFE PRAYER.

My dear God,
I have navigated my life
into a hopeless whirlpool.
How can I set upright
all I overturned,
renew all I have damaged ,
repair all I have destroyed?
Only you can help me,
dear God.
Without your help,
I have no hope.
Help me
heal my life.




Hi Fellow Travelers.

My name is Shlomo and I am a COE living in the solution ODAAT by the grace of my H.P. and the Twelve Step program .

I didn't add a summary to my last post on leading Step One, so here it is. In this summary I share my interpretation, my understanding and my opinions. As usual, take what you need and leave the rest.

Step One deals with my problems with food and with my problems with life. First to my problem with food: "We admitted we were powerless over food..." There is a saying that we have to take our tiger out of the cage and hold him by the tail three times a day (if we eat three meals a day). And this is what makes our problem with food much more complicated than problems with alcohol or drugs. I have to deal with my "drug" every day. I think the problem is a lot more complicated than even that description. I divide food into two groups: Trigger foods and permitted foods. Trigger foods cause cravings and bingeing. In principle, working the whole 12 step program frees me from the obsession with my trigger foods and I don't have to take them out of the cage. But the progressiveness of my disease with time, adds more trigger foods to my list; therefore, I have to be on my guard all the time and identify which food substance turned into trigger foods. I have to be willing to admit that there is a new problem , admit it is mine and go through the whole process of asking my H.P. to remove my obsession with this new food . This is really tough. It is like finding out that I have a new addiction every once in a while and having to deal with it all over again. The permitted foods can cause problems too, even if they don't cause cravings. Because I tend to overeat them, and overeating is a way to deal with life which is also part of my illness. Overeating my permitted foods can also be a compulsive act if I indulge in it and cannot keep my resolution to eat modest meals . This is a part of my problem that is not covered by the ten step promises, since they deal only with trigger foods (alcohol to an alcoholic is a trigger substance.) .

I remember my honeymoon period in OA . How it all seemed simple then. I was abstinent without any effort on my part. It was a big miracle, just as the ten step promises promise the alcoholic with alcohol. Of course I didn't dream of touching my trigger foods, but I even didn't have any desire to overeat my permitted foods. I think that the honeymoon period is given to us by the grace of our H.P. so that we know that such a miracle exists, and we can aspire to achieve it again by working all the steps.

Now my honeymoon period is long gone, and I have "to earn my keep." I have to work the steps every day very diligently in order to be abstinent . It is quite easy for me now not to touch my recognized trigger foods on a daily basis but it is not as easy not to overeat, or to admit that one of my permitted foods turned into a trigger food. So what do I do in order to keep abstinent (not binge or overeat and not want to binge or overeat).

I work the 12 step program every day. This means a lot of prayers and meditation. even during the day, even at work. Sometimes the only place I can find peace and quite at work is in the toilet. So I go there a few times just to pray and meditate to my H.P. He doesn't mind, and it helps me a lot.

Working the 12 step program also means dealing with my feelings, thoughts and actions by working Steps 10-12 every day. It means giving service and helping those who want to be helped. It means using the tools, going to meetings, sharing, sticking to three moderate meals a day and nothing in-between. It means working daily to keep in a fit spiritual condition. Is it always on the same level?

The answer is no.

Sometimes I am not so diligent in working the steps. Sometimes I blunder and fall. But the most important part is to get up and keep going. I know I cannot do it alone, but with my H.P.'s help and with your help, anything can happen, and miracles happen every day. I heard once that a miracle is anything that I can do today that I could not do yesterday. I have a lot of miracles to be thankful for.

Now to the second part of step 1 "...and our lives had become unmanageable."

The manageability of my life does not depend on outer circumstances, but on my response to them. Before program I was full of fears and resentments. I felt depressed and had suicidal thoughts. I had a black hole in my soul that needed filling and all I could do was fill it with food in order to sedate myself. Working this program saved my life spiritually, mentally and physically. My black hole is filled with the love of my H.P. I don't obsess over food on a daily basis. I know what it means to be happy, joyous and free most of the time, and if I am not, I have my H.P. to turn to, I have the 12 step recovery program, and I have you, my friends.

I would like to thank those who gave me the opportunity to share and lead Step One this month. I want to thank every one of you for being with me in our work on Step One. I learned a lot from the different shares and enjoyed myself while sharing and learning.


Here is a nice prayer about giving:

GIVING PRAYER.

Dear God
Help me be a generous person.
Help me give,
and enrich me by giving.
We were called by you to be generous -
light our ways.
Guide me to give with a pure heart,
with a full heart
and with a joyful heart.
Lead me to those who deserve receiving,
because giving is divine.
Help me find the decent needy,
and help them find me.



I think it is appropriate to end this summery with the OA promise written by Rozanne the OA cofounder.

"I Put My Hand In yours ... and together we can do what we could never do alone! No longer is there a sense of hopelessness; no longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower. We are all together now, reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours, and as we join hands, we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams."





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Step One ~ Part 5: Questions



"We admitted we were powerless over food ~ that our lives had become unmanageable."



1. Share about what the work on Step One this month meant to you personally.

Have a nice day.
Shlomo

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