Step One

We admitted we were powerless over
our compulsive behavior with food ~
that our lives had become unmanageable.



STEP ONE~QUESTION #1

List the areas of your life that you have surrendered to your Higher Power.

LEADERS SHARE:

When I started program, I did not see the need to turn anything over. I thought the phrase "Turn It Over" was a cute one and it was good for everybody else, but not for me. this phrase really sounded good and people liked to hear it a lot (at least I believed). I was raised in a church at a very early age and I thought that the supreme power was not for things that are not supreme. With my total lack of self esteem, I thought everything was supreme except for me. Today, during all of the ups and downs in my life, I know that God was with me, even during my periods of great sadness and depression. When I felt all alone and isolated during my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, God was with me. I always felt sad inside because I never really fit into anything.

Every morning, I try to take time for prayer and meditation (step 11) to turn over things that concern me. I ask God to give me the words to say when I have something that is coming up that is very contentious. Also, when I feel that I am being ignored, I must turn the feeling over to God. The feeling that people are afraid of losing their hearing when they are around me because I wear hearing aids is a very real feeling for me that only God can work on. The feeling of not being accepted by others is another one for God. The solution is completely in God's hands. I believe that God speaks to me through other people when I need to hear it most. For example, the leader of the disabilities ministry at my church told me right out of the blue that "I had a lot to offer." During a men's group meeting, I shared that this was the first church I truly felt accepted at, all of the other men said out loud "you are accepted here." I almost started crying because that was God answering to me in response to my prayers. Acceptance by others is something I always been praying about because the feeling of being left out is one of triggers that makes me want to eat.

The feeling that makes me churn the most and requires me to surrender to God is the feeling of being ignored. One day at a time, I am learning to speak out when others are being rude to me.

All of the above really made my life unmanageable. With God, this program, and wonderful friends like you all, I continue to grow one day at a time when I surrender these feelings to God.



STEP ONE~QUESTION #2

Re-read Step One. How is admission of powerlessness the first step in liberation for you? Do you believe the program can liberate you?

LEADERS SHARE:

I am truly powerless of food. Attempting to control my food or "diet" caused a great deal of stress for me. When I fell of the wagon, I had the feeling of guilt and shame and thought it was a ticket to blow the entire day. In abstinence, I am allowed to be perfectly imperfect. If I have more than 2 cups string beans, it is not the end of the world or cause for self punishment.

I am liberated from the constant battle with food one day at a time. If I was following a "diet" like I was before with my frame of mind today, my success rate would be 100%. I am not capable of following a diet. I am liberated from the feeling of having to be in control of my food and being absolutely perfect. Admission of powerlessness in other areas of my life besides food, brings on a feeling of freedom like I never had before. I walk the path that god, not me, is in charge.



STEP ONE~QUESTION #3

Read Chapter 2 in the AA Big Book. Write on your feelings about the statements made in the italicized paragraph on page 24.

LEADERS SHARE:

I quickly forget painful experiences or mistakes even from the prior day. The Big Book, tells us that we are without defense from the first drink (compulsive bite in our case). This is even true when I know in front of my head that something is bad for me. This is what being powerless over food means to me. If I can abstain based on my free will, I would not need the 12 steps. But I cannot, I need the program, all of you, and most importantly I need god to get me through each and every day without abusing food.

For today, I am free from the bondage of food. God is with me keeping me out of the food. I cannot do it alone, I need help. Only the 12 steps, my friends in recovery, and god can keep my recovery on track one day at a time.



STEP ONE~QUESTION #4

Read page 43 in the AA Big Book. Discuss the idea that "...at certain times I (the food addict) has no effective mental defense against the first bite."

LEADERS SHARE:

Once I start on something, no matter how small, I cannot stop. The only defense is god. I am totally and completely incapable of regulating foods that contain refined sugar or flour. Only god can keep me abstinent one day at a time. During my team meetings at work, I sit in the middle because I am the supervisor. Homemade desserts are less than 12 inches from my hands when they are on the table. Only god keeps me out of the food. If I have even one "sliver", I will make an out of control eating scene before I know it. I say to god in my private office "please help me be abstinent." Through god's grace, I been abstinent from sugar and flour for 2 years and nine months as of two days ago.

This is what step #1 tells me, I am powerless over the first bite, and my life is unmanageable when in the food.



STEP ONE~QUESTION #5

Re-read Step One. Discuss and reflect upon what the knowledge of Step One can do for you. During your reading, underline and note words and passages that are meaningful to you. Why are they important?

LEADERS SHARE:

Step 1 provides me the knowledge that I cannot control food on my own devices. Also, when I am into the food, my life becomes unmanageable because everything centers around food. Also, my health is impacted when I am into the food and overweight. I know without any doubt that one of anything is too much and the entire container is not enough.

I like the statement in the AA 12&12 that says "...a mental obsession so subtly powerful that no amount of human willpower could break it." This tells me that my disease cannot be cured or arrested through willpower. My experience is that willpower is totally and completely worthless when it comes to food. It's the feelings, some very deeply buried, that made me eat for no apparent reason. Through working this program over the last 23 years, I learned so much about myself and why I was always an angry person for no apparent reason to be angry. My childhood and adolescence was such that I experienced a great amount of pain that I held inside of me for many years. The loneliness and isolation because I felt like a freak looking inside from outside was the source of much of my anger. These subconscious feelings that were deep inside of me was the reason I needed food to hose the feelings down. This is why willpower is no defense for any compulsive overeater.

Love In Recovery,
Dennis

AA Big Book Online




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