Step Two

Came to believe that a Power
greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


Step Two Essay

Well, itís for sure we canít do it ourselves. Weíve all tried, and nothing has ever worked. We diet, and lose weight, but then our weight goes back up, and more than ever. We try not to purge or skip meals, but the first time we face any stress, itís back to the old behavior.

I tried many times, and nothing work. I had finally given up all hope that anything would work. The first meeting I attended brought me a message of hope. I learned that a food plan is not a diet, and that while in the long run we may want to lose (or gain) weight, the first step is to bring the food itself under control. I did not go on a diet anyone would have considered a reducing diet, although in fact I did lose some weight even on that first plan. What I did was to try to make sure that I had enough to eat to keep hunger away. Having been an evening grazer, I allowed myself two dinners, one early, one late. They were large meals. But I stopped grazing. And there were certain limits. I thought that in due time I would be able to lower the amount of food, which, in due time, did come to pass. But my original idea was to get the food under control first, and then consider the weight loss aspect.

Now this plan worked very well for a time. Many people find the initial time a sort of honeymoon period. But then something tough comes along, and the food plan goes out the window. It takes something more to hold the line.

Fortunately for me, I had a sponsor who emphasized the spiritual. This wasnít the easiest thing for me, because I had pretty much given up on God. God had not been visible to me in the times when in my childhood I was moving toward compulsive eating. Prayers did not make the horrors go away. And prayers had not helped me have the kind of figure I thought I wanted later. The diets failed, and the prayers had failed, so God had failed.

I will not at this time go into what I have learned since that time about what God, as I understand God, was doing all that time. I now am convinced that I would not have survived those times or my addiction without the help of my Higher Power. But that story spans several years of recovery. Some of you will know what I mean; others will want to take that as a promise that some of us have found the program does, in fact, deliver on.

What I want to share is that about two months into program, I came to my first crisis. I was on edge about several things, including the fact that at that time I had no job. And I was 54. I was on my way to a conference. The conference center always had food offerings that would be healthy for me. In addition to all the psychological stress, I usually ate lunch about noon, and the conference meal was to begin at one. I was getting hungry. I was about 20 minutes from the conference center when I had to stop in a rest area. It was a bit after noon, but I had time for the stop. Unfortunately, the rest rooms were at the far end of a rather large food court. And I was ravenous. And all the fast food imaginable was there, and the smells were a compulsive eaterís dream. In the past, I would have eaten there, and then gone on to the conference, and eaten there. I was deeply aware of being in a very critical space. And then I remembered that my sponsor had told me that God could remove my compulsion to eat, and would do so if sought.

So I said a little prayer: "God, whoever you are, if you could get me to the other end of this food court and back to my car without eating, I sure would appreciate it." Well, the first visible miracle happened in that moment. My urge to eat simply went away. Granted, I knew it was about time to have a meal, but there was no compulsion to do so here and now. I could wait, and I could stay with the plan. And so I did. I confess to being more than a little bit overwhelmed, but it had worked!

Not long after this, I had another occasion when I could have eaten far off the plan, and indeed, I was a good two hours late getting home where my planned food was. I was hungry just naturally, and that is very dangerous for any compulsive eater. Again, I thought to say a prayer about it, something like, God, you did this once, would you mind doing it again? And so it happened.

In the course of time, I came to understand that the hunger of a compulsive has more to do with the emotional and spiritual space I was in than with any physical need. Therapy is very helpful with much of this sort of thing, and is to be commended to anyone who wants to go faster. But the steps will always get us there if we will work them. Now when I feel that compulsive hunger, I know to stop and ask myself what is going on with me that needs attention. But the quick fix always comes from letting go and letting God.

I donít know where you are with your Higher Power, but this is my story ≠ my Higher Power came to my help just by asking. The God I almost didnít believe in still did a miracle. I hope that you can take comfort from my story, and accept that the miracles can happen for you. I sincerely believe that they will. And after all these years, I have seen enough of myself and others to believe that this spiritual program will work for anyone who will try it.

What do we have to lose, except maybe some weight?



Second Step Prayer
Higher Power,

I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that you remove all twisted thought & addictive behavior from me this day. Heal my spirit & restore in me a clear mind.

1. Are you willing to take the risk that you have a Higher Power who can deliver you from your compulsion? Are you willing to take the necessary steps to find that Power?

2. We have a saying, "if your God canít help you with your compulsive eating, fire that one and get one who can." What has been your relationship to your Higher Power? What kind of Higher Power would you need for recovery?

3. Do you think you are able to believe that a Higher Power can and will help you, and that you can turn to such a Higher Power for help? What would this be like for you?

4. Many of us live in our heads, because we donít know how to face our emotions. Do you see any connection between your "head trip" and the condition you have been in with your compulsive eating? Do you see any connection between your inability to deal with your emotions and your spirituality and the disease? Do you think maybe a change just might help? Are you willing to try?

5. Write a prayer you might like to remember to use when you feel you are in a bad space. Share it with us, if you will.

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