STEP ONE -- POWERLESSNESS
STEP ONE: We admitted we were powerless over food--that our lives had become unmanageable.
The Big Book says that we are without defense against "that first compulsive bite." Suggested Reading: pg 20-24.
In the past I had indulged in the thinking that I'd been so good, studied so hard, done such a fantastic job on the project at hand, or had such a rotten day at work, that surely I could indulge in just a taste of -------- (insert food item).
This thinking was so very flawed and perfectly fits the A.A. / O.A. definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for different or better results.
1)Can you remember the first time this type of thinking interfered with your life? Discuss this with us here.
2)It is said that "when one overeater plants a seed in the mind of another, "the true nature of his malady" that the overeater will never be quite the same again.
As a newcomer, please discuss your hope that this will be true for you. As a person familiar with the Steps, share with us all how this saying has been true in your life so that we may gain hope and reaffirmation.
3)In Step One there are 3 things we must do in order to begin a better life: a) We must admit. b) We must become aware that we are powerless over food [without HP]. c) We must become aware that our lives are unmanageable [without HP].
4)What are your thoughts, at this point about powerlessness? Have you ever experienced "controlled eating"? (Times when you are able to control your food intake very well)? What is so different about those times than the unmanageable times?
STEP ONE -- UNMANAGEABILITY
STEP ONE: We admitted we were powerless over food -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
I'd heard as a newcomer, that starting the STEPS would be the beginning of an "ego reduction" for me. I worried about that, as I had nearly confused EGO with my damaged self-esteem as a formerly very large person.
By the taking of Step One, I came to learn that I am not seeking to belittle myself into believing that I am absolutely helpless. Instead, I am seeking to explore the possibilities that I have been living on auto-pilot, not being very mindful of what I was putting into my mind / spirit or my mouth, and the resultant thoughts and actions thereof.
I also had to face my qualms about devoting so much time to working my recovery. They said I should attend meetings, read the Big Book, and get a sponsor. Others even talked about journaling, making phone calls, and doing service. Where would I find all this time? I wondered.
I had to face the fact that if I did not become willing to find ways to bring some of these thing into my life, that I was going to die a slow and cruel death. This time I was going to have to make a sacrifice for myself. No one could do this for me.
All the years of thinking that I was young and had enough time to attend to "this weight loss and health stuff," that time was ticking by, going fast.
If my life was managed so well, how had I "managed" up to 386 pounds?
Clearly, I had to become more willing or possibly die.
1)Old ideas often block change for our betterment. What are some of your "old ideas"?
2)Facing our "powerlessness" over food can bring about fear. Enlisting the help of a sponsor, choosing a food plan of your choice (or that of your health care provider) working the steps, and using the tools is a very effective way to reduce fear.
What are your thoughts about this statement, if any, and which of these remedies (to reduce fear) are you currently using, and how is their use helping you in your recovery?
3)Part of my life being unmanageable is clearly described in Chapter 5, HOW IT WORKS, of the A.A. Big Book. It says: Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.
In the first paragraph it talks about one character trait that is required for recovery. For all of us, as compulsive overeaters, this trait must become nearly more dominant than the traits of willingness, and footwork. This trait is HONESTY!
4)I have heard in the OA meeting rooms: Steps 1, 2, and 3 can be summarized in 3 easy sentences: I can't. God Can. I think I'll let Him.
What does "surrendering" mean to you? What does it feel like as applies to this program and your food choices? What has it meant for you in the past?
Even as we take Step One, we admit that we are powerless, that are lives have become unmanageable--the ultimate act of surrender.
For some of us, the act of surrendering is nearly unthinkable, for various reasons. It took me a number of years to realize that if I concentrate on doing the footwork of what is working for others, that involuntarily I am "surrendering" and allowing God to MANAGE my life. (This was helpful to me, and I wanted to pass it along).
The Twelve Steps
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