WTS ~ WORKING THE STEPS

2008

Step One
We admitted we were powerless over food
that our lives had become unmanageable.



STEP ONE, PART TWO

Hi, everyone.

My name is Shlomo and I am a food addict and compulsive overeater Thanks to all who shared their assignment work with us. Let us continue with the workshop material.

First let me say that whatever I share here is my personal ESH, interpretation and understanding. I use the terms compulsive eating and food addiction:

Compulsive eating is our behavior around food. It can manifest as overeating and bingeing, or as bingeing and purging (Bulimia), or as starving ourselves to death (Anorexia) In all cases this is abnormal behavior around food.

Food addiction is a hereditary disease. It is caused by a biochemical imbalance of the endocrine system. This imbalance causes a special sensitivity to certain foods and food substances which when eaten cause me physical cravings for more of the same. If there is not more of the same, than more of anything else I can lay my hands on and stick into my mouth. Those cravings are a feeling beyond my mental control.
This doesn't mean I cannot fight the cravings by using my willpower. I can for a time but if I continue to eat those certain foods I will succumb to the cravings and binge.

Personally I am addicted to sugar, flour and fat. The foods that cause me cravings are called triggers since they trigger the cravings.

The simple solution for people who have sensitivities to certain foods is not to touch them at all. Normal people can do that. I have a friend who is sensitive to diary products. They cause him stomach aches and all kinds of other problems. He solved this by not eating diary at all. So the simple solution for me would be to avoid any flour sugar or fat.

If I had only a physical problem I could do it, but my problem has another aspect. Food addiction affects the mind too, and my main problem is in my mind. I obsess about the foods I am addicted to. I think about them all the time and my obsessive thinking convinces me to eat them. So just deciding not to eat them is of no use, since my mind convinces me to eat them This is the reason why, when I decide and commit to stop eating trigger foods, I cannot stay stopped, and I return to eat them. As long as I continue to obsess about food my willpower to stop is useless since I convince myself to eat. I am trapped in a vicious circle of taking the first bite of a trigger, developing cravings for more, succumbing and bingeing and when I fight the cravings and stop and my body becomes clean for a time, my obsessive mind makes me return to take the first bite and the cycle begins again.

So ... if my body is clean of triggers for a time, it is not cravings that make me take the first bite since cravings develop only after I take it. It is my obsessive mind that makes me take the first bite. This is the mental aspect of my disease.

In addition to the foods that cause me cravings I tend to overeat other foods. This is a behavioral problem and the way we deal with it will be discussed in later shares.

What is it about me that makes me like that?What does food do to me? I think that I use food as crutches to deal with life's problems. Food desensitizes me. It sedates me and helps me cope with my feelings by numbing me to them. Afterwards I feel worse, but I am driven to eat to get a short term relief and I forget the long term devastation. Using food is my way of avoiding dealing with the reality of my life by burying it under food.

Since I carry the disease with me all my life I thought that the way I dealt with food was normal. I used to sit in the dining room at my work place and eat with my coleagues who were not food addicts. I saw them leave food on their plate and even eat only a small part of the dessert. 'What is the matter', I asked 'don't you like the food?' 'The food is all right but we are satisfied and don't want anymore.' This was normal behavior to them, but to me it looked crazy. To stop eating before the food starts coming out of my ears seemed unnatural to me and to leave part of the main portion and the dessert seemed insane. I wanted to eat all that they left on their plates and more.


ASSIGNMENTS

1. Read the following chapter in the Big Book: BILL'S STORY

Pay special attention to the progressive nature of the disease (it gets worse with time) and mark the relevant sentences with your marker.

Go over the marked places. Reflect on the progression of the disease in your life and share with us in writing.

2. There is something called bottom. When we reach it and are offered the 12 step solution we are really willing and ready to apply it.

There is a short paragraph on page 8 that describes Bill's bottom. Mark it , reflect on it . What was your bottom? Share with us.

Have a nice day.
Shlomo




 
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