Step One

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







Leader's Share and Step Questions


Hello WTS Members,

Well, I promised an adventure and here we go. Let’s start with defining adventure. It is one part excitement, one part fear, one part faith our risk will pay off and one part taking the journey. Is that how you are feeling? I am.

I think there is another part also – taking pictures and showing them to all our friends to relive the celebration of taking such a life changing adventure. I am planning on that celebration three months from now. We can do this. I know it with all my heart.

Excitement
For me the excitement is about knowing this adventure is strengthening my recovery. I have had so many rewards so far from this journey. My slimming body is appreciating not having to carry so much weight. I am slowly reducing my meds for my diabetes. I can walk instead of ride. I am a success not a failure. The excitement for me is to think there is even more!!!!

Fear
Well, when I looked at the WTS Step One sharing by other Step Leaders I was humbled. How am I going to live up to such inspiring work done before me? How was I going to share about the steps in a meaningful and helpful way? Fear actually got me moving. So, here I am showing up and walking into my fear. That is one thing I will ask of all of you – show up and walk into your fear.

Faith
I know I have my HP to guide me. I asked for help. I am willing to do whatever it takes to add this adventure to my successful journeys. Well, four paragraphs in I am doing okay, I think. Thank you HP. Whew!!!

Taking the Journey
Whatever you all are thinking and feeling today and whether you are feeling excitement, fear or faith or all three, just know we are all here to support one another. We want you to succeed in your recovery. Although no one can do it for you and it will be your personal victory to complete this adventure, we all will celebrate.

Whenever I am involved with a project I just do the best I can and it always pays off. Just reach into your hearts and do your best. I will want to hear about your pay offs when we are done.

OA Structure
The thing I love about Overeaters Anonymous is the structure it provides us – a structure built on long time experience. It does work. With the steps and traditions as well as the tools we have the means to recover from compulsive overeating. I am going to share some of this structure as we move through the steps.

On to Step One

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

The Spiritual Principle associated with Step One is honesty. In my life I had to work up to honesty. My real inner life was too painful to face. It felt unsafe for me to let others know I was so weak and confused. I did not outright lie. However, I lied by omission or acting like I knew more than I really knew trying to get others to think well of me.

This lack of honesty did me more harm than good. On a deeper level I knew I was not being honest with myself. If I was being honest with myself I would have to admit I was a real mess.

Today, I welcome honesty. It is the foundation of my program of recovery. I have overcome my fear and have walked into my “mess.” Those of you who go to face to face meetings hear about honesty in How it Works

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.”

So there it is my friends – the only requirement for recovery is rigorous honesty. The following questions on Step One will be about honesty:

Questions:

  1. What is it you say to yourself every time you try to “diet” and fail?
  2. What feelings does the thought of powerless and surrender raise in you?
  3. How will you know when you have taken the first step?
  4. What areas of your life are you being dishonest about?
  5. Is accepting you are powerless mean you are accepting responsibility? Explain.
  6. What are you willing to do to change your life?
  7. One last thing – Write a history of your honesty. Share where you were, what has changed and where are you now? Lastly, how does this all relate to your compulsive overeating.

Leader’s Share on Questions:

  1. What is it you say to yourself every time you try to “diet” and fail?
    I would think I just had not found the understanding I needed to make it work. I was always in my “head” and all it did was lead me around in circles for years. My heart knew better. It cried.

  2. What feelings does the thought of powerless and surrender raise in you?
    Panic and fear. I had to be in control or my world would crumble. I felt unsafe and vulnerable. Now, I know peace because powerless and surrender to a HP means I have a partner that will help me.

  3. How will you know when you have taken the first step?
    I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was not alone. I could not figure out how to deal with my life and I found, in my heart, that my HP would guide me if I just let Him.

  4. What areas of your life are you being dishonest about?
    Right now, I am not aware of anything. I have learned being honest even about my faults is actually freeing. I am no longer afraid of my weaknesses. I could run from them or I could learn from them. I choose to learn from them. Having said that, my HP has a sense of humor - he will point anything I am missing real soon!!!

  5. Is accepting you are powerless mean you are accepting responsibility? Explain.
    Yes, and it means I am growing up. I started overeating when I was 12. I stopped growing at that point because I numbed myself to everything going on around me even the experiences that would have helped me. There were many life management skills I missed out on. I succumbed to living a reaction-based life like a child would react. What I thought was control was really just chaos.

  6. What are you willing to do to change your life?
    I can say with all my heart and soul – I am willing to do whatever it takes to recover. If that means being brutally honest with myself, so be it. I have tasted abstinence way too long and enjoyed seeing the OA promises fulfilled in my life to go back to the hell of failure I lived in.

  7. One last thing – Write a history of your honesty. Share where you were, what has changed and where are you now? Lastly, how does this all relate to your compulsive overeating?

I have shared a bit about where I was earlier. What changed was I reached a point where I could not live in the chaos and crisis I was always in. Even in my food numbing life I could no longer deny the way I was living was not working. I found hope in therapy, reading self-help books and taking classes. I went down many paths and took many journeys to find healing. I knew others had found their way out of their struggles and, maybe, just maybe I could do it also.

Somewhere in my healing I learned to accept my imperfections, my weaknesses, my mistakes, my character defects. I learned I could be human and the world would not close in on me. I would not die if people knew all of me. I knew I was working to do better at being a human and nothing anyone could say could hurt me because I was not hiding from anything. I also knew I would give them the grace to be human too. I finally was able to be honest about my life – all of it.

This changed me profoundly. I stopped being so harsh on myself and judgmental of others. It healed many relationships and gave me a good measure of peace.

I still had another journey to go on – my journey to recovery. I had to get honest about my attachment to food to numb my feelings of all types – sad and happy. I still had to work on life management skills as it related to dealing with feelings that would come up when I was not overeating to run away from them. I had to take each experience and understand what I was feeling, whether it was my problem or someone else’s problem and then do as the Serenity Prayer says, “change the things I can.”

Honesty became the foundation of my recovery – whether I learned about my strengths or my weakness. My HP could always work with me if I was only honest.

Here are some reading suggestions – they are optional – though I believe they can be valuable resources. You can purchase them at http://bookstore.oa.org/. You can also download PDF files of the 12 x 12 and the OA Step Workbook there.

  1. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous Step One – Pages 1-7.

  2. The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous, Pages 1-10

  3. Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., pp. xxv-xxxii (“The Doctor’s Opinion”), Pages 1-16 (“Bill’s Story”), Pages 17-29 (“There is a Solution”), and Pages 30-43 (“More About Alcoholism”)

  4. Pamphlets you can order:
    • Fifteen Questions
    • A Guide to the Twelve Steps for You and Your Sponsor, pp. 4-5

I leave you with this First Step Prayer:

Higher Power,
I admit that I am powerless over my compulsive eating.
I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it.
Help me this day to understand the true meaning of powerlessness.
Remove from me all denial of my addiction.

Coralee






Introduction
Step One


WTS Home
The Twelve Steps
Recovery Home



© Copyright 1995 ~ 2011 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved