Step One

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Greetings in recovery to each person here today! Thank you again for this opportunity to serve. My plan of action in leading is to share my experience with the particular step, share highlights from my personal weekly readings, and then encourage you all to read, write and share, thereby helping yourselves and others on this amazing journey. I will be focusing on the principle behind each step. I learned these principles myself through a WTS study. Interestingly, when I tried to find their origins in the Big Book or the 12 and 12, I could not. Therefore, I'm not sure where they came from exactly, but I know they have been helpful to me personally, so I am sharing them with my own experience, strength and hope.

Step One -- Honesty.

When I took the principle of honesty most seriously, my entire life changed. I was surprised at the level(s) of dishonesty in my every day life -- some seemingly small, and some beyond ENORMOUS. It started, though, with a desire to be honest with my food. Please, please, please, if you do not have a sponsor yet, ask someone to fill that role in your life. It is a very good thing to have someone to be honest with! It's not enough to just think you are being honest with yourself. There is some miraculous curative power of honesty with another person.

Let's talk about honesty with food. I started this with my sponsor my first time working these steps. Honest food. What does that mean? It means telling someone what you honestly ate today. It means not trying to look perfect, or fake abstinence. It does not mean telling the whole world what you ate, or how much. You should be able to be completely honest with one person, though. Did you mean to eat a slice of pizza and a salad, but instead ate 4 slices of pizza. Tell someone. If you ate 4 slices, do not write down 3 1/2. If you make a habit of listing your honest food for the day, you (and someone else) will get a sense of patterns, triggers, and problems, as well as successful trends. An added benefit I found was that sometimes I would not, or will not, eat something, knowing I have to share it at the end of my day.

I got completely honest with one person -- my sponsor. I told her absolutely everything that was dishonest in my life. This wasn't just about food for me. Abstinence was blocked from me, because some things in my life were horrendously dishonest. I don't want to use this forum to make a confession, so I'll throw some things out here that are dishonest, but have nothing to do with food. Examine your own life. Am I having an affair? Am I hiding something from my spouse? Am I borrowing money or other things without permission? Am I taking things from my place of employment, or using things at work for personal reasons? Am I spending money I don't have? Do I ever have to hide my phone, or shut down my computer quickly? Does anything come to my mind when I think I might be being dishonest?

Why is this even important? I searched the Big Book for an answer to that question, and really didn't have to look far. This is something that is read regularly at a meeting I attend. It comes from Page 58 Chapter 5, How It Works. Please take the time to read that first paragraph some time this week, or preferably more than one time this week.

I also read Step One in the OA 12 and 12, searching out this principle of honesty, as well as looking for other things that spoke to my heart at this time in my recovery.

"If we are to live free from the bondage of compulsive eating, we must abstain from all foods and eating behaviors which cause us problems." Seems to me that I will need to be very honest about which foods and behaviors those are!

"We are encouraged to take a good look at our compulsive eating, obesity and the self-destructive things we have done...." I think a good look is one that is completely honest.

"We hid from pain by eating, so we didn't learn from our mistakes; we never grew up." Hiding is a form of dishonesty. Denial is a form of dishonesty.

"... acknowledge the truth that we need a new approach to life..." I, personally, agree with this statement for my life. I needed a new approach. The use of the word "truth" there speaks to me, because it was definitely a truth for my life. I was living a dishonest life, and I needed a new approach. I found that new way of living in the 12 steps, in this study, and in getting honest with my sponsor.

My relationships, my employment, my home life are all impacted by my level of recovery. I am not crazy about all the feelings that come up for me along the way, but I am more easily able to recognize them, and I have learned that feelings are not facts.

I hope and pray that something about this step work touches a life or lives today. I pray that my shortcomings will be forgiven. I pray that my Higher Power will use me in whatever way He sees fit.

Please read Step One in the OA 12 and 12, as well as the first paragraph in Chapter 5 of the AA Big Book, How It Works. Share with the loop, and your sponsor, those things that speak to you personally in these readings. Here are some questions I pulled right from the readings:

Are you excelling at your job, or just getting by?

Is your home a pleasant place to be?

Are your relationships affected by your eating? If so, how?

Are you in touch with your feelings?

Blessings and gratitude in recovery,


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