View Full Version : My Step One Journey
04-24-2011, 02:09 PM
Today, I surrender to step one. I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I pray for the courage and the commitment to follow the food plan and eliminate sugar, flour, and wheat from my diet.
I commit to journal my way through many of my answers, a little each day, until I get to step two. I will focus my energy on answering without beating myself up for my past mistakes. I will focus on moving forward with a new energy, new voice, and new priority. Even though I am powerless to my food addiction, I can accept my disease and focus on today, now, and getting better.
With sugar, wheat, and flour out of my body today, I accept that I have this disease without shaming or blaming myself. With this understanding that I am who I am, I can now focus on the present. I am God's creation, meant for more than a daily, energy draining battle with food.
Today's question: How have I experienced the phenomenon of craving food in my life?
I've battled with it for as long as I can remember. I can think back to sugar, butter, and Wonder-bread sandwiches after school in 5th grade. I can remember sneaking cool whip from the container after my parents went to bed. I still sneak food. I've eaten entire bags of chips, a dozen cookies, a pint of ice cream, a pound of pasta, a box of cereal, to hide the evidence of having it in the house. I have eaten beyond being full and then continued to eat. I eat when I am not hungry. I eat in the car, and when I am alone, so others can't see what and how much I am eating. I have eaten an entire pizza then had dinner with my husband so that he didn't know about the pizza. This week, I ate a whole loaf of bread, toasted, with butter... for breakfast. Enough calories for two days. Did it keep me from eating lunch and dinner? No. Last night, I battled and battled about going to the grocery store to get a cake but refrained because I knew I would eat the whole thing. Last night is when I really decided I had a problem. I said out loud to myself in the mirror. "What are you doing?" I had my coat on and car keys in my hand to go get the cake. I was home alone. I had no reason for wanting cake. I was not even hungry. I had a craving fr red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I could taste it, just thinking about it. I knew I would have one bite, be in heaven, and then have another, then another. I just wanted to lose myself and I can in a cake, or a pie, or a bowl of pasta, or a loaf of bread. Last night I looked into that mirror and wondered what was happening to me. Last night, I decided to get help.
I woke up this morning thinking about the cake and what I would have for breakfast. I had a bowl of Gluten-Free Hot Cereal from Bob's Red Mill. Then, after that, during Easter church service, I was thinking about what I would have for breakfast, you know, second breakfast... because that is how addicted I am to feeling full and eating. I guess I can say that I have so fully experienced the phenomenon of food craving in my life that it is disrupting my ability to do anything without thinking about food, including worship at church.
04-24-2011, 10:05 PM
Thanks so much for your sharing on this question, Amy. There's a Post-It I recently put on my mirror that I'd like to share with you; I think you and I (along with many other food addicts) have this in common:
I forgive myself for not forgiving myself.
Take good care of yourself, and keep coming back.
04-25-2011, 05:12 PM
Thanks, Step3, I'll try the post-it out.
Today will be, when I make it to the end, will be my first day abstinent. I have not been exact on the eating plan but I am trying and allowing myself some room to grow into it. I didn't eat at the correct times because I had a business lunch, but I was able to stay on plan. We went to P. F. Chang's and I got the Gluten-Free Budda's Feast (I had them add tofu) and did not eat the brown rice, I saved it for dinner. It was delicious, so it made it easier.
What brings me to this program?
Knowing that I have a problem, knowing I need to change, and knowing that I have to do something differently than I have my whole life for that change to be a lasting change. I have to stop the diet cycle and address the root of the problem. I am able to diet for a few months at a time, lose weight, and get healthier. I always go back to how I used to eat, however, and end up worse off than before I started. I do it because I never address the root of the problem. I try to diet, which is easy short term, but I cannot maintain it long term if I don't change how I look and feel about food. I need to change my relationship with food and with myself about my attitudes toward myself and what I eat.
Is this just another diet and another attempt to control the outer symptom of this disease, which is my weight?
To say I don't care about my weight is a lie. I do care about my weight. I hate how I look and feel. I'm not happy with my physical health. I don't want to focus on that, though, because that is what gets me into this vicious cycle with food. I want to feel better. I want to go to bed at night and know I did my best that day. I want to find a peace with the cravings that haunt me endlessly during every waking hour and in my dreams. I want to find a way to stop the destructive behavior, the hiding, sneaking, and lying that food brings out in me. The only way to do that is change my approach. To find a way to move out of my shopping list and visual picture of how I look, into my head and what makes me do such destructive things to myself. To address why I think food is love. To learn about why I crave bread and sweets the way I do, almost as much as I do life some days. I want my life back and the only way to do that is to work on my problem, my addiction to sugar, flour, and wheat. My addiction to over-eating. My addiction to food.
I'm off to read more in the Green Book, make a meeting schedule for the week, and work towards finding a sponsor. One foot in front of the other.
04-26-2011, 12:05 AM
Thanks so much, Amy~ what wonderful sharing!
I like this sentence from the Green Book, p. 271. It's a sentence from "The Definition of Abstinence", which is read at the beginning of FAA meetings:
With honesty, an open mind, AND WILLINGNESS TO SHARE OUR EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH, AND HOPE, we can recover from this disease~~ ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Good for you, Amy... you're on the right path now. Thanks for joining us; we're so glad you're here. :P
04-26-2011, 05:54 AM
Hi Amy, I completely relate to your post. You described me, too. This past Easter weekend was the last straw for me. I bought two cakes for the family but ate most and then craved more...I wanted to run back to a favorite bakery I recently discovered for more. Fresh baked goods every hour on the hour. I have and ate lots of chocolates and candy and desserts and sweets (what I'm mainly addicted to). This lifestyle has been going on for days, weeks, months, years and decades! I understand the Steps help many and are for us to live by and surrender to. I have over and over attended 12 step programs and do believe in them, but for some reason they just don't (so far) sink into my being. I don't quite get it. Yet I do understand some aspects like to surrender, connect to my HP, be abstinent and possibly find temp sponsor. Yesterday, April 25, 2011 I was abstinent for the whole day! Yay, what a miracle and freedom. I feel better already this morning. Like you, I DO NOT want this to be about to dwelling on dieting and weight. This for me I want to be about freedom, healing, renewed good health, happiness,peace and fulfillment. A lifestyle! My 20 y/o daughter is now battling all the lifelong issues I had with food. I am crushed I passed this on to her esp. since I thought I was disguising it so well. My daughter is so upset with the nationwide obsession on dieting and weight. I agree. It is everywhere. Life should not be about that. I do hope you are doing well. Have a good, abstinent day!
04-26-2011, 01:50 PM
@Step3, thank you for the warm welcome. In 2010 I kicked caffeine, processed sugar (I still used stevia and agave), gluten (I still ate gluten-free flours), alcohol, and animal products. I went 30 days and then slowly started adding all of it (but meat) back in. I even eat fish rarely. I learned then that the journal helped, but I slowly let life, and the bad food, creep back in. I'm trying to focus on one day at a time now and get to a place where I feel well again... the steps should help me continue when I start to feel better.
@Boboe, thanks for your response. It's sad to me that it is something I have to deal with. While there is comfort that I am not alone, it makes me sad that others struggle as well. Your bakery runs sound like something I would do. I'm sorry your daughter is now struggling, also, maybe she will find comfort in this program and knowing that none of us are alone.
Today I am stuggling big time so I am stopping my work day to write here for a while. When I started this post I wasn't sure where it would lead me, just that I would try to post everyday. I have a blog but I am not ready to admit this stuff there, so that will remain an edited version of what is going on with me here.
Last night I had a doozy of a headache and it is back today with a vengeance. Last night I took a Tylenol PM and slept well. Today, I am just trying to suffer through. I'll go to bed early again tonight.
I'm crabby and angry and wish my body worked differently so that this is not a struggle for me. It makes me mad that I am like this. But, I feel God being patient with me and loving toward me so I am trying to do that for myself, too. Love myself a little and forgive myself for not forgiving myself, and then trying to forgive more.
Did I soothe my family with food so I could eat too? Oh, my, yes!
The cake on Friday night was all because I wanted it, not because my friends did. I even rationalize my holidays thinking no one wants to eat how I eat so I have to cook for them not me. I try to do both and stick to it, but who is going to eat clean when surrounded by all that stuff I can't have? And I brought it into the house!
I choose restaurants and meals sometimes solely for the other person's needs knowing that it will allow me the excuse to cheat a little. I've been known to tell people "choose any restaurant, I'll be fine" simply because I want an excuse to cheat. I never thought about it quite that way before, but I do use other people as a crutch. Wow. I need to consider this a lot.
How much of my time is filled with thinking about what, where, when and how much I can eat, with a dialogue about counting calories or...will I gain or lose weight... going on in my head?
Um, every waking minute? Okay, I do lose myself in work, or a great movie, but I think about food and my weight more than I think of anything else. I even dream about it. I've dreamt about full meals before, all stuff I can't eat. If I had back all the time I have wasted on food and my weight, I could probably have doubled my income working a second job. That's a sad realization. Back to being angry. Back to trying to forgive myself.
Today is day two. I feel like ASS. I'm tired, crabby, lethargic, my head is a constant dull ache and my system is wigging out. At least I know from last year that a couple more days of feeling like death and I will feel better. Hopefully it is not worse for me because I'm also cutting flour and all sweeteners this time. Hopefully, too, how I feel when I do feel better will even be more amazing.
Today's questions are eyeopening, too. The next time I am lost in thought about my next meal or my weight, I will try to do something really different, I'll try to break the pattern and focus on something else. I'm also going to watch for times when I want to soothe others with food so I can eat, too. Being conscious of that should help me work on changing that pattern as well. I may be powerless to how my body processes things, but I can work on how I think, react, and act... that will be how I keep moving forward each day.
I think I am going to try to be on a call today. Maybe the 8 PM Step Meeting, I'm not sure what to expect but it will good to try all the meetings out so I know what they are.
04-27-2011, 06:17 AM
Good morning Step 3 and others, How are you so far (7:12 am EST)? I made it through yesterday but went to Shop Rite and put SF ice cream in my cart. Then I returned it but still had some left over at home and ended up having a last scoop of it last night. Then I was mad at myself ....what am I doing ? I want to follow FAA. In the past I would eat popcorn and chips as well they are sf/wf but now desire to follow the "suggested" FAA food plan and see how I feel. I got a new hair style yesterday, hiked for an hour and taking care of me! I am people pleaser and find it hard to be different or say no when with people who order desserts and force us all to share! Wheat/gluten does cause me to get hives. I learned this over the years and years ever since I was a teen and no doctor could figure it out. So I know I get physically ill and limited to be active as wow a bad case of itchy hives I'd break out in and certain all due to wheat and processed foods. I do not have a food plan for today but about to make oatmeal to start with. I am worried for Friday as working 12 hours at a special Friends & Family sale for Movado Corp. with my son. They provide lunch and dinner and very social company where all "break bread" together and eat catered meals together. I am actually nervous and scared to face that and be different. Oh well first I must get through today. Time to make breakfast and have a wonderful day! I noticed you posted a lot and did think you were an FAA moderator!
04-27-2011, 04:27 PM
@Boboe Thanks for sharing what you did. Eating with others is a challenge, but something I think we have to make up our mind about. I, for one, have seen a reduction in my cravings since eating as close to the plan as possible. I still have cravings and think about food way too much, don't get me wrong, but I feel more in control today than I have been in weeks so I feel relief from that. Don't beat yourself up, just keep pressing forward. No one is perfect, we just have to keep trying.
I've been on plan today and am feeling better. The headache I have been having has subsided. I have noticed some digestive issues, but that is normal for me. I am going to the store tonight and am hoping that I am able to shop on plan. I'm taking a list. I'm taking my good feelings from the past two days, and going after my meal so that I am not hungry when I am walking around. Baby steps.
Eating addictive foods causes emotional stress as well as physical stress.
What have my behaviors been to try to alleviate stress?
Well, up until Sunday, when I was stressed, I ate. We are selling our home and I was baking cookies before each showing to make the house smell yummy. Then I would eat all the cookies. Needless to say I have stopped this practice and will do something else for the next showing.
I have been trying to de-stress other ways. Last night I stopped working and after dinner watched a movie. No email, no internet. This morning, knowing I had a long day in front of the computer, I took a hot bath. I work from home, so I try to laugh at my cat more often and have been taking breaks when things seem overwhelming. I have a huge exam next weekend so I am planning some things to do to keep myself more relaxed during that, and will shop net Thursday night and prepare food for all three days of the exam ahead so I can eat on plan. I also have a manicure/pedicure scheduled for Monday so that I have a non-food, post-test reward waiting for me. I have to find ways to reward myself with things other than food.
Do I exercise with the goal of “burning calories”, damaging my body in the process?
To be honest, I wish I exercised every day. I need to and it is not in the cards right now. I am working a lot of hours and studying so it is the one thing I have dropped to keep my sanity. In reality, it can relieve stress so I should be doing it. I don't like to do it. I have to force myself. I am hoping that as I start to feel healthier I will want to do it more often, however I will have to start making time for it regardless at some point. I am not a fanatical exerciser.
Do I eat refined, processed foods and find myself unable to remember well or function effectively in my daily life? I don't feel good when I eat that way, so I guess the answer is yes. I am thinking much more clearly now that I am eating better, and it has only been a couple of days. I can see some correlation. It will be interesting to see how I improve the longer I am off of processed food. I hope the improvement is enough to help keep me motivated to keep on plan.
I hope everyone who wanted to was able to stay abstinent today. Good luck to all of you, I know it is not easy.
04-28-2011, 06:51 PM
Do I starve myself looking for something...anything...to control?
I've gone a day, maybe two of fasting. It's good for you to fast, sometimes, if you are doing it for health reasons. I want to think I have always done it for health reasons. I can't say that it has not helped me make it through to feel like I am in control of something. Right now I am not eating more and I feel in control. I am not eating more because I am full and I ate my plan. I am also in control. All that having been said I don;t think I have a problem with starving myself for control. I'm so heavy that it would take me a while to starve anyway. :)
How often have I been unable to carry out my plans because of feeling sick from bingeing or starving?
Never. I am happy to say this has not happened to me.
How often have I gotten angry, withdrawn, depressed or had outbursts at people around me, because what I had eaten affected my emotions?
Daily. Right now. I am such a mess right now because I want to eat off plan and I am not allowing myself to. I would feel worse if I did. I don't manage emotions well without food, and I don't deal with them at all with food. Obviously that is why I self medicate with food. Right now if I drowned myself with bread and cake I would feel better for a few minutes, numb to how I really feel. I hate sitting here in my feelings. It sucks. I'm angry. Other people can eat whatever the hell they want and I can't. It makes me mad. Really mad.
04-29-2011, 12:54 AM
I am responding here to a private message you sent me. I am having problems sending you a reply.
My email address is:
Why don't you send me an email and I can reply to your PM.
05-03-2011, 04:03 AM
I can identify with so much that's been written in this thread. About being angry that others could eat the things that we can no longer have... About wondering why I picked up, yet again... about wondering why I do what I do when it comes to food...
What I learned is that sugar causes a chemical anger and fear that is just that; it's chemical. I was a holy terror around my house before I got abstinent, flying into rages at my poor husband with little to no provocation. And to say I was a fearful person is putting it a bit mildly. Once I became abstinent, and passed through the withdrawal so that all the toxic substances were out of my body, I was amazed at how gentler and kinder I became! I was actually a nicer person... I still am in wonder about this, it's a great thing not only for me but for those in my life. (And I thought I was nice before! :lol: )
Everything you're sharing is normal and we've all felt the same in so many ways. That's what I love about coming to Online Support and to FAA meetings, getting to hear others who are just like me. I'm not alone in this! What a relief it was to crawl out of that dark hole and not have to be stuck, isolated, and lonely in my addiction anymore.
I'd suggest keeping your focus on this one day. You can do for today what you'd never want to contemplate doing for a lifetime. What works well for me is to write my food plan out for the whole day so that I can have everything I need at hand, and not have to be planning and looking frantically in cupboards for something to eat when I'm hungry for my meal. I shop ahead and have what I need in the house for when I need it... no last minute trips to the grocery store when I'm hungry.
Keep coming back, everyone here on this thread. The solution to food addiction is here in FAA. You've come to the right place!
05-05-2011, 06:49 AM
I'm back. Do you believe I breezed through last week along with the weekend corporate catered function I was a wreck about. They provided a lot of great food...cold cuts, fresh veggies and fruit, water, herbal teas. No one was watching me or cared what I ate. It was no big deal. However, by the end of the day, the stress & temptation of it all got to me and I binged and have been nonstop for another week! I called the main FAA office last night and know I need to incorporate the "whole program" now...12 steps, phone meetings, finding a temp sponsor, planning, praying and the whole program. Today I start anew! I am not giving up on this or myself!
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