New to FAA
Ok what EXACTLY is the 12 step program and how do you get a sponsor (what's it mean to have one) I don't have meeting available where I live so can't join that way. The posts are somewhat confusing to understand and follow so I'm asking my own questions in hopes of getting the answers right here. What is the best way to START this new process? Thank you!!!!
Please don't post a message telling me where to go to find these answers or to find other posts about these questions as I have been all over online and am still confused..please just explain here if you have an answer.Thanks
best way to get started?
Welcome to FAA, Newbie!
The way I see it, is there really isn't any ONE BEST WAY to get started in any 12 step program of recovery. Some find the literature to be helpful when they first come in (that's me!). Some find the FAALoop (24/7 Loop meeting on the Yahoo/groups) to be helpful when they first come in - lots of newcomers there and lots of sharing on topics that newcomers can relate to. Some find the online meetings held in the FAA chat room to be helpful when they first come in - lots of time to ask questions after the regular meeting. Others like the open chats held in the FAA chat room on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9pm Eastern. And many of the younger newcomers these days are quite eager to jump right into the phone meetings and introduce themselves and ask for help. So I guess it really depends on what you feel comfortable doing.
If you are afraid to admit to being a food addict, I suggest you try the online meetings - can sign in with the "handle" of your choice and you will be totally anonymous.
If you aren't sure if you are a food addict, then try the open chats in the FAA chat room and just talk it over with another food addict. Can also get clarification of what 12 step recovery is about also at these open chats.
If you aren't sure if what FAA has to offer will be helpful for you, please come to at least 6 meetings before you decide. Many who binge and purge have found support here. Many who follow other food plans given to them by their doctors or they come in from other food fellowships have found support here. Those who have lots of weight to lose have found support here. And those who need to gain weight have found support here also. The FAA food plan is well balanced and includes all the food groups (and is not a weight loss diet). Personally I've lost over 100lbs, by the Grace of God and that never happened on any of those weight loss programs I joined and spent literally hundreds of dollars on....
And if you find that you are angry over discovering that you are a food addict, then you are in good company - we've been there and done that! or that lots of discipline will be needed to work this program of recovery and feeling angry over that - join the group, we understand or you just don't like the sound of calling yourself a food addict - well that's understandable - none of us ever aspired to being an addict either; but today I'm grateful to know what the problem is and that there is a solution.
And even if you don't feel comfortable being here (and probably none of here in this fellowship did either at first), please keep coming back and talk with those who say things you relate to. That's how it works, just take the hands of those who reach out to you and when you are able, then reach out your hands to those coming in....
How to find a sponsor
I feel so blessed with all my sponsors in this Fellowship - it's like different people have come into my life at different times and they have been like mentors, someone who is a bit further down the path than where I'm at and they share their experience, strength and hope with me. I looked for sponsors who would encourage me to take responsibility for my abstinence, for my life and for working my program of recovery.
The best way to find a sponsor (in my humble opinion) is to take the names and numbers of those who say things you relate to at meetings. They share their contact info the last five minutes of the meetings and take questions at that time also. I like to take down the leaders contact info, since they need at least two weeks of abstinence to lead a meeting.
It's ok to ask a few simple questions to get to know them better when you contact them:
How long have you been in FAA?
How did you find your sponsor?
What did you eat for breakfast?
Do you have any tips to get started to share with a newcomer?
Are you sponsoring other?
What do you expect from your sponsees?
can tell so much from how they answer a few simple questions...
What exactly is a 12 step program of recovery?
Food Addicts Anonymous is a 12 step program of recovery. It means that it is based on the Alcoholic Anonymous program and we adapted our 12 steps of recovery with permission from AA. This is a spiritually based program of healing. The addiction to food causes the addict to lose contact with a Power greater than themselves (the God of their understanding). Food addicts tend to become isolated over time as their fears and doubts mount. The disease progresses slowly at first and this stage may last for decades and without any warning the disease can take a sharp turn for the worse and that's when the food addict crosses that line into full blown food addiction.
Any 12 step program of recovery is about healing in three areas - physically, mentally/emotionally and spiritually.
FAA offers a suggested food plan to begin the physical healing and also helps start the emotional healing also as the emotions that have been pushed down with the food begin to rise to the surface and that's where working the 12 steps is helpful and helps us to begin to face the reality of our lives and what part did we play in this. Having a sponsor to guide us in our recovery is also helpful but not a requirement. We don't have rules for recovery here at FAA - we offer guidelines, tools for recovery and support for the journey.
Tools of recovery from the Food Addicts Anonymus book
Food Plan and Abstinence
Becoming abstinent from sugar, flour, wheat and following the
Food Addicts Anonymous food plan is the way we recover from the
physical aspect of the disease of Food Addiction. Totally eliminating
these substances from our bodies will enable us to live relatively
free of cravings and will allow us to focus on the other areas of our
Weighing and Measuring
Essential to our recovery is our commitment to the tool of
weighing and measuring. The FAA “Guide to Abstinence” outlines
the perfect balance of portion and weight so essential to keeping our
disease in check. By using this tool on a daily basis, we allow
our bodies to heal from this disease, and we give ourselves the
opportunity to live life in more effective ways.
Fellowship with other food addicts is a basic tool of the FAA
program. Meetings give us an opportunity to share our experience,
strength and hope with others who are also trying to recover from
the disease of Food Addiction. Meetings allow us to identify with
our shared similarities and confirm our common problems.
Sponsors are FAA members who are committed to practicing
abstinence from sugar, flour and wheat and who are living in
accordance with the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the
best of their ability. Sponsors are willing to share how their recovery
program works with other members of the fellowship. We ask
someone to become our sponsor to help us with our program of
recovery. Working with other FAA members and sharing our
experiences offers a sponsor the opportunity to continually
renew and reaffirm their own recovery. It is important to find a
sponsor who has what you want and ask that person what they have
done to achieve it.
Food Addiction is an illness that affects us on three levels–physical,
emotional and spiritual. If it were only physical, we would all just
follow the food plan and be on our way to good health and happy,
useful lives. Working the Twelve Steps will help heal our emotions
and give us spiritual principles for living. The main purpose of
working the Twelve Steps is to help us develop a relationship with
a Power greater than ourselves that will relieve us of the obsession
with food and teach us how to live.
We read and study FAA-recommended literature. Literature
helps us to better understand the biochemical basis of this disease
called Food Addiction. Through literature, we can identify
the characteristics and stages of food addiction, and we find help
in learning how to recover from this disease.
CD’s and DVD’s
Listening to FAA members share their experience, strength and
hope on one of our many convention CD’s is an excellent tool
for recovery. CD’s are especially helpful to use if you live where
there are few or no FAA meetings. Listening to a CD is like giving
yourself a meeting any time you want one. FAA CD’s are very
informative and are an excellent resource for learning more about
the disease of Food Addiction.
Conventions and Retreats
Attending an FAA convention is a tool that will give you an
opportunity to build relationships with other recovering food
addicts from all over the world. There is nothing quite like being in
a room with over 100 abstinent food addicts. Attending a convention
or retreat can often give us that extra bit of encouragement we need
to stay abstinent one more day.
There are two types of writing tools used in our recovery
program. The first involves writing down our food–our three
meals and our metabolic adjustment–on a daily basis. Planning
our food list in advance, in accordance with “A Guide to
Abstinence,” keeps us free from "shopping" when we open the
refrigerator door.We can then commit our plan to our sponsor, and
refer to the written plan when preparing each meal.
Another type of writing that is useful to members involves putting
our thoughts and feelings down on paper. We can do this kind of
writing when it is not possible to attend a meeting or to call others
in the program for support. We can also use writing to journal our
progress in recovery or to work out situations or issues that come up
which we may not be able to share with others immediately. Putting
our thoughts and feelings down on paper helps us to better
understand our actions and reactions in a way that is often not
revealed otherwise, since we may see a situation more clearly when
we take the time to write about it.
The telephone is a way to avoid the isolation that is so common
among us. It is a tool where we learn to reach out, ask for help and
Prayer is a powerful tool that is available to everyone–anytime
and anywhere. Intentionally making conscious contact with our
Higher Power on a daily basis is an important part of our recovery.
The Serenity Prayer and the Seventh Step Prayer are good prayers
for those who need help getting started. Also, some members
find that writing their prayers is helpful. It does not matter how you
do it–it just matters that you do it.
We are encouraged to do whatever we can to be of service to
FAA. The first service we can do is to get abstinent and STAY
ABSTINENT. Other forms of service include going to meetings
and helping to set up and/or break down the meeting area, putting
out literature, and talking to newcomers to help them feel welcome.
We strengthen our commitment to attending meetings regularly by
offering to lead or chair a meeting or serving as the group secretary
or treasurer. Volunteering to help with activities related to
Intergroup or FAA World Services organizations gives us a sense
of purpose and a feeling of belonging.
Anonymity means that who we see and what we hear at meetings
should remain there when we leave the meeting. It is a tool where
we place principles above personalities. Anonymity provides each
of us freedom of expression and safeguards us from gossip.
Anonymity assures us that whatever we share with other FAA
members will be held in respect and confidence.
Cyberspace: E-mail, FAALoop and Online FAA Meetings
Many FAA members live in cities where there are not any face-to-
face FAA meetings. Attending live online FAA meetings
enables an otherwise physically isolated FAA member the opportunity
to connect with other FAA members and to do service. The
FAALoop and personal e-mail gives FAA members a chance to
communicate and build relationships with recovering food addicts
all over the world. Many sponsoring relationships have been successful
via e-mail. Our computers are available for communication
24 hours a day.
Each week there are a number of phone meetings where, from the
convenience of your own home, you may attend a real FAA
meeting. Phone meetings are never intended to replace face-to -
face meetings. They are there as a support for the person who
might be in an isolated area or situation. It also offers the new
person a chance to get the feeling of what an FAA meeting is
really like. The meetings make it possible for food addicts from
anywhere in the world to connect with other food addicts for
understanding and support.
Thank you! I will look into online meetings as there aren't any in my area to attend .. What literature are you speaking of? The new comer packet?
The two regular online meetings are held on the weekend:
Beginner's meeting - Saturday, 11am Eastern
For for the Soul meditation book - Sunday, 1pm Eastern
The two open chats which are held in the FAA chat room on this website:
Tuesday, 9pm Eastern
Friday, 9pm Eastern
The FAA literature can be download immediately in PDF format for about half price and the newcomer's pkt is over 40 pages long with lots of good info and includes the guides lines for abstinence and the FAA food plan.
The newcomer's book bundle includes all the literature in hard copy (which is mailed) to get started at a reduced amount. To purchase literature you need to go back to the home page and the link for the store is there.