Faa: What Is Food Addicts Anonymous
The disease of addiction doesnt limit itself to just alcohol and narcotics. Many people also deal with unhealthy eating compulsions, and those seeking help often end up in Food Addicts Anonymous . This program differs significantly from similar groups based on their separate attitudes towards abstinence, but it follows the groundwork laid out by other 12-step programs.
If you feel you have an unhealthy relationship with food, FAA may be a great way to overcome your addiction. Its also possible, however, that an alternative program may better suit you. It may even turn out that 12-step programs arent effective for you. Therefore, its so important to understand Food Addicts Anonymous prior to seeking membership.
Eat Clean And Healthy Foods
If you want to overcome food addiction, your goal is to avoid eating unhealthy meals and cravings for addictive foods. So if you cant eat high-sugar, high-fat, or highly addictive food, it makes sense that you should start eating healthy. This doesnt mean, though, that you have to buy everything in the supermarket that contains low-sugar or fat-free foods because, in reality, they have sweeteners that have far more negative effects.
Start eating healthy by resorting to something fresher, like fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats, and maybe something organic. Once your body gets used to not eating junk food or anything high-sugar or high-fat, you will see that you wont be having those unhealthy food cravings anymore. Also, dont forget to drink lots of water.
According To The Dictionary What Does Restore Mean
- To return to its original or usable and functioning condition
- To regenerate: return to life get or give new life or energy
- To give or bring back
- To repair: restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
After doing the work in the 4th and 5th Steps, I could truly see how insane my thinking was, not only about food, but about life. The lies I told myself built an enormous tower of resentments I could have never dismantled without the help of God and a wise sponsor. Before every slip or binge was a resentment. Under every resentment were lies and fears.
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The Science Behind Food Addiction
Food addiction, as mentioned earlier, is thought to be similar to drug addiction. What is the science behind this? It was found that the neurotransmitters in the brain of persons with a substance abuse disorder are the same neurotransmitters that affect people with food addiction.
Processed foods have negative effects on the reward centers of the brain. These effects are the responsibility of the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Food addiction is a combination of lacking the willpower to control oneself to eat junk foods and the dopamine process in the brain.
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Recovery From Food Addiction
RFA is a fellowship of women and men dedicated to physical, spiritual, and emotional recovery by abstaining from sugar, flour, and wheat in all forms and by living the twelve steps of recovery to the best of our ability. We share a common goal of “Recovery from Food Addiction” thereby finding freedom from the insatiable craving and the merciless obsession of addictive eating.
Freedom from the overwhelming sense of failure, shame, guilt, and excess weight can now be ours. We have hope. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating sugar, flour, and wheat.
The food plan and step work lead our members to a new freedom from overeating, compulsive eating, anorexia, and bulimia. Never go on a diet again. Weight loss comes naturally and easily and without hunger. The craving and obsession ends.
With That Being Said Here Are The 12 Steps Copied Verbatim From Overeaters Anonymous Which You Can Sort Of Think Of As The Plan:
Please see this article for a more comprehensive review of these 12 steps.
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What Is Food Addicts Anonymous
Food Addicts Anonymous is a 12-step nonprofit organization that was created for individuals who suffer from food addiction. The group was started in Florida in 1987 by a woman named Judith C. As of 2007, there were over 150 weekly meetings worldwide and the group could be found in six countries.
Food Addicts Anonymous is a 12 step program for individuals who have problems with food addiction, a disorder that occurs neurologically and cannot be cured solely by willpower or therapy. It is for people who struggle maintaining a healthy weight or struggle eating healthy foods and want to recover from the disease. Many members are individuals who have other comorbidities, including excessive exercising, vomiting or taking too many laxatives. Many of the problems can include the intake of large quantities of sweets or starches.
The disease of food addiction will only get worse and bring feelings of isolation, sadness, low self esteem and dissatisfaction. The fellowship of Food Addicts Anonymous is for men and women of all ages who may feel like they have no other options and gives them the chance to recover from their food addiction problems. The fellowships abundance of literature for newcomers includes The FAA Green Book, Abstinent Cooking for Food Addicts, FAA Steps to Recovery, and more.
What Is A Food Addiction
Food Addiction does not technically exist in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders .
The DSM-5 is the manual from the American Psychiatric association that, in the United States,defines specific criteria for diagnosing mental disorders.
Why is food addiction not in the DSM-5? It turns out the problem with food addiction being an addiction is that we need food to eat everyday.
Unlike alcohol, we have to live with food.
You can free yourself from alcohol, however you can never free yourself from food.
(As an aside, alcohol and other substance addictions can have withdrawal symptoms like shaking and even death in some cases.
For alcohol addiction,here is a link with more information on getting help with a twelve-step meeting you may find nearby.
You can try using the search function in the link above and then find a meeting during a day that fits your schedule.
In my experience with these groups, you can also send an email the day before the meetings take place and youll have somebody answer your questions or give you more information.)
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A Solution To Food Addiction And Obsession
Most people are familiar with the concept of alcoholism and drug addiction, and the idea that certain foods and quantities of foods can be addictive is gaining acceptance.
Food addicts are powerless over where, when, and how much they eat, although many have tremendous willpower in other areas of their lives. Food addiction tends to remain unrecognized because of the focus on the symptoms rather than their underlying cause addiction.
Symptoms of food addiction include
- Compulsive exercise and dieting
- Obsession with food or weight
- Depression, shame, isolation, and hopelessness related to food, weight, or body image.
FA is a program for those who want to stop eating addictively. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, FA treats food addiction as a threefold illness: physical, mental, and spiritual.
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What Is Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous And When Did It Begin
The fellowship of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous began informally around the early 1980s by former members of Overeaters Anonymous. The program was a part of another program, but formally switched over in 1998 to its own program. The 12-step program bases its steps and traditions on the same basis as Alcoholics Anonymous, although it has no affiliation with that particular group.
The group is open to people of all types, men and women, and deals with the addiction with food or weight. Whether an individual struggles with being overweight, underweight, bulimia, or they are obsessed with food and weight, it is intended for anyone who is unable to lead a normal life due to these struggles. As of 2011, the program had over 500 groups and over 4,000 members in six countries. In 2012, the first official piece of literature was published titled Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous and more literature has been published since then for members of the program.
Food First Step Preparation Assignments
There are eight basic questions which can help a food addict better write a rigorous story of their powerlessness over food.
It helps to read each of these assignments, one at a time, to another food addict in recovery and get feedback. It is best to read to a whole group of recovering food addicts including ones who have done this type of rigorous food First Step work.
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The Twelve Steps Of Overeaters Anonymous
Program For Food Addiction
While the debates rage on about whether there should be a clinical, official diagnosis of food addiction, those who cant control their eating arent waiting. Theyve found other resources, besides surgery and weight-loss clinics. Perhaps its summed up best by one statement, My weight isnt the problem, thats a symptom of the real problem, my relationship with food.
Like programs in other types of addiction, the 12 step program for food addiction addresses it as a spiritual issue and couples that with practical advice and a sense of group belonging. The actual steps fall into a familiar pattern: Admitting the problem relying on a higher power for help a continuing commitment to improve and help others.
Food Addicts Anonymous has meetings in all 50 states where members can come together to share stories and help each other with the addiction. Many find the lack of a weigh-in or outright criticism to be a real benefit, and members are anonymous. Although information may be shared between members, there is no pressure to take up any particular diet or exercise plan. The focus is on changing behavior through spiritual means and group interactions.
Overeaters Anonymous is another, similar group. You can find a quiz on their website to help decide if you may suffer from a food addiction.
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What Are The 12 Steps Of Food Addicts Anonymous
The 12 steps of Food Addicts Anonymous are similar to many other 12-step programs, but identify food addiction as the problem for unmanageability. The 12 steps are as follows:
1. We admitted we were powerless over our food addiction that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of Gods will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to food addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
How Does Food Addicts Anonymous Work
The program works by asking members to admit their powerlessness over food addiction and that their lives have become unmanageable, as stated in the first step of the 12-step program. Instead of trying to cure the addiction, members can focus on abstinence from foods. The foods recommended to abstain from include sugar, flour, wheat, and limited dietary fats, although members are still encouraged to eat a variety of foods, as long as what is eaten is kept track of.
Members are asked to find a higher power other than themselves to help them in their recovery process to abstain from specific foods and reduce cravings. With attendance of meetings and reading the literature, finding a sponsor in the program to help work the steps is another key factor to successfully recovering from their addiction. A sponsor in the program of Food Addicts Anonymous is a longtime member who has been abstinent and can help guide individuals on how to follow the food plan. A sponsor will have good knowledge about the food plan, works the steps of the program and uses the steps in their own daily lives to continue recovery. They will provide their sponsee with support and mentorship to help them overcome their addiction.
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Programs For Food Addiction Do Help
Regardless of the food that you are addicted to 12 step programs for food addiction can be a large part of recovery. Part of what makes them work is the sense of community and belonging that is often lacking in other forms of therapy. Many people describe success using a combination of counseling, therapy, and a solid 12 step food addiction program.
The first step in any addiction recovery program is admitting the problem. The second step is getting help. There are 12 step food addiction programs all over the country and the same anonymity and community are available through all of them.
Why I Dont Talk Publicly About My 12
Most 12-step programs have a non-promotional policy to protect the anonymity of members.
Principles, not personalities, govern these programs, meaning that no individual member may act as a spokesperson for the program.
My only intention is to help carry the message of hope and recovery from food addiction. I do NOT intend to act as a spokesperson or personality.
You should also know I am not currently in a 12-step program. I left my program in January and continue to live this lifestyle with guidance from my Heavenly Father.
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