Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous Offering A Better Life For Our West Houston Community
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Many people resort to desperate measures to control their weight and the way they eat expensive diets, surgery, medications, excessive exercise, purging, abuse of laxatives, and extreme food restriction. Others dont know where to turn or have just given up hope. Many have found, however, an effective long-term solution through Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous .
As one member from Katy puts it, I have kept more than 60 lbs. off my body for more than two decades. The food used to have me by the throat, I could not stop eating, hiding the fact from my husband, my son and my fellow workers. I thank FA for giving me a better life than I could have imagined. I no longer hurt myself with food. I eat normal food bought in my local grocery store and do not feel deprived.
Based on the Twelve Steps Program used by Alcoholics Anonymous, FA understands food addiction as a physical craving and an ever-increasing dependence upon and struggle with certain types and quantities of food. FA has no dues or fees, nor does it require the purchase of special foods. FA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, ideology or religious doctrine. It is a fellowship of women and mendiverse in age, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgroundwho, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from food addiction.
Is Food Addicts Anonymous Right For You
Whether Food Addicts Anonymous is right for you will depend on several factors. One of the most important is how you view your problem. There are several 12-step programs geared towards helping with food addiction, and each has its own focuses and strategies. When deciding whether FAA is your ideal choice, consider the following as well:
- Overeaters Anonymous
- Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
- GreySheeters Anonymous
Each of these take a unique approach to dealing with compulsive eating disorders. Its essential to do some research and find out which organization is right for you. If youre suffering from such an addiction, though, you begin a program as soon as possible. The only definitive way to find out if groups like Food Addicts Anonymous are right for you is to attend a meeting.
FAA does list several criteria on their site, though, that suggest a person might be perfect for the program. These include:
- Youve spent years struggling with weight and unhealthy foods.
- Binging on large quantities of starches or sweets.
- Extreme purge measures such as laxatives, vomiting or excessive exercise.
- You limit intake of foods even though others say you should eat more.
If any of these criteria ring true in your life, consider attending a Food Addicts Anonymous meeting.
How Does Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous Work
The fellowship of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous creates a safe environment for individuals to discuss issues with food and weight when they feel like they have nowhere else to turn or nobody to turn to. The group defines food addiction just like any other addiction an illness of the mind, body and spirit. Because it is an illness, instead of trying to find a cure for these problems, the fellowship focuses on finding a way to recover and live a successful and healthy life by obtaining abstinence.
The first step of the program allows members to admit their powerlessness over food and that their lives had become unmanageable. Although meetings are a good place for newcomers to start and try to identify their problems, attending meetings is more important than just to admit there is a problem. Meetings are encouraged because they help individuals end isolation, provide a place to share stories of experience, strength and hope, and build strength in members from being in a fellowship.
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Who Can Join Food Addicts Anonymous
Just like other 12-step recovery programs, FAA has no significant hurdles for membership. In fact, the Third Tradition of the group states the only requirement for FAA membership is a desire to stop eating addictive foods. Loved ones of individuals addicted to food cannot become members, but remember that familial support is always a good thing.
There is no membership test regarding whether a person qualifies as a food addict. Food Addicts Anonymous does list several symptoms, however, that can help a person identify whether they may have a problem. There is no magic number of symptoms that indicates addiction, but any of the following symptoms could signify a need for help:
- Physical symptoms: Inability to control food intake, repeated attempts at failed diets, unhealthy behaviors after eating too much, etc.
- Emotional symptoms: Depressed or hopeless about weight/eating, eating as a reward or in response to stress, irritability after eating sugar, flour or wheat.
- Social symptoms: Eating in private, avoidance of social activities due to low self esteem related to appearance, stealing other peoples foods, etc.
- Spiritual symptoms: Praying for help with weight and the feeling that these prayers are going unanswered. Feeling like life would improve if only certain things would change.
No matter where you fall on the religiosity spectrum, youre welcome at FAA.
What If There Are No Meetings Available Near Me
While attending face-to-face meetings is strongly encouraged, if it is unable or not an option, there are virtual and telephone meetings available on the website. Because success in Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is extremely important for all members, a long-distance sponsor list is available for individuals who have no meetings local to them, as well as other options to ensure that abstinence continues in the program. The phone list guide can be found here.
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Food Addicts Anonymous Effectiveness Rates
Before delving into the effectiveness rates of Food Addicts Anonymous, statistics can be helpful in identifying those who could benefit from the program. This is because many people feel that a food addiction cannot exist unless a person is obese. This is an inaccurate belief and could lead to individuals with an addiction not seeking help.
Consider the percentage of individuals who fall into the following weight classes that have been diagnosed with a food addiction:
- Underweight: 10 percent.
- Overweight: 14 percent.
- Obese: 37.5 peecent.
This shows that anyone could suffer from food addiction. Just how effective is Food Addicts Anonymous, though, in helping with this problem? Unfortunately, the scientific community doesnt put as much research into process addictions as it does alcohol and narcotics abuse. And for FAA effectiveness statistics, research is nearly nonexistent.
When looking at research related to the efficacy of 12-step programs in general, though, the prognosis looks good. In fact, the American Medical Association stated in their ethics journal that these programs are an appropriate mode of help for those seeking to quit an addiction but should not be the only approach considered.
Research has found that the following factors can increase a persons chances of success in programs like Food Addicts Anonymous:
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S Of Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous
1. We admitted we were powerless over food 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 Him.
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 Him 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 Him, praying only for knowledge of His 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 others and practice these principles in all our affairs.
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What Is The Abstinence Plan In Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous
An abstinence plan in Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is something done carefully and accurately with the help of a sponsor in the program. The plan goes as follows:
Are You A Food Addict
To answer this question, ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.
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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.
In General The Awols Listed On This Site Adhere To These Commitments As Best Practices At A Minimum:
Abstinence is defined as weighed and measured meals with nothing in between no flour, no sugar and the avoidance of all individual binge foods.
In addition, specific drugs and substances not allowed for the duration of this AWOL include: caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and all medication taken with the intent to alter the mood in the moment or provide situational relief from the symptoms of addiction.
Taking prescribed medications out of necessity to address physical or mental conditions is between fellows and their healthcare providers. In adherence with this statement which captures the spirit of Tradition Ten we take no position on this outside issue.
You are required to have a sponsor who is an abstinent FA member.
AWOLs are intended to last at least one year .
Individual meetings last an hour and a half.
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What Is Food Addicts Anonymous
FAA is a 12-step program founded in 1987. This makes it one of the newer anonymous programs available to those with eating compulsions, and its goal is to help members overcome food addiction. Like other 12-step group-focused programs, FAA is based on the foundations set forth by Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935.
Unlike other organizations that center around unhealthy eating habits, Food Addicts Anonymous focuses on avoidance of specific types of foods. The program believes that food addiction is a biochemical disorder, and this means overcoming it isnt accomplished through therapy or willpower alone. Instead, members must eliminate certain foods or significantly reduce them from their diet.
The basic rules are as follows:
- Limited dietary fats.
Members of Food Addicts Anonymous must also keep track of their consumption and eat set proportions at specific times of the day. They gear these strategies towards removing addictive foods from a persons diet that tend to leave them hungry. Since this occurs on a cellular level, food addiction isnt seen as a flaw of character or morality.
Like other programs modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, FAA subscribes to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. These principles are nearly identical to those in other programs, but Food Addicts Anonymous also has their own Tools of Recovery. While FAA members are viewed as the most powerful resources, the following recovery tools are also essential:
How Do I Know If I Am A Food Addict
Before joining the fellowship, many members had questions or concerns as to whether or not they were a food addict. Although there was control in some areas of their lives, when it came to food, there was none. While some individuals are capable of demonstrating some self restraint on a diet, it never lasted very long. Because food addiction can come in various forms, answering a questionnaire can help individuals decide whether or not they have a food addiction problem. The questionnaire can be found on the official website, here.
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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.
Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous Meetings
Food Adicts in Recovery is an international fellowship of men and women who have experienced difficulties in life as a result of the way we used to eat. We joined FA because we were obsessed with food. We find that we need this program of recovery and the fellowship of others who share our problem in order to stop abusing food and to begin living fulfilling lives. Through shared experience and mutual support, we help each other to recover from the disease of food addiction.
Our program of recovery is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. We make use of AA principles to gain freedom from addictive eating. There are no dues, fees, or weigh-ins at FA meetings. Membership is open to anyone who wants help with food.
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Does The Program Cost Money
There are no dues, costs or fees for membership to Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop eating addictively. The program is self-supporting through their own contributions and never accepts outside contributions. Members are encouraged to contribute what they can and when they can but there is never an obligation to.
Potential Pitfalls Of Food Addicts Anonymous
FAA is not the right fit for everyone. Its important that you read through all of the material online before attending a meeting. Since meetings are led by a volunteer, there is not enough support for anyone needing higher-level care, as you would find in a support group led by a mental health therapist.
FAA believes food addiction cannot be treated through willpower or therapy alone. If you are currently in therapy with a mental health expert, this is something you should discuss with them.
FAA is based on the Twelve-Step model, so talk of God or a higher power does weave its way into meetings. The program relies on your ability to discuss personal details in a group setting. It also depends upon the strength of sponsorship, which may not be a healthy relationship for people who are co-dependent. If any parts of the Twelve-Step model are not a good fit for you, the program may not work.
And finally, the rigid FAA food plan is not right for everyone. If you have an eating disorder or in recovery from an eating disorder, talk to your doctor or treatment team before committing to FAA.
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