Tools of Recovery: abstinence (having a food plan), sponsor/accountability, communication with other food addicts, literature, 12-step study, meetings, writing, action plan, prayer & meditation, anonymity, love and service.
When a person understands addiction and says, “Yes, I am a food addict. I surrender.” He or she needs to learn how to arrest the disease. Compassionate people, who have experienced success, are anxious to help. It is obvious, however, that we are unique, and people come with different needs. With patient perseverance and open communication, each person can grow beyond their present challenges and find a sweet surrendered way of living.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
One courageous day, I stepped out of my isolation and faced my addiction. It was the first step to a changed life. I learned about addictive behavior by listening to people in recovery. I cried with them, rejoiced with them and witnessed new life in them. Hope arose in my spirit. I was not alone anymore.
ABSTINENCE (having a food plan):
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:6, New International Version)
To live free from overeating, it is important to make a decision (a firm commitment) to follow a specific, disciplined plan of eating.
In Full of Faith, we do not have a one-size-fits-all food plan; your doctor or nutritionist knows what is best for your body, however, we have some distinctives in this program that are non-negotiable.
We do not eat flour (this includes grain flours, nut flours, bean, and vegetable flours), sugar and other sweeteners (natural or artificial), alcohol, snack foods (roasted nuts, popcorn, chips or processed grains), dried fruit, and we weigh and measure our food. We plan what we eat and we eat what we plan.
Even though it seems harmless, an extra bite can lead us into a tizzy (even that bite, lick or taste of abstinent food). Therefore, abstinence includes no extra anything. This might sound restrictive at first, but it is the path to freedom and ends up being a sweet surrender! There is a food plan on this site that has helped many. Go to Step Easy Food Plan, then the Food Exchanges.
Emotionally and spiritually, we feel that God and freedom from compulsive and addictive eating are the most important things, without exception. The Bible teaches us that nothing can separate us from the love of God (1); our ties to Him are not contingent on what we do (2), but on simple, childlike faith (3). However, we feel separated from God the minute we say, “Yes” to some “forbidden fruit.” When Eve listened to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, her relationship with God changed the moment she ate that enticing apple. It was not her food. In abstinence, we can see more clearly what God wants us to do, and we can enjoy the fruits of believing (5).
"The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans l4:l7, New Living Translation)
See (l) Romans 7-8, (2) Ephesians 2:8-9, (3) Luke 18:l7, (4) Genesis 3:1-8, (5) Galatians 5:22-23.
Go to "Help for the New Comer" for more information.
Teachers, guides, mentors, helping hands, sponsors, whatever the title, they are a necessary piece of the puzzle to get well. People need people to shine a light in the darkness. God has magnificently designed a plan for each of His children. The suffering, afflicted ones can come together and find God’s care and protection. We can comfort the brokenhearted, announce liberty to captives (those actively overeating), and open the eyes of the blind (Christians who are uninformed about eating disorders and food addicts lacking faith).
We find freedom when we commit our intended plan of eating to another person(s) in recovery each new day. In Full of Faith, we have sponsors (one-on-one helping hands to teach/encourage this way of life, but we also have a private Facebook group (Full of Faith Accountability) where people commit their food while they are waiting for a sponsor. In the interim, Pam (or one of the ministry leaders) help(s) with any questions by Facebook private messaging. For more detailed information, click on Sponsors/Accountability.
"…the time of God’s favor to them has come…he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness". (Isaiah 61:2-3, The Living Bible)
Most food addicts contact three or more persons daily by telephone, text messages, e-mail or our private facebook groups. Beyond food, people in recovery share a mutual desire to seek and do God’s will. Bonds are tightly woven as we pray together for knowledge and wisdom in all our affairs.
Private Facebook Groups (visible for members only):
Full of Faith -- Daily devotionals to motivate and encourage people who are facing life-style changes. Thoughts or a prayer often comes to light on this group's page.
Full of Faith Accountability -- This group affords the opportunity to talk about what you are feeling. Some share their intended plans of eating for the day, and/or their action plans for living God-honoring lives. We hope to encourage others to stand firm in their desires to be free from struggles around food and warped body images.
Full of Faith Phone Meetings -- We record the Monday and Wednesday evening and the Saturday morning meetings. This group stores them for the members who are unable to attend.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12, New International Version)
'Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word. I am but a pilgrim here on earth: how I need a map—and your commands are my chart and guide. I long for your instructions more than I can tell." (Psalm 119:18-20, The Living Bible)
The Bible is our ultimate source and guide. However, Alcoholics Anonymous supplies easily identifiable keys to recovery from addictive behavior, and daily devotionals are helpful to maintain progress in the program. Many recovering addicts read three books each day: The Holy Bible, a page of Alcoholics Anonymous and a daily devotional, maybe Twenty-Four Hours a Day, plus other 12-step recovery literature as their quest for knowledge and truth increases.
The Life Recovery Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
The Twelve Steps for Christians, Revised Edition by Friends in Recovery,
RPI Publishing, Inc. (1994)
Sweet Surrender; Christian 12-Step Recovery from Food Addiction by Pam from Auburn, MA (the founder of the Full of Faith ministry)
Food Addiction: The Body Knows by Kay Sheppard, Health Communications, Inc. (Revised l993, 1989)
For professional help, go to: http://foodaddiction.com/wp-content/uploads/acorn_brochure.pdf
The 12-Steps merge Biblical teaching with the practical wisdom found in 12-step rooms for addiction recovery. We have two private facebook groups to help people on the road to lasting freedom:
Full of Faith Step Study -- This is an in-depth step study using The Twelve Steps for Christians by Friends in Recovery.
12 Steps with Hilary -- This is ten-week intensive step study primarily focused on food addiction.
Full of Faith PHONE MEETINGS:
"Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew l8:20, New International Version)
Meetings are gatherings of two or more like-minded people who come together to share their experience, strength and hope in recovery. Fellowship with other addicts gives us the opportunity to identify our common concerns, and we share the gifts we receive through the program.
Kick-Start Morning Meetings: Monday through Saturday at 8:30AM EST
We focus on a tool of recovery each day, then read from Food for Thought by Hazelden if time allows.
Evening Meetings: Monday and Wednesday nights from 7PM EST
Simply dial 1-218-862-4106, using the pass code: faith# (32484#)
*6 unmutes and mutes your phones
The night time (and Saturday morning) meetings are recorded for those unable to attend. We store these recordings in the private Facebook group, Full of Faith Phone Meetings. There is also a call-back number, for those who wish to hear the meeting through a phone.
Most food addicts write a committed food plan each new day. Some people write in a food journal and some write it on the private Facebook group for accountability. Either way, when we make a commitment, it releases the obsession to entertain food thoughts. We plan what we do and do what we plan. People in recovery often say, “People who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
We also write fourth-step inventories and periodic entries in a journal. When we put our thoughts and feelings on paper, it opens the lines of communication to God. Writing a list of our daily blessings helps us to acknowledge the gifts we receive. On a bleak day, we reflect back and live each day with an attitude of gratitude.
Having a written plan for the day helps us to stay focused on the things that God is calling us to do. Starting with a food plan, but then on to life, we plan our time according to God's leading. We strive for balance and moderation.
PRAYER AND MEDITATION:
"[Jesus said,] Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7, New International Version)
To stay connected to the only true source of strength, we dedicate a specific time in the morning, before we begin the hustle and bustle of the day, to pray and meditate. This gives us the opportunity to bring all our thoughts and concerns to the Lord. We seek His guidance and direction. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as the: “Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby.” (John 14:16, Amplified Bible) And He taught us how to pray:
"When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you…your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" (Matthew 6:6-8, New Living Translation)
ANONYMITY/Confidentiality and Respect:
"Do for others what you would like them to do for you... " (Matthew 7:12, New Living Translation)
Refraining from criticism and gossip, we accept that we are people striving toward recovery. We are all equal in God’s eyes.
"Don’t just pretend that you love others; really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other… Work happily together. Don’t try to act big. Don’t try to get into the good graces of important people, but enjoy the company of ordinary folks. And don’t think you know it all!" (Romans 12:9-10,16, The Living Bible)
LOVE AND SERVICE:
"….Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14, New International Version)
Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, told us that “love and service” kept him sober. The same theory works for all addictions. When we extend our hearts and hands to other people, we become a reflection of God’s love.
We can show up at meetings, write on one of our facebook groups, make a phone call, send a text message or help a newcomer get started in the program, or we can call a friend or family member to say, “I care about you.” Maybe volunteer to help at a nursing home, a homeless shelter or a hospital. There are always people in need of a gentle smile or a word of encouragement. The key is to reach out and share the good news of Jesus in simple acts of kindness. By our examples, we are “salt and light” to the world. (See Matthew 5:13-16)