After 35 years of emotional eating to numb the pain from issues that I didn’t want to (or know how to!) deal with, I found freedom through a 12-step programme. Since attending my first 12-step meeting on Monday 25th October 2010 I lost 10 stone in weight, and have managed to keep the majority of it off for 9 years now. In these meetings we do not discuss weight, diets, exercise etc. It is not a ‘diet and calorie’ club, but a safe place to explore the underlying issues as to why we eat emotionally / compulsively. The biggest benefit for me in daily practicing the twelve steps of recovery hasn’t been the weight loss, but a new found and much deeper relationship with a living God – Jesus Christ – who I now turn to instead of the excess food. I am also a far more confident person, and now enjoy life to the full, rather than just existing from one crisis to the next. I have a very distinct purpose for being here on earth, and my Father has a wonderful plan for my life. I still have issues – who doesn’t – but I am now better equipped to deal with them in a healthier, more effective way.
As part of my work with Big Picture Living, I go around the country sharing my personal story with people, and leading group studies / conferences about how to find freedom from emotional eating through Jesus Christ. However, in this time of self-isolation due to COVID-19 (April 2020), I feel the need to share my experience, strength, and hope of overcoming emotional eating from a Bible-based, Christian perspective with people on my website who are now finding themselves in desperate situations due to the increased stress, anxiety, and uncertainty.
I will therefore be covering the twelve steps with a series of short thoughts on each step. These twelve steps were originally drawn up by Alcoholics Anonymous, and have been adapted by Overeaters Anonymous with permission from AA. By discussing my own thoughts and experiences in the following series of articles, I in no way wish or intend to take anything away from AA or OA. This series is NOT in any way supported, endorsed or otherwise affiliated with either AA or OA. However, I strongly recommend you seeking out regular meetings with OA online, on the telephone, or face-to-face when the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. Details for local OA groups in the UK can be found here. There are also OA groups meeting across the world. OA literature can be found here , although due to the virus, the shop is currently closed at the time of writing.
The twelve steps that I will be covering are as follows:
Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves (Jesus Christ) could restore us to sanity.
Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.
Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7 – Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 10 – continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
I will be starting this series in the next few days, so please check back regularly.
Stay home – stay safe – take care.
God bless. Sharon 🙂