So my 12 Step program consists of 7 tools that I use every single day.
1. Weighing and Measuring my food (In many ways... I weigh and measure my life)
I commit my food for the day, stay committed to it and do not deviate from it.
2. I do program Reading and Writing
3. Practice anonymity - Meaning I don't talk about anyone else and their program. I don't gossip.
4. I call 4 people a day in program. One is my sponsor and make 3 other calls to other people in the program.
5. I attend 3 recovery meetings a week.
6. I practice service. Staying abstinent and working my program is the greatest service to myself.
7. I am willing to be sponsored and I am a sponsor to others in the program.
When I first started this program that was a lot for me to add into my life. After awhile it's part of my life like anything else. I am not perfect everyday but do my best to get it all in. A good indication for me to know if I am healthy or not is if I look at these 7 tools as a burden or that I "HAVE" to do it..vs these 7 tools being a blessing and a I "GET" to do them. It does make a huge difference for me and is a good gauge for me to know where I am. I am soooo grateful for these tools because as I have put them into my life and worked the program I have gained a tremendous amount of peace in my life that I had never known before.
So I usually do my writing at night before I head to bed and try and make my calls during the day at some time. This 12 Step program I do is a world wide organization and so there are a lot of people I call and connect with that I have never met. To me it's a great support to connect with other people who have struggled with the same compulsive eating patterns. It helps keep me out of my isolation. When I was in the food, I wanted to hide. I didn't want anyone to ask me what I was eating. In fact, after working with a personal trainer twice a week for 2 1/2 years, she asked me about what I was eating. I hadn't lost weight after all that time, I had in fact gained a TON of muscle and got very strong. She was trying to figure it out and finally decided to ask about my food and right there in the middle of the men's section of the gym I broke down in tears. My husband at the time came over and asked me what was wrong. I told him I didn't want anyone asking me about my food. See.. at the time my food was serving the purpose in the fact that it was my comfort. When I felt my whole life falling apart I knew I could always rely on it being there. I couldn't imagine what it would be without it and I wasn't about to give it up. Interesting enough though I spent thousands of dollars and several hours in the gym so it at least look like I was making an effort at losing the weight. I never wanted to look like I had given up. 2 1/2 years is a long time to go keeping up on that kind of workouts to not have any weight loss results. I was sabotaging myself just as I had done many times before. Obviously, my unhealthy habits around the food was the answer, I was just unwilling to look at it at that time.
Now I almost have the opposite issue. My food it perfect but I don't work out much. I know what my hang up is which is I am afraid if I workout I will get hungry and I don't want to get hungry. Typically in the past when I workout, I workout hard which yes the body needs more food to rebuild itself. That is where my all or nothing thinking comes into play. I need to find a balance with that as well. I am asked the question a lot from people if I worked out hard while losing the weight and my answer is always no. I did some walking... occasional running and weight lifting but nothing like I was doing before. I believe one reason I got such good results with the weight loss and don't have a ton of extra skin is because of those 2 1/2 years of hard work I put in. Don't get me wrong, I am not one to say ..."Don't exercise," I just know for me what my hang up is and when I am ready to take that on, I will.
I want to set a goal to run my second marathon this year. Although this time I would be running it with 90 lbs less weight on me, I know what it will take to train, so we will see. It's amazing to me now when I run how awesome it feels. The inside of my legs don't rub against each other, I feel like I am running on clouds and I am never out of breath. I love it.
Since I lost 130 lbs I reapplied for my life insurance to have them lower my premium. It's been a bit of a process and finally after they took my new weight, took blood and urine, I got word back that I was given the very highest rating that New York Life had to offer. Both my agent and I rejoiced in how far I had come. When I first started this program, my hormones were all out of wack and I was not in good shape. Now, to have the tests come back with all my hormone levels PERFECT.. is a true miracle. This is not just my story. There are many people here locally that have gotten off medications and lowered their cholesterol. Doctors are really interested in what we are doing. It just goes to show what we choose to put in our body has a HUGE affect on all these symptoms we suffer from.
I remember asking someone on one of my outreach calls what she had noticed most about being in this 12 step program and she answered, "The clarity of mind." I couldn't agree more with that. Since I got the sugar and flour out of my system and started working on the core of what got me into the food, I have truly seen a HUGE difference in the way I think and see the world now. I had no idea that the food I was eating was affecting me as badly as it was. I don't think I had EVER experienced being this clear because even when I was dieting in the past I would allow myself the sugar a couple of times a day and now I can see how that kept me in the fog.
So..not everyone is going to need to do a 12 step recovery program. It is exactly what I needed. The best thing about it is I didn't do it alone. I always felt like it was my job to tackle this on by myself instead now I see how important it is to include God in this recovery process. God is the ultimate source who has all power and I know that without Him, I would have never been able to finally get out of the food and feel the amount of peace I do in my life now.
Here are the 12 Steps I work
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 could restore us to sanity.
Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
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 as we understood Him, 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 eaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.