Are You Having Trouble Controlling the Way You Eat?
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) can help
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) offers a solution for all forms of food addiction. Many people are finding recovery in FA from obesity, undereating, bulimia, and obsession with food. There are no dues or fees; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
What is FA?
FA is a program based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A). There are no dues, fees, or weigh-ins at FA meetings. FA is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from the disease of food addiction.
FA was formally organized in 1998, although it began as part of another twelve-step program in the early 1980s. Some FA members have been continuously abstinent since that time. Abstinence in FA is equivalent to A.A.’s “sobriety” and is clearly defined: weighed and measured meals with nothing in between, no flour, no sugar, and the avoidance of any individual binge foods.
Who joins FA?
FA members are people of all ages from every part of the world. FA includes people who were morbidly obese, substantially underweight, or even at a normal weight. Regardless of their size, they were tormented by cravings, dieting, bulimia, and/or an obsession with exercise.
Does the program really work?
Many FA members tried other solutions to address their problems with food, including years of diets or exercise. FA offers a long-term answer. Abstinent members find freedom from addiction and maintain healthy weights. The number of people with years of unbroken abstinence continues to grow.
Are you a food addict?
To answer this question, ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.
- Have you ever wanted to stop eating and found you just couldn't?
- Do you constantly think about food or your weight?
- Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
- Do you binge and then "get rid of the binge" through vomiting, exercise, laxatives, or other forms of purging?
- Do you eat differently in private than you do in front of other people?
- Has a doctor or a family member ever approached you with concern about your eating habits or weight?
- Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?
- Is your weight problem due to your "nibbling" all day long?
- Do you eat to escape from your feelings?
- Do you eat when you're not hungry?
- Have you ever discarded food, only to retrieve and eat it later?
- Do you eat in secret?
- Do you fast or severely restrict your food intake?
- Have you ever stolen other people's food?
- Have you ever hidden food to make sure you will have "enough?"
- Do you feel driven to exercise excessively to control your weight?
- Do you obsessively calculate the calories you've burned against the calories you've eaten?
- Do you frequently feel guilty or ashamed about what you've eaten?
- Are you waiting for your life to begin "when you lose the weight?"
- Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with food?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may be a food addict. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. FA offers hope through a long-term solution for food addiction.
The Twelve Steps
- We admitted we were powerless over food—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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.
The Twelve Traditions
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on FA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for FA membership is a desire to stop eating addictively.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or FA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the food addict who still suffers.
- An FA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the FA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every FA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- FA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues, hence the FA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions does not mean that A.A. is in any way affiliated with this program. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only—use of the Steps and Traditions in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but which address other problems, or in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.
The pamphlet "Are You Having Trouble Controlling the Way You Eat?" is FA Conference Approved Literature.