Gratitude in Action - March 2012
What is Gratitude in Action?
Gratitude in Action is a newsletter published by the WSI 12th Step Committee of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) to inspire you to get involved and do service so that you and others can be helped. We will bring you the latest FA worldwide information, remind you of tools and resources available within FA, and highlight upcoming FA worldwide events. Remember – “Service keeps us abstinent!”
The ABCs of Growing a Fellowship
How did you first hear about FA? Perhaps you saw an article in a newspaper, heard a spot on the radio, or perhaps you watched a relative or coworker lose a significant amount of weight. Regardless of the details, your story undoubtedly began with a kernel of hope and as a result of an act of service from another recovering food addict. Whether at your first meeting or while on your first long-distance sponsor call, you began to learn about food addiction and something resonated with you to keep you coming back. Continued success depends on a growing and supportive fellowship. What can you do to help?
A is for Abstinence:
According to Tradition Five, the primary purpose of our group is to carry the message of recovery to the newcomer who still suffers. But, before we spread the word, we must first have our own recovery in order. It is wise to build only upon a solid foundation. Remember – “We do service by staying abstinent!”
B is for Building a Fellowship:
So where exactly do you find still-suffering food addicts and what do you do with them once you find them?
First, review FA’s Twelve Traditions, in particular Traditions Eleven and Twelve (public relations policy and anonymity). These can guide your work in helping other food addicts. The Public Information (PI) Committee of your Intergroup as well as the PI section in the “Members” section of the FA website are also good resources. Below are some additional suggestions for finding and working with others in your area.
- Spreading the word of FA: There are a variety of ways to spread the word of FA through people and places in your local community. The meeting tri-folds (see below for more details) and letters to the clergy and health care professionals, found on the FA website, are helpful in describing the FA program to those who might be willing to help spread the word. There are many health care professionals and spiritual leaders to whom FA literature can be given. Consider sharing FA information with: dentists, acupuncturists, family practitioners, gynecologists, cardiologists, dieticians, gastroenterologists, orthopedists, chiropractors, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, endocrinologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, ministers, priests, rabbis, yoga instructors, monks, and nuns. When meeting with these individuals, we suggest explaining food addiction from your personal experience first and then, with permission, leaving some brochures with them.
- Tri-folds: You can create customized FA tri-folds to carry with you and distribute as appropriate. Use the online template found on FA’s website, www.foodaddicts.org. From the home page, select “Members” (far right), then “For Members.” Enter “fadocs” as the user name and password. Use the menu on the left to select “Public Information,” and the subcategory, “Meeting Tri-fold Template.” In the space under “Looking for a Solution?” edit the template to include information for your local FA meeting(s). If there are no FA meetings in your area, simply insert the following in its place: “If you live in the xxxx area and would like more information on how to join FA, please contact Jane D. at (555) 555.5555.” Be sure to use the number where you can be reached most easily so that you can return someone’s call promptly. Please print the tri-fold on white paper.
- Flyers: Some possible places to leave flyers are: health clubs, health food stores, supermarkets, churches, bookstores, laundromats, libraries, cafes and your local YMCA.
- Newspaper announcements: Develop an announcement for your newspaper’s community calendar section and local shoppers’ papers. Suggested wording can be found on the FA website. Go to the Public Information tab and click on Calendar Item Instructions.
- Sharing with others: Be willing to share your experience, strength and hope with family, friends, colleagues – anyone you think may be open to hearing about your recovery – as appropriate.
- If a new meeting is established, register your meeting on-line at www.foodaddicts.org and continue to follow the suggestions outlined above. Be sure to update your tri-folds and newspaper announcements with the details of your new meeting so that newcomers can find you.
C is for Courage:
Building a fellowship means asking God for the courage to share your experience as a food addict in recovery to those who are willing or may be willing to help you spread the word. It also takes willingness and commitment to consistently show up to your meetings and do service. Your courage, willingness, and commitment can help keep the program simple and strong.