"I always feel like gratitude should be the first step because it is the only way I've ever been successful in beginning a change in my life.
Overweight and miserable I didn't consider gratitude and I used overeating to bring a temporary relief from my discontentedness.
It seem unsurmountable to even begin that long long journey to a better way of living. It was gratitude that was enough, gratitude filled voids in my life I'd been trying to fill with overeating. It was only then in that temporary space, that I was able to begin my to a better way of living." - Steve
We acknowledge the compulsive nature of our addiction and its symptoms. We begin to identify the consequences of our addictive behavior and we accept we have not been able to manage this addiction on our own and now seek help.
We shift our thinking from ourselves and believing we have everything under control to accepting the realization that we have an unmanageable addiction. Since our past efforts have not worked, we have come to crucial starting point in realizing our problem and admitting we need help.
We believe that we must accept help from elsewhere, strengths beyond ourselves, to restore balance.
We create a new vision of our life, replacing the belief system we developed through our addiction, with a positive belief system beyond our current experience. We experience a new way of understanding and living beyond life within our addiction.
We made a decision to entrust the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.
We engage in group support. We find a balance of "me and we", meaning we care for our own needs while interacting with others. We turn our attention outside of our own thinking and away from ourselves to encompass others, in this way we are not alone with our addiction.
We have searched honestly and thoroughly into ourselves and examined the true motivations of our actions, thoughts and emotions.
An honest and comprehensive examination of our true motivations, actions, thoughts and emotions brings to light an understanding of the damaging extent of our addiction.
We admit to ourselves and to another person the true motivation of our negative behaviors.
We admit to our support group, medical professional, or anyone else who might be beneficial in our struggle. With this step we come out of hiding, we shine a light on the addiction and allow it to be seen by others. In this way we become ready to reach out to others for support.
We are ready to accept help to relieve ourselves of our shortcomings that have created an unbalance in our lives.
We are willing to become open, to allow change in our lives. Letting go of our old ways, get rid of old coping strategies and replace with a new way of living, happier and healthier for today.
With honesty and openness we seek to eliminate our shortcomings, to restore balance.
We seek assistance from our support group, medical professional, or anyone else who might be beneficial in our struggle to help us rebuild a new and effective way of living outside of our addiction.
We have made a list of those we have harmed, including ourselves, through our additive behavior . We become willing to make amends as necessary, in order to restore balance.
Creating a list for accountability and acknowledgement that our old way of life was harmful to ourselves and others.
We will do all we can to restore balance in our personal and professional relationships caused by our addictive behavior.
Making amends is not the same as being sorry or apologizing to individuals, instead we are making a complete change of attitude and behavior. Our direct amends, when appropriate are very one-sided, are unconditional, and are valid no matter what the response from anyone. In this way we are able to purge ourselves of guilt and negative feelings. Forgiveness is not losing, it is not condoning, is not forgetting, it is letting go and moving forward.
We will continue to make personal inventory and admit when we are wrong.
Our continuous inventory identifies when we are slipping into old habits:
Item/issue: Ticked off at my best friend
How am I affected: Anger
What part do I have in this issue? Didn't explain how I felt.
How do I amend? Talk to my BF about how I felt.
Was I resentful, was I selfish, was I dishonest, was I afraid? Do I need to discuss with another person, do I need to make an amends, do I owe an apology? Keep yourself in constant check.
Spend time in appreciation and gratitude of our new way of living and those who have supported us in our process. The use of meditation to enhance our growth mentally and emotionally.
Turning our thoughts outward and to be thankful to all those who have provided support and friendship. To continue our journey into gratitude and look beyond ourselves. To spend time in meditation for personal growth mentally and emotionally.
We in turn, having found a better way of living, are ready to help others who may come to us in the same way and to practice our new way of living in all areas of our life.
Give what you've been given. Helping others is a humbling and rewarding service important to maintenance of our new way of living. It reminds us of where we've been, how we pull ourselves out, and how much better our life is today.
Willingness is a conscious effort in taking ownership and in becoming willing each day, sometimes each moment.
We have take ownership by becoming willing.
The first key to change then is willingness.
In the moment we became willing, we gained a moment of clarity where we believed that we could change.
The second key to change then is to believe.
Make a Decision
We have found a willingness, we believe we can change, and now we make a decision.
With new found willingness and the belief that "I can", we made a decision to move forward with a new way of living.
The third key to change then is Make a Decision.
In willingness we've come to believe and made a decision to change. Now in key four we are ready to take action.
We take the actions needed to:
- Follow our food plan.
- Find support.
- Journal daily our food and thoughts.
- Move more every day.
The fourth key to change then is to take action.
In key 5 we begin to see results.
Results are the manifestation of keys one through four.
We continue to review these keys and make adjustments as needed.
The fifth key to change then is results!
Sharing With Others
Sharing with others allows us to strengthen our resolve.
It is a reminder of where we have been, how we got to where we are now, and why we must continue our journey by sharing with others.
Sharing with others and being a part of my support group is the sixth key to change.
The sixth key to change is sharing.
An eating plan provides us with accountability. It serves as a guideline for selecting best choice foods to benefit out journey in living life happier and healthier.
Our action plan is our organized chart of actions that we can go to for guidance in conducting our daily living.
Support of others who have gone before us provides us with strength and hope.
Journaling our food allows us accountability with our food plan, a way to look back at our past food choices. We also journal our thoughts and feelings in a way to validate and release.
Movement increases blood flow. Our entire body benefits from movement, increasing blood flow and carrying nutrients and oxygen to all parts of our body.
Like the butterfly,
We have the strength
and the hope
We will emerge