As part of a 12 Step Program, a food sponsor is usually another food addict who is abstinent themselves. They are a guide in defining a surrendered food plan. Equally important, they can offer structure and support in the day-to-day practice of surrendering to the plan. One simple common process generally works like this:
- Write down your food for the day specifically, before eating
- Read your committed foods for the day to your sponsor
- Go to any length to keep your commitment (checking back with your sponsor if a problem arises)
- Be rigorously honest with your sponsor about whether or not you kept your commitment, after you eat your meals.
As with other aspects of abstinence, there are many variations in practice. Some begin by just committing “bottom lines.” Some people just write their food down and don’t commit it. Some begin committing specifically, but later commit generically. Some write their food down and check in with a sponsor afterwards in order to be accountable. It is useful information, though, that a majority of food addicts with long term abstinence commit their food very specifically on a daily basis to a sponsor.
Committing your food to a sponsor has many advantages. First, it means that we are not trying to deal with our food alone. For food addicts, not dealing with our food alone makes a lot of sense.
Second, the process of committing our food and keeping our commitment builds a whole new set of habits and attitudes over time. In the planning, preparing, eating and cleaning up after our meals there are dozens of small actions, many of which need to be changed over time.
Third, the simple act of not making decisions about our food by ourselves is, for the food addicts, one of the best ways to practice surrender. Since for many of us a surrendered abstinence is the only thing that works with our food, it is always a plus to develop our spiritual muscles.
© Phil Werdell, M.A.
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