What a great 3 days! We were in Boston this week. In addition to enjoying the beautiful city, we had an amazing 3-Day program with some of our alumni. As recovery continues, life happens, and sometimes food addicts need extra support to work through tricky issues.
We saw some amazing SHiFTs during our 3-Day program. One attendee said, “I have a path to living a life beyond my wildest dreams because of SHiFT.” While another one said, “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that SHiFT has saved my life!”
These changes only happen with the support of others. Most food addicts in recovery aren’t able to figure out solutions to the issues they are facing alone. It’s just not possible to solve a problem with the brain that created it. Getting an outside perspective and developing a plan of action is incredibly valuable in maintaining long-term recovery and rebounding from a food slip.
Some of the attendees in our New England program this week were able to identify emotional and spiritual blocks that were in the way of long-term abstinence, identify feelings they weren’t aware they had, deal with anger, fear and grief, and surrender again to their powerlessness over food.
If you’d like to attend one of our 3-Days with SHiFT programs, there’s still two left before the end of the year. The first one is before OA’s “Vision For You” conference November 12 – 14 in Pottersville, NJ (wait list only) and the second one is December 27 – 29 in Bradenton, FL.
It’s summer and it’s all about Farmers Markets! Next week is National Farmers Market Week, a great way to celebrate healthy, delicious, locally-grown abstinent food.
Most food addicts who begin a recovery program, don’t like vegetables. It’s rare that we see someone who’s binged on plain vegetables though, of course, it’s possible. Most of the binges that include vegetables are because they were deep fried or covered in fats (butter, oil, dressing, etc.) and not because of the vegetables themselves.
Food addicts in recovery learn how to enjoy and appreciate healthy food. While it may not happen immediately, over time, food addicts discover how to prepare healthy food that tastes good. There is a misconception that it’s not okay for food addicts in recovery to enjoy their food. This is untrue.
Enjoying healthy, abstinent food is important as is taking time to shop for and prepare food that you like. Eating vegetables you don’t like when there are options on your food plan that taste good to you can sometimes be a setup for relapse. Depriving yourself of good-tasting abstinent food can cause frustration and self-pity which can sometimes lead to bingeing.
As you go through next week, if it’s possible, visit a local farmers market and purchase great tasting vegetables that you love. If that’s not possible then take a few extra minutes to prepare something abstinent that you like. It’s okay to enjoy your food.
What a week it’s been! We just finished up our July Acorn Intensive Program and I am reminded again of how very grateful I am for the work I do. Watching the change in food addicts as they go through the week is nothing short of miraculous. Food addicts who came in with no hope whatsoever, leave with a peace they didn’t even know existed. Even more importantly, they find a life beyond bingeing and food obsession, one in which there is hope.
After trying countless diet and weight loss programs, these food addicts are demoralized and beaten down to the point of total desperation. To see hope building day by day in food addicts where once there was none is truly one of the greatest gifts of my life.
If you are a food addict who is still suffering, realize that it doesn’t have to be that way. There is hope. If you are a food addict in recovery, remember how hopeless you once felt. It will keep you grounded and committed to your recovery program. And, if you are a food addict who is in relapse, understand that you can find your way back. There is hope for all of us.
The raw emotion and safe space that was created for me to express and confess my pain. Being in the presence of Phil and Amanda…two special souls. T.R. – 7/24/19
It’s almost here! Wednesday, July 24th is International Self-Care Day which is designed to raise awareness for healthy lifestyles! At SHiFT, we’ve been doing this for over a quarter of a century. In addition to a healthy eating plan, self-care involves many other things. For example, taking time for meditation, prayer, self-reflection or journaling are all important parts of self-care as are regular exercise, fun, recreation, hobbies and relaxation.
For many addicts, it’s much easier to do something, anything, instead of sitting quietly or relaxing. Active in addiction, the mental obsession with food, tricks food addicts into believing that they are always busy. In many cases, this is true and becomes comfortable even in recovery. A lot of activity goes into maintaining an addiction – finding, getting, paying for, and preparing food – yet these activities have destructive, unhealthy consequences.
In recovery, it’s important to learn new self-care behaviors that don’t involve food or eating. This Wednesday, why not schedule half an hour to do something special for yourself? Sit by the water, read a fun book or magazine, get a massage, give yourself a spa treatment, or find a quiet spot in the park to enjoy nature. You deserve to take care of yourself. Enjoy the day!
It’s summer! For food addicts, changes in weather sometimes mean eating certain foods that are “seasonal” and many times unhealthy or addictive. It’s important not to let your guard down when thoughts of “seasonal foods” come into your mind. Many food addicts use the changing seasons as an excuse to overeat, telling themselves that this food is only available or tasty during this small window of time. Ideas such as this are simply an excuse to binge. Long-term recovery from food addiction is based on daily actions that turn minutes into hours and days into weeks and months into years. There is no “seasonal food” that is worth risking the clarity and gifts that abstinence provides. Sometimes “seasonal foods” can seem harmless, even healthy, but if you can’t stop eating them, they are still binge foods and need to be avoided. Be on the lookout for thoughts of “seasonal foods” and do your best to replace them with visions about the gifts abstinence provides.