New Year Resolution? We can help!

It was January of 2015. I was morbidly obese, incredibly depressed, hopeless and had no faith that anything would ever really change. I was resigned to being fat and miserable for the rest of my life. Which, as I was only 42, could be a long time, as long as my obesity related health concerns didn’t kill me sooner which was highly probable.

Happy 2019!

Happy 2019!…Wishing everyone 365 days of abstinence and inner peace one day at a time.

Want to start this year full of peace, serenity and abstinence? (yes, please!). Check out the 5 reasons to attend a Acorn Intensive below and then register for one of our upcoming events. What a huge gift you would be giving yourself, your friends and your family.

5 Reasons To Register for the Primary Intensive

1) Food Plan = Are you confused about what to eat? Have you visited multiple nutritionists and questioned yourself unable to follow the plan they give you? Are you eating uncontrollably and feel absolutely no sense of ‘willpower’ around the food? Have you been to a “food” 12 Step program and hear people talk about abstinence? What is abstinence anyway? There is a solution. Attendance at the Acorn Intensive guarantees that you will leave with a food plan that’s personal to you, that’s easy to understand, that will ensure you reach a healthy body weight, that includes specific guidance and clarity around what to eat on a daily basis and an understanding of what abstinence truly means. Doesn’t this sound freeing? (more…)

Is your recovery shaky? Join us to start 2019 on solid ground!

$525 Savings! Reduced for the holidays.
Start 2019 right by joining us for a special Holiday “3-Days with ACORN” in sunny Bradenton, Florida

Are you tired of food controlling your life? Do you want 2019 to be about more than food obsession? If so register for this event. The focus will be on food sobriety and recovery”

There will be two process groups daily led by world renowned food addiction expert Phil Werdell. The three days will take place in a cozy residential home where people are welcome to stay for a small additional cost. The home is sugar and flour free and has a great community kitchen for people to prepare their meals.

3-Days with ACORN

Who: This event is for ACORN alumni to maintain and strengthen recovery.

When: December 28 – 30, 2018
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily

Where: Sugar Free Place
3018 Pine Street
Bradenton, FL 34208

Lodging: Lodging is available at Sugar Free Place for $45 per night. Please note, rooms will be shared with other participants and may be on the 2nd floor.

Meals: Meals are participant’s responsibility. You may bring prepared meals or purchase groceries upon arrival. Participants may elect to organize meals with other participants.

Fun: Evenings will be optional – local meetings, movies and fun. One night Phil may read his current First Step.

Cost: $975 – $525 Savings! Reduced for the holidays.

Register: Call the ACORN office to register for this event. 941-378-2122

We look forward to seeing you and sharing recovery with you! 

Kate from TV show This Is Us…do you relate to her?? If so you probably want to register for our upcoming program.

Photo Image from: https://binged.it/2Lv4Pyy%5B/caption%5D

Is the 3 Day program right for me? This is a great question. And just to be annoying, I am going to answer this with another question (actually a couple of questions)….Do you now or have you in the past struggled with being unable to stop eating? Do you eat when you are emotional? Does your eating or weight have negative consequences on your life? If you answered yes to any of these and you want 2019 to be different then YES this 3 day program is for you.

One more question, do you relate to Kate on the TV show This Is Us? I remember watching the very first episode in season 1, within the first 5 minutes we are introduced to Kate, an obese woman just about to turn 36 years old. The scene takes place with her standing in the kitchen looking in the refrigerator. She opens up the fridge and there are several yellow sticky notes on different food items. One is stuck to what looks like sugary treat foods and it says, “Bad’ another stuck to a plastic tub of pineapple says “250 calories”, another attached to take out food containers says, “throw this crap out” and yet another stuck to a birthday cake says, “Do not dare eat this cake before your party, Kate. Love Kate”. Kate then rips this last note off the cake and underneath is another note, it reads, “Seriously, what is wrong with you?” A bit later in the episode Kate is sitting in her bathroom on the floor with her twin brother, she is crying, she says, “how did I get here”, “what happened to my life, I feel like I ate my dream life away”. She looks at her brother and says, “tell me to quit feeling sorry for myself and to lose the damn weight”. Kate says this last statement to herself firmly, loudly and with conviction, “I am going to lose the damn weight”. Flash to next scene Kate is at a weight loss support group convinced this is it, she will now lose the weight. And she means it with everything she has. Sadly, in episode 2 you see Kate hiding empty junk food containers in the garbage, she is eating again.

This whole scenario really hit home with me. At the time I first watched it I was abstinent and had lost over 100 pounds. However, it was still painful for me as I had spent so many of my years being Kate, doing exactly what Kate was doing. Trying desperately to gain “control” of my weight and eating issues and every single time I failed and then beat myself up, asking myself “what is wrong with me?” Do you relate to Kate? If you do you may be food dependent and need more than just another diet and exercise plan.

I was so grateful when I realized it wasn’t my fault yet it was my responsibility once I knew what the solution was. The solution is physical, mental and spiritual…I need a personal food plan that deals with the specific food ingredients I am addicted to. I need tools to deal with my feelings and not eat over them. I need the support of others, I cannot do this alone. At ACORN’s upcoming event we will take a look at all of these and ensure you leave with a plan specific to you and your needs including aftercare support.




Photo Image credit from: https://binged.it/2Lv4Pyy

What do the Holidays mean to you?

 The holiday season is certainly upon us!! Holiday music is blaring, stores are bustling, roads are busy, lights are twinkling and chocolate is EVERYWHERE!! I say that very dramatically. However, thank you Universe, chocolate is not speaking to me at all this year. Wow, what a huge gift that is.

Recently, I have been thinking about what the holidays really mean to me…and the truth is, I really don’t know. Holidays were always a “food extravaganza” for me and, therefore, I LOVED it!! I couldn’t wait for the holiday season to come.

So I have been surprised and saddened in recent years to find that the thrill and excitement are no longer there. The loss of these “happy” feelings came at the same time I became abstinent; hence, the holidays were no longer about food and eating.

My first abstinent holiday was OK. It was a little boring and lackluster but I was pretty thrilled with the changes both physically and mentally that had happened in my life (I was just shy of 12 months of abstinence). That was still quite exciting and thrilling and I made it through pretty well.

Then along came year two…this was tougher. The honeymoon was over. I was restless, irritable, and discontent, and I HATED everyone in my family that still thought the holidays were about indulging. Didn’t they know I was not doing that anymore and therefore none of them should?! Clearly, they had not received my memo. My expectations were drastically unmet…and it was all their fault…HUMPH!

Year three I was going to show them and stay away for the holidays. I spent them in Florida. It was actually a lovely day that started with a 12 Step meeting on the beach and finished with an abstinent dinner with friends in recovery.

Which brings me to this year where I am still asking myself what the holidays mean to me? Now that it no longer includes indulging in food, alcohol, shopping and all around gluttony, I am left with this big unknown.  I am home in Vancouver this holiday season and working to create a new image of the holidays. So far what I have come up with is pretty simple, the holidays are:

  • Just like any other day in that my recovery and abstinence will come first.
  • A day I will weigh and measure all of my meals following my food plan.
  • A day I will get up and the first thing I will do is pray and meditate.
  • A time of beautiful, twinkling lights and sparkling candles.
  • A time I can spend with family and friends, if I choose to. (Choose is a big word for me here as I don’t have to do what I have always done. This will take courage as I get stuck in the “I will miss out if I don’t do EVERYTHING.”)
  • A time I can choose to buy gifts for people in my life. (Again, choose is the operative word here. I don’t want to consume just to consume. This is also very hard for me to do.)
  • A time I can play Catch Phrase with my nieces and nephews and laugh hysterically when my Mom and Aunt join in. (I promise that we laugh with them, not at them.)
  • A time I can get quiet and present and reflect over the previous year.
  • A day I will practice Steps 10, 11 & 12 throughout the day.
  • A day I will end with prayer, meditation and gratitude.

So, what I am really saying is that on my holiday I will get up, show up and God willing, go to bed abstinent. And I pray for the same for all of you!

Wishing everyone a holiday season full of abstinence and inner peace,

PS I would love to hear what this time of year means to you!