Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA) – 12 Step Program

What is Food Addicts Anonymous?

Food Addicts Anonymous is a 12-step nonprofit organization that was created for individuals who suffer from food addiction. The group was started in Florida in 1987 by a woman named Judith C. As of 2007, there were over 150 weekly meetings worldwide and the group could be found in six countries.

Food Addicts Anonymous is a 12 step program for individuals who have problems with food addiction, a disorder that occurs neurologically and cannot be cured solely by willpower or therapy. It is for people who struggle maintaining a healthy weight or struggle eating healthy foods and want to recover from the disease. Many members are individuals who have other comorbidities, including excessive exercising, vomiting or taking too many laxatives. Many of the problems can include the intake of large quantities of sweets or starches.

The disease of food addiction will only get worse and bring feelings of isolation, sadness, low self esteem and dissatisfaction. The fellowship of Food Addicts Anonymous is for men and women of all ages who may feel like they have no other options and gives them the chance to recover from their food addiction problems. The fellowship’s abundance of literature for newcomers includes “The FAA Green Book,” “Abstinent Cooking for Food Addicts,” “FAA Steps to Recovery,” and more.

How does the program work?

The program works by asking members to “admit their powerlessness over food addiction and that their lives have become unmanageable,” as stated in the first step of the 12-step program. Instead of trying to cure the addiction, members can focus on abstinence from foods. The foods recommended to abstain from include sugar, flour, wheat, and limited dietary fats, although members are still encouraged to eat a variety of foods, as long as what is eaten is kept track of.

Members are asked to find a higher power other than themselves to help them in their recovery process to abstain from specific foods and reduce cravings. With attendance of meetings and reading the literature, finding a sponsor in the program to help work the steps is another key factor to successfully recovering from their addiction. A sponsor in the program of Food Addicts Anonymous is a longtime member who has been abstinent and can help guide individuals on how to follow the food plan. A sponsor will have good knowledge about the food plan, works the steps of the program and uses the steps in their own daily lives to continue recovery. They will provide their sponsee with support and mentorship to help them overcome their addiction.

With sound planning of a nutrition plan, members can begin freeing their minds and bodies from the disease. The food plan available for newcomers that is provided via the official website recommends suggestions such as weighing and measuring, reviewing ingredients for hidden additives, eating fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned or frozen, avoiding caffeine, limiting red meat and more.

Why does the program work?

The fellowship of Food Addicts Anonymous works for many individuals and can be seen by attending meetings and reading through testimonials from existing members. It is important to know that nobody is alone when it comes to food addiction and there are many others in the program who struggle with this disease. Providing a food plan for newcomers can help them begin a permanent lifestyle change, instead of a temporary change, such as trying to stay on a diet. The food plan is suggested until members are able to maintain a healthy weight and it keeps members on the right track to staying and eating healthy.

Maintaining abstinence from certain foods and working the steps of the program will help members gain freedom from the disease of food addiction and overcome their fears, worry and stress that their weight will never change or eating habits will never change. Without changes in eating habits, this disease can have fatal consequences. It is important for members to let go of their obsession with food and change their lifestyle into a healthy one. Members that were once filled with intense feelings of anger, depression and despair will begin to see dramatic, positive changes and instead, turn these feelings into happiness, clarity and serenity. Because food addicts’ lives are unmanageable when they are eating flour, sugar and wheat, abstinence from these foods can bring emotional freedom.

FAQs about Food Addicts Anonymous

Does the program cost money?

Food Addicts Anonymous has no dues, costs or fees for membership. The only requirement for membership to the program is the desire to stop eating unhealthy foods. Members are never forced or required to contribute anything to the group. Because the group is self-supporting through their own contributions, members are encouraged to give what they can, when they can.

How do I know if I am a food addict?

Many members of Food Addicts Anonymous struggle with maintaining a healthy weight and try numerous methods to controlling their weight such as diets, surgery or drugs. The experience of negative emotions or problems developing friendships and intimate relationships can also indicate a struggle with food addiction. Individuals who find their lives less manageable or completely unmanageable due to eating sugar, flour or wheat are encouraged to answer the questions here to decide for themselves if they suffer from food addiction.

What kind of meetings are available?

Food Addicts Anonymous is available all over the world, so face-to-face meetings are recommended for newcomers to begin attending meetings. For meetings local to newcomers, searching the directory can help locate them. If members are unable to attend a physical meeting or there is no meeting nearby, there are virtual meetings, phone meetings, and online meetings. Some online meetings are available 24/7. Meetings can be located here.

Why is a higher power necessary?

Like many other 12 step groups, Food Addicts Anonymous asks members to find a higher power other than themselves to help reduce food cravings and assist in abstinence from sugar, flour and wheat. The fellowship is not religious in any way, shape or form, but allows members to find their own concept of a higher power to help them during the recovery process.

What are the 12 steps of Food Addicts Anonymous?

The 12 steps of Food Addicts Anonymous are similar to many other 12-step programs, but identify food addiction as the problem for unmanageability. The 12 steps are as follows:

1. We admitted we were powerless over our food addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to food addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

-foodaddictsanonymous.org

What are the 12 traditions of Food Addicts Anonymous?

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon FAA unity.

2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as God is expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

3. The only requirement for FAA membership is a desire to stop eating addictive foods.

4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or FAA as a whole.

5. Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the food addict who still suffers.

6. An FAA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the FAA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

7. Every FAA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8. Food Addicts Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9. FAA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10. Food Addicts Anonymous has no opinions on outside issues; hence the FAA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

-foodaddictsanonymous.org