Today, during our group, we read in the “Brown Book” Overeaters Anonymous that “it is our thoughts that precede our emotions, and it is our emotions that make us eat inappropriately and become physically obese.” (pp 194)
Some people questioned why I disagreed with the above statement, so I thought the following explanation might be helpful.
I did not overeat and I did not become obese because of my feelings and emotions. I overate, because I am a compulsive overeater. If we are food addicts, Step 1 tells me that I have a mental obsession and a physical allergy. I am powerless over my addictive behaviors, and on my own, I cannot stop once I start, and I cannot stop myself from starting.
It says in the AA Big Book:
Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. (pp xxviii)
On my own, I have no hope for recovery. Only a spiritual experience and a relationship with God can stop me from compulsive overeating.
As it continues in the AA Big Book:
….once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules. (pp xxviii)
The root cause of my compulsive overeating/addiction is my spiritual emptiness, and my search for happiness, satisfaction and contentment in food rather than seeking conscious contact with the God of my understanding.
AA Big Book
Overeaters Anonymous (1980) ISBN : 0-9609898-1
Peace: it does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, noise, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.”(author unknown)