In a previous journal entry I shared about how IMPULSIVE I can be when it comes to food — not just “compulsive”, but also IMPULSIVE (e.g., On many occasions I’ve been known to grab food and insert it into my mouth withOUT eve consciously thinking about what I’m doing). Can anything STOP our IMPULSIVE behavior with food? Yes. But it definitely takes some work! It requires that we:
1. Think.
2. Write.
3. Share.

Many years ago I raad a suggestion that has, on many occasions, helped me stay sober (“stay sober” means that this suggestion is intended for ONLY those addicts who are already following a medically-approved food plan WHILE working the 12 Steps). The suggestion is simply: “THINK BEFORE you overeat…” (or, in my case, I can add “THINK BEFORE you avoid physical exercise”).

Before I share with you what it is that I “think” about, let me assure you that NO amount of thinking ONLY can keep a true addict from overeating and/or underexercising!!! Rather taking the time to think, write and share will help MUCH more than “only thinking” about the following questions and issues.

So whatever comes to you as you think on issues making you want to act out, PLEASE ALSO write these thoughts down AND share them with another addict (overeater or otherwise)!  Recovering addicts can help most, but even “drunk” addicts have even been known to help me (and in the process of my sharing, sometime I’m even able to help them).

To take the time to think, write and share  certainly takes discipline and effort, but it is well worth it! And remember what a wise gentleman once observed, “The only place where ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in the dictionary.” And I’ve yet to meet an addict who had long-term recovery who didn’t have to work, One Day At A Time, at his recovery process!

Some things that help me to THINK about BEFORE I act out with my addiction…

Thinking About . . . FEELINGS
Many years ago one of my therapists stated that ALL of our feelings could be distilled down into just six catergories: mad, sad, glad, ashamed, afraid and hurt. So take the time to ask, “What am I FEELING at THIS moment? What FEELINGS would I like to stuff down with overeating and/or underexcising?”

If words or phrases come up that don’t fit “neatly” into the six feelings listed above, then match them up (as best you can) with those six feelings anyway.

Thinking About . . . RELATIONSHIPS
Is any person, place or thing “pushing your buttons” at this moment? Who? Why? Is it best/wisest to (using the Serenity Prayer as a guide here) to seek “the serenity to accept” OR “the courage to change” your role in this relationiship concern? Have you prayed about this relationship?

 Thinking About . . . H,A.L.T.
Are you currently feeling “too…” Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? Note that I’m NOT asking if you feel “a little” of any of these things — The issue is feeling “too much” of any of these four things.  And if you are Hungry, is it because you don’t have a healthy food plan to follow? Are you Hungry because maybe you REALLY DO NEED to eat?

Other things that I need to be careful to be feeling “too much” of: Stress, Fear, Confusion, Guilt, Rejection, Saddness and/or Shame. All of these items (H.A.L.T. plus the items in this additional list) are potentially triggers for active addiction.  Actually, IMHO, “too much” of ANYthing (including “too much unresolved horniness” — Yup!) can lead an addict to relapse.