My name is Mack, and I'm an alcoholic. My last drink was 7/24/14, so my sobriety date is 7/25/14. My last SAD binge was 8/6/14, so my abstinence date is 8/7/14.
I feel that AA is the ideal approach to alcohol addiction and I went to a very good AA meeting this morning. However, I am having lots and lots of trouble being a 100% LFRV in AA because the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (AABB) recommends that an alcoholic, "...carry chocolate at all times...and depend upon sweets...coffee...cigarettes...," whenever the craving for alcohol raises its head. In practice, this recommendation means that alcoholics simply transfer their addiction for alcohol to a dependence upon SAD.
There are chocolates, sweets, coffee and cigarettes in the meetings, and there are people who are addicted to SAD in a militant way. In fact, I believe one could say that about the American society in general. There are sick people in AA. There are people who suffer from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease(s) and some 20 or 30 obesity-related, chronic, degenerative diseases (ORCDD's)--and they are militant defenders of their addiction--because they can point to the AABB (written in 1935) and say they are doing what is recommended to stay sober!
This practice and these people make it very difficult for me to get sober and become a 100% LFRV in AA! In fact, I have a tough time doing either of these things anywhere in the USA because there are many sick, alcoholic, SAD-addicted people everywhere in the USA.
So I would like to start my own discussion group; my own 12-step meeting; my own support group. I hope that I can allow anyone and everyone to share his own experience, strength and hope without becoming self-righteous about my own beliefs. I hope that I can learn from others; help and be helped by others; and thereby find the support that may help me become a 100% LFRV.
However, many will say that I am an extremist. I hope to bring the 12 Steps of AA to this discussion, and to practice them with SAD the same way I am learning to practice them with alcohol in AA.
My name is Mack, and I'm 70 y/o. I was born in Dallas, in 1943; a time and place where everybody smoked and drank and drove pick-up trucks, with a rifle on a gun rack in the back window of the truck. Texas was a "stand-your-ground," concealed-weapon carry state, with lots of bars and bar fights...kind of like the Wild, Wild West! Everybody smoked, everywhere, all the time, in those days and I developed a chronic respiratory disease that eventually developed into obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). I sleep with a CPAP machine now, and some days I wake up tired, with a headache, if my mask has been leaking, because I have not been able to get enough oxygen and I have to wake up to breathe! It is so difficult for me to achieve restful, restorative sleep that my health in general is negatively affected, and I sometimes have thoughts of suicide, rather than checking into a nursing home!
My doctor tells me that it is possible to reverse OSA with sufficient weight loss. Needless to say, weight-loss is a matter of life and death for me! I am becoming an extremist!
My name is Mack, and I'm a Vietnam-era veteran, so I have free medical care at the V.A. Hospital. On a recent lab test my results showed paraprotienemias in my blood, which my doctor explained indicated a cancer growing somewhere in my body. On the internet I found a person who reversed cancer with a raw diet. Therefore I am highly motivated to achieve a 100% LFRV diet, in order to reverse the paraprotienemias in my blood!
My A1C also came back at 6.9, which is not diabetic, but it is about as close to pre-diabetic as one could possibly get! My cholesterol was 175, which is in the range where most heart attacks occur. Dr. Esselstyne, M.D. suggests that any male over 65 y/o who has eaten SAD his whole life "should be treated as if he has cardiovascular disease." Personally, I would like to become "heart-attack-proof" as explained by Dr. Esselstyne, in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. And as if that were not bad enough, I recently went to the Emergency Room with maroon diarrhea, which lead to a diagnosis of diverticulitis. Then I went back with a cough, which lead to a diagnosis of acid reflux. Then I had a bicycle accident and fractured a rib and tore the rotator cuff in my left shoulder. I already had arthritis in both shoulders and hips.
Needless to say, I need to start taking better care of myself and I believe I need a program of diet, exercise, sleep and social support to do that successfully. Please excuse me if I seem to be a little bit extreme in my views. It's down the point where I need to "fish or cut bait;" "s___ or get off the p__"!
I went to an AA meeting this morning and I am impressed with the way that alcoholics (who have worked the steps) seem to solve problems by "letting go and letting God." On the other hand, I've been to OA meetings, where the way to solve problems seems to be by "moderating, managing and controlling--and to hell with God--and to hell with you." Some of these people apparently try so hard to control their food that they wind up also trying to control the meeting and all the people in it!
I stay out of OA, myself, because I don't like control frieks. I don't want to be one, and I don't like to be around them. I hope to God we don't get into that kind of controlling here! I hope to solve my problems by "letting go" of alcohol and SAD. AA has taught me that trying to control alcohol, people, places and things does not work. My own experience has shown me that I cannot moderate, manage and control SAD. I therefore plan to renounce it; to abstain from it entirely. Buddism teaches that the way to overcome cravings is to completely renounce/entirely abstain from them. I hope to be able to use that approach to overcome my cravings for SAD...and maybe some of my other problems as well.
"Admitted that I was powerless over the standard American diet (SAD)--in all its forms and guises--that my life had become unmanageable."
My experience with alcohol shows me that if I drink "a little bit," I'm going to develop cravings that will eventually cause me to drink a lot...too much. Frankly, I believe it is not difficult for me to transfer that experience to SAD. SAD is a multiple addiction (as I understand it), and if I drink a coffee I get an immediate high, followed 30 minutes later by an acidic feeling in my stomach that tells me I need to eat some red meat, or some greasy, salty pizza, or some bacon, eggs, sausage and pancakes--with lots of butter, syrup and milk!
Or, if I eat "a little bit" of sugar, I want more...and more...and more...! Bread gives me cravings. Salt makes unsalted foods taste bland. Just about any SAD food tastes so good that after I eat SAD I am not interested in eating salad, bananas, veggies or even smoothies!
SAD is an addiction, in my opinion. Any part of it, and all of it together are just as addictive, in my opinion and my experience, as alcohol! I already know that I can't control alcohol; that the way to stay sober is to admit that I'm powerless over alcohol (I can't control it; I can't drink a moderate amount, etc.) so I can't drink it at all--not a drop. When I have that attitude, I can Just give up and stay away from alcohol. I don't have to fight to control it--because I know that I can't win! My protection is entire abstinence. If I don't drink alcohol, I won't get drunk!
Now I hope to show that I can also do that with SAD--in all its forms and guises.
195 lbs. Lost 5lbs. in 5 days.
Step I.A. No alcohol, tobacco, drugs or prescription medications.
A drug, is a drug, is a drug, in my opinion. I believe that all the above substances are drugs, and should be renounced for the same reason that alcohol should be renounced.
I believe that Alcoholics Anonymous explains why and how to renounce an addiction, and I hope to use it to renounce and entirely abstain from all the above addictive substances. I believe it would be foolish to renounce only alcohol and quit my spiritual recovery there.
No dairy; no animal products; no oil of any kind--not a drop--no hydrogenated oils or disguised oils. No meat, milk, fish, fowl, pork, cheese, etc., and nothing that contains these substances.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease explains how and why all the above addictions should be renounced.
No sugar, salt, processed or refined carbohydrates. No fruit juice, artificial sweeteners, or sugar substitutes.
Eat to Live explains why and how to abstain from all the above addictive substances.
Step I.D. No chemicals, preservatives, tap water.
In short, Step One is a complete and permanent renunciation/entire abstinence from SAD, in all its forms and guises. Hopefully, Step One is the first step in a complete and permanent lifestyle change.
194lbs. Lost 6 lbs. in 7 days.
Step Two: Came to believe that plant-based, whole foods could restore me to health/wellness/sanity/serenity. Admitted that my body is a higher power that controls my weight, metabolism, health, wellness and recovery--that I do not control my body; my body controls me.
The group of 30 Bananas a Day can be a Higher power, which may support and assist me in my recovery. The LFRV diet is not a calorie-reduction program. Rather, It amounts to a program of diet, exercise, sleep and social support.
Step II.A Avoid genetically-modified foods.
B. Limit avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut & olives.
C. Nothing but greens after 3 p.m.
D. Supplement Vitamin D3, B12, DHA & ALA.
OOOOPPS! I ate a bean and veggie soup, with a banana, strawberry and watermelon smoothie, oranges, bananas and a salad yesterday--and probably should have stopped there. However, then I had a package of mejdool dates!
I think I could have eaten another salad for my midnight snack; or I could have eaten a mono meal of raw greens, if I had been really hungry. But I ate a whole box of mejdool dates because they remind me of chocolate candy and I was sort of lonely and bored. You can guess what happened this morning when I weighed. My weight-loss has stopped! Actually, my bathroom scale is not accurate enough for me to see 1-lb gradiations, but it could have actually shown a gain in weight.
For that reason, I'm going to use Step II to tighten up on certain things, but I'm leaving myself lots of room to eat all I want--as long as it is greens and fruit.
Experience shows me I need to tighten up a bit.
Step II.E. Limit dried fruits (dates, raisins, figs, papayas, pineapple, papaya, etc.)
F. Limit grapes (frozen only, for "reward" and "celebration" food only).
G. No gluten; no rice, wheat, barley, rye, triticale, etc.
H. Intermediate fast from 6p.m. to 8a.m.
I. 24-hr water fast Sundays
I need the fasting to give myself time to get into catabolic metabolism periodically, in order for my body to have a period of rest from digestion and anabolic metabolism all the time. Catabolic metabolism is the time the body does repairs, detox, clean-up, and especially fat burning (including the atherosclerosis off the lining of my arteries).
"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him."
Is it God's will for me to be fat? To eat SAD? To have some 10-20 obesity-related, chronic, degenerative diseases? To take medications? To believe everything my doctor or the mass media tell me? To die in a nursing home?
Is that God's will, or is it my will? Is that God's will, or the will of Big Food, Big Medicine, Mass media advertisers? Did God make organic fruits and veggies? Did Man distill alcohol, refine sugar and carbohydrates? Did Man process flour and grains and adulterate food, or did God do those things?
Is it better for me to live and eat according to My Will, or is it better for me to live and eat according to God's Will? Is it better for me to turn my will and my life over to God, or to turn my will and my life over to Corporate America, for-profit hospitals and Big Insurance companies?
I can't make this decision to turn my will over to God once and then forget about it! I must make that decision every time I pass a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a bar. I must turn my will over to God when I wake up in the morning and before I go to bed at night; before meals, after meals and between meals. I must turn my will over to God at work, at home; with friends, with enemies; when it rains or shines; when it's cold or hot; and in success and/or failure...good times and bad.
I eat when and what I want--and that's the problem! If I could just learn to eat the healthful fruits and veggies that God meant for me to eat, my life and my health, and my relationships would be better.
I can relate! I quit drinking 1/23/07 by simply switching my addiction from alcohol to chocolate, sweets, coffee and second-hand cigarette smoke; as instructed in the Big Book (pp133-135). I fit in very well in AA at that time because everybody else was doing the same thing!
Then Reality started to raise its ugly head and I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and para-protienemias in my blood (which indicated cancer somewhere but they couldn't find it). My arthritis got worse, and then along came Acid Reflux and Diverticulitis!
At that point I began to suspect that I was causing my health problems because I saw the same obesity-related, chronic, degenerative diseases (ORCDD's) in my fellow alcoholics--especially my sponsor! Sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed when I read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and Eat to Live.
Then when I tried to change my lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep and social support) I found no support--only conflict--in AA. The alcoholics with ORCDD's wanted to brag about how long they had been sober! They didn't want to admit that they were killing themselves with comfort food!
I got so discouraged and confused that I quit AA, drank a little, and searched for support for my food addiction. After two years of that I found that I speak a different language from "normal" people, so I went back to AA (on 7/25/14, after a drunk on 7/24/14) and said, "My name is Mack, and I'm a LFRV with a desire to stop drinking." I took my smoothies, bean soup and salads to meetings and ate them while others were slurping coffee and stuffing doughnuts.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens. I'm hoping some of the alkies will see me losing weight and feeling better and decide to come here to talk about how to work the 12 Steps for more than just alcohol. One thing I'm sure of, I'm not going back to killing myself; and I'm not going to have an AA sponsor who is killing himself with food.
I get the idea that you are still sober, but not going to meetings. Is that right? How long has it been?
Did your friends change? Did you begin to feel more alone and unique when you quit AA? You are still sober, right?
Are you even an alcoholic now? I am not. I am a low-fat, raw vegan (LFRV)--with a desire to stop drinking. I have no intention of ever becoming an alcoholic again. I'm the first LFRV in Lynnwood and I'm hoping there may one day be another. So I'm "Twelve-stepping alcoholics with ORCDD's"!
I agree with you: A LFRV going to an AA meeting to get healthy is like a drunk going to a bar to stop drinking!
So what is your support now, Jay? How about posting here to work steps? What do you think of the Revised Step One that I have posted here? What do you think of my explanations of Step Two and Three? Hint: You have to go back to the beginning of this group to read those posts, but if you have the time and the interest, I'd like to have a Big Book discussion with you about the Revised Steps. In fact, I'm looking for someone to help me rewrite the AA Big Book. I think things have changed since 1935 and I don't want to use the old Big Book because it has five mistakes in it between pp 133 and 135.
Have you gone back to the first few posts on this group? What do you think of my interpretation of the Twelve Steps as revised for LFRV's?
I'm just coming from a 6am AA meeting. I live in WA, where there is a state-wide smoking ban in public buildings--including churches, store-fronts and back rooms where AA meetings are held.
I once tried to get sober in Texas, which is like the Wild, Wild West in one respect: If you ask one of those cowboys to put his cigarette out in an AA meeting, he is liable to draw his gun on you and start shootin' up the place! Or you could possibly start a never-ending feud wherein the smokers begin to "show everybody" that, "nobody tells me to put my cigarette out"! They all light up and begin waving their cigarettes around like a weapon, and blowing smoke in your face as if they are trying to kill, punish or defy you!
Washington State is slightly more civilized than that, in my opinion. State law says there is no smoking in public buildings here--including AA meetings in a public building.