“The Steps” (Sugar Sober Series)


October 22, 2014 by Beth Hess

I have probably, at least a half a dozen times over the last several years, investigated Overeaters Anonymous meetings in my area.

I’ve never gone.

Because I tell myself I’m not damaged enough for that. Not obese enough. Not that far out of control. That really, all things considered, I can stop any time I want. I have before and I can again.

I’ve been telling myself lies.

It’s no surprise to me, then, that when I got serious enough about life change to start studying the 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous, I found a discussion of surrender on the very first page.

Because that’s the thing I have never, ever done when it comes to sugar and other binge-favorite foods.

I have thrown away. I have limited. I have sacrificed. I have said No, Thank you. But I’ve never admitted being completely out of control. Because then, well, I’d have to give up control.

The illusion of control, of course, is what I mean.

Step One is “We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.”


The word punches me in the gut. And “Powerless” comes right behind it with the uppercut. This even as I am trying to steady myself with the word “Recovery” — something I only recently have been able to consider I might need.

Once again I must admit… I am not Ok. That I cannot do this on my own. That I need help. That I am out of control.

So I roll this around in my mind. I pray over it. And I realize I am not yet ready to put my full weight even on Step One.


sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

17 thoughts on ““The Steps” (Sugar Sober Series)

  1. […] with the condition of my heart and the way I give it away for a bite of something sweet. Day 22: Working “The Steps” of Overeaters Anonymous: Step One is “We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become […]


  2. […] I have not been spared. I am powerless. (Step One) […]


  3. rickd3352013 says:

    Some reminders from an addict – one who does not waste time any longer with asking why I am simply because I’ve come to believe that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, and that my addictions (which were to far more than substances, and also proved illusory) were the easiest way to get my attention.

    The reminders?
    We cannot think our way into a new way of acting – we have to act our way into a new way of thinking. We have to recognize that the self-destructive paths we took that led us to admit that we were powerless, and that our lives were unmanageable are similar in function to the process of erosion – a little here, a little there, ever weakening us until (if we are fortunate), we can see the consequences and decide to ask for the help we need. Finally, we may know that Jesus is Lord, but knowledge alone in this arena does not translate into actions in support of our recovery without our complete surrender. I know – as you probably do as well – of far too many examples of folks who profess Jesus is Lord with their words, but their hearts (and deeds) are far from Him…far too many times the example is looking back at me in the mirror. If you don’t like the picture, change the channel – if you don’t like the destination the bus is traveling to, get off now before it picks up speed on the downhill run.


    • Beth Hess says:

      I value your input, Rick. I am coming to learn, as well, that the reason for addiction is not as important to unearth as what God is doing with me through it now. I have another post brewing in my mind as a follow up to this one because I believe The Spirit is showing me some very important truths about my powerlessness next to His abundant strength. Little by little rebuilding the foundations. I guess that’s why they are called steps, huh?


      • rickd3352013 says:

        Yes ma’am – and baby steps work really well sometimes – but the single thing I need to remember about steps is that the very word implies motion. We don’t recover simply by saying “Jesus said it – I believe it – that settles it” – bad bumper sticker theology doesn’t move my body into taking stock, confessing my weakness and dependence on God, cleaning house, and working with others – we have to do what we’ve been told to do. The Steps just outline a way – not the only way – to approach sobriety.

        In His service, and in your corner… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah Travis says:

    Even lifting your foot with your eyes on that step is a move in the right direction 🙂 God will shine the light on it and enable you to trust in His power and put your full weight on that step…and then the next…and the next… 🙂


  5. Beth, I go through this every day because for better or worse I am an emotional eater, and while I like to think I have control– I do not many times. I think the surrendering part is so important in anything we think is bringing us down. Accepting that we cannot do this alone. I am praying for us, my friend.


    • Beth Hess says:

      Maria!! So good to see you here! Emotions are such a big issue with this aren’t they? Thank you for your prayers. It made me so happy to click over to your blog and see your beautiful smiling face.


  6. Simply Beth says:

    “The illusion of control, of course, is what I mean.” It’s so an illusion of control, isn’t it. I’ve said that often how it’s the one thing I feel I have control of but obviously my idea of control is a little off. So grateful for your courage to share this journey with us, Beth. And so keeping you in my prayers. {Hugs}


    • Beth Hess says:

      So, so true. We tell ourselves, “Well at least I can control what I put in my body” when everything else feels out of control. And it’s just another way we kid ourselves. Even since I wrote today’s post God is revealing some awesome fresh truths. Thank you for sticking with me through this whole journey.


  7. Jo Nell Cannon says:

    I’ve been there, too. I really believe, at this point in my life, that I do not need to add one more meeting, one more commitment. I want to find a way to successfully complete a couple of God-given tasks before I take on one more. I’ve come to realize that I can over do even good things. Some people seem able to juggle more than I can!

    Sent from my iPad



    • Beth Hess says:

      It’s easy to fill a calendar with “good” things isn’t it. I’m still not attending meetings, but I am studying the steps and coming to believe they will hold important keys to my ultimate freedom. Thanks for being here, Jo Nell


  8. klsb@comcast.net says:

    You are the best. I love reading your words on my screen.

    I have struggled with this issue my entire life. So did my mom, so does my dad, and grandmother.

    I am at an odd peace this week (I was TOTALLY out of control) because I am doing a two day shake plus two day cleanse with Isogenix. It gives me direction. Once I take the THINKING out, I feel at peace.

    Not sure how to solve this big picture. Loving this series. THANKS for being RAW and honest.


    • Beth Hess says:

      Ah, yes, the ever-present “How do I fix it” question. That’s probably why I’m struggling with Step One and naming myself as powerless. Powerless to the addiction. Powerless to find a solution on my own. Which, I’m coming to see, is really the point. Keep reading, friend. I am confident freedom is coming for us both!


  9. Ruth Snell says:

    Beth, I too have struggle here. My prayer has become for Jesus to change me from the inside out. He has and is doing this work that I could not accomplish on my own. Praying for you as well for Jesus to change you and your desires. That’s where I really see the change in my desires. Sugar is NOT my friend. I’ve heard it has as much addiction power as cocaine and I believe it. My emotions, attitude, energy does a nose dive when I eat it. Legumes have become my friend. Lentils even out my blood sugar and take that longing for sugar out of me.


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