The Big Book’s “Food Plan”

The following is an excerpt from The Big Book, pages 133-134:

“One of the many doctors who had the opportunity of reading this book in manuscript form told us that the use of sweets was often helpful, of course depending upon a doctor’s advice.  He thought that all alcoholics should constantly have chocolates available for its quick energy value at times of fatigue.  He added that occasionally in the night a vague craving arose which would be satisfied by candy.  Many of us have noticed a tendency to eat sweets and have found this practice beneficial.”

At the time it was written, I’m sure author Bill W. never imagined that this book was going to be used to help compulsive overeaters.  But isn’t it fascinating how he is recommending the replacement of alcohol with sugar because of the “positive” effects?

I have seen many people from AA who are able to give-up drinking only to find that they have a raging food addiction.  After years of seeing this over and over again, I can’t help wondering if this has to do with the suggestion of eating candy whenever they have a craving for alcohol, or if their addictive personality would have lead them to that new vice anyway.  Or maybe it is something more biological than that.  I have heard food addiction described as just another form of the body’s allergy to alcohol because both involve the way our bodies break down sugars.

Of course, I have also met many alcoholics who switch from swigs to sweets and are very successful with their programs and have excellent recovery.  So apparently this is great advice, as long as you are not pre-disposed to having an eating disorder!

Whatever the reason, many AA’s end-up in OA, and many of them have told me that giving up excess food was much more difficult than giving-up drinking.  They say that this was due to the fact that with alcohol, they never had to put it into their bodies again.  With food, they still had to “mess with it” every single day.  I don’t know how true that is, since I have never had a drinking problem, but I just thought it was interesting to see what The Big Book had to say on the topic of food.  It may not be very helpful to true compulsive overeaters, but to me, it sheds a little more light on the similarities between these two deadly diseases.

June 6, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Leftovers Tagged with:
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