Monday, May 11, 2009

Chapter 6 Exercises from "Anatomy of a Food Addiction" by Anne Katherine, MA

Chapter 6 is called "How Healing Happens". It discusses dealing with both chemical functioning and feelings, and goes into quite some detail. Again, I recommend anyone who thinks this book can help them to pick it up. This is the assignment for tomorrow's group, and it's a doozy:

6.2 Disease Inventory: Part III (p. 102)

Starting from your earliest memory of bingeing and/or starving, dieting, and/or purging, chronicle your relationship with food.

The Progression of Powerless Eating

1. When did you first turn to food?

2. Gradually, over the years, your relationship—your intimacy—with food progressed. Chronicle this progression.

3. Include, if relevant, the progression of addiction to sugar and/or alcohol.

4. What impact has the addiction and compulsion had on all parts of your life in the last five years?

5. Be very specific and honest about your present pattern of bingeing and/or purging and/or starving. How much and how often do you binge? What is your volume of food? How frequently do you purge? How often do you starve yourself?

Control Efforts

1. List attempts to control eating—starving, dieting, purging, laxatives, diet pills, prescription drugs, coffee, smoking.

2. Mark the control efforts that failed.


1. Unmanageability is a part of this disease. Anyone with an addiction finds that her life gets frayed around the edges. What evidence of unmanageability exists in your life?

2. List evidence of unmanageability in:
(a) Emotional state—mood swings, depression, self-esteem
(b) Relationships, social life, sexual relationships
(c) Work. Have you been late or missed work due to a sugar low or due to drinking? Have you attacked coworkers because of sugar anger? Have you sabotaged your own success by not having a clear head when needed or by eating rather than studying or reading or learning?

Adverse Physical Consequences

1. Have you ever risked your life or the lives of others by eating or not eating?
2. Have you damaged your body as a result of your addiction?
3. Include food blackouts. How many times have you found yourself with an empty bowl or bag in your lap and no clear memory of a decision to eat? How many times have you stood in front of the open refrigerator without knowing you were going to walk there? When did you first start having food blackouts? Have these progressed?

Adverse Social Consequences

1. What harm has been done to your relationships?
2. How has your disease affected others? How have the people around you had to adapt because of your disease? In what ways have you abused others because of the influence of this disease?

Adverse Financial Consequences

1. Include adverse financial consequences. How has the addiction kept you poor? How has it deprived you of having money for other things you want to do? Include crazy thinking about money so you could spend it on food.

Adverse Moral Consequences

1. Has the disease made you violate your values? (stealing, concealing) How is your self-respect doing? Have you lost any as a result of this disease?
2. Have you manipulated others so you could satisfy a craving?
3. Include confused priorities—how is food the center of your life? Has it been the center of any of your relationships? What evidence is there that eating has been more important than relating?

Adverse Spiritual Consequences
1. Include evidence of how eating has been more important than your spiritual development, more important than your relationships, more important than your health, more important than your peace of mind.
2. How has this disease affected your choices, your decisions, the opportunities you’ve missed or aborted?

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