Food Addiction Recovery Articles by Kay Sheppard

10th Step Inventory Checklist for Food Addicts

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC According to A.A. literature, there are three forms of the 10th Step inventory checklist: in the evening before bed, on the spot when needed, and the ones taken with our sponsor. Whichever form we use, the 10th Step is a powerful tool in avoiding relapse. This ...
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Avoiding Food Addiction Relapse

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC, CEDS For those caught in the destructive nature of food addiction and the complications of maintaining long-term recovery, relapse is always a possibility. A woman in relapse recently noted, “My world got narrower and narrower -- fewer clothes, fewer food choices, fewer friends, and fewer things ...
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Body Awareness

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC The first thing people know about us is how we look. For food addicts, our bodies are often our only reality. Instead of accepting ourselves as three dimensional -- body, mind and spirit -- somewhere in our addiction we begin to believe that how we look ...
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Dealing with Denial

by Kay Shepard, LMHC Denial -- a major symptom of food and other addictions -- is a psychological mechanism humans use to protect themselves from fear by blocking conscious awareness of truth. Denial by food addicts consists of blocking awareness of excessive and inappropriate use of food and resulting harmful ...
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Dealing with Stress in Recovery – Part I

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC If a group of people in recovery listed the problems they face and then looked at the common factors on their lists, one commonality would be that everyone experiences stress. Despite the fact that everyone experiences stress, some people are happy and others are unhappy. What ...
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Dealing with Stress in Recovery Part II – Prayer and Meditation

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC When practiced regularly, prayer and meditation can change the way we deal with stress in a very fundamental way. Prayer Who among us has not used the Serenity Prayer in times of stress? In my case, it could be called the "Release from Stress Prayer." God ...
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Each Day — a New Beginning

by Kay Sheppard, M.A., LMHC The concept that each day is a new beginning "cleans the slate" every 24 hours.  What a great idea -- to start fresh each day, rather than getting bogged down in old ideas, condemning ourselves for past mistakes and failures, or worse yet, repeating them! ...
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Food Addicts’ Drunk and Impaired Driving

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC Sounds strange at first -- drunk driving by food addicts. Early in my recovery, my sponsor talked about “walking around drunk on sugar." She never mentioned driving around drunk on sugar, but over the years I have met many food addicts who talk about drunk and ...
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Food Addicts’ Drunk and Impaired Driving

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC, CEDS Sounds strange at first -- drunk driving by food addicts. Early in my recovery, my sponsor talked about “walking around drunk on sugar." She never mentioned driving around drunk on sugar, but over the years I have met many food addicts who talk about drunk and impaired ...
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Holiday Compulsive Shopping and Spending

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC Overspending during the holiday season is an issue for many, but especially for compulsive spenders. The holidays are a good excuse to "let loose" and indulge in this addiction. Be aware that time spent shopping, even without spending large amounts of money, can be an addictive ...
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Making Appropriate Choices

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC, CEDS Recovery is a choice; no other person can do it for us or to us. The foundation of recovery from food addiction is built on making appropriate food choices on a daily basis. Since we have to eat everyday, we have an ongoing need to ...
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Powerless and Unmanageable

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC, CEDS To help you in your search for knowledge of yourself and the disease of food addiction, consider this information concerning addiction: Men and women who are allergic to and compulsively persist in the use of mind-altering foods and chemicals have a disease. This disease is ...
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Recovery During the Holidays

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC, CEDS During the holiday season attendance falls off in recovery meetings and our recovering friends start to disappear. Some of these disappearances are long-term and some permanent. What happens during the holidays? Increased stress is certainly a complicating factor in holiday activities. There is more pressure, ...
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Stephanie Z.’s Story and the significance of Step 10 for long-term Recovery

I have been a food addict since my earliest memories.  I can remember being about 2 years old and waking up very early while everyone else was sleeping.  I would go into the kitchen and get a glass of water.  I would sit on top of the kitchen table in ...
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Surviving the ‘Flu in Recovery

by Kay Shepard, LMHC How do you get through a bout of the 'flu and stay abstinent? 'Flu certainly presents a threat to recovery on several fronts. The first thing to keep in mind is that the 'flu will end in a week or so but food addiction is a ...
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The “First Bite” Concept

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC A recovering alcoholic, an enlightened man, once said, “If you don’t pick up the first drink you will never get drunk.” What a concept. It made so much sense. I've also heard it said that "all you ever give up is just one drink -- the ...
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The Biochemistry of Food Addiction

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC, CEDS The biochemistry of food addiction follows a path which is initiated when refined carbohydrates flood the brain with dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. As the brain becomes flooded with these neurotransmitters, a feeling of well-being results and craving is stimulated. This simultaneously creates a deficiency in ...
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The Science of Refined Food Addiction

Kay Sheppard, MA, LMHC, CEDS Counselor Magazine, 28 September 2009 15:56. "Show me a man who's eating dessert, and I'll show you a man who's not drinking enough." W.C. Fields It seems Fields was an early observer of the sugar--alcohol connection.  Is it possible that one can be as addictive ...
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What is Food Addiction?

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC, CEDS   Food addiction is characterized by obsession with food, obsession with weight and loss of control over the amount of food eaten. It involves the compulsive pursuit of a mood change by engaging repeatedly in episodes of binge eating despite adverse consequences. The term "food ...
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Why a Weighed and Measured Food Plan?

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC There are so many rationalizations for not weighing and measuring our food. Rather than enumerate the excuses, it seems more appropriate and helpful to outline the positive reasons to do such a thing. Indeed, why a food plan at all? It Provides a Guide The first ...
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