There is no doubt that twelve step programs are popular. There are innumerable offerings ranging from the original twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to hybrid programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Neurotics Anonymous, Spenders Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and more and more and more.
In fact, Overeaters Annonymous is one of the tools I used after bariatric surgery. There, I addressed my emotional issues with compulsive eating so as to ensure I would keep off the weight long-term from my gastric bypass surgery. It worked, because 10 years later I have maintained my 100lb weight loss.
That said, the validity of such programs is subject to debate, and the difficulties they present for legitimate testing does little to resolve the discussion. Those who participate in twelve step approaches and have success endorse the these programs enthusiastically, and I imagine that is the point. Twelve step programs do in fact work for some people, and it is possible that you are one of those people.
The Twelve Steps
The twelve steps of all such programs are virtually identical with the exception of some restructuring of the first step. One must admit a powerlessness over some substance or behavior in this step. The focal point of any program will be the subject of powerlessness in the first step whether it is alcohol, narcotics, compulsive overeating or any other thing.
All twelve step programs are spiritual in nature with the understanding that none are religious in nature. While a higher power is recommended for all members, that higher power does not have to be God.
The steps endorse a series of behavioral changes and a sharing of the program itself.
Enter Bariatric Angels.
Bariatric Angels Support Group
Bariatric Angels is a twelve step support group comprised of men and women who were once morbidly obese and opted for weight loss surgery as an avenue of relief.
The program was founded by Kate F. and Lauren D. who together recognized the need for support as they made their way through the recovery process. They sought and received permission from Alcoholics Anonymous for the rights to a twelve step program.
How the Program Works
Success in the bariatric patient support program is depends on dedication to change. This change is built on the premise that recovery is only attainable if the weight loss surgery patient is absolutely honest about her needs and her flaws. The length of recovery is directly related to the intensity of honesty.
Adopting a power greater than oneself as a source of guidance and support
is yet another critical component of the bariatric patient support program. Again, it is emphasized that the higher power of choice need not be God although twelve step members most readily endorse God as the legitimate choice. The group itself would be the next favored choice.
The steps are to be managed in sequence, and a sponsor or Guardian Angel as he or she is called in the Bariatric Angels program, will help navigate those steps as well as help members – known as doves, cherubs, and angels – with more personal concerns.
Meetings are available to all members and are separated into dove, cherub, and angel meetings with focus on the issues of each group, respectively. Angel meetings are about continued recovery and maintenance and are by invitation once the basics of recovery are understood.
12step.com http://www.12step.com/12stepprograms.html - accessed 6/18/12
Bariatric Angels, LLC. http://www.bariatricangels.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80:who-started-bariatric-angels&catid=38:faq-ba&Itemid=219 -
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Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.