The 12 Steps—Life-Changing Baby Steps
By Julie Morris –
Last month I told you about how my version of the 12 Steps helped me to lose my harmful extra pounds in 1982 and keep them off. This month I want to tell you how I began taking each of the Steps—in hopes that you might want to join me on this exciting journey.
Short Form of 12 Steps and How I Began Taking Each Step
- Step 1 I can’t! I began taking Step 1 by giving up on the idea that I could lose weight by dieting.
- Step 2 God can! I began taking Step 2 by reminding myself of God’s awesome power and His promises to help me…if I’d let Him.
- Step 3 I’ll let Him! Eating too much and thinking about food all the time were making me miserable so I made a decision to cooperate with God every day rather than complaining and overeating.
- Step 4 What needs changing? I began taking Step 4 by listing my sins and the ineffective choices I had been making. Fortunately, in Step 4 I didn’t have to do anything but list these things. God would help me with them as I worked the rest of the steps.
- Step 5 I confess! I began taking Step 5 by admitting to God, myself and somebody else the things on my fourth step list. I felt a wonderful sense of freedom after I confessed these things to a friend who was also working the steps.
- Step 6 I’m ready to change! While taking Step 6, I thought about the harm the things on my list were doing to me. For example, overeating made my blood pressure soar; it caused me to feel ashamed of how I looked; and it caused me to beat myself up over being so weak.
- Step 7 Change me, Lord! This step reassured me that I didn’t have to change myself; all I had to do was to be humble toward God—teachable, willing to do things His way, and stay close to Him–trusting Him to change me.
- Step 8 Who have I harmed? Again, I didn’t have to fix anything while taking this step; I just had to make a list.
- Step 9 I’m sorry! Originally, I thought this step just encouraged me to apologize to a few people, but I realized that it also encourages me to recognize and put a stop to ineffective ways I relate to people every day.
- Step 10 How am I doing? (Steps 10-12 are the maintenance steps, and, though they come at the end, I started doing them as soon as I began working the steps.) While taking Step 10, I realized that I had been so busy doing, that I had little time to think about what I was doing! I started taking several minutes each morning to plan my day, evaluate how I had done the day before and confess my mistakes and ineffective choices to the Lord.
- Step 11 I’m seeking you, God! While taking the 11th Step, I realized that I had been focusing most of my prayers on telling God what I wanted Him to do, rather than seeking what He wanted me to do and relying on Him to help me do it.
- Step 12 I’m practicing and praising you, Lord! When I began to take Step 12, I thought about the word “practice” and how much Olympic skaters have to practice. I determined to practice 12-Step principles every day and to tell others about how God is helping me as a result.
Why don’t you join me today in the life-changing 12-Step journey!
Julie Morris is founder of Guided By Him, a 12-Step Christian weight-loss program you can do by yourself or in a group (www.guidedbyhim.com). She is the author of 12 books and an inspiring motivational speaker. Email her for questions about working the Guided By Him program Julie@guidedbyhim.com.