These experiences show me that the Addiction Reset Community (ARC) is a reliable approach to gaining control over food. I just love that members are free to pick out what works for them. What I love the most is that members feel safe. They’re confident to move forward. I should point out that all of these successful ARC Members have tried many other programs without success, so these stories are truly exceptional. Have hope, OK?
- Dr. Joan Ifland
The ARC is easy to use due to the frequent contact by video chat and conference call. Now I know all I needed was more access to support. So simple but this is the first program that figured that out.
There is enough time between meetings for me to get my life in order. It’s enough to see that others are working in the same direction. The video chats give encouragement to continue to grow and not stay stagnant. We can virtually take someone with us if we need to go to the grocery store.
We're taught to Try, Observe, Talk, Tweak, Repeat, Slowly. (TOTTRS). So we never fail. There is no failure. We learn at our own pace. There are many ways to develop skills, so I always have something fun to do which also moves me forward. I've never experienced anything like this and I've never gotten this far in having control over my food.
I am amazed that Dr. Ifland herself is on the twice-daily video chats and on the phone call in the evening. I feel like her expertise points me in the right direction so if I try something, it will work. I'm tired of amateurs trying to get me to do stuff that worked for them but does not work for me. I get to be myself. I don't have to fit into someone else's box. I'm moving forward every day because there's nothing to rebel against.
I get to take as long as I need to let go of Excluded Foods. I'm valued right where I am today. I have the room to develop that other programs did not give me.
I never have to wait more than a few hours for the next video chat or phone call. I can always hang on that long, so I've finally got the abstinence I've wanted for years.
I don't feel alone anymore. The loneliness made me want to eat. Now I have compassionate, understanding people to visit with every few hours throughout the day.
I like the expertise in this program. Other programs are amateurish. The leaders say, ‘Hey this plan worked for me so I’m going to make a whole plan out of it and get other people involved.’ They didn’t do their research. In this program, the science tells us the right things to do.
The flexible schedule is so important. My big challenging time used to be after work, but now I just get on the afternoon video chat. For other members, the evening call is the anchor. We get access when we need it rather than when the program offers it.
The fear of asking for help is gone.
The twice-daily video chat is like a face-to-face meeting. Otherwise, my experience in other programs is that there was still isolation, so overeating was so easy. The video chats are reinforcing. Yesterday can be done without derailing for another day. All members have common threads. The program brought me out of my isolation. The ARC is better than phone meetings as regards isolation.
Lapses are expected which is comforting because we’ve all done it. I want to come to meetings even if I’m lapsing. In other programs I don’t want to go if I was lapsing. The immersion works. There is an option for a week-long immersion which helps. Other online programs just start with an ARC-like structure.
Instead of being forced, I’m choosing. I’m building a program that works for me because I have lots of options.
I’m not a quitter, but I have quit other programs because they just weren’t working. I am loyal to the ARC because it is working.
I like knowing why. Here’s an example. I like knowing why using food processors keeps my food addiction active. Before the ARC, I never knew why so I kept using my food processor. Now I’m able to stop so I have fewer cravings.
The twice-daily face-to-face online video chats are what saved me. I can go to a meeting just by clicking a link on my phone, tablet, or computer. Without these highly convenient and frequent meetings, isolation would overtake me. Phone meetings are not as good. I think I needed the visual contact. When I’m isolated, I get into a place of overeating so finally I have a program that’s giving me consistent control.
The program is reinforcing. If I slip, yesterday is done. I’m not derailed. There is a common thread of compassion and self-forgiveness through understanding. The ARC brought me out of my isolation and into safety.
Meaningless, distracting branding is not a part of this program. The advice is true because it’s based on studies not someone’s imagination or individual personal experience.
Punishment avoidance is paralyzing but attraction to reward is energizing. Shaming creates risk avoidance and lack of action. Punishment leads to paralysis and avoidance of what I need to take care of myself. I’m moving along really well for the first time ever.
To me, science-based means that if you do something, you’ll get a result. Learning that this is not our fault released me from self-blame and finally I’m able to move forward.
The program meets us where we are. I don't have to change into someone I am not. This helps me accept myself. It stops the paralyzing fear of failure.
The daily meetings keep me focused. It’s always just a few hours until the next meeting. Facebook Groups don’t seem like real people. Traditional groups didn’t work for me. The language and the religion just aren’t my thing.
Other programs include high sugar fruits and dairy which is why I never stopped craving! Those programs create a fear of not being perfect. If I expect perfection I will always fail and quit. Making mistakes is part of the ARC program. They’re considered to be valuable learning experiences. So, I’m always learning and building instead of feeling like a failure. The difference is saving my life.
Because I know I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t rebound from slips so hard. I might have made a mistake, but I don’t have to throw it all in the trash because I made a mistake. I’m forgiving myself which is so joyful. The irony is that it’s easier to be more abstinent. Go figure.
If I’m not perfect, this program lets me start again tomorrow with a new thought. Instead of being forced, I’m choosing. Instead of a parental hit over the head with a bat, I’m choosing to make the choice. I have control. The program is flexible. Now I know that perfection leads to anxiety which leads to stress which leads to relapse. Now I see that failure was embedded in other programs. The programs were fatally flawed. It wasn’t me failing at all. Now I’m secure. I feel safe.
If I slip, I can use gentle self-talk to pick up right where I left off. True choice, full permission to make mistakes. This is the first program that is truly good for me.
Community support is meaningless without scientifically-based education. I have to know what to do. Now I do. And it works!
For me, the non-punishing atmosphere is what makes everything else constructive.
The twice-daily video chats mean that I’m eye-to-eye and ear-to-ear with wise people all the time. This makes me feel like I’m understood. I am not crazy. And, there are specific, actually fun things to do help me take care of myself.
Because the atmosphere is so positive and understanding, people share struggles. I’ve never felt comfortable sharing feelings. Finally, I have the relief of knowing I’m not alone. I’m normal. I’m a victim of food industry exploitation and I know how to protect myself.
Taking a risk to try something new has a great risk/reward ratio. There is no risk which makes it possible to take the many, many steps needed to build a program of control.
My inner rebel has nothing to rebel against. No one makes me do anything. But the cool thing is that I’m doing a lot. The new research gives me a new picture of food addiction and I want to conquer it because I feel like I finally know what I’m doing.
There are short intervals between the online meet-ups. I never have to hang on for more than a few hours. And the meet-ups are fun!
I really like that the ARC avoids getting into the obesity, overeating, binge-eating, or eating disorder literature. We use only the terminology of addiction and addictive use. What this means is that I’m finally dealing with the problem, and not a symptom.
I’m glad to be in a program where food is only 20% of the problem. I’ve been in programs where food was 100% of the program and that’s simply not true for me. I needed to experience compassion, patience, understanding, laughter, calming, and on and on. These are the foundation for success with the food.
My food plan from last year works for me. I’m glad I’m allowed to use that. I’m being listened to. I can maintain the food plan which is comfortable for my body.
I had trouble when I got back from visiting my friends, but the video chats made it easy to get back on my food plan. I was surprised that I able to get back. I feel more stable and calmer in my mind.
I felt comfortable right from the beginning. No hurries. Relax, all I have to do is an activity or listen to a call. Those are fun things which fit into my day easily. No one ever said it would be easy, but I have to tell you, this is pretty darn easy.
I like the two-daily online video Meet-Ups so much that I do fear missing something. But the Takeaways from the meetings are posted so I can always catch up.
I really like that we take it at own pace. I have been scared of going too fast. I listen to real people who are in the same situation. I understand them, and they understand me. I finally feel at home because of the depth of understanding. Dr. Ifland did her homework while writing the textbook and she really gets what I’m comfortable doing, and not yet ready to do. She never pushes me. I gently get to a place of being ready to do something easily and then I do it. I’m always trying new activities because I get results. Because I have time to get ready, it’s much easier than any other program I’ve ever been in. I’m happy to stick with this because it’s easy and actually fun. I’ve always done something right because the emphasis is on learning. I’m always learning from everything I do so it’s always well-received. I feel good instead of being made to feel bad like I’m always making mistakes. There are no mistakes in this program, just discovery events.
I really like to listen to everybody. I feel so free to share. This is like reaching a peaceful country after fleeing from a war zone.
I’m surprised that I’m embracing the food plan. I’ve fought it in my head. But now I’m experiencing the end of resistance. I’m even making a place for exercise. I find that I’m kind to myself in a new way. I have patience if I didn’t plan something. The video chats are so easy to get to. I can join in even for 15 minutes which keeps me focused on what I want to do.
In every one of the many programs I’ve tried, I’ve felt hopelessness and overwhelmed. I gave up before I started because I wondered, ‘What’s going to be different this time? I’ve never gotten this.’ What’s different about the HARP and ARC is genuine caring. Dr. Ifland is on the video chats with us day after day. That’s the difference that makes it possible for me to make steady progress.
What I like is not having to become anyone but myself.
This program lets me build a valuable experience base. Now I know why if I do one thing, a consequence will happen. I didn’t really understand consequences before because I was always focused on fear of failure and breaking some random rule. Now I’m clear that I’ll be tired or have a headache. People have compassion and wisdom so now I have compassion for myself and wisdom about what to do.
In this program, I’ve lost the fear of losing control and putting the weight back on. Slow and steady wins the race.
I won’t have recriminations from trying so I’m willing to show up and soak up the courage.
Stress drives me into relapse. Tuesday is hard because I don’t have a break. Today was especially difficult because my daughter told me I’m passive/aggressive. Weight discussion derails me. However, now I just joined the next online video chat and I was OK. I didn’t have to eat over the stress. Amazing.
This program prevents the slow creeping return of bad food craziness. Now I see that the lack of support kept me in relapse. The ARC has the best support I’ve ever experienced by far.
On January 1, 1996,
I ate my first meal free from sugars and flours.
Within four days, the miracles began to appear.
Cravings stopped, brain fog lifted, and the fatigue eased.
Within two weeks, allergies diminished, bloating went away, and I was losing 2 pounds per week.
On Thursday evening of the third week, I suddenly realized
my anxiety and raging had stopped.
In that moment, I dedicated my life to helping others
get off of processed foods.
I began a 22-year search for how to help others
I wasn’t interested in a method that was successful for a few but left others hurting.
Or only worked for a few years.
First I tried a Handout of the list of unprocessed foods.
It wasn’t enough for people to adopt this beautiful way
Then I tried writing a popular book.
It was in the top 3% of Amazon for 10 years,
but it wasn’t enough to start a trend.
Then I tried giving talks and getting on TV.
PBS Houston was really helpful but wasn’t enough
to start the trend that I hoped for.
Than I tried one-on-one lay education.
People could not even get started.
Then I tried going back to school and earning a doctorate in Addictive Nutrition.
This was a good foundation for what was to come later.
Then I tried writing academic papers and book chapters about food addiction.
It didn't exactly catch fire.
Then I tried running a prepared meal company to easily show people how good it feels to be clean from processed foods. The meals were too expensive.
Then I tried writing a textbook. It took three years.
I looked at over 6,000 studies.
The textbook is 240,000 words and references 2,000 studies.
Finally I saw that overeating is in reality a serious addiction
to processed foods.
When I realized that we were fighting a serious addiction,
I knew we needed a support system to encourage one another to try again after every lapse.
So, after 23 years, I finally found the answer.
People stop bingeing incredibly well in online video chats.
Video chats are easy to access.
They happen throughout the day.
They’re fun so people want to come.
The video chats crowd out cravings
and emotional relapse triggers.
Now we know.
We know that regaining control over food is
just a matter of frequently visiting with a group of like-minded kind people
and training the brain to remain calm.
That is the
Addiction Reset Community
Whew! We made it.