Frequently Asked Questions

The Seven Tools of Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-HOW are:

  • CEA-HOW Abstinence Food Plan
  • Literature and Writing
  • Anonymity
  • Telephone calls
  • Meetings
  • Service
  • Sponsorship

No! The CEA HOW program encourages personal spiritual growth, but it is not limited to or defined by any sect or denomination. There are people from all belief systems in CEA HOW, from the religiously observant to the atheistic.

Absolutely! Many of us have had tremendous success. Not only have we shed weight and been able to maintain a healthy weight, but we have also gained serenity and clarity in our lives. The majority of us came to CEA HOW to lose weight - that was our only goal. In the beginning our weight was our primary focus, but we soon came to discover that the CEA HOW Twelve Step program offers so much more!

The amount of weight a member needs to lose does not matter - what does matter is that we are compulsive eaters and we need help!

We continue to follow the CEA-HOW plan of eating, steps, traditions, and tools of recovery. Using a slightly modified food plan, we slowly add food to the extent that allows us to maintain a healthy weight.

Come to a meeting, relax and listen. You will not be asked to talk. There will be people (sponsors) available to help you get started and answer any questions you may have. Don't forget - We all started exactly the same way.

You will hear positive sharing from recovering food addicts and compulsive overeaters. They might tell how life used to be and how it has improved through their work with the 12 Steps of CEA HOW. They might share how they handled specific situations using the tools of the program. Or you might learn how it is possible to cope with distressing situations rather than eating over them.
The best way to find out what happens at meetings is to attend a few. There are different types and sizes of meetings, and every meeting covers different aspects of the 12 step program, so we suggest that you attend more than one meeting before deciding whether or not CEA HOW is right for you. After the meeting you will have the opportunity to talk with other members and get more information about the CEA-HOW program.

There are no dues or fees. However, we are self-supporting so we pass a basket at meetings. If members wish to contribute, they give what they can, often just a dollar or two.

You will need a copy of the "Forever Abstinent". You will also need Alcoholic Anonymous' "The Big Book" and "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions". Your sponsor will give you reading and writing assignments during your first thirty days of the CEA HOW program that are designed to walk you through the first three steps. You will need these two books to complete those assignments. This material is available for purchase at most meetings. “The Big Book” and “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” are also available through on-line resources as well as at A.A. offices and at many used book stores.

You can purchase CEA-HOW's food plan through your sponsor at most face-to-face CEA-HOW meetings. If you attend meetings through the phone bridge, then your sponsor can obtain a food plan for you.

We have found through experience that it is imperative that we work with a sponsor and use all of the tools of the program if we are to succeed. If a new member purchases the food plan without the benefit of a sponsor's guidance and use of all of the other tools of the program, they will be simply "doing the diet" - and we all know that diets don't work.