Frequently Asked Questions
We have received so many interesting questions about the work of the GreySheet Committee that we thought this month’s report could take the form of an FAQ.
1. What is the purpose of the GreySheet Committee?
- The purpose of the committee is to capture in writing the oral tradition that has been passed down to us since the first members of OA started GreySheet meetings in the 1970s in Cambridge, Massachusetts to support each other in following this specific definition of abstinence from compulsive eating.
- The oral tradition is based on the GreySheet food plan written on the familiar grey card stock but what we do is not all documented there.
- Each sponsor who has started off a newcomer has explained how we interpret and practice the GreySheet – that is, has provided sponsor guidelines.
- The committee is identifying these interpretations and explanations and documenting them in one place for the first time.
2. Why is it necessary?
- The Board of Trustees of GreySheeters Anonymous World Service is ultimately responsible for protecting the integrity of our life-saving solution, GreySheet abstinence, so that it can be available for future compulsive eaters.
- Many people have brought the concern to the Board that there was an increasing number and degree of misunderstandings and variations in our commonly understood definition of GreySheet abstinence.
- This threatened the unity of the fellowship and the effectiveness of our message. The Board convened the GreySheet Committee to address the issue. They asked us to report back to them the clarifications and the sponsor guidelines.
3. Who is the GreySheet Committee?
- Each of the GreySheeters invited by the Board of Trustees to serve on the committee has at least twenty years of back-to-back GreySheet abstinence. Four have over thirty years and two have over forty years.
- Four of the members got abstinent in the original Cambridge GreySheet community.
- All have been involved in many service positions throughout their years of abstinence and are committed to the integrity of the GreySheet solution to compulsive eating.
4. What happens after the GreySheet Committee documents these clarifications and guidelines?
- The committee will write a report that will not only include the purpose of the committee, the committee membership, and the method by which we developed our results but also a restatement of the overall definition of GreySheet abstinence.
- In addition, the committee anticipates two main parts to our report:
* Clarifications and Explanations: A thorough and comprehensive list of clarifications of potential misinterpretations of the written GreySheet food plan plus additional explanations for how we have traditionally followed the GreySheet, for example, when eating out, traveling, ill, maintaining a healthy weight range, pregnant, etc.
* Recommendations for Use: Recommendations for how the clarifications and explanations of GreySheet abstinence might be used, for example, by publishing a Guide for Sponsors pamphlet, sending the clarification document to every group for distribution to their members, or including the clarification document every time copies of the GreySheet are purchased by intergroups, groups, and sponsors, etc.
Update From the Structure Committee
The Structure Committee is on target to have a first draft of the Service Manual ready for the team to review by the end of December 2018. This will allow us to have the final document ready for the board by March 1, 2019. The Committee is also working with the Conference Committee on the last page and ½ of the Charter that were not approved at the last World Service Conference. The Conference Committee will present the Charter and the Structure Committee will just be a second pair of eyes to review it.
The GSA Newmarket Retreat (October 26th - October 28th, 2018)
Here are some summary words from one of our newcomers:
As a beginner, I felt that being able to attend the Newmarket (England)retreat was a great privilege. I was surrounded by people who had many years of abstinence under their belts. Some had traveled enormous distances from other countries to get there. If I wasn't previously aware of the dedication and commitment of GreySheeters, I was by the time I left.
Everything about the weekend was top quality: the speakers, the accommodation and, very importantly, the food. I came away knowing I had been given a great amount of strength, hope and experience that will help me up the Twelve Steps and remain abstinent for the rest of my life.
During the retreat I was very aware of Higher Power. Love was among the GreySheeters and, it seemed, in the very walls of the building too. I was in a wonderful atmosphere and it was a great experience.
The day after I returned I shared my experience of GSA with a food addicted friend. I told her how, after two weeks, I felt as if a light was switched on inside me and all my cravings ceased. She said, “It wouldn't work for me, I could never stick to it.”
“I bet you could when you feel the results,”I replied. “Nothing I've given up in any way compares to what I've gained.”
My grateful thanks to all those who made the retreat possible and so delightful.