Service Matters • March 2021

Welcome to the March 2021 issue of Service Matters, your answer to the question “What’s Up in GreySheet?” regarding all the work done for GSA as a whole to carry the message to compulsive eaters who still suffer.

Keeping it Green During COVID-19

As we approach the month of March, we may reflect on the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. Frightening and stressful for a myriad of reasons, the impact of the coronavirus continues to this day and beyond. Some of us came into GSA as a result of where the disease of compulsive eating took us when we were suddenly faced with lockdown. Despite the stress, there were surprising benefits. Zoom meetings became more abundant. We created or strengthened relationships with our fellows via the video screen. We were able to connect with others through outreach calls to check in and lean on one another for support. Maybe we had more time to read (or write!) literature, or to do service. We prepared delicious meals at home. Leaning on the program provided a way for us to maintain balance and structure while finding our footing in the "new normal." Some of us found that this breathed new life into our recovery.

A slogan heard in the 12-step rooms implores us to "keep it green." This brings with it thoughts of springtime and is a reminder to focus on keeping the program fresh and growing in our lives. We do this by working our tools, living by the principles of the 12 steps, and giving the program away. Even as daily life continues to shift and change, we gain relief from our Higher Power and grow one day at a time in physical, emotional, and spiritual health through working the program of GreySheeters Anonymous.

Upcoming Meetings

All interested GreySheeters are welcome!
Have you joined your GS sisters and brothers at one or more of these meetings? Each one is an opportunity to expand your recovery by learning more about the framework that guides our work together. If you’re a delegate, you’ll definitely want to clear your calendar and attend each of these meetings. This is how we get essential information and guidance for giving our best to the groups we serve.
1. Committees Connecting meeting ID: 663 470 166
    Sunday, March 14, at 12:00 Noon ET
2. Concept 5 meeting ID: 791 453 380 
    Sunday, March 21, at 1:00pm ET
3. Tradition 5 meeting ID: 791 453 380 
    SundayFebruary 28, at 1:00 pm ET
3. Board of Trustees Town Hall 
    Sunday, April 25, 11:00 am ET

Board of Trustees Column

Why GreySheets Only Come with a Sponsor
Upfront apology - the title of this article is misleading.  I don’t actually know the official reasons that this practice was adopted.  But what I do know is that there are many benefits of this guideline and I wanted to share some of them here.

I got abstinent on the GreySheet on April 16, 1982 in Cambridge, MA.  My first GreySheet meeting was in January of that year.  Like many of us, I walked into that room with very mixed emotions.  I was desperate for relief from the way I managed (or couldn’t manage) food.  I had no more diets in me.  I woke up every day determined to follow some plan and by 10am I had already broken my own promise.  I was in a loop of bingeing, sneaking, vomiting, controlling, self-hate and obsession.  I was exhausted from trying to figure out this food thing on my own.

The first thing I learned in GreySheet was that I am a food addict.  In some people, sugar, starch, grains and carbohydrates set up a craving that is irresistible and insatiable. Along with the physical compulsion in the body is a matching obsession in the mind.  All that made good sense to me.  I heard people share about their personal experiences eating compulsively and I was told to identify with the feelings.  That was easy to do.  Like other members, much of my eating was done in hiding, in the dark, on the streets, in my car, alone.  This secrecy filled me with shame.  It told me I was weak, disgusting, worthless.  Addiction is liar and a powerful isolator.  It convinces us that we’re different, we’re bad, and that “one more can’t hurt; you can start tomorrow.” It never gets better and leaves us trapped and hopeless.

So here’s the thing.  A diet will never cure addiction.  No matter how many diets any of us have tried, no matter what our body size, no matter how much therapy we have or how connected we are to a Higher Power, no diet cures a physical, mental and spiritual malady.  If it did, we never would have ended up here!  With that in mind, it would seem preposterous to advocate giving out a grey piece of paper with a food list to newcomers saying, “Here’s the food plan.  Now you can be cured!”

The first step toward recovery from any addiction is to admit that we have a problem and ask for help.  Speaking with a sponsor allows us to break our isolation and learn what and how to eat with safety.  Being a person who has always preferred to say, “I’m fine, I can handle this…”, having to reach out to a sponsor to get started on the GreySheet made me feel unbearably vulnerable. And yet taking that risk is what opened the door to finding a way out of my food hell.

My first calorie counting book was called “Lose 10 Pounds, FAST!” Perfect title for an addict.  I just wanted the answer, I wanted it now and I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  They say in 12 Step Programs, “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” That pretty much sums it up. I binged on the same things all the time and none of it ever hit the spot.  It never got better, it never got different.  It only got more miserable. To experience recovery, I had to surrender to someone else’s way. That was, of course, the good news and the bad news.  However, once we take that leap, there is real recovery from food addiction and the GreySheet community is filled with amazing examples of that fact.

Now a word about the food plan itself.  When I first saw that piece of paper, it looked like pure, unadulterated deprivation.  Don’t tell me that a person can survive on a lousy list of vegetables and proteins!  And if they can survive, what a sad and sorry existence that must be.  Well, I would have agreed had I not connected with a sponsor.  The GreySheet itself is not self-explanatory.  Over the years our community has developed an interpretation that is abundant and scrumptious within the context of the plan.  If I did not have a sponsor, I would never know how bountiful my food could be.  I would also never know the freedom of turning over all food decisions to someone else so that my obsessions can remain at bay. 

So, as odd as it may seem in the beginning, a GreySheet comes with a sponsor because we are addressing the three-fold nature of food addiction:  physical, mental and spiritual.  Standing alone, the GreySheet basically looks like a low-carbohydrate food plan, and not an exciting one at that.  But with the guidance of a sponsor and the support of the community and the program, the GreySheet can offer the keys to freedom from the insanity of compulsive eating.  It is a delicious and amazing journey that is not to be missed!
Laura L.
Connecticut, USA

GSA Special Events - Zoom Style 

Groovy GreySheet Gatherings  - Western States Intergroup FUNdraisers
Monthly workshops to gather in fellowship, creativity and connection.
First Sunday of Each Month, 3:00 PM ET. 
Sunday, March 7, 2021, 3:00 PM ET GreySheet Affirmation Signs
Zoom ID: 968 3976 2598
The Communication Committee Presents: 
We Are One in 2021
A Global Speaker Series Fundraiser to Support GSA World Services
Part 2: Connecting through Sponsorship in GreySheet
Saturday March 20, 12:00-1:30pm ET
3 speakers followed by shares and fellowship
Zoom Meeting ID: 818 4756 677

Board of Trustees- SAVE THE DATE 
Sunday, April 25, 2021, 11:00 AM ET
Zoom ID: 717 773 1799

March 2021 - Monthly Board of Trustees
Liaison Report Highlights 

Share the Vision!
February 21, 2021
Whenever anyone, anywhere realizes they have a problem with food, they think of GreySheet.
1. Integrity of the GreySheet Program
Board of Trustees is finalizing Frequently Asked Questions about the August 2020 report, GreySheet Abstinence: Clarifications and Sponsor Guidelines. These will be emailed to all ISRs for distribution to all GSRs." target="_blank" rel="alternate noopener noreferrer" data-mce-href="mailto:mail to:">

2. Literature
The Board of Trustees will review the new book Living Abstinent book in February to vote on publication and printing." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-mce-href="mailto:mail to:">

3. Public Information 
The Chairs/ISRs approved the proposal for a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The proposal goes next to the Board of Trustees." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-mce-href="mailto:mail to:">

4. Website
Website Committee is finalizing the new online Group registration form so that all GSA groups can submit their updated information to GSA and for the meeting list on the website. Committee is also finalizing the online WSC2021 Conference Delegate registration form so that all groups and intergroups can register their delegates to attend the World Service Conference meeting in October." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-mce-href="mailto:mail">
Board of Trustees Town Hall Meeting
SAVE THE DATE – Sunday, April 25, 2021, 11:00 AM ET
If you have questions you’d like to ask the Board of Trustees, please email them to" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-mce-href="mailto:mail">  ‑ Questions will be answered during the BOT Town Hall at the end of April.
GreySheet WANT ADS 
The Literature Committee has spaces for two more voting members.

If you like to write, care about the future literature of GSA and are a GSR or ISR, please write to:" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-mce-href="mailto:mail"> for more information.
Celebrate Our 23rd Anniversary!

GSA was created as a new Twelve Step food fellowship on April 6th, 1998. We are turning 23!

  • We want to celebrate and we need you to invent a virtual celebration the whole fellowship will enjoy.
  • Have some innovative ideas about a way we can celebrate? Fancy yourself a party planner?
  • Email" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-mce-href="mailto:mail"> to volunteer to invent, plan, and implement our 23rd birthday celebration.

Links to Notes of Meetings 

If you missed attending these meetings, never fear. Click on these links to see notes from these meetings:
Notes from February Committees Connecting meeting:
Notes from February Concepts meeting:
Notes from February Traditions meeting:
Service Matters • April 2021
Service Matters • February 2021
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