I’m Paul. When I was eleven, we moved, and I started using food to deal with feelings of loneliness and boredom. I became a compulsive overeater at that time, and my disease of compulsive overeating continued to get worse until my Higher Power brought me to Overeaters Anonymous at the age of fifty-one.

I simply didn’t know how to deal with life on life’s terms, and I tried to get what I needed by bingeing, predominantly on chocolate and ice cream. It didn’t work! Before I came to OA at the beginning of 2014, my life was out of control and completely unmanageable. I could not stop bingeing on a daily basis. I felt tremendous fear, shame, and guilt, and my self-esteem was at rock bottom. I isolated myself from others. I was suicidal. I weighed 335 pounds (152 kg) and felt I was dying. I was experiencing so much pain and suffering that I wanted to die.

I’m so grateful God brought me to Overeaters Anonymous … I am able to feel all my feelings without wanting to numb them, and I’m generally free of craving and compulsion.

Since coming to Overeaters Anonymous, I accept that I am powerless over food and life in general. I pray each morning and ask God as I understand him to give me the gift of abstinence today. I remain open to receiving this miraculous gift that my Creator wants to give me. Each night, I thank him for the abstinence I received today, and for all he’s given me. Throughout the day, I work the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the best of my ability. I go to meetings, follow a meal plan, follow an action plan, read the literature, reach out to others in the program, stay open to what others have to teach me, meditate, exercise, do self-care, do service work, and share with others what I’ve been so generously given. Today I recognize the purpose of my life is to do God’s will. Being abstinent is God’s will for me. God loves and cares for me, and he wants nothing but the best for me.

Abstinence is continuing to bring me health, happiness, peace, and freedom consistently. These abstinent days are the best days of my life! I’m so grateful God brought me to Overeaters Anonymous. It completely changed my life for the better. I’ve been given an amazing life! I am able to feel all my feelings without wanting to numb them, and I’m generally free of craving and compulsion.

By the grace of God, I’ve received forty-five months of abstinence since coming to Overeaters Anonymous. Also by the grace of God, I’m receiving maintenance of a weight release of 136 pounds (62 kg) for twenty-nine months, one day at a time. I give all the credit to my Higher Power, because I know I cannot do this. In the past, I lost weight a number of times but never maintained the weight release. God does for me what I cannot do for myself.