“If I could control food the way it controls me, I wouldn’t need OA,” says one OA member. For years, she lived life “in the food” and in other addictions to cope with the echoes of childhood abuse, but now she is standing vulnerably in our loving program where she has found a path to healing.
Abstinence and Recovery
E.C.’s has persisted in OA for more than 20 years, and the inevitable result is abstinence from compulsive overeating and a strong program of recovery.
At age 11, Paul started binge eating to cope with feelings of loneliness and boredom and that compulsive eating behavior stayed with him through adulthood. After Paul found OA, his life changed completely, and he has learned to turn his powerlessness over to his Higher Power in exchange for the gift of abstinence.
Childhood sexual abuse and family dynamics can drive someone to turn to food for comfort. Without a solution, these patterns can grow with us into adulthood, complicating relationships with romantic partners and with weight. As one member has discovered, however, a new and healthier sense of normalcy can be found in Overeaters Anonymous.
Karen, who has maintained a 210-pound (95-kg) weight loss for more than fifteen years, uses the Tools of Recovery to maintain her program just as diligently as she uses tools and resources for automobile maintenance to keep the first car she ever bought new in good running condition. The road in OA, she notes, is ”not always smooth and comfortable, but it is leading me to freedom” (For Today, p. 288).
“I knew I had huge self-will…” says one member who came in broken after trying to work the program her own way. But she was also desperate and willing, and her willingness led to progress, and her progress eventually, and inevitably, led her to her dream of “a peaceful and serene life.”
OA invites DIVERSITY and promotes UNITY. In this episode, one OA member describes their experience with weight-loss surgery and another OA member shares their rock bottom moment and coming back to achieve a 100-pound (45-kg) weight loss.