Terri explains what her religious friends and the strangers she has encountered don’t understand: that nothing can help her overcome her bingeing except her Higher Power, the Twelve Steps, and the Fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous.
“When you have absolutely no self-esteem … sometimes you hide behind a wall of being ‘the expert.’” says this OA member. “I have made so many changes in my life, but there’s one that excites me the most.”
“Many of us come to OA feeling like this is the ‘last house on the block,’” Andrea writes. ”Thank God we find acceptance and understanding in OA.” Read about Andrea’s journey through food obsession, recovery, relapse, and finding serenity in our program.
Joan has completely turned her life around in the four years since she joined OA. “The person I am today is no longer full of yesterday’s resentments,” she says. “She is a person who seeks daily to be the OA message.”
“It was only a few moments into my first meeting that I realized it was not about the weight, but the way I was leading my life,” says Marti, who reflects on her one-year anniversary of abstinence from compulsive overeating.
Mary Ann weighed 236 pounds (107 kg) and was facing a fatal liver condition. That was her wake up call. She came to OA, threw herself into the program, lost 106 pounds (48 kg), and has found spiritual, physical, and emotional recovery.
“I used perfectionism as an excuse for not doing the next right thing,” says Amy. ”If I waited to be ‘struck abstinent,’ I’d be dead and buried in a piano box.” Instead she has turned stubbornness into perseverance, worked her program imperfectly, and is maintaining a 200-pound (91-kg) weight loss.
From only a few relationships driven by selfishness, fear, and people pleasing to an abundance of healthy friendships—an incredible change made possible by working the Steps.
“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.
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.