My name is CJ and I am a compulsive overeater. I attended my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting on September 22, 2009. I found the love and kindness at that first meeting a bit overwhelming, but I was willing to follow directions and “Keep coming back.”
I went to OA looking for a diet club, but what I found was nothing like a diet club. What I found was so much more life-affirming than any diet club could ever be. What I found was a fellowship of men and women who have the same disease as I do.
Yes, I have a disease. I do not think about food the way that normal eaters think about food. My thoughts of food were as consuming as an alcoholic’s thoughts about alcohol. Once I admitted that I am powerless over food and that my life had become unmanageable, I took the first step on my road to recovery. I had always believed that I was overweight and obsessed with food because I had no willpower. I knew that I was good at eating and putting on weight, but losing weight was very challenging for me.
I began working with a sponsor my second week in the program and we worked through the first three steps together. I wrote answers to thought provoking questions each day and read in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. I called my sponsor with my answers and committed my food to her daily. None of these things were easy for me to do, but I had a big dream of becoming a much more healthy person and I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. I learned that God, my Higher Power, could do for me what I could not do for myself. I turned my will and my life over to the God of my understanding. My God helps and guides me each and every day as I strive to make good choices. My goal for each day is to love God and serve others and to love others and serve God.
As I worked my way through the 12 steps as outlined in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, I began to change. I began to let go of the selfishness and self-centeredness that was so much a part of my life. A new thought came into my head, “It’s not always about you, CJ!” and I began to focus my thoughts and my energy on how I might be of service to others.
I have lost about 80 pounds so far, and I am very thankful to God for the weight loss, but I have gained so much more from the program. The gifts of Overeaters Anonymous keep coming. I have friendships now that I would never have had without this program. I have better relationships with my husband and my family and friends. God is certainly doing for me what I could never do for myself and I am very grateful for the blessings.