My name is Lee Ann, and I am a compulsive overeater and food addict. I didn’t know I was a compulsive overeater until I was graciously led into the rooms of Overeaters Anonymous. I came into the rooms, heard my story, discovered I had a disease and got a sponsor. Together, we built my food plan; October 6, 2021, was my first abstinent day.

I was beyond excited, elated and filled with hope. The hope of those first few months in the program was palpable, tangible, I could reach out and touch it. I finally had a way to track my progress other than the bathroom scale. I attended 4 meetings a week, started my day with 30 minutes of quiet time which enhanced my relationship with my Higher Power, began working the tools and developing a network of people I could call when I was struggling or just to see how their day was going. Life was good in program, then came the first break of my abstinence.

It was time to get to work, it was time to start working the steps. My food sponsor encouraged me to find a sponsor who could help me through the steps as laid out in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I came into the program with a question: Why did I run to food? It turns out, I had come to the right place. I heard my story over and over in the rooms, there was a solution. I heard from people who had 30 plus years of abstinence, I wanted what they had. The reason I am compulsive overeater is because I have a disease that progressed over time; what started out as having an extra cookie ended with eating all day and as much flour and sugar as I could find. I needed an answer to my WHY! My life depended on finding it.

I once again got abstinent and began working the steps. I had heard that the 1st step was the only one you had to do 100%; I was all in! My sponsor and I worked the steps as laid out in the Big Book, meeting once a week to read and check my progress through the week on what she had asked me to do. Step 1, Step 2, Step 3…then the writing began. I would write for at least 30 minutes every day. This is where self-awareness began, it will be a lifelong process of learning myself.

One of the first things I gained an understanding of was that most of the things I held a resentment for were actually none of my business. If you were my friend and someone hurt you, I took your offense and eventually turned it into a resentment. This understanding has made an incredible difference in my day-to-day life. I am much more able to take a step back and avoid getting into someone else’s drama. I can simply remind myself that it is none of my business. This keeps me out of the offense and out of my head.

My daily quiet time, following my food plan, submitting my food to my sponsor daily, working the steps, going to meetings, reading the literature and talking to my fellows is becoming my way of life. I have given away almost 100 pounds and have achieved my goal weight. In addition to the weight loss, it feels really good to have the daily reprieve from compulsive overeating, I do not want to go back there. This program has given me many off-scale victories as well. I have been relieved of many medications, have serenity in my days, have a clear conscience regarding my past, more mobility and stable blood sugar. This program works if you work it.