I have been in and out of OA for 35 years. I first came to OA when my kids were 13 and 15 years old. I had been in my marriage for 17 years and at a job I loved for 10 years.

I had heard of AA, Alanon, and Alateen, but had never had anyone in my life who was a drinker. A co-worker was telling everyone about how he was going to OA and it was changing his life. He was talking to me about it one day at lunch. I had just lost 20 lbs. and thought I was doing OK, I weighed 188.

I had lost 20 lbs. a year for 10 years and gained 30 lbs. a year. Of course, my ups and downs on the scale went farther back, all the way to age 16. I usually felt hopeless about my gaining but would make the effort once or twice a year to try to lose some. My co-worker was so encouraging, and there were meetings near my home.

I went and was amazed to learn that:

1. I have a disease of compulsive overeating.
2. It was not my fault; it was not a moral issue.
3. There is a solution – I am not alone.

Together people were finding lasting relief. My sponsor gave me a food plan and a daily time to call her. She explained ”One day at a time.”
I said I needed more snacks, more fruit, and that I had low “blood sugar.” She suggested I take it one day at a time and asked if I could do it “just for today.” I could do whatever I wanted the next day. I committed my food for one day and continued to commit my food for the next 3 years. I lost 45 lb. and found more peace and direction in the rest of my life.

I continued in and out of OA for 18 years, finding that the good and bad things of life could take me away from the program. I recommitted in 2008 and have continued in the program. I released 60 lbs. and found new health and energy. I no longer have the intense hunger or cravings I used to experience.

I have maintained my healthy weight for 13 years. I’ve had a few slips but got right back on my plan with my sponsor that day. What is different this time?
I work all the tools and continue to work the steps. I go to at least 3 meetings a week, make 3 phone calls a day, and have 3 meals a day, nothing in between and nothing off my food plan.

It is still one day at a time. I may have a food thought, but it is not a craving. I am amazed at how much I get to eat, how much I like my food, and how satisfied I am. I am learning to “ practice these principles in all my affairs.” As I said I continue to work the steps one day at a time. I am a grateful recovering compulsive overeater. The steps have shown me so much about myself and life. I can use program to help me deal with life. My old way was of eating compulsively, procrastinating, and hiding. Just for today, I will commit and follow my food plan, enjoy the meetings, calls, reading, writing, and other tools. I will do my 10th step inventory and see where my life today is affected by selfishness, dishonesty with myself, self-seeking, and fear. And I hope to do it again tomorrow. I really love this way of life. Paulina S.