“I hate meetings!” I exclaimed when it was my turn to share. “But I know I need to be held accountable, and I think OA is where I should be.”

I was disgusted with myself for the umpteenth time in my life. Over the last three years, I had gained back 36 of the 82 pounds (16 of 37 kg) I’d worked so hard to lose nine and a half years ago. It was after the death of my former husband and the subsequent joy of finding and marrying the man of my dreams that I started to relax my firm resolve. After all, I wanted to please this new man in my life. I wanted to shower him with my culinary delights and home-baked goodies. At first I ate just a little, then an occasional extra dessert. But after eating my way through cruises to Alaska, the Mediterranean, Russia, Europe, and Great Britain, I knew I’d lost the battle of trying to eat like a normal person. I felt entitled to eat all those culinary masterpieces from around the world—I paid for them!

To support my new husband, I attended his meetings in another Twelve Step program. Slowly, I began to see how this program could relate to my food compulsions. I contemplated going to an OA meeting, but . . . arrrgh! A meeting? I’d rather sew. Actually work the Steps? Service? No way. Abstinence? Was I really that desperate?

Despite my negativity, the God of my understanding worked on me patiently, inserting little pearls of wisdom into my head during my husband’s meetings. I watched with delight as people accepted coins to celebrate their days, months, or years of sobriety. I knew something was missing in my life. I wanted a coin too! I went to my first OA meeting and participated in the readings. I felt love and acceptance from a few people. They invited me to come back. They sold me some literature. I went home feeling odd—a transformation was starting to take place. I was curious.

I started purchasing and downloading all the OA literature I could find. I listened to podcasts. I went to meetings, a marathon, and an intergroup meeting. Miracles began to change my life.

When I was growing up, my parents were devout about their religion, spending a lot of time studying religious books, going to meetings, and volunteering their time, and they forced me to be involved as well. When I realized where my negativity and resistance were coming from, I prayed and cried and gave it to God and then boom, boom, boom—three miracles came in a row: After attending two meetings a week for a few weeks, I found a sponsor; I bought a workbook and began working the Steps; and I took an “OA spa day” and drove through the countryside to three different meetings on a sunny day. Each meeting had a different approach to the OA program, so I went home and researched the differences.

Then miracle number four happened. The cravings and compulsions I felt for excess food just left me.

I’m slowly, steadily losing weight. Could it really be this easy? How many podcasts had I heard say that this is a simple program? Wow. I took my 30-day coin. I took my 60-day coin. In a little over two weeks, I will take my 90-day coin. I’m happy, joyous, and free.

It can happen for you. It’s happening for me.

— Loriann P., Colton, Oregon USA

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