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I Did Everything Possible

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My first day of program was November 3, 1983. How could I ever forget it? That day not only changed my life, it saved my life.

At my first meeting, after the welcoming remarks and introductions, the OA Preamble, and the Steps, Traditions, and Tools, they read the passage “Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous. Welcome home!” I started to cry—softly, of course.

The main speaker introduced herself, saying, “My name is ____, and I have a disease of fear, doubt, and insecurity, which for me has manifested itself in compulsive eating. It is not a moral issue.”

Now I was really sobbing. For me, it had always been a moral issue. I was a nobody who wasn’t worth very much if I couldn’t control my weight, and I had no worth.

My whole life was about my weight. At age 13 and again at age 15, I’d been sent to a diet doctor to be put on amphetamines.

When I came into program, I really was a broken soul. I was afraid of dying, having been diagnosed with high blood pressure (I was only 38). I’d been having panic attacks for ten years, and I was claustrophobic. I had no sense of who I was or what I could accomplish. My highest weight had been 304 pounds (138 kg), and I still weighed 267 pounds (121 kg) when I came through the doors of OA.

I embraced all this program had to offer. OA was much different from all the other programs I had attempted—those had revolving doors for me. According to my medical records, I had been severely to morbidly obese, but what I hadn’t known was that I had a living problem. I learned lots of stuff from OA: how to adapt to whatever was in front of me, how to get a sponsor, how to learn about a Higher Power (before, I’d never needed any Power greater than me). I did everything possible, and it was freely offered.

My life changed. This program changed me. It grounded me. I am stronger for being a grateful member of OA all these years.

— Roz S., Fort Myers, Florida USA

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