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Mudroom Madness

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Everything in my life was happy and lucky, except my weight. My disease manifested after I got married, when I was an RN working full-time.

My husband would be asleep when I came home from work, and in the late, quiet hours, I could eat as many snacks as I wanted. Then I discovered I could put snacks in containers to keep my husband from knowing how much I ate. To add to the insanity, I spent thousands of dollars on various weight-loss programs. I hid opened bags of treats, which I started eating on my way home, in my daughter’s dresser drawers and in our mudroom.

Several months back, we set out to get the mudroom organized. My husband and I were busy organizing, opening cabinets, and there, staring me in the face, was a bag of food. There was no hiding it. I was so totally embarrassed and speechless. I didn’t even remember when I’d hidden that bag. My husband never said a word; he just pitched it. I don’t know who I thought I was fooling because surely he knew I’d been sneaking food.

What you eat in private shows up in public. In OA, I found it isn’t so much about being honest with others, but rather being honest with ourselves. I walked through those OA doors for the first time on September 27, 2015. Two days before, I’d gone to the doctor, and my weight was up again; later I found out my blood sugar levels were in a diabetic range.

By the time of my next appointment, I’d gotten abstinent. My weight was down 25 pounds (11 kg), and my blood sugar levels were back in normal range—no medication needed.

I know I’m a compulsive overeater and food addict because the weight-loss programs were only a temporary fix; turning my weaknesses over to a Higher Power is the only way. Support from others who’ve been through the insanity helps more. We are in it together.

My abstinence has liberated me—I truly do not want snacks or sweets. I still feel like a newbie in this program, yet it has been six months. I am learning that life is what I make it. I can choose to let situations eat at me, or I can choose to not overeat but use my Tools instead—OA meetings, literature, and my sponsor— and my Higher Power. I am powerless over food.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State Area Intergroup, August 2016

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