In May 2015, I was up 30 pounds (14 kg) from a yearlong sugar binge. Though I had been on a constant roller-coaster of losing and gaining, this was the highest weight gain I had experienced in seven years. It was at this low point that I first began to realize my powerlessness over food. I had not yet found OA, but already I was beginning to take the First Step.

The following summer, an awareness came to me that there just had to be a Twelve Step program out there for overeaters. I actually typed “overeaters anonymous” into the search engine without knowing whether such a program existed. I was overcome with emotion when I saw OA at the top of my search results. Immediately, I looked to see if there was a meeting in my area, but after getting the meeting information, I lost courage. I wanted to call the contact, but I was too afraid.

Months later, I was again entering into a new diet program. My husband, having witnessed years of my obsession with food and diets, was discouraged. He told me I needed to seek help. I realized that my Higher Power had, months prior to this, already led me to OA. In an exercise of trust, I called the contact for the meeting that I’d originally hoped to attend. I was encouraged to hear a friendly voice on the line inviting me to come to a meeting the following week.

That first meeting brought a feeling of hope I’d not experienced in my whole history of compulsive overeating. There was love, kindness, and empathy—these people got it. I cried at a few different points, overwhelmed with feelings of relief at finally being understood. I was not alone in my madness.

I still have a long journey ahead of me, but already I’ve found strength in the support of my fellow OA members, OA literature, and the Tools of Recovery.

— Stephanie

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