Every year since I was 13 years old, my New Year’s resolution had been to lose weight. It wasn’t until 2014, when I was 23, that I altered that New Year’s resolution to instead heal my relationship with food. After hitting bottom, bingeing every night on a wide variety of foods, my fear of change was overpowered by the pain of compulsive overeating.

My resolution was still fresh in my mind when it led me to my first OA meeting in February 2014. This combination of a shifted perspective, fear, and pain is what gave me the willingness to get a sponsor, follow a food plan, and start working the Steps.

Since I came into program almost three years ago, not only have I healed my relationship with food, I healed my relationship with myself, others, and the world around me. I came to understand that I have an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind, and there are some foods I cannot eat sanely. I learned I am worth caring for, and I deserve to eat healthy, delicious food every day. I have lost about 45 pounds (20 kg) and gained relationships with others beyond my wildest dreams.

Now, I can be present and available, however imperfectly, for my family when we get together because I’m no longer thinking about food every second or worrying what they think about me. I’m a better friend now because I’m not trying to fix everyone’s problems and control the outcomes. I’m in the most kind, loving, and honest partnership of my life, and I was only ready to accept it when I had about a year of abstinence in program. With the help of my Higher Power (a miracle for this agnostic), I’m able to accept that many things are out of my control in the world around me. The Serenity Prayer is my lifeline to my Higher Power.

I am so grateful I found OA when I did. This program has truly changed my life. I’m also grateful for OA fellows of all ages around the world. Together we get better.

—Joanna W., Parkton, Maryland USA

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