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Turning It Over

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I weighed 240 pounds (109 kg) when I first entered OA. Even though I stalked the rooms for two years, calling the hotline, looking for local meetings, I didn’t have the guts to step through the door. But in September 2010, I was approached by a colleague who invited me to give OA a try. I went that night and became a consistent member for several years.

I became abstinent in January 2011 and released weight until I reached 186 pounds (84 kg). My bloodwork became normal, and my diabetes was controlled with one-third less insulin. I felt amazing. I was able to remain abstinent through the death of my father, who died of end-stage kidney disease as a result of his diabetes. I knew his fate would be my future if I did not control my compulsive overeating. I reached eighteen months of abstinence, but then I relapsed and stopped attending meetings.

In August 2014, I was contacted again by that same colleague. She said, “I am worried that you will die if you don’t do this work.” Her words got through to me. I was back up to 221 pounds (100 kg), and my diabetes was more out of control than ever, so I committed to attending a structured meeting format with five other members.

I attended it sporadically for about a year, gaining and losing the same 20 pounds (9 kg). I reached ninety days of abstinence a few times, but kept relapsing and starting over. I was unwilling to do the work and wanted to focus on problems to justify being in the food.

In September 2015, I relapsed into bulimia for the first time in ten years. I was deep in despair, and my weight was climbing. I felt guilt and shame, and I was ready to give up. I was terrified too. How had I gotten back here?

A few months later, I met with my colleague again. I cried about my misery in the food and admitted to the bulimia. I felt I had hit rock bottom. As I was leaving, I realized it was December 12, and I knew there was an OA meeting happening for Twelfth Step Within Day. Somehow I drove myself to that meeting. I recognize now it was my Higher Power at work. I was home!

I have recommitted to the group and attend five meetings a week. I am now doing Step work with a sponsor. I weighed 213 pounds (97 kg) when I recommitted and now am down to 194 pounds (88 kg). I find peace every day by turning it over to my Higher Power. I have to recognize and accept myself for who I am, even if I never lose another pound. I am tremendously grateful for the gifts I receive every day in this program. And this is just the beginning of the journey.

— Amy H., Medford, OR

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