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The Changes in Me

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I first came to OA in August 2015; I was bingeing most days and abusing laxatives. I weighed a hefty 246 pounds (112 kg), about 100 pounds (45 kg) heavier than my healthy weight. I had already attempted suicide once and was well on my way to a second attempt. I was willing to try anything.

I remember two things from my first meeting: the words “Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous. Welcome home!” and being told not to eat between planned meals. The first made me feel at ease, but the second scared me. How could I survive on just three meals a day with no snacks? Buying, hiding, consuming—my day was one long meal.

Since joining OA, I have changed beyond my wildest dreams. I became abstinent at that first meeting, and thanks to the support of the group, my sponsor, and my Higher Power, I have stayed abstinent for thirteen months. I eat three meals a day with no sugar, white flour, or bread, one day at a time. Physically I have lost around 60 pounds (27 kg); I’m wearing clothes I haven’t worn for years. The too small jeans that I was embarrassed to take back are now a little large. As my weight decreases, my self-confidence rises, and I have joined several social groups. I’ve also been asked by my group to represent them at intergroup level and attend the OA Great Britain Conference this year. Although I am nervous about doing these things, I’m now prepared to try. I’ve also discovered a spiritual side to my life. I finally found a Higher Power, something that eluded me for some time, and I pray and meditate daily. I am still fighting the ego that says I can control things myself, but I’m getting better at turning things over to my Higher Power.

All these changes are fantastic, but the biggest change has been in my everyday life: I am no longer obsessed with food. I no longer waste energy planning binges and hiding the evidence. Once I’ve submitted my food plan to my sponsor, I can forget about food until my next mealtime. I no longer harbor resentments as I used to because Step Five brought them all into the open and Step Nine expunged them. Any resentments I pick up are dealt with straightaway through Step Ten. I am more honest in my dealings and quick to apologize when I feel I have done wrong. I try to use OA Tools daily. I keep a journal of my feelings. I text or phone people. I attend two meetings a week. I have a sponsor, and now I am a sponsor. I read OA literature every day, and I find reading and writing to be two of the most powerful Tools at our disposal.

People have noticed the changes in me—not just my weight loss, but also my improved outlook on life. I have finally found a future and am grateful every day for Overeaters Anonymous.

—Catherine S.

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