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It was May of 2015, and I was up 30 pounds (14 kg) after a yearlong sugar binge. Although I’d been on a constant roller coaster of losing and gaining, this was the biggest weight gain I’d experienced in seven years. It was also the low point when I began to realize my powerlessness over food. I had not yet found OA, but I was already beginning to take the First Step.

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

Months later, I was again entering 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, months prior, my Higher Power (God) had led me to OA. In an exercise of trust, I called the contact for the meeting I’d originally hoped to attend. I was encouraged to hear a friendly voice inviting me to come the following week.

That first meeting brought a feeling of hope I’d not had in my whole history of compulsive overeating. There was love, kindness, and empathy there—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 I’ve already found strength in the support of my fellow OA members, the OA literature, and the Tools of Recovery.

— Anonymous

Newcomers can learn more at oa.org. Look under the “Newcomers” section in the oa.org website menu, or go to oa.org/podcasts for dozens of free podcasts, including:
• “Introducing Overeaters Anonymous”
• “OA Members Come in All Sizes: Welcome, Whatever Your Problem with Food”
• “Sponsorship—How to Pick? Why Have One?”

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