I am a 58-year-old male. I have been on the “diet yo-yo” five or six times in my life. Each time, I lost weight and kept it off for about a year; then I gained it back plus more. I’ve learned this is a progressive disease.
Before OA, I was full of despair and frustration. I was hiding in my apartment, bingeing and isolating. At 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall, I weighed 277 pounds (126 kg). I could walk only one block and then had to rest because my back hurt so badly. I was having trouble doing my job. My next step was to become housebound or have a heart attack.
I was never into organized religion, but I knew there was a Higher Power; good and bad things happened in the world, and people had no control over them. That was as far as it went for me.
After coming to OA, I learned that OA is a physical, emotional, and spiritual program. I heard a story from OA literature about a woman who did not feel spiritual. OA members told her to think and act spiritually, and the feeling part would come. I tried that too, and it worked for me. I now trust in a Higher Power who runs things. Thank you, OA.
Before OA, I had not heard the word “abstinence” or given sayings like “easy does it” and “one day at a time” much thought. I now understand OA’s definitions, and the sayings help me a lot. When I’m having a bad day at work or someone is trying to give me a hard time, I re-read the passage on acceptance on page 417 from the Big Book (Alcoholics Anony- mous, 4th ed.). When I am impatient about being at my ideal weight, I reread pages 510–511.
In 1989, I went to an OA meeting and ran out of there. (Me have an eating disorder? You’ve got to be kidding!) I did the same thing in 1994. On October 31, 2014, I started my diet. On January 28, 2015, I went to an OA meeting, but this time I stayed and never left. It only took fifty-eight years to admit to myself that I had an eating disorder and was a compulsive overeater.
Today I attend three or four meetings a week. I do lots of service. I’ve lost 100 pounds (45 kg) and do a lot of reading. I am open to learning new things and am thankful for the Tools.
I know everything in my life happened just the way it was supposed to, in order to lead me to where I am right now. Thank you to OA, the Big Book, and the Twelve Steps for giving me my life back.
Like the Big Book says, “true happiness is found in the journey, not the destination” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed.,p. 511). I am ready for the journey.
— Anonymous, Phoenix, Arizona USA (from eLifeline, January 2016)