Stories of Recovery
I am a 75-year-old Afro-American female who joined FA™ at a later age. Before FA™ I was morbidly obese, which caused health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and limited mobility, requiring me to use a wheelchair. When I came into FA™ in 2006, I weighed 321 pounds. Since being in FA™ I have lost 180-plus pounds, I have no need for the wheelchair, and I no longer take medication for diabetes or high blood pressure. I walk to my meetings and stand as a healthy and grateful septuagenarian.
Before learning about FA™ my weight was 314 pounds and climbing, yet again. As a Spanish-American male in my early thirties, my top weight was 341. I know I was heavier that, but I would not get on a scale. I had a laundry list of health problems. Besides being morbidly obese, I had plantar fasciitis in both feet, a bad right knee and lower back, heart palpitations, acid reflux, undiagnosed sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, bouts of vertigo, depression, fear, doubt, and insecurity. Since coming to FA™ getting a sponsor, and utilizing the tools of the program, the weight has come off my body. I now weigh 165 and have maintained this weight for more than five years. I do not suffer from any of those physical or mental ailments any longer. FA™ has given me a sense of peace, and I know fundamentally all is well as long as I am not eating addictively.
I’m a 40-year-old recovering bulimic, under-eater, and compulsive liar. I started bingeing and purging when I was 14 years old. I thought this was the answer to all my prayers as I quickly took off the extra 20 pounds I couldn’t seem to release by "normal" eating. I’m 5’ 7”, and at one point, through my use of purging and using laxatives, I weighed only 108 pounds. I mixed all of this with almost daily drinking, smoking, and intermittent drug use. I would use anything I could get my hands on that would take me out of reality and help me feel more secure about myself. Through all of this I stopped menstruating, nearly ruined my teeth, and nearly destroyed some of my relationships because of my incessant lying. After being in recovery for just over 11 years, I’ve maintained a healthy weight, and I no longer use anything to "control" my weight. Thankfully, my body has fully recovered, and I was able to conceive and have a beautiful, healthy baby with no complications. I am also happily married and am able to be present and honest in that relationship. I am forever grateful to FA™ for giving me my health and my life back!
As a 27-year-old young man who grew up in Canada, I didn’t find FA™ until I relocated to New York City. I am 6’0” and arrived weighing 214 pounds, but I was on the way back to my top weight of 260 pounds. I was one of very few men and one of the youngest members at the initial FA meetings that I attended, but I was still able to relate to the stories of fear, doubt, and insecurity. During elementary and early high school, I steadily gained weight even through my dieting, which began at 10 years old. I spent a summer at a weight-loss camp and lost 60 pounds but gained and lost that same weight and more many times over for the next 13 years. By the time I was 23 years old, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and morbid obesity. I was successful in business at a young age but was never satisfied with life. I was not happy. I had a series of girlfriends but could not maintain a healthy relationship. I joined umpteen gyms, tried alternative medicine, attended weekend personal growth courses, and had a library of diet, health, wellness, and spiritual solution books, but nothing seemed to stick. I had lost hope and had pretty much given up. One day, by chance, an FA member entered my life and told me her story. It sounded like mine. She was a food addict, but she had found a solution and it was free. So I decided to try it one day at a time. The cravings disappeared, I lost 45 pounds, and I have maintained my weight for 11 years. My life has totally turned around. I am back living in Canada, and I am healthy. I have a wonderful marriage, two incredible children, a nice house, a great relationship with my family, a graduate degree, and a good job. I do it all while still taking care of what I need to for my FA program. Life’s good. I can’t ask for much more.
I came into FA™ when I was 24 years old because I was desperate to stop bingeing. I was already a little under my goal weight and knew I was thin, but I felt like I could shoot back up the scale at any time. At that time, I had been in AA for two years and had two years of sobriety from alcohol, pot, and pills. As soon as I was sober from those things, I gained 25 pounds, so I knew I had replaced the alcohol with food. Once I got abstinent from flour and sugar, things became clearer to me, and I realized I'd used other substances to try to control how much I ate. I had used cigarettes, caffeine, busyness, relationships, exercise, card shopping, to try to control my eating and my weight.
When I came into FA™ and began to learn that food addiction is a real addiction, I had a lot of objections to that concept. I didn't want it to be true, and I didn't want to be a food addict. I also did not want to have to change the way I ate or my lifestyle. I had been praying for years for God to make me thin and to help me with my eating, but I didn't like the answer to those prayers. I had wanted a magic wand experience where I could miraculously be thin but still get to pig out.
Being from the South, I was extremely affected by cultural pressures to conform. I had to pray a lot and rely on support from my sponsor and new friends in FA™ to do what was being asked of me for the sake of my recovery. There are few FA meetings in my area, but I have been in FA™ for over 13 years, and I have maintained my goal weight of between 110 and 115 pounds. Many miracles have happened to me since I came into FA™. The first miracles were abstinence, freedom from obsession with food, and freedom from obsession with my body. Those were followed by miracles of change in how I think and how I live life. I am now happily married and pregnant with my second baby. I am deeply grateful and thankful for this wonderful program and for my long-distance sponsor who has lovingly supported and guided me for all these years.