My name is Mary Ann, and I went to my first OA meeting in the mid 1990s. I was 100 pounds (45 kg) overweight. Over the following years, I was in and out of OA and lost and regained that 100 pounds twice by following strict, unhealthy diets. I never followed a healthy food plan. Five years and two months ago, I hit my bottom. I weighed 236 pounds (107 kg) and had a fatty liver and high liver enzymes. My doctor told me I wasn’t a candidate for a liver transplant, and if I didn’t get my liver enzymes down, I would die. I was disconnected from my Higher Power and emotionally unstable. That was my wake up call. I went back to OA and started attending meetings regularly. Since then, I’ve lost 106 pounds (48 kg) and now weigh 130 pounds (59 kg).

This time, I am totally committed to the program and abstinence is my highest priority. I have modified my food plan and redefined my abstinence several times since coming back to OA. Currently, I am on a low-fat, low-cholesterol plan, and I abstain from sugar and white flour. I have finally eliminated my trigger and binge foods, and I have done it in a healthy way. By following this plan, I have been abstinent for twenty-six months.

I have finally eliminated my trigger and binge foods, and I have done it in a healthy way.

This time in OA is different for me in many ways. I use OA’s nine Tools daily. I make phone calls regularly and read OA literature daily. I love Voices of Recovery. I go through the index and pick out topics I need to read for whatever I am facing. I pray to my Higher Power and feel spiritually connected daily.

I’ve never felt this way before, so I write in my journal every night, and this helps me work through the feelings of the day. I’ve completed the OA Twelve Step Workbook twice. I have a sponsor whom I call daily. I also sponsor a woman in the program. We email each other nightly and talk on the phone regularly. I carry OA literature to my Saturday morning meeting and do other OA service as well.

I listen to OA podcasts on my laptop computer. I have a daily action plan that keeps me focused on what I need to get done for the day. I utilize and adhere to the Tool and Tradition of anonymity, placing principles before personalities and making sure whatever is shared by another OA member is held in respect and confidence.

Today I have spiritual, physical, and emotional recovery, and I feel balanced and stable. I’m able to cope with problems as they arise without turning to food. I have OA’s Tools and Steps to help me make decisions and get through the difficult times.

Without my OA program and all of the wonderful people who have touched my life through OA, I would not be alive today. I give thanks to them and my Higher Power.