Overeaters Anonymous of Marin

Road leading to a farm in Point Reyes

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Lifeline, OA’s international magazine, serves as an indispensable “meeting-on-the-go.” Since 1962, when the first issue debuted as the OA Bulletin, Lifeline has offered encouragement and hope to thousands of readers. Tucked in a purse, a suitcoat pocket or a lunch bag, Lifeline accompanies members around the world, ready to provide inspiration and support when needed. Print and/or digital versions available. 

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No Easier Way

There must be an easier way, I thought. Just letting go of the food is not for me. In my search I injected myself with shots, took pills, overexercised, fasted, drank liquid meals, saw dozens of doctors and dieticians, tried throwing up, cried, screamed, anguished, wished to die, and started all over again. 

I ate nonstop from morning until night. Disgusted and full of self- hate, I ate to comfort myself.

My parents drove me crazy; they didn’t know what to do with a five- foot (152-cm), 300-pound (136-kg) food processor, so I saw another doctor. He said, “There’s an operation that we do . . . .”

I was cut in half from my breast- bone, which had to be split, to above my navel. I was traumatized, but I’d found the easier way: stomach stapling.

I lost 80 pounds (36 kg) and vowed I would never gain it back. But the scale slowly crept back up. I hit rock bottom at 301 pounds (137 kg) and felt despair and panic whenever I became hungry.

Then a friend told me about OA and asked if I would go. I said maybe. It took weeks to say, “Hi, I’m a compulsive overeater. I’m a foodaholic. I’m miserable.” It took me months of meetings to get abstinent, but I kept coming back. I thought to myself that those people were crazy. They were weird. They had this disease that I didn’t have. But I had hit rock bottom, so I kept coming back.

Now, I’ve lost a lot of weight and I’m still losing. I have months of abstinence behind me and a life of joy and abstinence ahead of me.

Thank you, OA, for the only way out, even if it seems the hard way.

— Lifeline, April 1997