I was first introduce to this program in February 2009 when a friend of mine suggested I accompany her to Las Vegas to attend an Area Conference. I had only attended one 12 step meeting in my life and really had no idea what they were all about but I agreed to go with her because I felt she needed my support. The minute we walked in the room there was a lady telling my story. I couldn't believe how much I could relate to the things she was saying. Could being a compulsive eater be what I had struggled with my whole life? I have been up and down with my weight all my life and at times be diligent and lose weight .. and then fall off whatever program I was on and then gain everything and much more back until I was sick enough with my body to get back on yet another kind of diet and start the whole process over again. I know many people who feel exactly the same way I do. I searched for answers to what was wrong with me for YEARS.
I remember meeting a water aerobics instructor about 10 years ago who had lost a ton of weight with a 12 step program and thought to myself then that 'Oh yeah.. I am addicted to food," but never did anything about it. Here I was in this conference with about 70 other people who all struggled with this compulsion to eat, telling their stories of recovery. I couldn't help but want to jump on yet another band wagon.. so I thought. I had no idea that this time would be my last stop to my compulsive eating. Soon I found myself asking the people around me how I get a sponsor. Surprisingly, the answer I got was, "You will know when and if this is right for you and when to start." I was READY right then. Probably my compulsion coming out of me again but what the heck. At that point I just wanted to take advantage of the surge of hope I was feeling listening to all these people who had reached a level of peace around their weight and their eating. Finally I convinced someone that I was ready and I got a sponsor. Although I didn't start the program for a couple of days, I was excited. Although at the time I was seeing it just as another diet, looking back I knew deeper in my soul that this time was different.
Now almost 2 years later, I have released a total of 128 lbs and kept it off for the last 6 months and my life has completely transformed. I am very active in helping others through the same process I went through. I have a deep desire to share the message of hope and that there is relief from this compulsion I have lived with my whole life. I now live a peaceful life, free from compulsion to eat. I eat good healthy filling food which by the way my food tastes amazing. All 12 Step programs are free and we volunteer our time in assisting others as sponsors.
When I first started into this program we didn't have any live meetings here in Utah. At the end of that conference my friend and I talked about starting one out here but it took awhile to see that come about. We started our first live meeting in September of that same year 2009 and now we have 5 live meetings a week from Salt Lake county and Utah County and are the fasting growing area in the world. We know and understand how powerful this problem is and each one of us in this group feel a great amount of gratitude that we have found each other and are willing to support each other through this journey of recovery. People in this country are dying of obesity. We want to shed a light of hope with sharing our stories.