Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | July 29, 2010

Food Addiction

Written by: Annie

The Twelve Steps have been a gift in my life in many ways – and they have also not given me everything I needed.

I was in “the rooms” for years and years, trying to get clean. I worked those steps day in and day out, got down on my knees and prayed before calling my sponsor, and did whatever I was told. I continued to end every day with a container or two of Ben and Jerry’s and would wake up the next morning with a hangover and a mess of candy wrappers all over the floor, which I knelt on while I prayed even more desperately. Why wasn’t Overeaters Anonymous working for me?

At one point I was searching the Internet for help. All I lived for was the next fix of some sugary packaged junk. My life was falling apart. My sponsor had given up on me and even though I was going to meetings – I was beginning to wonder if I was one of those unfortunates spoken about in The Big Book. I had my hand in a bowl of jelly beans, while I hit the sticky computer keys, and up came a page with the words “Food Addict”.

The dots began to connect. No matter how hard I prayed – No matter how many fourth step inventories I did – No matter how many times I set up the chairs in my home meeting -until I eliminated certain addictive substances from my food plan – there would be no relief. I had to make changes on the physical level or the cravings would continue to rule my life and drive me crazy.

I remember the moment I knew changing the way I eat was absolutely the answer. It was Halloween and I was in the candy aisle of our local supermarket. I had been eating well for five days – eliminated all sugar, and refined foods from my food plan. I noticed the candy and was not pulled to purchase any. The cravings had actually lifted. It would be my first clean Halloween. I would be free to enjoy the holiday with my daughter and her bag of “treats” would still be there in the morning (~smile~).

Today (~years later~) I truly enjoy food. I take the time to prepare beautiful and healthy meals. For me, the way the food looks is almost as important as the way it tastes. I go to meetings and work the steps in a different way now because I am not in that sugar fog. I have clarity – and peace of mind. The best piece is that I no longer live with cravings. Sometimes I feel sad for the years I lost to this addiction, but most of the time I am grateful for what I have found and the life I have today.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver



  1. This was exactly what I needed to hear tonight. I’ve been a food addict for years in and out of OA. I’m up to my eyeballs is sugar and processed food right now. . I’ve been on a downward spiral since last week when I got some serious news about my Mom’s health. I ate 4 donuts on the way to work this AM and I’ve been so angry, aggitated, tired,& sad all day. I know my body is too sensitive when it comes to sugar and artificial sweetners but that knowledge doesn’t stop me from bingeing. Tomorrow I’m going to try and have one day off
    from the sugar.

  2. I’m up to my eyeballs is sugar and processed food right now

  3. That has been the solution for me as well. I had been sober for 18 years, but had become morbidly obese. Nothing worked and I was considering surgery. I decided to revisit the idea of food as and addiction and found a group called Recovery from Food Addiction ( It is a twelve step program that also used the AA Big Book and 12×12. I have lost 88 pounds! More than that, I am neutral around food. I love the food I eat, and today I am able to chose what I eat and am not compelled to eat. My meals are colorful, satisfying, and nutritious. Life is good and I have a freedom I didn’t know was possible.

  4. Can I just ask, why do you all feel you have to love the food you eat and that it has to be pleasurable. To me it is just fuel. I only eat what I physically need and neither view or pursue food as a pleasure. Do you only eat food that you really enjoy? What would happen if you could only have bland food that had no particular appeal for you?

  5. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is the only program that relieved my food addiction.

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