Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) will be holding a free Community Information Session on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2 – 3:30 p.m. at the CHA Everett Hospital, 103 Garland Street, Everett.
FA is a non-profit Twelve Step fellowship based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). There are no dues or fees for members.
Everyone is welcome to attend, including anyone who thinks they may have a food problem such as overeating, under-eating, bulimia, or obsession with body size or weight.
Also welcome to attend: anyone concerned about someone who may have a food or weight problem, and anyone who wants to know more about how the FA program works.
Many people resort to desperate measures to control their weight and the way they eat—expensive diets, surgery, medications, excessive exercise, purging, abuse of laxatives, and extreme food restriction. Others don’t know where to turn or have just given up hope. There is, however, an effective long-term solution that thousands have found through Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous.
Based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, FA understands food addiction as a physical craving and an ever-increasing dependence upon and struggle with food, particularly flour, sugar, and quantities. FA is distinctive because it focuses on addiction, not “compulsion,” “eating disorders,” or any of what it views as symptoms of addiction (anorexia, obesity, or bulimia, for example).
Meetings are open to all FA members and those who are interested in learning about the program for themselves or for others whom they think might find FA helpful. In the Boston area, there are weekly meetings in Chelsea, Boston, Everett, Cambridge, Medford, West Roxbury, Arlington, Braintree, and Charlestown.
FA has no dues, fees, or purchase of special foods and is not affiliated with any public or private organization, ideology, or religious doctrine. It is a fellowship of women and men—diverse in age, ethnicity, and socio-economic background—who, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from food addiction.
This is what some local members have to say about the FA Program.
Nicole, now a 60-year-old woman from Everett, says she dieted her weight up to 326 pounds. After many years of searching for a solution to her weight problem, she found FA at the age of 31. Before that, she tried many commercial weight loss programs, having some success periodically, however, never being able to maintain the weight loss. Constantly regaining the weight. Up and down. Extremely unhappy and hopeless until she found the 12 steps and realized that she was addicted to food. She has been working the FA program for almost 30 years, one day at a time, maintaining a healthy body weight and has been in a normal sized body for many, many years.
Another member, Madeline from Boston said: “I came to FA totally beaten by the food, I weighed 280 pounds and was climbing. I dieted my way up to there. I had lost the ability to diet. I couldn’t get through a morning without eating. I was a chubby child who ended up a morbidly obese adult. No diet worked so I stopped dieting. Not a good decision. Through another 12 step program I heard about OA. There was no FA yet and all the energy I put into eating I put into working FA. Today I am abstinent 27 years and maintaining 165 pound weight loss. And I have a life I never dreamed of.”
Mary Christina from Medford says “I was 57 years old, weighed 271 pounds and was desperate about my ‘ weight’ problem. “ I was terrified of the Weight Loss Surgery but more terrified of reaching 300 pounds so I made the appointment for the surgery at the Beth Isreal Hospital. Lucky for me that I found FA prior to having the Weight Loss Surgery. I lost 130 pounds in one year. The real miracle for me is that I have maintained that weight loss for 5.5 years something that I was never able to do.In the past whenever I reached a goal weight I would instantly reward my self by eating. I have learned so many things in FA and I have had so many wonderful life experiences that I would have never enjoyed had I not been in FA. If you are eating when you don’t want to eat and find that you can’t seem to stop eating when you want to stop eating or if you are not able to maintain the body size that you desire, you may be like me, a food addict.”
Deb from Chelsea shared: “I was over 350 pounds, alcoholic drug addicted, a single mom on welfare. My life was in the toilet. Multipli-addicted but food is my number one drug of choice. I’ve been maintaining over a 200 pound weight loss for many years. I haven’t had a drink, a drug, a cigarette or eaten addictively in that time. I’ve been gainfully employed full time (same company) for almost 30 years and love my job. The most important thing of all is I’ve been able to be the best mother I could possibly be to my daughter. I have two gorgeous granddaughters. Love the people in my life immensely. I could not have imagined this possible. No one is more surprised than me. The obsession has been removed. I will be forever grateful to this 12 step program of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. I’ve found a new freedom and a new happiness. I’ve found the greatest solution to the biggest problem of my life. I don’t struggle with food or any of the other substances. I never want to take this way of life for granted. The program is free. The only debt I have is to do it for one more day and try to help someone else to get well.”
Men also suffer from food addiction. Mario from Boston says that FA changed his life. “I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a food addict. I thought I was 311 pounds because I loved food and because a lot of people in my family are fat. I would eat when I was happy or sad, tired or energetic, hungry or full. I was 11 pounds at birth. So my identity was tied to being fat. FA taught me to start putting some order to the disorder that was my life. Once I put down the food — with the help and support of FA members — I lost 130 pounds in 10 months. And I started to see that what matters isn’t what I give up. What matters is what I get when I put down the food — freedom from my constant obsession with food. Relief from the constant cravings. Lifting of the shame that I felt being obese. Now that I’m in a normal sized body, I no longer have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or depression. Today, 13 years later, I weight 184 pounds. And I’m grateful that FA has taught me a new saner way of living.”
For more information, including local meeting times and locations visit www.foodaddicts.org.