August 1, 2023


I asked that question often when I was a little girl, probably omitting God. To me God was mean, punishing, to be feared. Why me? Why was I fat? Why wasn’t I cute like the other girls? They didn’t have to hide their bodies. I envied their legs. I wanted normal legs.

There was a time, as a teenager, when I could control my weight by starving. I stayed at what I called my normal overweight – about 155 pounds at 5’7″. I wanted to date. I wanted to get married. That was my motivation.

Married at age 18, still practicing periodic starving (is this what is meant by restricting today?) I became a stay-at-home mom at 21 with the birth of each of my 3 sons, and in a very unhappy marriage. My periods of binging grew longer and my ability to starve grew shorter. It was like I stepped over a line from periodic binge/dieter to down and dirty, X-rated food addict. Why me? God seemed to say “Why not you?”

On November 6 in 1962, I attended my first OA meeting. It was so exciting. I got abstinent, and with Rosanne’s help, I lost 21 pounds. That’s what I came for, and I thought I had recovered. I moved from West Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley and quickly regained the weight. I believed that I had learned all I needed to know from Rosanne and her sponsees. I was in for a rude awakening. OA was so new, I thought I was the only one who regained weight. Once again, “Why me God?”

I can’t possibly cover here all the years of abstinence, slips, relapses, weight regain, and weight loss. I eventually reached 210 pounds. The Big Book says we must be convinced. I call my alcoholic foods the Great Convincers. I watched so many others recover and experience long term abstinence so, again I asked “Why me God?”

In September of 2005 I returned from a 2-year RV trip. I weighed 169 pounds and knew I would have to start again at Day 1. I felt so tired. All I remember saying that day is “I give up.” That’s what my Higher Power was waiting for. I have been abstinent since that day and maintaining an 85-pound weight loss. I always worked the steps, traditions, and tools of the program. This time it was different.

Today, at 86, I am a recovered food addict. Enjoying my life as a mother, grandmother and having fun with 3 great-grandsons. I walk in gratitude to God for keeping me in the rooms, for my health, my recovery, for blessing me with sponsors who never gave up on me, for my sponsor today who truly saw me through thick and thin. I’m grateful for my sponsees, and meetings that make it possible for me to continue to learn and grow because I can give what I have away.

I’ve seen recovery, and I’ve lost friends who chose to go their own way. So, when I look at my life today and feel overwhelmed with gratitude I still ask, “Why me God?” As always, I believe God is saying “Why not you?”

– Mary B, Grateful member of OA