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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    North Carolina

    Default Recovery from Food Addiction / Binge Eating

    Last week my partner left out on the counter some cookies that had be gifted to us by a neighbor. The cookies sat there for days as my partner slowly ate some and then took the rest to work. THAT was new!

    I started eating unhealthy and binge eating when I was a child. My mother was a compulsive overeater/binger. I was a heavy child, and by age 13 I weighed over 200 lbs. I was “obese” until I was 35. After some diets, exercise, and increasing my drinking (yes, switching up the addictions) I got down to “overweight.” I still couldn't pass up high sugar food offered to me at the office. I also couldn't even have crackers in the house in view without eating them all.

    I went to AA and got recovery from my alcohol abuse about 3 years ago. However, Overeaters Anonymous never seemed to help me with my food addiction. The 12 step just didn’t offer enough practical applications for my food addiction. I’d do O.K. for a while, then binge on sweets and fats. I was about to give up again on eating healthy, when I happened upon SMART.

    The first thing that I did in SMART was to buy the handbook and go through it. The handbook presents a lot of the SMART tools in a sensible order. I also posted on the forums. It was a while before I did an on-line meeting. SMART offered me concrete tools that I can use when I want to eat unhealthy foods or overeat.

    It did take about 3 months to get off the sugar craving roller coaster. I did NOT start eating healthy all the time all at once. It in the past 2 months, however, I have been able to abstain from binge eating and eating high sugar foods such as desserts and candy. I understand that not everyone must stop eating high sugar foods in order to stop binge eating, but I now know that consuming sugar sets up physical cravings for me. I never knew how much obsessing about food and eating controlled my life until it stopped controlling my life.

    I am now a “normal” weight. I feel healthier and proud of what I have accomplished. I am currently using the SMART tools and forum support to help me with really “listening” to my body regarding when and how much to eat.

    Thanks, SMART!
    "Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product." Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. #2


    Amazing work Roberta! It is so great to hear of smart helping so much with this tricky problem. You are a great source of inspiration to me and I am sure to others who are tackling binge eating and overeating behaviours. Thanks for posting.

  3. #3


    Awesome story and great job, Roberta!!!! I didn't know a lot about your history until I saw this post, and I'm very glad you wrote it! It's especially encouraging to hear another story from someone who, in adulthood, experienced success after a lifetime of food issues. I also struggled with binge eating since childhood, and it wasn't until I reached my late 20s that I was able to get a decent enough handle on it to where my bloodwork and weight reached medically healthy limits (and I've maintained within healthy limits for a bit now, as well). It's nice to hear stories of others who have accomplished similar goals in adulthood, as it adds to my faith that this is something that can be maintained long-term. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. #4
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline Former SMART Super Moderator
    Former SMART MB Liaison
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Southwest Fl


    Hello Roberta,

    Thank you for sharing your success story here. It is interesting about the switching of addictive behavior. It is clear that you kept exploring to find the support that you needed.
    That is inspiring.
    Thank you for volunteering for SMART Recovery!

    "Discover the Power of Choice!"

    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

    Join the team as a SMART Message Board Volunteer!! It can encourage growth and joy. Or support with a donation

  5. #5


    Encouraging post! Dealing with food addiction and compulsive behavior towards food. I wondered if you might be willing and or available to chat on the phone about abstinence and the definition for us with ED. I, too, have come from an FAA-OA background that is clouding my decision making skills. I'm new to this SMART thing. Been to several meetings online this week and do have the handbook, but I'm kinda nervous to do the CBA and HOv, etc? can you help, robertaDa?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011


    Awesome post Roberta. Congrats on your success!!!!!

  7. #7


    I am on Day 6 of abstinence from sugar, weighing myself, and binge eating. I am starting at a healthy weight but need to let go of the over-focus on weight and shift to a more mindful/intuitive approach, minus the sugar to which I am definitely addicted. I am working with the tools and have gone to online meetings. I am very encouraged. I had years of OA and other 12 step food programs but didn't find the rigid/HP approach helpful. I need both abstinence (from sugar) and permission to listen to my body. I am a believer, but I need self empowerment because I CAN do this. So glad to have others walking the path! NW

  8. #8


    At one point I had a blood test that showed that my triglycerides that were dangerously high. Triglycerides are as much a risk factor in heart disease as is cholesterol. So I decided to examine where all the sugar was coming from. It was coming from unplanned food at the office. So I decided I would not eat this stuff any longer that was at the office; party food, birthday cake, cupcakes, cookies, chips, candy, soda, ice cream, all were foods that I didn't bring to work nor did I plan to eat it. I ate it simply because it was there. So I stopped. When the food was passed to me I said no thanks. At a buffet I gorged on celery and carrots. Or I brought a salad or fruit that I wanted to eat. I was surprised how many people were grateful I brought something other than fattening or sugary food, like tabbouli which is mostly parsley.

    After doing this for a year, I cut my triglycerides to 1/3 of what they were previously. This was not hard. I just had to face the reality and find alternatives. Just walking away was often the best tactic.

  9. #9


    It is frequently difficult to distinguish between “compulsive overeating” and “food addiction,” especially since many recovering people as well as ...

    zany zebra

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    I am super proud of you, Roberta. You have accomplished so much.
    I'm not telling you it is going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    East Coast Australia


    Roberta I am new here - and not knowing where to start - so reading your post was exactly what I needed. Well Done on your awesome journey!!!

  12. #12


    giving up doesn't always mean you're weak, sometimes it means you're strong enough to let it go.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015


    Dear Roberta
    congratulations, and thank you for sharing your story. Mine story is almost identical to your (drugs, alcohol, food, OA etc). I would like to share with you and others reading this post what finally turned the tide (in short cutting sugar, processed food and wheat from my diet). Here are the links, in addition to SMART which got me there:

    CBT & more to help break the nicotine habit


    here a brilliant video (8min) that explains addiction
    on a biochemical level and why we are facing an uphill
    struggle. It focuses on food (sugar) but neatly connects the
    dots why this applies to all addictive substances on the
    brain. I have been following Prof Lustig for some time -
    ever since watching his classic 'The bitter truth',
    but his is a excellent, condensed roadmap of how the
    biochemistry of addiction acts on the brain:
    I asked a friend of mine (from NA/AA) who used to be head Addictions Counselor at a renown clinic in the UK if there was a book he could recommend which he would describe as transformational. He answered "The Chip Paradox", by Prof Dr Steve Peters.

    Check out this TED talk by Prof Dr Steve Peters - it makes so much sense! And dovetails very well with CBT techniques. Let me know what you think.

    Further here two audiobooks on CBT which you will really find enlightening.

    A good CBT introduction is: "Hardcore Self Help: F*** Anxiety"

    Good luck and happy reading/listening

    Philipp, Zurich Switzerland
    Last edited by LMR555; May 7, 2015 at 7:51 AM. Reason: removed links to personal information and for profit site

  14. #14


    Although I posted last summer I continued to have a new eating problem known as Night Eating Syndrome, or eating more than 1,000 calories after normal meals (after dinner). Needless to say I gained substantially in the last 5 years. Added to that I've had a lot of various bodily injuries that prevented me from exercising including a car accident, dislocated knee and foot problem (Plantar Fasciitis). I just joined an online healthy weight class and I'm using LoseIt.Com to log my food and exercise daily. Some days I forget but I"m working on trying to become regular. It takes me a long time to make a new and consistent habit. I have a lost a tiny bit of weight, not a lot but it;s a start and I'm already feeling better. I feel less defeated. The online class was not working very well for me to listen to someone talk about food for 2 hours straight and I ate a lot of snacks during the class so I am trying to just listen to the class while doing some crafts to keep my hands busy. I did not find our chat to be supportive of weight loss, people like to talk about food so much and I think that's fine. It is one of the pleasures we have left after quitting drugs, alcohol, etc. I'm better off staying away from the computer because I snack in front of it. I also find that online conversations cause me to be nervous so I try to stay away from them now. The plan is working; in spite of some twists and turns I didn't expect.

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