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Chance for over-eaters to see they’re not alone

Sep 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

SUSAN’S first step to overcoming compulsive eating was realising she couldn’t control the cravings on her own.

Now, as a member of the Wellington branch of Overeaters Anonymous, Susan (not her real name) dedicates her time to supporting those struggling with their addiction.

Along with the rest of the Wellington branch, she is encouraging others to find out more at this Saturday’s public Overeaters Anonymous meeting in Wellington.

The meeting is for those who think they may be struggling with food addiction, as well as friends and families of those who suffer from the disorder.

Professionals who treat people suffering from food addiction will also be at the meeting, which will consist of members sharing their experiences and answering any questions newcomers may have.

Individuals suffering from any kind of food addiction need to know that there is a way out, Susan says.

“We want people to know that we’re a support group, and that we do offer a solution.

“It’s very much about helping and supporting each other.”

She had to hit her lowest point before seeking help from the group.

“By the time I got to Overeaters Anonymous, I was incredibly low. I was depressed and didn’t even know it was normal.

“What brought me in was when I realised in my heart that I couldn’t actually control my own eating.

“I thought it was just me, that there was no one else like me, and I realise now that’s not true.”

Though Overeaters Anonymous follows a 12-step model like the one used by Alcoholics Anonymous, Susan stresses the group has no religious overtones.

“It’s not a religious programme at all. It’s simply about believing in something.

“That can be whatever you want it to be. For some people its nature, for some people it might be the group.

“For me, it’s about believing in something else, and also the fact that I’m not alone.”

She notes that like many members of Overeaters Anonymous, she did not fit the traditional stereotype of an overeater who is obese.

The members of the group deal with a variety of food-related disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, obesity, and compulsive overeating.

The ramifications of food addiction – which include social, emotional, and physical consequences – are immense.

The public Overeaters Anonymous meeting will be held on Saturday, September 29, from 10.00am to 11.30am, at the Quaker meeting house, 7 Moncrieff St, Mt Victoria.

All meetings of Overeaters Anonymous are free, and there are no membership fees involved.

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