When Deborah finally accepted that diets did not work for her and that therapy did not curb her overeating, she elected to have bariatric surgery. Deborah lost weight at first, but then she found herself eating out of control and gaining weight faster than ever. She could not stop until she discovered that she was chemically dependent on specific foods and starting treating herself as a food addict.

I have always known I was a competent person. I am a graduate of an Ivy League university, earned two graduate degrees with honors, and serves capably as one of the nation’s first women ministers with her own congregation. So, it was confounding to me that I could not control my eating or my weight.

I wasn’t overweight as a child, but once in college I became morbidly obese. I tried diet after diet – always succeeding at first, then gaining it all back and sometimes more. Some of the therapy approaches I tried also worked temporarily, but I gained this weight back too. I tried Overeaters Anonymous, but could never achieve a stable abstinence.

So, at my doctor’s urging, I elected bariatric surgery. This, too, was successful at first. I lost more than 100 pounds, felt better, and my blood test results started pleasing the doctor. Then I started overeating, just a little at first, then wildly out of control. I was very confused and really depressed.

Someone told me about her success with ACORN’s (Food Dependency Recovery Services) primary intensive for food addicts. I was skeptical that it would work for me, but I had to try it.

By the end of the five-day workshop, I was “rigorously abstinent” from all my binge foods. I had a few difficult days of detoxification, but then I knew that something was different. My food Craving disappeared and my crazy thinking about food lessened incredibly. That was almost two years ago. I haven’t picked up any of my binge foods and I’ve found an inner peace. I am maintaining a 220-pound weight loss with ease. I’ve never felt or looked better.

I may have had to fail after the bariatric surgery to fully break my denial that I am food addicted. I have no regrets, and I am grateful to be learning how to work a daily recovery program as a recovering food addict.