I was born a processed food addict with the desire to eat and eat until I could not stand at times. Stealing, lying and cheating to get my “fix”. The disease caused terrible damage to me and others, physically with huge weight gains, emotionally as I did not mature and spiritually by alienating me from God …processed food was my God. I have been around the rooms of recovery in several programs for over 30 years. I thought I had a measure of freedom and healing; however it was not until I sought help, and identified with others in the Processed Food Anonymous (P.F.A.) program that I found the peace, healing and freedom from the disease. My journey has not been a perfect one that’s for sure, but I’m grateful today that I know the problem. I have a physical intolerance to processed food and a mental obsession that takes me back to it. Today I have peace of mind as I’m living in the solution of the 12steps of P.F.A..
Anonymous, Australia (Dec 2017)
Since day dot I was carrying excess weight, but that was the least of my problems!! By the age 14 the regular idea of suicide made its way into my thoughts. This was amongst other thoughts that included how was I “going to fix my life” and turn into a “worthy human being”. My journey before reaching Processed Food Anonymous (P.F.A.) at age 25 included; 10 plus years of antidepressants that only masked the symptoms of my processed food addiction; waking up on edge and not knowing why; 6 years of clinical psychology as well as dozens of various restricting diets; rigid exercise programs that I could never stick to and ended up feeling more hopeless and lost. It has now been 6 months in Processed Food Anonymous (P.F.A.) and I am no longer dictated by processed food or the negative voice that deluded me. Slowly I now believe I have a life worth living; I am worthy of life.
Anonymous, Australia (Dec 2017)
Over the last two years, blessedly clean, abstinent, sober and increasing peace of mind one day at a time I have had the blessing to grow in myself, relationships with others and God as I understand him, recovery and practising what it is like to live a constructive useful life, one that is gradually moving away from selfishly fulfilling my own desires, wants and demanding expectations. It has involved taking action each day and asking for a clean, abstinent, sober day with peace of mind as well as being guided by fellows whom have experienced what I experienced.
I have stumbled make mistakes and felt the world was going to end, not to mention the false guilt and pride that I was a terrible person. The hardest thing I have found in recovery is being humble and not letting my pride grow and then admitting and surrendering when it has grown. Things would go along well in recovery such as new employment, financial fears resolving, family resentments fading, ability to not run for help when work was challenging and then I would think-thanks P.F.A./God I’ve got this now, look at me soar, look how far I have come, I, I,I. And as soon as the blink of the eye I took the reins back and was in emotional turmoil, unfortunately this has been a slow learning and continually I fall and make mistakes and think this is too hard, I want to go have fun with others my age, HOWEVER the reality is I am not like other people, I am a processed food addict and thank fully have a 12 step way of life that guides me to live an amazing life, IF I only step to the side and let the miracles unfold. I would much rather chose recovery and the action I put in today, than living a life ingesting processed food, pursuing unhealthy relationships and in constant fear, anxiety, dread, remorse and searching for a way out. I pray for myself and those reading one day at a time recovery, humility and patience to live a spiritual life.
Anonymous, Australia (Dec 2020)
As a child every year at my annual physical I was told I needed to lose weight. I had no idea I had a disease until I was hooked on pain pills and found myself in rehab at age 28. Even then I was clueless about my primary addiction – processed food addiction – until I started recovering in P.F.A.. I always thought I had a weight problem and anxiety disorders; those were merely symptoms of my disease of processed food addiction. Since December 2016 I have been free from processed food and all mood/mind altering substances. I am learning how to live life without using people places and things. I am finally experiencing happiness, joy and freedom!
Sheri, US (Jan 2018)
My mantra all my life had been “What’s wrong with me?” I had always felt different from everyone else, locked in my own world of shame and fear. Shame because I thought everyone knew my darkest secret, that I couldn’t stop eating enormous quantities of junk and high fat food. I thought it was written all over my face and I knew my body showed it. My weight had fluctuated up and down by 60kg through my life before I recovery. Fear because I couldn’t stop eating processed food no matter how demoralising it was. I remember getting down to what I thought was my perfect body weight, 62kg. I could finally wear a size 10 and people told me what an amazing body I had. But I was so miserable I thought of suicide endlessly. It seemed the only solution to the pain I felt inside. “What’s wrong with me?’ played over and over. “I have a perfect body now; doesn’t that mean life should be perfect too?” I was completely baffled. Then I started to binge again. I put on 60 kg in just a few months and couldn’t bear to leave my house except to buy more processed food. I was deeply ashamed of my body and feared what people thought of me. It took another 6 years of this agony and misery, until one morning I woke up very sick after heavily binging the night before. I knew I had to get help. I found P.F.A. within a few days and along with that, there were other people just like me. They shared the same problem, and better still they had a solution!!! I have learnt in recovery that I wasn’t a bad person, I was just very sick with the disease called Processed Food Addiction on a cellular level, I couldn’t will it away myself, I needed treatment to recover from the disease. Blessedly with professional treatment and the fellowship of P.F.A., my disease is now in remission. I couldn’t be more grateful for this fellowship of people just like me!
Katie, Brisbane (July 2022)
All my life I have struggled with food and weight. It was a vicious cycle that was relentless and uncontrollable. Diets seemed to be working in the early days, but as time went on the days got shorter and shorter between binges. I felt different from others – they could ingest processed food and moderate or stop. That was a foreign concept to me – I just wanted to be the same as everyone else and be ‘normal’. It never occurred to me that I had a chronic disease and it had a name for it that described what I experienced my entire life. Everybody told me my problem, but no one could give me the solution. Unbeknownst to me the disease of processed food addiction was progressing and I needed more and more processed food to relieve the feelings of anxiety, depression, happiness etc. I didn’t want to feel. The processed food anaesthetised me, but that’s all I knew and how I coped with life. Diet clubs and food support meetings seemed to be the way to go, as in the early phases of my addiction I too could control my processed food intake to a degree. However, as time passed (13 years) and my disease progressed I got sicker – I couldn’t stay on any diet, food plan, or eating regime like the other non-processed food addicts. What I didn’t know was that I was different – I am a ‘real’ processed food addict. Not a compulsive overeater, an emotional eater, food addict, or social eater. I learned I had a disease like the alcoholic who also can’t stop drinking alcohol and it could be treated. I found the solution, and more importantly I am living in the solution. I am free today of the unstoppable processed food cravings, the mental obsessions, the unmanageability in my life and I don’t have the physical ailments I had from the excess weight I was carrying. I have been living in the solution since September 2015. It’s so humbling to be living a life beyond my wildest dreams-physically, mentally and spiritually, with the most wonderful people that “get me”. “Together We Can”.
Karen, US (Jan 2022)