Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous helping central Albertans for more than 20 years

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous helping central Albertans for more than 20 years

A 12-step program available locally helps people who are have difficulties controlling the way they eat.

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous meet four times a week in central Alberta – twice in Lacombe and Red Deer. The program includes people who are overweight, underweight or even at a normal weight.

Regardless of size, individuals can be “tormented” by cravings, dieting, bulimia and/or an obsession with exercise, a FA information pamphlet said.

One member of the program locally, who will be referred to as Shelley, said she has been in “the fellowship” for 20 years.

“I came from anorexia and I basically found out about it when I was in the hospital,” said Shelley.

With Food Addicts being a 12-step program, based on Alcoholics Anonymous, Shelley’s identity is to be protected at the public level.

Shelley said friends of hers, who were in the AA program, saw she had an addiction.

“When I went into an AA meeting, there were two people that were working with the FA program. I talked with them and they told me about the program a little bit and I didn’t really join the recovery program until two years later.

“I was in the hospital for four years, in and out – more in than out. I just couldn’t get well. My doctor kind of felt that I was at the point of maybe no return. But this program came across my path and I basically do the recovery that’s set before me and away I go,” said Shelley.

Shelley said with the “support of the fellowship” she was able to gain a necessary 15 pounds.

“Generally people who come in need to lose weight, but putting down the food is not an easy feat. If it were, we’d all be very healthy,” said Shelley.

Liz, who has been involved in the program for 23 years, said she has had a food addiction since childhood.

“By the time I was five, I was an obese child. My mother was concerned about me of course, no mother wants their child to have health issues,” said Liz.

Throughout her life she had stretches where she was overweight, underweight and of normal weight.

“When I was 17 … I started exercising excessively. I was running probably seven miles a day and then I was restricting my food to less than 1,000 calories a day, so of course I got underweight. I was never diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, but I had anorexic tendencies.”

She continued to struggle with her weight after completing university as well.

“I was just unhappy with everything and I couldn’t stop eating and gaining weight. I was lucky enough to hear about Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. I went to an information session and … I was like, ‘I am all in,’” said Liz.

“It started then and it hasn’t always been easy, but I’m still in recovery and I’m so grateful.”

The FA fellowship is scheduled to participate in an Eating Disorder Awareness Week event at Red Deer College in late February.

“We’ll have a booth where people can come and ask questions about the different programs available for those having difficulty with eating disorders,” said Shelley.

Red Deer meetings are held Wednesday at Kentwood Alliance Church from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and Friday at Church of Nazarene from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Lacombe meetings are held Tuesday at Parkside Alliance Church from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at the same location from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

For more information on the program, which has been available in central Alberta for 23 years, visit www.foodaddicts.org.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Torrington School music program is one of 95 beneficiaries across the country of grants from MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity. (Black Press file photo).
Torrington music program gets grant to purchase instruments

A Torrington school will be able to replace worn out band instruments… Continue reading

Paul Harris, owner of Tribe restaurant downtown, said a lot of the blame for the latest restrictions that will close outdoor patios on Sunday can be blamed on those not obeying health regulations and the government for failing to enforce the rules.
Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
Restaurant owners frustrated by patio shutdowns

Outdoor patios must stop serving by midnight Sunday to stem rising COVID infections

The City of Red Deer said Wednesday that some outdoor activity rentals will be available starting Monday for households only. (Advocate File Photo)
City of Red Deer outlines activities available as new provincial COVID-19 restrictions set in

There will be limited recreation activities available across the City of Red… Continue reading

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 2,271 new COVID-19 cases, Red Deer cases rise slightly

Across Alberta, there are 666 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 146 in the ICU

‘Love, Oran’ is a documentary feature made by Red Deer-raised filmmaker Colin Scheyen. It’s about hidden letters, found in a Woodlea home after 70 years, revealing a family secret. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
Hidden letters reveal secrets of Red Deer family in a new documentary film

‘Love, Oran,’ by filmmaker Colin Scheyen is showing at Edmonton’s NorthwestFest

LtE bug
Letter: Restrictions are a crime against humanity

I was distressed to note the seemingly superficial understanding of the holocaust… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Follow restrictions so pandemic can be behind us

From one who feels that COVID could have been overcome long ago… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Westerner needs help now

I have spent the last few days sifting through many pieces of… Continue reading

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson, left, directs her teammates, lead Briane Meilleur, right, and second Shannon Birchard, against Estonia at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, May 5, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson extends win streak to four games at world curling playdowns

Canada’s Einarson extends win streak to four games at world curling playdowns

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy, left, talks with midfielder Lassi Lappalainen during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Columbus Crew, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Canadian MLS teams try to make best of relocation

Canadian MLS teams try to make best of relocation

Damian Warner, of Canada bronze, smiles during the medal ceremony for the decathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Nariman El-Mofty
Decathlete Damian Warner says being a dad has brought balance and new perspective

Decathlete Damian Warner says being a dad has brought balance and new perspective

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gestures rounding third base after hitting his third home run against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 27, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Blue Jays shuffling back to Buffalo starting June 1

Blue Jays shuffling back to Buffalo starting June 1

Most Read