Alex's Story of Recovery

Being born and raised in Colorado I’ve been relatively active my whole life. I’ve always viewed myself as a jock and an outdoorsy person, a real guy’s guy. Growing up playing football, basketball and baseball, the notion that later in life, I would be brought to my knees by a cunning and baffling sugar addiction and compulsive eating problem was the furthest thing from my mind. But that’s what happened.

In 2014, my vocation as a residential building contractor afforded me the opportunity to set my own schedule. This ‘freedom’ of schedule translated into a scenario where there wasn’t a convenience store or fast food joint that didn’t own me. Delaying appointments, showing up late to meetings and rescheduling entire projects so I could sit in line at a drive through was a standard operating procedure. It was a living hell.

No self imposed discipline, diet or excessive exercise could dissuade my obsession with food. I couldn’t stop eating. Progressively, the physical and emotional pain I was in became totally unbearable; my chronic depression and anxiety worsened. I was on multiple prescription medications for physical aches and pains, depression, anxiety and a sleep disorder. I hated myself and was filled with anger, shame and guilt. I was convinced that the best days of my life were behind me and I became preoccupied with suicidal thoughts.

My fiancé at the time recognized the life threatening nature of my sickness and found COR Retreat online. Being in a state of complete denial about my condition, it took me another year of darkness, isolation and intolerable pain before I picked up the phone and called Michelle at COR. These were my exact words to Michelle, “Am I going to be the only guy there? I don’t want to be sitting around all day with a bunch of fat old ladies”. I have no recollection of what Michelle said to me that day, but all I know is that two weeks later I was on a plane to Minnesota attending my very first COR Retreat.

Alex Before and After COR Retreat - Weight Loss Success Story

Scared and anxious, I forced myself to walk through the doors at the retreat. Much to my surprise, there were no groups of circled women singing Kumbaya in the lobby. Rather, I was greeted by the warm smiling faces of the alumni, volunteers and staff. Concerns of gender, body shapes and sizes no longer took up valuable space in my brain. A welcomed, if not unfamiliar, feeling washed over me that first day. I had somehow come home.

While attending COR I went through a roller coaster of emotions. But by the fifth and final day, something akin to a total miracle had happened. My obsession and craving for the sugar, white flour and diet sodas had been lifted. Somehow, I was free from the bondage of the foods that previously enslaved me. Prior to attending COR Retreat, I could never have imagined a life without sugar, junk food and diet soda.

Almost two years after attending COR, I’m still abstinent from sugar, white flour and diet soda. My life is profoundly different in a positive and meaningful way. I’m off all prescription medications. I have a sense of clarity and purpose that I’ve never experienced before. I’m actively working the program and I’m getting along better than ever with my family and friends. The anger, guilt and shame brought on by my addiction have been replaced by a sense of freedom, gratitude and joy.

One of the many valuable and profound lessons I learned at COR is that gender or body size has no bearing on recovery. We are not our body shapes or sizes. We are all individuals with unique talents and gifts bound together by the human condition and a knowledge that we are all in this together. So if you’re a guy or a gal contemplating attending COR Retreat, just remember, you’re not alone. If it worked for me, it can work for you too!

Subsequent to attending my first COR Retreat in October 2015, I have attended EnCOR and a second COR Retreat. I like to tell people that the reason I keep returning to COR isn’t because it doesn’t work, I keep returning because it does work!  Nowhere else can I get the unconditional love, support and acceptance that my good friends Michelle, Linda Lou and all the volunteers can offer. My goal is to get back to COR or EnCOR at least once a year to recharge my batteries and give something back to the very program that helped save my life.

About COR Retreat
COR Retreat is a residential retreat program that teaches a way to live free from the obsession with food through a 12 step program. COR Retreats are 5-day programs, scheduled each month at the McIver Center in Wayzata, MN.

Learn more about the COR Retreat Experience, and register online to attend an upcoming retreat

The Beautiful McIver Center

  • McIver Center Exterior
  • McIver Center Wayzata, MN
  • McIver Center
  • McIver Center Room Photos
  • McIver Center COR retreat

Stories of Hope

See how Geoffrey was able to gain control of his life and his overeating habits after attending COR Retreat. Watch the Video »

See how Yolanda lost over 150 pounds after attending COR Retreat and working the 12 steps.   Watch the Video »

See how Mary was able to gain control of her life, save her marriage and lose 175 pounds after attending COR Retreat and working the 12 steps with her sponsor. Watch the Video »

Hear how Kari achieved an 80 pound weight loss in one year by recovering from food addiction with the help of COR Retreat, changing her lifestyle and working the 12 steps with a sponsor.    Watch the Video »

See how Angel worked the 12 steps to overcome food addiction and see how she lost 70 pounds within 8 months of attending COR Retreat. Read More »

See how Bill created a more manageable life and lost over 100 pounds within six months of attending COR Retreat and working the 12 steps.   Read More »

Read how Christine found inner peace with food after attending COR Retreat, and has since lost 88 pounds in 11 months.   Read More »

Read how Chris has lost over 100 pounds since attending COR Retreat, and is now living a life he always wanted.   Read More »

See how Alissa found abstinence through the 12 steps at COR Retreat, and lost nearly 50 pounds in 13 months following the program. Read More »

Read about how Alex overcame a cunning and baffling sugar addiction and compulsive eating problem after he attended COR Retreat in Minnesota.   Read More »

See how Mike found abstinence after attending COR Retreat, and achieved happiness in his life by working the 12 steps.    Read More »

Linda Lou
Learn about Linda Lou's struggles with physical ailments and how COR Retreat improved her health, weight and quality of life.   Watch the Video »

See how Kathi has worked the 12 step program of recovery and lost 75 pounds since attending COR Retreat.    Read More »

Learn about Kari's rollercoaster ride on her journey of recovery from food addiction, and how COR Retreat has given her a fresh start.   Read More »

View all Stories