Amanda's Recovery Story

I have been overweight all my life, hearing from my family, “it’s genetic” or “Amanda, you’re just big boned”. I never thought being a normal weight would be achievable. Through my 20’s, I would fluctuate between 220 and 240lbs—losing and then regaining the same 20 pounds. In my 30’s my weight began to climb and I reached my highest weight of 330 pounds. My life and health were completely out of control. I was in a deep depression, got a blood clot, and had to sleep with an apnea machine. I did not think I had any other options and made the decision to have Gastric Sleeve surgery.

Amanda's story

After my surgery in January 2019, I followed a low sugar food plan and weighed and measured my food losing a total of 140 pounds. Then on my 39th Birthday,  I had a piece of cake; the first real sweet since my surgery. Over the next 2.5 years I gained 70 pounds, binging nightly on cookies, candy and anything sweet. I could not understand how if I had more than half my stomach removed I could still eat almost an entire container of cookies in one sitting. I found COR one evening when, after my latest binge, I decided to google “food addiction”.

I entered the doors of COR in July 2022 with no knowledge or experience with the 12 steps. In my own way I had already completed steps 1 and 2. I knew I was powerless over food and my life was unmanageable. I also knew I alone could not restore myself to sanity. Describing myself as a compulsive overeater resonated with me. In the evening, which was my primary binge time, my eating felt like a compulsion. The definition of compulsive is an irresistible urge, especially one that is against one’s conscious wishes. Even though I did not want to walk down to my kitchen for another evening snack I felt a compulsion to do so and if I didn’t eat more, I was uncomfortable and anxious.

Successful recovery from food addiction after gastric sleeve surgery

Since COR, I have attended ENCOR in October 2022 and July 2023. Attending ENCOR supports me in continuing to work through the 12 Steps, keeping my program intact. Since July 2022, I have released over 110lbs. What I find even more rewarding than the weight loss is improvement in my personal relationships with my spouse, family, and friends. No longer do I harbor ill feelings from the past. When I am wrong or quick to anger, I promptly apologize and explain my wrong. My brain is quiet, no longer fixated on the next binge or what I am going to eat. Making the decision to attend COR and accepting that I really am a compulsive overeater was not easy, but it was the best decision I ever made. Living life with neutrality around food is not hard if you do the work. I avoid giving my “addict brain” an opening to make excuses or justify not abstaining. I have a fridge full of abstinent meals and a freezer stocked with healthy prebaked breakfast loaves to get me through my work week. I am not one who enjoys cooking. Prior to COR I cooked only once a year on Thanksgiving. My husband took care of the rest. I now enjoy spending 2-4 hours each weekend food prepping. This helps me feel empowered. The mantras that help keep me on track are “Progress Not Perfection”, “Clear, Honest and Intentional”, “One Day at a time”, and “Not my Food”.  I have traveled for work, with family, and with my Husband all over and even to a different country while maintaining my abstinence. While following my food plan I was able to truly enjoy my time instead of focusing on what was next to eat. At age 42 I feel like my life is just beginning. I am excited to see what is ahead, my life free of excess food is the beginning!

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 McIver Center

  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN

COR Retreat participants spend five days and four nights together at the McIver Center for Spiritual Development at The Retreat in Wayzata, MN. The McIver Center is located just 15 minutes west of Minneapolis, MN.

COR Retreat Philosophy

COR Retreat Experience

COR Retreat Daily Schedule

Stories of Hope

Read Cindy's story about her 90 pound weight loss and the improvement of many health conditions including diabetes after COR Retreat.    Read More »

Read how Chris has lost over 300 pounds since attending COR Retreat, and is now living a life he always wanted.   Read More »

Learn how Elizabeth gained peace and serenity around food while improving her weight and health.    Read More »

See how Jackie greatly improved her health, including sleep apnea, GERD and other health conditions after attending COR Retreat and working the 12 step program.    Read More »

See how Kathryn lost over 50 pounds and resolved numerous health issues after attending COR Retreat and working the 12 step program.    Read More »

Learn how Roger released 150 pounds and freed himself from the bondage of food after attending COR Retreat.    Read More »

Read how Vicki was able to achieve abstinence from both food and alcohol using the 12 step method of recovery taught to her at COR Retreat.    Read More »

Amanda shares her 100+ pound weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery and attending COR Retreat in Minnesota to learn the 12-step method of recovery.    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 »

See how Geoffrey was able to gain control of his life and his overeating habits after attending COR Retreat. 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 100 pounds since attending COR Retreat.    Read More »

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

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