Angel's Story of Recovery

I am Angel and I am a recovered compulsive overeater.

My story begins at 8 years old. Both of my parents were alcoholic, my father was cross-addicted to work and my mother struggled with bipolar disorder. As the oldest daughter of 3 I did a lot of mothering. Praise and continuous compliments of what a “good helper” I was taught me quickly how to be an enthusiastic people pleaser. Sweets were my reward for household chores and food became a faithful friend. Bakery items, candy bars and chips made me happy and were part of my pay for helping keep things together. I have a large extended family of Polish and German heritage so food was a big part of my growing up years. My cousins and I talk about our paternal grandmother, matriarch of the family telling us to “Eat, eat, eat!” I think she wanted our many mouths full so we stayed quiet. She  encouraged everyone to eat more and seemed offended if you did not fill up on her food. Her husband, my paternal grandfather died of gangrene which I now know was a serious complication of his diabetes. Back then, nobody talked about food addiction as a primary illness. There did not seem to be a solution to compulsive overeating and obesity.

Throughout middle school and high school, I ate out of boredom, loneliness, sadness and stress. Although I was young, I felt responsible for so much. As I grew older, got married and had my three sons I was not able to stop overeating. We are farmers, family life and hard work are important, wonderful, challenging. I was an emotional eater and a stress eater. Like most of us, and for as long as I can remember I tried every diet I heard of, even the Bible based ones. I struggled with my weight and if I lost any, I could never keep it off. I was a yo-yo dieter. I would give up and then try again.

In 2014, we lost our 18-year-old son Dillon to a bee sting. We did not know he was allergic. Numbing out with food became the only solution for me. Through the process of grief and over the next few years, our family became very active in advocating for increased awareness and wider access to epinephrine pens. This could save lives in emergency situations. Food became part of these gatherings and celebrations, something to look forward to, to ease stress and provide comfort. I knew my problem with food was getting worse. I was depressed and full of self-loathing. The cake I had put in the freezer for safe-keeping would call to me, I would buy half a dozen donuts, polish them off and hide the box, embarrassed that I had not saved any for my husband. I hid candy bar wrappers. I started looking for help. I Googled “food addiction” and “sugar addiction” and saw the COR website, which showed a food recovery program at a retreat center in Minnesota. I felt humbled when I brought it up to my husband and his response was, “Whatever you need to do for your health.”

Today and with God’s help I have 20 months of abstinence and maintain a 100-pound weight loss. I could not have done this alone. COR Retreat saved my life. Without recovery I know my future would mean serious health issues all related to obesity, food and sugar addiction. Abstinence has lifted the veil of “protection” that numbing out with food provided. I no longer need to overeat and stuff my feelings. I allow myself to feel. I am learning to ride the waves of grief and stay present for those I love around me. I have worked through all 12 Steps. With my extended COR family and God’s help, I am living as a “sober woman”. I am a sponsor. This service work is rewarding and a must if I want to keep what I have found. When you feel like you can’t…God can. Thinking that life will be perfect or easy when you get thinner is a myth. However, working through the 12 Steps and relying on God/Higher Power, you can and will be healthy, joyful and successful! 

You can learn more about Angel and her family's work on Epinephrine training and legislation at


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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