Chris's Story of Recovery

In 2018, I couldn’t imagine going one day without eating all my favorite foods. Five years seemed like an eternity. But I knew I needed help and I wasn’t willing to give up yet. On May 10th, 2018 I walked into the doors of COR at 505 pounds and scared for my life. I didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t think I could change. I had lost hope but COR was my hail Mary. One last effort to make a change before I died of a heart attack or ended up in a wheelchair.

Walking through those doors changed my life forever.

Chris at COR Retreat

I was always a big kid growing up. I learned early on that food meant peace and love. In my family, it was when we ate that all was well with the world – people would stop arguing, things would quiet down, and we could just be together as a family. It was really comforting. Food became the thing I turned to for comfort. Later, I added in alcohol, drugs, and anything else I could get my hands on because I was incredibly miserable and didn’t know how to fix it. Spiritually sick, afraid, resentful, ashamed, I went on like that for years. Drinking, smoking, drugging, eating, partying – just trying to find a little escape every day from the overwhelming self-hatred and fear that I had.

Thankfully my health got really bad. Yes I am thankful for that because that is what made me finally face reality. I ended up in the hospital with severe heart palpitations and I quit drinking that night.  But I kept on overeating. It wasn’t until I ballooned up to 505 pounds, was having severe chest pains, trouble breathing, and a million other problems, that I began to fear for my life. I had tried everything I knew to do and nothing stuck. I thought I was broken. I thought other people got to live healthy lives, but not me. I really thought there was something wrong with me.

Then I found OA and realized none of that was true. I just needed the right tools that I hadn’t found anywhere else. And most of all, I needed to surrender to a higher power. I needed to stop trying to be the smartest guy in the room and to listen to those who came before me instead. So I did. I got a sponsor, a nutritionist, got on a meal plan, started working the steps, and things started to change.

Five years later, I have lost almost 300 pounds and have kept it off. I can wear clothes I never thought possible. I can do things I never could do at 505 like ride comfortably in an airplane or fit into a seat at the theater. One of my favorite things that came out of recovery was moving to New York City. It has always been a dream of mine but I never thought it was possible when I was sick. Now, anything feels possible. And with recovery, I had the emotional and physical strength to sell all my stuff and move to New York City – all within a 3 month time span!

I’m thankful to be healthy and skinny. But most of all I am very thankful to have peace of mind and freedom from the obsession of food. I used to think about food all the time, and now I don’t think about it much. I still like to eat and I enjoy my abstinent meals, but my meal plan gives me freedom from thinking about food all day so I can spend that energy on the things that really matter.
And when I go for a walk in Central Park, I am always reminded about what a gift this life of recovery is. The life I never thought was possible for me was always there. I just had to take the first step. God took me the rest of the way and continues to do so. Every day. One day at a time.


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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