Jackie's Recovery Story

As I child, I didn’t have a weight problem. I was hyperactive and burned everything off. Looking back now, I can see that I did have a sugar problem. I loved candy. At any holiday where candy was part of it, especially Halloween, I would finish mine off in record time, looking for the next “fix”.  Eventually, I developed a volume problem, too. There was no such thing as “enough” food for me.  Eating was my favorite sport and certainly the way my family celebrated. I can remember eating until I was over-stuffed. I never took home a doggie bag – I always finished what was on my plate (and maybe on someone else’s plate, too!).  I always carried this fear that there wouldn’t be enough food, so I developed strategies to make sure that there always was!

I began to gain weight in high school. My warped perception of myself told me I was fat and if I was fat, I wasn’t likeable or lovable. The reminders I got from family members that I was gaining weight didn’t help.

In college, I continued to gain weight. My overwhelming fear of being fat led me to starvation diets and bulimia. In my warped mind, this was the way I could control my weight.

My weight went up and down from then on. I could lose weight, but only short term. I would gain it back and more! The cycle continued for over 40 years. Five years ago, I began to look into surgical ways to lose weight. I decided on gastric balloons. I was counting on those balloons doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. My GERD was off the charts and I felt lousy all of the time, but I lost a lot of weight initially. But guess what? I am a resourceful girl: I ate anyway! I was miserable and I didn’t care. Not even those balloons could stop me. By the time the balloons were removed, I had lost no weight at all!

By early 2021, I was 5’3” and wearing 2X size clothes. I was pre-diabetic, suffered from GERD, insomnia, severe sleep apnea, and depression. The inflammation throughout my body kept me from taking part in many physical activities. I loathed myself.

Then in the winter of 2020-2021, I hit my own personal bottom of the barrel. I was out of options.  I had yet to call myself a food addict, but I knew I needed something other than a “diet”. Deep diving into the internet on yet another sleepless night, I found COR.
I signed up for COR 116 and flew out to Minneapolis in June of 2021. The miracle began. Surrounded by people who were just like me and who totally understood, my walls of denial and stubbornness began to come down. It became crystal clear to me that I absolutely was powerless over food. The solution was being handed to me. I knew it was my last chance. So, coming out of COR, I did everything I was told to do. I didn’t fool with the food plan. I didn’t question anything. I knew that everything I had tried on my own to lose weight hadn’t worked. I became willing and teachable.

Jackie's weight loss and recovery story

I connected to my "We" in a big way that week and I haven’t let go. When I connect to my community, I connect to God because I see God working in all of you and that gives me hope. I worked the 12 steps for the first time over the first 2-3 months, but mostly I was focused on how much weight I was losing. That, in itself, was amazing… but then, the miracle happened. Something changed on the inside of me. I realized that I wasn’t working this program on my own steam. A power greater than me was carrying me.

I have finally realized that it is my job to work this program from the inside and let God take care of the outside. This is huge for me because the insanity in my brain has always been trying to control me through how I looked on the outside.

I know it’s a cliché, but I really am living my best life. I show up every day – no hiding behind food and alcohol. Yes, living my life without my alcoholic foods to cope takes work, but it’s an effort I’m willing to make to feel as good as I do. I am no longer at risk for diabetes, GERD is gone, and last month I was able to pack up my CPAP as my sleep apnea is gone. I love that I have a whole new family – some I have only met on Zoom, but valuable friendships nonetheless!

At our daughter’s wedding recently, there were several people who didn’t recognize me. Obviously, that felt really good to hear. But what felt even better was that I felt good in my own skin! I didn’t need anyone else’s affirmation to feel good about myself.

I have so much gratitude for this program, my Higher Power, my wonderful sponsor and my We. I’ve learned that when I live in gratitude daily, it’s hard to have resentments and fears!

Here are a few things that I’ve learned on this journey:

I really can live without Chick-Fil-A!
It absolutely has NOTHING to do with the scale!
Yes, you CAN stay abstinent on vacation, on your birthday and at Disney World!
The COR Food Plan works, but not by itself. Without the inner work, I would not have made it to where I am now.
I didn’t do this on my own steam. Never underestimate the power of God and your We.
There is never a “good” time to start this program. (I was always going to start “dieting” tomorrow). Life is busy and complicated for all of us. Just start and make it your priority.

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 »

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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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