Vicki's Recovery Story

My name is Vicki and I am a compulsive overeater, a food addict and an alcoholic. This month, I celebrated one full year of abstinence and sobriety. I am a member of the January 2023 COR 133 group.

In late 2022, I found myself in a deep depression. In my mind I was a failure—a fat failure. I had no joy. I did not love myself and I couldn’t understand why anyone could love me. I was filled with guilt and shame for the life choices I had made throughout my existence, childhood to present day. I preferred to nap away my days instead of participating in life. Every social interaction I had focused on the food & drink. I could not control my eating—drive-thrus, fast food, and fried food was my drug of choice. My drinking “on the weekend” was in excess and far more problematic than I would admit.

I had no connection that the food & drink I was consuming was causing me so much pain physically and mentally. Mainly, because this was the only thing that gave me “feelings” – a little joy, a little excitement, a quick sense of calm and control until the guilt, shame and anxiety would set in moments later.

I couldn’t admit that I had a problem because I didn’t really understand I had one, nor that other people suffered like me. I was lonely and thought I was unique. I had no will power or won’t power. Diets don’t work, I have tried them all. I even tried to fix my body with surgery.

Recovery from Alcohol and Food Addiction in Minnesota

December 2023 I was at rock bottom. I could not put into words how miserable I was. There are no words for this kind of despair. I remember often thinking LORD: “If this is it…this is life…. If this is as good as it gets….I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t get it.” I was quietly building a plan to leave this earth.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022, I was on a binge for most of the month eating fast food and holiday sweet treats every day. I was at my highest weight in years; puffy, sore all over and depressed. That night, I heard a song that took me back to my teen years when my faith was strong. I broke down and cried. I begged God to help me. I didn’t know what I needed but I knew I needed help. I prayed. I ugly cried and drunk texted my girlfriend who lived just a few doors down.

Long story short, that friend of the past year was soon celebrating her 4-year anniversary of recovery in AA. I had so much respect for how she lived in recovery and the honesty of her life though I didn’t fully understand it. She had seen COR Retreat mentioned in a newsletter from the treatment facility, The Retreat.

12-Step Recovery Success Story
She sent me the link and I looked at it. In a fog, I half read the information on the COR Retreat webpage. I was honestly looking for one thing: the cost. It was affordable compared to many places!  AND it’s a nonprofit? Who does that in the “diet industry?” There is probably a catch.
That afternoon December 30th, I called “Nancy” whom in my mind was the “sales manager” for the program. I don’t remember a lot of the call…I know I told her how much drive thru eating and binging I was doing. I thought when she said “she understood” she was just saying that as part of her script. Our discussion was a blur of dates, price, and something about a 12-step program which I liked the idea of but still did not understand how this could help me. Wouldn’t you know it, there was only one or 2 spots left for the January group. I was sure this was the old “better book now” sales pitch! Nancy also mentioned she followed the same meal plan as the one she had learned at COR Retreat years before. I thought, 'Sure you do. That’s just a sales technique. Obviously, there’s a catch.'

The next day I registered for COR online. In a total of 16 minutes and 5 seconds of phone calls that I don’t remember much of… I was going to COR!  But, I still knew there was going to be a catch.

My earliest memories of compulsive eating were when I was under 5 years old. We had chickens growing up on 10 acres in Scandia, MN. My dad would get old baked goods by the barrel from a bakery…I would take the packages of donuts and hide behind the chicken coop and eat them until he found me. Binge eating after school growing up in the 80’s was the only comfort for this bullied “learning disability” kid. I also remember how I couldn’t wait to get my driver's license someday so I could eat fast food any time I wanted. This is one goal I achieved!

12 Step Recovery Success Story
COR began on January 11, 2023. For the first time in my life, I was starting to feel I belonged. I had found “my people”. But, every time I felt hopeful…I waited for the catch of a sales pitch. You know: “Buy an additional membership. Purchase our snack bars. One-on-one sessions and support groups for $$$”. Somehow, we were going to be exploited. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT “THEY” DO!!  Over and Over. The diet and exercise industry wait for us to fail and then wait for us to pay more money and take increasingly more drastic measures!

What happened? What did COR “push on us”?

Unconditional acceptance, unconditional support and unconditional Love. Even if we couldn’t see it, feel it fully or understand it at the time, a spark had been set aglow within. This was not just another fad diet but a true solution! We were welcomed in, we were welcomed home.

I celebrate over 12 months of ABSTINENCE and SOBRIETY this past month. In my wildest dreams, I could not imagine all the blessings in my life. I am no longer obsessed with food. I do not crave things; I have food neutrality. I never thought this would be possible. My relationship with my Higher Power is deepening and growing. He is bringing people into my life through COR and OA that understand, love, and support me. These are my people! I now know my life matters in a way that I could never understand before. I am so grateful for my life now!

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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