Those having trouble controlling what and how much they eat, bouncing from diet to diet and from one exercise fad to the next, and losing weight only to gain it back may feel frustrated and hopeless about their weight battles.

Several members of Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous, including two Aurorans, a Kent resident and a Parma resident, said they experienced those frustrations until they joined Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous in which they experienced not just a diet but a change of life that has helped them lose lots of weight and keep it off, in some cases for decades.

Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous is a free program that relies on group sessions, accountability and a mentorship program to help members establish new daily routines, lose weight and keep it off.

There are two information sessions taking place in the area this weekend for people who think they may be interested in learning more about the program.

To learn more about the organization, visit www.foodaddicts.org. One will take place at Montrose Zion Methodist Church, 565 N. Cleveland Massillon Road in Akron on Sunday from 4-5:30 p.m.

The other will take place in Middleburg Heights at Southwest General Hospital, 18697 Bagley Road from 10:30 to noon on Saturday. The group will meet in the Anderson

Conference Room on level HB (the basement level).

A member from Parma said she’s been in the program for 16 years and has lost and kept off 110 pounds after hitting a high of 250 pounds.

A 44-year-old from Aurora who’s been in Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous eight-and-a-half months said she’s dropped 90 pounds.

“I started running when I was 35 or 36,” said the Auroran who wished to remain anonymous. “I ran 10 miles a day sometimes when I was 280, and my weight didn’t change more than 5 pounds.”

The program involves meeting regularly with others, but also includes changes to daily life that go beyond mere diet and exercise.

“I’m changing the structure of my day,” said the Parma woman. “I had to get up earlier to meditate. I had to go to bed earlier to get up earlier. It puts real structure in my life, and it’s structure I need to keep my life manageable.”

Another aspect of the program the members discussed was having a sponsor or mentor to speak with daily. That partner is another person with at least six months experience in Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous who provides accountability, helps set daily goals and menus, and serves as a confidant, said several members.

Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, bgaetjens@recordpub. com or @bobgaetjens_rpc.