From the OA book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions:
Compulsive overeaters are often people of extremes. We overreacted to slight provocations while ignoring the real issues in our lives. We were obsessively busy, then we were 'wiped out' and unable to act. We were wildly excited then deeply depressed. We saw the whole world in black and white. If we couldn't have it all, we didn't want any; if we couldn't be the best, we didn't want to play the game.
So, then, overeating is a symptom? That seems so much like a duh, ten-four good buddy!, but I don't think I realized it until right now. In going to these meetings, we're not necessarily tackling just the symptom. We're looking at the cause.
I'm not saying I'm an OA cultist. My father-in-law went through that for a period and I know it was destructive not only to him but to his family. I go to one meeting a week, not six. That said, I know I can be an obsessive and compulsive person. I can also be bipolar -- either really up or really, really not. This has been the most heavy-duty period of working on myself that I can remember. Let's see where it gets me.