Overeaters Anonymous (OA) does not endorse outside enterprise. In some cases and for some people, OA can work with our philosophy and approach. Meanwhile, there are many other food-based 12-Step fellowships that promote rigid and monotonous food plans. We do not recommend these programs although we do acknowledge that they do work for some people. OA recommends no specific plan of eating. We can provide that service for you. We will not endorse highly restrictive food plans in the presence of a restrictive eating disorder. But we will help you figure out a plan that works for you! See our service packages HERE
What Is Overeaters Anonymous?
Overeaters Anonymous is a support and recovery program designed to help individuals with compulsive eating and food addiction. There are a number of tools available and meetings held around the world that can help someone struggling with these issues through the experience, strength, and hope of other members.
OA is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet or food plan. In fact, one of the things that sets Overeaters Anonymous apart from other groups, is that it addresses emotional, spiritual, and physical well being, and is not primarily focused on weight loss or diets.
It is important to note that OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, and there are no fees to be a part of it. The main focus of Overeaters Anonymous is to help members to achieve abstinence from compulsive food behaviors, and carry their message of hope to individuals that are still suffering.
Read a recent peer-reviewed journal article about Overeaters Anonymous by David Wiss HERE
Is Overeaters Anonymous For You?
There are no strict guidelines for being a part of Overeaters Anonymous and anyone that wants help with their compulsive eating is welcome to join. If a person is unsure of whether or not OA may be a good fit for them, there are several questions that may help with their choice.
- Are there certain foods that you can’t stop eating after you have the first bite?
- Do you eat sensibly in front of others and then make up for it when you are alone?
- Do your eating behaviors make you or others unhappy?
- When your emotions are intense, either positive or negative, do you reach for food?
- Is your eating affecting your health or the way you live your life?
This is not an all-inclusive list of questions, and each individual is different. The most important thing to remember is that there is no reason to feel shame for admitting there is a problem, and there are options available for help!
Within Overeaters Anonymous, there are a number of tools to help with the recovery process. Several of these tools include sponsorship, meetings, a plan of eating, and service.
With sponsorship, an existing member of OA that has gone through the twelve steps and is living them in their daily life, assists a newcomer by sharing their experience and wisdom.
OA meetings are gatherings of individuals that come together to share their experience, strength, and hope with each other. There are a number of different types of meetings, but they all have fellowship in common. For individuals that can’t physically make it to a meeting, Overeaters Anonymous also offers them online and over the telephone.
Each individual is different, and personal plans for recovery vary between everyone. A newcomer to Overeaters Anonymous may need to focus on shopping, planning, or preparing meals. Others may need to work on relaxing, meditation, or balancing the program with work and family life.
Service is a large part of recovery, and it is important to carry the message of hope to the compulsive eater who still struggles. A person can serve in many different ways. This might include setting up chairs at a meeting, giving someone a ride when they need one, or greeting newcomers at the door as they arrive.
The most important thing to remember for someone struggling with food addiction and compulsive eating is that there is help available. Overeaters Anonymous has assisted countless numbers of people in finding peace and conquering their addiction to food, but it is not the only solution.
Recovery is challenging, and it is difficult to be successful without the assistance of others. There are many types of treatment and various roads to recovery, but if a person wants help they do not have to do it alone. A powerful first step forward toward a new life that is free from the burden of food addiction and compulsive eating is telling another person about it.
The future is bright and there is hope for recovery!