Central Florida Intergroup
Together, We Recover, One Day at a Time!
Why Overeaters Anonymous?
There are many diets and weight loss plans available today, and many people have been able to lose weight on them. We have found that although these plans might work if we followed them properly, we were unable to stick to them for any length of time. We realized our problem was not going to be solved by a food plan alone and that we needed more. We found what we needed in Overeaters Anonymous. We invite you to visit any of the meetings listed on our meeting list to find out more about who we are and what we do. Feel free to call any of the contact numbers for more information on a meeting or on OA in general. There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues. Our primary purpose is to help the compulsive eater who still suffers.
This series of questions may help you determine if you are a compulsive eater.
1. Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
2. Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
3. Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
4. Do you give too much time and thought to food?
5. Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
6. Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?
7. Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
8. Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?
9. Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?
10. Do you resent others telling you to “use a little willpower” to stop overeating?
11. Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet “on your own” whenever you wish?
12. Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?
13. Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?
14. Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
15. Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?
Have you answered yes to three or more of these questions? If so, it is probable that you have or are well on your way to having a compulsive eating problem. We have found that the way to arrest this progressive disease is to practice the Twelve-Step recovery program of Overeaters Anonymous.
Is OA for You?
Only you can decide that question. No one else can make this decision for you. We who are now in OA have found a way of life which enables us to live without the need for excess food. We believe that compulsive eating is a progressive illness, one that, like alcoholism and some other illnesses, can be arrested. Remember, there is no shame in admitting you have a problem; the most important thing is to do something about it.
In Overeaters Anonymous, you’ll find members who are extremely overweight, even morbidly obese; moderately overweight; average weight; underweight; still maintaining periodic control over their eating behavior; or totally unable to control their compulsive eating.
OA members experience many different patterns of food behaviors. These “symptoms” are as varied as our membership. Among them are:
* obsession with body weight, size and shape
* eating binges or grazing
* preoccupation with reducing diets
* laxative or diuretic abuse
* excessive exercise
* inducing vomiting after eating
* chewing and spitting out food
* use of diet pills, shots and other medical interventions to control weight
* inability to stop eating certain foods after taking the first bite
* fantasies about food
* vulnerability to quick-weight-loss schemes
* constant preoccupation with food
* using food as a reward or comfort
Our symptoms may vary, but we share a common bond: we are powerless over food and our lives are unmanageable. This common problem has led those in OA to seek and find a common solution in the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions and eight tools of Overeaters Anonymous. How do OA members lose weight and maintain a healthy weight?
The concept of abstinence is the basis of OA’s program of recovery. By admitting inability to control compulsive eating in the past and abandoning the idea that all one needs is “a little willpower,” it becomes possible to abstain from overeating—one day at a time.
While a diet can help us lose weight, it often intensifies the compulsion to overeat. The solution offered by OA does not include diet tips. We don’t furnish diets, counseling services, hospitalization or treatment; nor does OA participate in or conduct research and training in the field of eating disorders. For weight loss, any medically approved eating plan is acceptable.
OA members interested in learning about nutrition or who seek professional advice are encouraged to consult qualified professionals. We may freely use such help, with the assurance that OA supports each of us in our efforts to recover.
© Overeaters Anonymous 2009