The OA Preamble
Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. 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 abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors and to carry the message of recovery through the Twelve Steps of OA to those who still suffer.
Do I belong in OA?
Our symptoms may vary, but we share a common bond: we are powerless over food, and our lives have become unmanageable. This common problem has led those in OA to seek and find a common solution in the Twelve Steps with the assistance of the Twelve Traditions of OA and our nine Tools.
How does OA work?
We in OA believe we have a threefold illness—physical, emotional, and spiritual. Tens of thousands have found that OA’s Twelve Step program brings recovery on all three levels. The Twelve Steps embody a set of actions we take. These Steps put us in touch with a Higher Power who restores us to sanity. As we work the Steps, we let go of old attitudes, and we find we are being relieved of our obsession with our eating disorder. Those of us who choose to work the Steps, one day at a time, achieve a new way of life with lasting freedom from our food obsession. A sponsor can help us understand how to apply the Principles of the Steps. Sponsors are members who also work the program.
What resources are available to me as I begin to work this program of recovery?
OA has extensive resources for you:
- For many newcomers, a good way to see if OA is for you is to answer these Fifteen Questions.
- OA has a bookstore (bookstore.oa.org) where all our publications (pamphlets, books, and audio-visual and digital products) are listed for purchase.
- Some of our helpful information documents are downloadable for free on the OA website, oa.org. Look for the New to OA section in the Document Library to get started.
- Our website has member and group support information and extensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) for members, groups, and service bodies.
- On the website you can obtain meeting information and listen to podcasts on recovery.
What is my next step?
- Find a meeting: face-to-face, telephone, online, or non-real-time. We suggest attending at least six different meetings to learn the many ways OA can help you.
- When you go to a meeting, we highly recommend you look for a sponsor.
By following the Twelve Steps, attending meetings regularly, and using the OA Tools, we are changing our lives. You will find hope and encouragement in OA.