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.
What are Compulsive Food Behaviors?
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
What Is the Solution?
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.
What is Abstinence?
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.
What is an Open or Closed Meeting?
Open Meeting: Open to OA members and non-OA visitors. All meetings are considered open unless otherwise indicated.
Closed Meeting: Restricted to those who desire to stop eating compulsively. This includes newcomers. (OA members and others who think they have a problem with food.)