Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive eating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Worldwide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.
What You Can Expect at an OA Meeting
Hear for yourself the recovery of OA members: listen to a podcast of an OA meeting.
After years of struggling with your weight and obsessing about food, you have decided to give Overeaters Anonymous a try. You find an OA meeting in your area by checking OA’s online meeting locator or by calling or emailing the WSO. You have called the contact person to confirm the day, time and location of the meeting.
When you arrive at the meeting, you will find men and women who share a common malady — compulsive eating — and have found a common solution: the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. You will see anywhere from three to 30 or more people at the meeting. An average meeting has about nine. Many members attend more than one meeting a week. You will be warmly welcomed.
OA is not just about weight loss, weight gain or maintenance, or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet.
You will recognize your own story when you listen to others share. Listening will help you find others who have what you want, whether it be weight loss, clarity, joy in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, or freedom from obsession of self-destructive eating behaviors. You may want to ask someone you can identify with to be your sponsor. A sponsor will share the experience, strength and hope they’ve found in Twelve-Step recovery and may help answer the questions you have about the OA program. Please don’t hesitate to ask anything. You may need to attend several meetings before you find a sponsor.
Meetings usually last between one and one and a half hours. Before and after the meeting, feel free to ask questions and pick up some OA literature to help you learn about the program. The Questions and Answers pamphlet may provide answers to your specific questions. It is included in the Newcomers Packet. By asking for help, you are taking an important step toward recovery.
Because OA is self-supporting through member contributions, a basket will be passed for donations which are used to pay rent, buy literature and help support OA’s service bodies.
What you WILL find at meetings is:
- Acceptance of you as you are now, as you were, as you will be.
- Understanding of the problems you now face — problems almost certainly shared by others in the group.
- Communication that comes as the natural result of our mutual understanding and acceptance.
- Recovery from your illness.
- Power to enter a new way of life through the acceptance and understanding of yourself, the practice of the Twelve-Step recovery program, the belief in a power greater than yourself, and the support and companionship of the group.
OA members differ, but we are united by our common disease and the solution we have found in the OA program. We practice unity with diversity, and we welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous. Welcome home.
At many meetings it is customary for new members
to receive a Serenity Prayer coin.