What is OA?
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 overeating and to carry this message of recovery to those who still suffer.
How did OA start?
The first meeting of Overeaters Anonymous (OA) was held in Hollywood, California, USA on January 19, 1960. Rozanne S. attended a Gamblers Anonymous meeting two years earlier to help a friend and realised the format of the Twelve Steps meeting might hold an answer to her own addictive behaviour as it related to food. Her vision of how this simple program could bring recovery to all those who suffered from compulsive overeating resulted in the worldwide organisation that exists today.
There are OA groups in over 75 countries meeting in person, via telephone and through the internet each week. OA’s 60-year history has shown that it is possible to recover from the disease of compulsive eating. We invite you to join us to find the freedom that many of our members have discovered over the years.
Who Belongs to OA?
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 behaviour; or totally unable to control their compulsive eating.
OA members experience many different patterns of food behaviours. 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 Tools of recovery of Overeaters Anonymous.
What does OA offer?
We offer unconditional acceptance and support through readily available OA meetings, which are self-supported through voluntary contributions.
We in OA believe we have a threefold illness-physical, emotional and spiritual. Tens of thousands have found that OA’s Twelve-Step program effects recovery on all three levels.
The Twelve Steps embody a set of principles which, when followed, promote inner change. Sponsors help us understand and apply these principles. As old attitudes are discarded, we often find there is no longer a need for excess food.
Those of us who choose to recover one day at a time practice the Twelve Steps. In so doing, we achieve a new way of life and lasting freedom from our food obsession.