The best way to find out if Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is for you is to attend a meeting. In meetings you will meet people who are recovering from destructive food behaviors through the Twelve Steps and are there to welcome and support you wherever you are in your journey. It is suggested you go to at least 6 meetings before you decide if OA is a good fit for you.
Are you a compulsive overeater?
Many of us have found it useful to answer the following questions to help determine if we have a problem with compulsive eating:
- Do I eat when I’m not hungry, or not eat when my body needs nourishment?
- Do I go on eating binges for no apparent reason, sometimes eating until I’m stuffed or even feel sick?
- Do I have feelings of guilt, shame or embarrassment about my weight or the way I eat?
- Do I eat sensibly in front of others and then make up for it when I am alone?
- Is my eating affecting my health or the way I live my life?
- When my emotions are intense—whether positive or negative—do I find myself reaching for food?
- Do my eating behaviors make me or others unhappy?
- Have I ever used laxatives, vomiting, diuretics, excessive exercise, diet pills, shots or other medical interventions (including surgery) to try to control my weight?
- Do I fast or severely restrict my food intake to control my weight?
- Do I fantasize about how much better life would be if I were a different size or weight?
- Do I need to chew or have something in my mouth all the time: food, gum, mints, candies or beverages?
- Have I ever eaten food that is burned, frozen or spoiled; from containers in the grocery store; or out of the garbage?
- Are there certain foods I can’t stop eating after having the first bite?
- Have I lost weight with a diet or “period of control” only to be followed by bouts of uncontrolled eating and/or weight gain?
- Do I spend too much time thinking about food, arguing with myself about whether or what to eat, planning the next diet or exercise cure, or counting calories?
If you answered “yes” to several of these questions, it is possible that you have, or are well on your way to having, a compulsive eating or overeating 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, like alcoholism, that can be arrested. Remember, there is no shame in admitting you have a problem; the most important thing is to do something about it.
Newcomers are welcome at every meeting. Welcome to OA, welcome home!
Family members and health care professionals may observe any meeting designated as “open”. As a courtesy, please identify yourself as a family member or health care professional before the meeting starts.
“Where Do I Start” welcome packet can be ordered on oa.org. Click on the Newcomers link above. You may also purchase it as an E-book version from Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble Nook. Or contact email@example.com and request one be mailed to you for free.