How It Works
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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 It Works
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those
who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves
to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable
of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at
fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of
grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their
chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave
emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the
capacity to be honest.
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened,
and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are
willing to go to any length to get it -- then you are ready to take certain
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But
we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be
fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to
our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
Remember that we deal with food -- cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it
is too much for us. But there is One who has all power -- that One is God. May
you find Him now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His
protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
1. We admitted we were powerless over food -- that our lives had become
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends
to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so
would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the
power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to
carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in
all our affairs.
Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be
discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect
adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is that we are
willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are
guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual
Our description of the compulsive overeater, the chapter to the agnostic, and
our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
a) That we were compulsive overeaters and could not manage our own lives.
b) That probably no human power could have relieved our compulsion.
c) That God could and would if He were sought.
Adapted from the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous"
Copyright (c) 1939, 1976, A.A. World Services, Inc.
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This website is not intended to replace a sponsor, but
rather to aide you and your sponsor in recovery. This is just a way to
start working the steps, and share in someone else's experience, strength and
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This Website was last updated on:
March 23, 2008
Disclaimer: This site is NOT endorsed nor sponsored by
Alcoholics Anonymous or any group and is not intended to offer specific advice
to persons in recovery or contemplating recovery. This site DOES, however,
attempt to follow the 12 Traditions of AA. Contact your local Alcoholics
Anonymous Intergroup Office for direct info on AA, for info on meetings in your
area, and if you'd like to speak with someone regarding alcoholism. This site is
produced in the spirit of AA's Twelfth Step - to carry the message. When reading the
experience, strength and hope on this
site, we remind you that AA's "public relations policy is based on
attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at
the level of press, radio, and films."