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 overeating 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. 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
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 nine tools of Overeaters Anonymous.
Who can recover with OA?
OA is for *anyone* who has a problem with food. The best way to find out whether Overeaters Anonymous can work for you is to go to a meeting. Because meetings reflect the diversity of our fellowship, OA suggests that you attend at least five different OA meetings before deciding whether the program is for you.