“Our way of life, based on these twelve steps and twelve traditions, has brought us physical, emotional and spiritual healing, that we don’t hesitate to call miraculous. What works for us will work for you, too.”
The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous
We admitted we were powerless over food—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
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.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
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.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous
Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.
Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or OA as a whole.
An OA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the OA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centres may employ special workers.
OA, as such, ought never be organised; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence, the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television and other public media of communication.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
The Twelve Concepts of OA Service help us apply the Steps and Traditions in our service work, which is an important part of the OA program. The Concepts define and guide the practices of the service structures that conduct the business of OA.
These Concepts depict the chain of delegated responsibility we use to provide service throughout the world. Although they focus on OA world services, the Concepts direct all OA’s trusted servants to well-considered actions for group participation, decision making, voting, and the expression of minority opinions. The Twelve Concepts support our primary purpose of carrying OA’s message of recovery to the still-suffering compulsive eater.
The ultimate responsibility and authority for OA world services reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
The OA groups have delegated to World Service Business Conference the active maintenance of our world services; thus, World Service Business Conference is the voice, authority and effective conscience of OA as a whole.
The right of participation ensures equality of opportunity for all in the decision-making process.
Individuals have the right of appeal and petition in order to ensure that their opinions and personal grievances will be carefully considered.
The World Service Business Conference has entrusted the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for the administration of Overeaters Anonymous.
The Board of Trustees has legal rights and responsibilities accorded to them by OA Bylaws, Subpart A; the rights and responsibilities of the World Service Business Conference are accorded to it by Tradition and by OA Bylaws, Subpart B.
The Board of Trustees has delegated to its Executive Committee the responsibility to administer the OA World Service Office.
Able, trusted servants, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing them, are indispensable for effective functioning at all service levels.
Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority; therefore, duplication of efforts is avoided.
Trustee administration of the World Service Office should always be assisted by the best standing committees, executives, staffs and consultants.
As we work the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve Step program of recovery from compulsive eating, we have a number of Tools to assist us. We use these Tools—a plan of eating, sponsorship, meetings, telephone, writing, literature, action plan, anonymity, and service—on a regular basis, to help us achieve and maintain abstinence and recovery from our disease.
See the full Tools of Recovery pamphlet for more information.Tools of Recovery
As a Tool, a plan of eating helps us abstain from compulsive eating, guides us in our dietary decisions, and defines what, when, how, where, and why we eat. This Tool helps us deal with the physical aspects of our disease and achieve physical recovery.
We ask a sponsor to help us through all three levels of our program of recovery: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Find a sponsor who has what you want and ask that person how they are achieving it.
Meetings give us an opportunity to identify our common problems, confirm our common solution, and share the gifts we receive through this Twelve Step program. In addition to face-to-face meetings, OA offers telephone and other types of virtual meetings that are useful in breaking through the deadly isolation caused by distance, illness, or physical challenges.
Many members call, text, or email their sponsors and other OA members daily. Telephone or electronic contact also provides an immediate outlet for those hard-to-handle highs and lows we may experience.
Putting our thoughts and feelings down on paper, or describing a troubling or joyous incident, helps us to better understand our actions and reactions in a way that is often not revealed by simply thinking or talking about them.
We read OA-approved literature, which includes numerous books, study guides, pamphlets, wallet cards, and selected Alcoholics Anonymous texts. All this material provides insight into our disease and the experience, strength, and hope that there is a solution for us.
Creating an action plan is the process of identifying and implementing attainable actions to support our individual abstinence and emotional, spiritual, and physical recovery. This Tool, like our plan of eating, may vary widely among members and may need to be adjusted as we progress in our recovery.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities (Tradition Twelve). Anonymity assures us that only we, as individual OA members, have the right to make our membership known to others. Anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and other public media of communication means that we never allow our faces or last names to be used once we identify ourselves as OA members (Tradition Eleven). Within the Fellowship, anonymity means that whatever we share with another OA member will be respected and kept confidential. What we hear at meetings should remain there.
Any form of service—no matter how small—that helps reach a fellow sufferer adds to the quality of our own recovery. Members who are new to OA can give service by attending meetings, sharing, and putting away chairs. All members can also give service by putting out literature, welcoming newcomers, hosting a virtual meeting, or doing whatever is needed to help the group. Members who meet specified requirements can give service beyond the group level by serving at the intergroup, service board, region, or world service level. As OA’s Responsibility Pledge states, “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this, I am responsible.”
a list of resources available to members in the fellowship who still suffer and addressing relapse
and recovery of our members.