Services Resources

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous

“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.”

12 Concepts

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 Twelve Concepts of OA Service

  • Concept 1 - Unity

    The ultimate responsibility and authority for OA world services reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

  • Concept 2 - Conscience

    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.

  • Concept 3 - Trust
    1. The right of decision, based on trust, makes effective leadership possible. 
  • Concept 4 - Equality

    The right of participation ensures equality of opportunity for all in the decision-making process.

  • Concept 5 - Consideration

    Individuals have the right of appeal and petition in order to ensure that their opinions and personal grievances will be carefully considered.

  • Concept 6 - Responsibility

    The World Service Business Conference has entrusted the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for the administration of Overeaters Anonymous.

  • Concept 7 - Balance

    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.

  • Concept 8 - Delegation

    The Board of Trustees has delegated to its Executive Committee the responsibility to administer the OA World Service Office.

  • Concept 9 - Ability

    Able, trusted servants, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing them, are indispensable for effective functioning at all service levels.

  • Concept 10 - Clarity

    Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority; therefore, duplication of efforts is avoided.

  • Concept 11 - Humility

    Trustee administration of the World Service Office should always be assisted by the best standing committees, executives, staffs and consultants.

  • Concept 12 - The spiritual foundation for OA service ensures that:
    1. No OA committee or service body shall ever become the seat of perilous wealth or power;(Spiritual principle SELFLESSNESS)
    2. Sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, shall be OA’s prudent financial principle;(Spiritual principle REALISM)
    3. No OA member shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority;(Spiritual principle REPRESENTATION)
    4. All important decisions shall be reached by discussion, vote and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; (Spiritual principle DIALOGUE)
    5. No service action shall ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy; (Spiritual principle COMPASSION) and
    6. No OA service committee or service board shall ever perform any acts of government, and each shall always remain democratic in thought and action.(Spiritual principle RESPECT)

Tools of Recovery

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 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.”

Returning Member Resources

a list of resources available to members in the fellowship who still suffer and addressing relapse
and recovery of our members.

Skip to toolbar