Overeaters Anonymous

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Hattie_D's picture
Overeaters Anonymous

Hey all!

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of Overeaters Anonymous? Opinions? (Welcome US opinions, but am also interested in UK opinions, as I imagine it may be quite different).

Context of me:
I am not at all religious.
I have had anorexia and bulimia for over 10 years.
I am now currently bulimic (although doing pretty well recently at abstaining from b/ping but get the urge ALL of the time).
I am at a healthy weight now.
I'm 24-years-old.

Thanks in advance.

Wishing you well,
Hattie x

beachykeen's picture
I started OA at the very

I started OA at the very beginning of my recovery, before I found this site. It was a way to feel proactive and hear others' stories about feeling out of control with food. Honestly I found it helpful to a point. It was a place to share my thoughts without feeling judged. I met a couple of people I found inspiring. That said, I didn't continue going for very long. 12 step program just didn't feel like a good fit for me. I had some issues with fundamental concepts. Maybe it was a type of work I didn't want to do. Maybe I didn't feel like there was enough "successful recovery" in the rooms for me. I know I had a hard time getting past the spirituality issue. I didn't know what I believed (and still don't) and it felt like a lot of work just to figure out my higher power THEN do more work for recovery. I know other people used the energy and community of the meetings as their higher power and were successful. I also had a hard time with the idea of needing/using the meetings indefinitely. I didn't want recovery to be a lifelong journey I wanted a finite program with a beginning, middle and end. Then done, no more issues.
I know other people on here have found OA helpful. As I mentioned, I met people at meetings who felt it saved their lives. There were some amazing stories. I think only YOU can figure out if it will be helpful for you. It's common for people to kind of "audit" the experience for awhile. I met one guy who showed up to meetings for a year and continued to struggle before he finally utilized the program fully. Once he did it made all the difference.

Incidentally, this was in Los Angeles (in case you were wondering).
Hope this was helpful

beachykeen's picture
Also I don't think it would

Also I don't think it would be much different as OA international (i.e. all of them) use the Big Book from AA and the same 12 Step model.I think you can find the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions as well as the Big Book online if you want to peruse the material

dcb15's picture
Hi, I've had experience in OA


I've had experience in OA (in Canada), it is very similar to AA, which I am a member of as well. It is very similar in terms of having structured eating and practising mindfulness while eating.

There is also a spiritual aspect to the program. Through the 12 steps, you learn to give yourself up to a power greater than yourself to relieve you from the obsession; they call it a "Higher Power". In no way does this relate to a religious practise. Your "higher power" can be anything you want to be. The main purpose is having this higher power help you since there is a struggle and unhappiness found in our old destructive patterns.

For example, I can understand there being a greater power or "energy" through the weather, nature because everything just seems to move and live on their own. I also believe that "gut" feeling I have, that voice inside me telling me what is the right thing to do is my "higher power" speaking to me. Your higher power could be the BHM - this site brought together all of these people trying to help one another, surely there is a power within that group that can help you too.

It works when you practise what they suggest, it's like any other program to help with recovery. The more you use it the better things become in your life.

One nice thing about it is they also have meetings, I'm sure you could look up meetings in your area, they're completely free and they are very supportive and a very safe place to be. The people that go are of all ages, shapes and sizes, so really anyone struggling with mental obsession or compulsive overeating.

It's definitely worth a shot, there is a lot of support and love, whenever I go, I always feel comforted to know I am not the only one struggling.

Hope this helps!


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