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The 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous – A Mutual Help Group Solution to Food Addiction and Compulsive Eating

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Struggling with compulsive or addictive overeating?

Well, you should probably work with a health or mental health professional on a plan of healthier eating, but you might also want to check out a local Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meeting for the support and camaraderie of a group of people going through very similar trials and challenges.

Based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the OA program is free of charge and is unaffiliated with any other private or public organization. Although the OA program is spiritual in nature, it is not religious and people of any faith and belief system are welcomed.

If you have lost control of your eating then OA might fit your needs. People that have in the past benefited from OA include people with disordered eating, people preoccupied with food and people who regulate emotions with food.

OA is not a diet program and you won’t find medical, dietary or nutritional advice a component of any meetings you attend. What OA offers is acceptance and support and a message that by accepting that you are powerless to control your overeating and by seeking a spiritual answer to a physical problem that abstinence from overeating is possible - one day at a time.

The 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  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 our wrongs.
  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 admitted it.
  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.1
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Page last updated Apr 24, 2012

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