A preacher’s son, Joe’s compulsive eating was born when he became an adult and renounced the religion of his upbringing. From then on, Joe says he was “running too the food or away from the food.” At Joe’s first OA meeting, he felt hope seeing that others had overcome their food obsessions.
Before OA, food ruled Dodie’s every waking moment, even from a very early age. In college, Dodie weighed 215 pounds (97.5 kg) and felt trapped in ugliness. When she realized she had a problem with food, she found OA, and now maintains a 85-pound (38.5-kg) weight loss.
Bob was already in shape and at a healthy weight but learned in OA that his exercise habits masked a food addiction. He describes how OA gave him a safe place to find recovery and build a productive life.
Kathleen’s binge eating and low self-esteem made her ill and unable to hold a job. She was in the midst of bingeing and counting calories when she heard on the radio a public service announcement about Overeaters Anonymous. When she attended her first meeting, someone told her “You’re not alone anymore,” and that was enough to give her hope and start her on her recovery journey.
Beth learned about OA after she noticed a coworker losing weight and becoming noticeably happier. When she realized that she was out of control, she asked if she could join her coworker at a meeting. At the meeting, she was relieved to hear that OA is not a diet program and that the other OA members had problems with food that were similar to her own.
Food was Bob’s sole obsession. He was selfish with food, and his unapologetic overeating even drove away friends. As an agnostic, he was uncomfortable hearing talk about God at his first meeting, but he stuck around, and now his life is changed completely and for the better.
Mary joined OA after a visit to her mother made her significant weight gain an unavoidable topic of discussion. In OA, she was surprised to find people just like her, people who had exceptional problems with food. She was also surprised to see how serene and healthy these people were as a result of working the OA program.
AJ joined OA when she became medically obese, which triggered worries about obesity-related illnesses in her family’s history. Today she is no longer obese, and with the help of other OA members, she is living in recovery from compulsive eating.
A short explanation of OA‘s Second Tradition: “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.”
A short explanation of OA‘s First Tradition: “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity.”