The Overeaters Anonymous program of recovery from compulsive eating is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, with the words “alcohol” and “alcoholic” replaced by the words “food” and “compulsive overeater.” In this show we talk with OA members who have reached and are maintaining a healthy weight. Our focus will be on the 12 Steps: what they mean, how they work, and, most importantly, how these OA members have used the steps to find recovery from eating compulsively.
Is There Hope For Me in OA? It is not unusual to find people in Overeaters Anonymous (OA) who are now at a healthy weight, and have been for many years, but were once 100 pounds or more overweight. They often suffered debilitating physical illnesses from their weight, like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and lack of mobility due to painful back and joints. And they may have suffered loneliness, rejection, fear, and isolation due to their size as well. In this episode, OA members who have lost well over 100 pounds—and kept if off —share how they did it, what their lives are like now, and show that there is hope for you, even if you have 100 pounds or more to lose.
The holiday season brings excitement, nostalgic traditions and lots of social and family activities that tend to revolve around food. For those who battle compulsive eating, the added stress of the holidays and additional focus on food can trigger overeating. This often leads to shame, guilt, depression and unwanted pounds. For individuals struggling with compulsive eating, especially during the holidays, Overeaters Anonymous (OA) can provide much-needed support and a path to recovery. Join us today as we talk to members of OA who have maintained significant long-term weight loss and have learned how to manage the holidays in a way that doesn’t trigger compulsive eating and compulsive behaviors around food.
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is a program based on the Twelve Steps adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, with the words “food” and “compulsive overeaters” replacing “alcohol” and “alcoholics.” In OA we talk about abstinence from eating compulsively, which is like being sober from drinking alcohol or doing drugs. To help members stay abstinent and keep working the steps, OA suggests a number of tools: a plan of eating, sponsorship, meetings, telephone, writing, literature, action plan, anonymity and service. In this episode, three guests who have recovered from compulsive eating in OA will talk about how these tools have been key to their recovery and long-term abstinence from compulsive eating.
How is it different than a diet? In Overeaters Anonymous (OA), one of our key tools of recovery is a plan of eating. It helps us abstain from compulsive eating, guides us in our dietary decisions, and defines what, when, how, where and why we eat. OA does not dictate specific requirements for a plan of eating. We develop a personal plan of eating based on an honest appraisal of our past experience. A plan of eating helps us deal with the physical aspects of our disease and achieve physical recovery. From this vantage point, we can more effectively follow OA’s Twelve-Step program of recovery and move beyond the food to a happier, healthier and more spiritual life. Today we will be talking with OA members about their plan of eating and how it is different than the diets they tried in the past. We will also talk to Registered Dietitian Theresa Wright, who runs an nutrition center in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, about how she sees OA’s program as effective in its approach to a plan of eating.
The Twelve Steps are the heart of the Overeaters Anonymous (OA) recovery program. They offer a new way of life that enables the compulsive eater to live without the need for excess food. The ideas expressed in the Twelve Steps, which originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, reflect practical experience and application of spiritual insights recorded by thinkers throughout the ages. Their greatest importance lies in the fact that they work! They enable compulsive eaters and millions of other Twelve-Steppers to lead happy, productive lives, and they represent the foundation upon which OA is built. In this episode, we will talk with members about the difference OA’s 12-step program has made for them in their journey to recovery from compulsive eating, and we will also talk to Dr. Marty Lerner, psychologist and CEO of an eating disorder clinic in Florida, about how he has seen the OA program work for his clients.
Compulsive eating, or food addiction, can wreak havoc in your life in so many ways. It affects your weight and your health, your relationships, your job, and your self-confidence and self-worth. In our first episode of this series, we will explore the symptoms of this disease and talk with Overeaters Anonymous members who, after years of misery, yo-yo dieting, obesity and other health issues, have found recovery using OA’s 12 steps and group support, not only achieving weight loss and long-term maintenance of a healthy weight, but transforming their lives in ways they never could have imagined.
This 20-minute inspiring collection of interviews depicts the journeys of several OA members from despair to recovery and serenity. Helpful for newcomers, returning members and long-timers alike. For more information on Overeaters Anonymous, please go to www.oa.org or call the World Service Office at 505-891-2664.
This podcast is a recording of a Saturday afternoon OA meeting held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information on Overeaters Anonymous, please go to www.oa.org or call the World Service Office at 505-891-2664.