Overeaters Anonymous

So…i am considering going to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.


I read the criteria that is supposed to help you determine if “OA is for you”.


On OA’s website (www.oa.org), they list the following questions:

  1. Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
  2. Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
  3. Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
  4. Do you give too much time and thought to food?
  5. Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
  6. Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?
  7. Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
  8. Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?
  9. Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?
  10. Do you resent others telling you to “use a little willpower” to stop overeating?
  11. Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet “on your own” whenever you wish?
  12. Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?
  13. Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?
  14. Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
  15. Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?

I can answer yes to all of them…


A week ago, I felt like I was doing awesome…I felt in control. Control to me means eating healthy. Control means feeling strong. Control means happiness with myself. Control means happiness in my marriage because I am nicer to my husband. Having that control is literally EVERYTHING…and now it is gone.


I had been doing really well…and then we had guests over the weekend before last. My friend, L, brought cupcakes. Sprinkles cupcakes. They are my downfall. I literally only allow myself to have them once a year on my birthday. And seeing how we were about 7 months too early for birthday cupcakes, I should have just said no. But…I felt guilty. There were only five of us hanging out and there were 12, count ’em – 12!, Sprinkles cupcakes. I mean, it would be downright RUDE to not eat one, right??

If you don’t know Sprinkles…here is a “taste”:


…and then I lost it. I lost control. It’s gone. For as strong as I feel when i am doing well, I feel equally lost when I am not. Those Sprinkles cupcakes walked into my life and my control walked out. I decided since I was having one cupcake, I might as well eat the Fritos that my other friend had brought with his chili dip. Plus, I might as well have the big yummy roll to put my pulled pork and coleslaw on instead of having it plain. And since I was already cheating, what would it hurt to have the apple crisp that I had made but had planned on not eating (with the double topping). What more would it hurt, then, to have another few bites of a chocolate cupcake and then to eat an entire other red velvet cupcake (my favorite)…of course I would wait until after everyone had gone home.


From that day on, I have been back and forth…one good day, one bad day; three good days, one bad day…no consistency.


So do I join? I know it is for me, but I am definitely scared. My social anxiety kicks in and says that I can’t handle a room full of  people that I don’t know. My pride also kicks in and says, if I kicked my drinking problem without AA, then can’t I kick my eating issues without OA? Do I really need all of this help?


I need something. That much I know.





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6 responses to “Overeaters Anonymous

  1. You would certainly be welcomed in OA. In OA, we no longer try to have control over our eating. We turn that over to the God of our individual understanding. After years of trying to control it, we gave up.

    Congrats of giving up your drinking on your own. Maybe, just maybe, that wasn’t your root issue and maybe food is? Anyway, I know lots of people in OA who are in AA too. I don’t know a single person who drank for a different reason than they overate. I got to over 300 pounds because I couldn’t deal with life on life’s terms.

    If you don’t like the idea of being in a room with a bunch of strangers, consider on-line and telephone meetings. You can find these here:


    Anyway, OA was a life saver for me. At over 300lbs, I was not in a good place. Today, at 170, I am healthier in mind and body. Good luck!

    • amybart

      Thanks, Steve! I definitely appreciate the comments…and actually think you may have something there! I do think that drinking was something I was using to mask other issues I have with food and my appearance. I am definitely going to look into the online meetings…that seems totally up my alley!

      You are at a healthy weight today…does that mean you don’t go to meetings anymore or you do still? I am at a weight I am comfortable with, but wanted to still get in control of my issues with food and be healthier about how I deal with it.

      You are already sending out the vibes that OA is a supportive community! Thanks so much!!

      • I still go to meetings. On average, 3 a week. I live in an area (greater Boston metropolitan) that has lots of meetings. We have lots of slogans in OA. One is: I am a recovered, not cured, compulsive eater. Meetings are one of the medications I use to keep the chronic illness of compulsive eating at bay. Think of it like a person with high blood pressure. As long as they take their medicine, their blood pressure is fine.

        I found lots of support in OA but I have also learned to take what I want and leave the rest. OA is people. Some have lots of recovery. Others, not so much. I learn from both.

        We do suggest trying 6 different meetings before deciding if OA is for you. Meetings, like the people who attend them, are different.

        Good luck!

  2. Angela

    I can answer yes to every one of these questions as well. But so can an alcoholic. Or a person addicted to drugs.

    For me, once something sets me off, I want to medicate. That can be with 3 bags of fast food, a fifth of tequila, or a joint. Or all of the above. It doesn’t matter. It is the first place my mind goes.

    Thankfully, since I have begun the voyage of bringing that nature under control, the second place my mind goes is to exercise. It’s a totally different high when I’m done. And I’m worth that effort. Even though it’s hard to get up off my duff.

    I like what Steve said about being a recovered, not cured, compulsive eater. But for me, I’m a recovered, not cured, compulsive medicator. I know it will be a lifelong battle, too.

    Thanks for your honesty. It helps bring me back to the track.


    • amybart

      That is so great that you are using exercise now as a way to get back in control during those times…i am moving more for sure (wearing a pedometer, going for lots of walks) but I have yet to get back into the habit of really going to the gym for some intense workouts…I tend to go once at the beginning of the week and then peeter out as the week goes on…what do you do, exercise wise, to get yourself really motivated and up and at ’em?

  3. I too had recently questioned if OA was for me. I had gone to a few meetings in the past and was not ready to commit. The other night I binged on a box of cookies, a box of snack cakes, and a box of fruit snacks. The next morning I was ready – I am at over 400 lbs. I have gone to two meetings in as many days and I understand the anxiety. I live with a recovering alcoholic who told me that he went to AA meetings on a daily basis and it took him over 6 mos. before he felt somewhat comfortable to open up. I say give it a shot, you might be surprised. It’s like one big family of people that are going through the same issues as you are

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