Anonymous Suggested Meeting Format
Will those who wish to please join me in the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
As we extend the heart and hand of fellowship to those who still suffer, let us be mindful of OAs Unity With Diversity Policy, which respects our differences, yet unites us in the solution to our common problem. Whatever problem you may have with food, you are welcome atthis meeting. Are there any compulsive overeaters here besides myself?Is there anyone here for a first, second or third time? Would you please tell us your first name so we can welcome you? If you are returning to OA or are visiting from another area, please tell us your first name so we can also welcome you.
[Welcome each person by name.]
We encourage you to:
following is the OA Preamble:Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals
who, through shared experience, strength and hope, are recovering from
compulsive overeating. We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compusively.
There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through
our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations.
OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political
movement, ideology or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside
issues.Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and
to carry this message of recovery to those who still suffer.
We of Overeaters
Anonymous have made a discovery. At the very first meeting we attended,
we learned that we were in the clutches of a dangerous illness, and that
willpower, emotional health and self-confidence, which some of us had
once possessed, were no defense against it.
We have found
that the reasons for the illness are unimportant. What deserves the attention
of the still-suffering compulsive overeater is this: there is a proven,
workable method by which we can arrest our illness.
The OA recovery
program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AAs
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words alcohol
and alcoholic to food and compulsive overeater.
As our personal
stories attest, the Twelve-Step program of recovery works as well for
compulsive overeaters as it does for alcoholics.
Can we guarantee
you this recovery? The answer is simple. If you will honestly face the
truth about yourself and the illness; if you will keep coming back to
meetings to talk and listen to other recovering compulsive overeaters;
if you will read our literature and that of Alcoholics Anonymous with
an open mind; and, most important, if you are willing to rely on a power
greater than yourself for direction in your life, and to take the Twelve
Steps to the best of your ability, we believe you can indeed join the
ranks of those who recover.
the emotional, physical and spiritual illness of compulsive overeating
we offer several suggestions, but keep in mind that the basis of the program
is spiritual, as evidenced by the Twelve Steps.
We are not
a diet and calories club. We do not endorse any particular
plan of eating. We practice abstinence by staying away from eating between
planned meals and from all individual binge foods. Once we become abstinent,
the preoccupation with food diminishes and in many cases leaves us entirely.
We then find that, to deal with our inner turmoil, we have to have a new
way of thinking, of acting on life rather than reacting to itin
essence, a new way of living.
vantage point, we begin the Twelve-Step program of recovery, moving beyond
the food and the emotional havoc to a fuller living experience. As a result
of practicing the Steps, the symptom of compulsive overeating is removed
on a daily basis, achieved through the process of surrendering to something
greater than ourselves; the more total our surrender, the more fully realized
our freedom from food obsession.
Im too weak. Ill never make it! Dont worry, we
have all thought and said the same thing. The amazing secret to the success
of this program is just that: weakness. It is weakness, not strength,
that binds us to each other and to a Higher Power and somehow gives us
the ability to do what we cannot do alone.
If you decide
you are one of us, we welcome you with open arms. Whatever your circumstances,
we offer you the gift of acceptance. You are not alone any more. Welcome
to Overeaters Anonymous.
The Twelve Traditions:
TOOLS: In OA, the Statement on Abstinence and Recovery is Abstinence is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional and physical recovery is the result of living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve-Step program. The OA tools of recovery help us work the Steps and refrain from compulsive overeating. The nine tools are: a plan of eating, sponsorship, meetings, telephone, writing, literature, action plan, anonymity and service. For more information, read the Tools of Recovery pamphlet.
Sponsorship is one of our keys to success. Sponsors are OA members
committed to abstinence and to living the Steps and Traditions to the
best of their ability. Sponsors share their program up to the level of
their experience and strengthen their recovery through this service to
others. To find a sponsor, look for someone who has what you want, and
ask how he or she is achieving it. Will all sponsors please identify themselves
and briefly qualify; for example, time in program, length of abstinence,
Steps completed, weight change/relief from food obsession.
LITERATURE: Only OA-approved literature is displayed at this meeting. Many OA members find that reading our literature on a daily basis further reinforces how to live the Twelve Steps.
[Secretary makes announcements; presents chips and medallions, if customary.
SEVENTH TRADITION: According to our Seventh Tradition, we are self-supporting through our own contributions. Our group expenses are _________, _________, and______. We send monthly contributions to our intergroup or service board, region and the World Service Office to help carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. Give as if your life depends on it!
MEETINGS CHOICE: [Some meetings vary or combine options, as decided
by group conscience. Sample options are listed below.] Step and Tradition
Meetings: This is a Step meeting, and we are studying Step
SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR SHARING: [We suggest you read the following before members begin sharing:] As you share your experience and strength in OA, please also share your hope. Please confine your sharing to your experience with the disease of compulsive eating, the solution offered by OA and your own recovery from the disease, rather than just the events of the day or week. If you are having difficulties, share how you use the program to deal with them. If you need to talk more about your difficulties and seek solutions, we suggest you speak to your sponsor and other members after the meeting.Feedback, cross talk and advice-giving are discouraged here. Cross talk during an OA meeting is giving advice to others who have already shared, speaking directly to another person rather than to the group and questioning or interrupting the person speaking/sharing at the time.We ask everyone to respect our group conscience. This meeting has decided that the chair for each meeting should have the discretion to suggest to anyone sharing that he or she is off topic or is speaking too long, and this meeting asks you to accept this suggestion in order to keep the meeting on track. [We suggest you add here any other guidelines your meeting has decided by group conscience to follow.]
By following the Twelve Steps, attending meetings regularly and
using the OA tools, thousands have changed their lives. We offer hope
and encouragement. To the newcomer, we suggest attending at least six
different meetings to learn the many ways OA can help you. The opinions
expressed here today are those of individual OA members and do not represent
OA as a whole. Please remember our commitment to honor each others
anonymity. What you hear here, who you see here, when you leave
here, let it stay here. Let us all reach out by phone or email to
newcomers, returning members and each other. Together we get better.