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The 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous (OA)

It’s been just over a year since I originally posted my series about the 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous in time for the holidays.

Many years ago the 12 Steps of OA (akin to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous) was popular in the US as a means of overcoming eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia, binge eating disorder and all sorts of food addictions.

When I was around 15 years old my Mom took me to my first OA meeting to help me beat my bulimia.  It helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, but OA wasn’t a big success for me – mostly because I don’t think I put in the effort and wasn’t willing to recover at the time.

I do think there is value in what they offer and certainly the support structure of sponsors and group meetings, if used effectively, can have tremendous impact on your eating disorder.

What I’d like to do for you is share the 12 Steps of OA and link you to my write ups from last year (which may be a little buried in the pages of my site):

1. We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable. (Step 1 of OA)
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Step 2 of OA)
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. (Step 3 of OA)
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (Step 4 of OA)
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (Step 5 of OA)
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (Step 6 of OA)
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. (Step 7 of OA)
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. (Step 8 of OA)
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (Step 9 of OA)
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. (Step 10 of OA)
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. (Step 11 of OA)
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. (Step 12 of OA)

If you’d like to learn more about Overeaters Anonymous and find meetings in your city, please visit their website.