Overeaters Anonymous - New here and have no idea where to start

Saved By Grace
04-17-2011, 12:04 PM
My name is Dianna and this is my first post on this board. I have looked into OA in the past and I keep coming back to it for some reason. I have never been to a meeting whether ftf, phone, or video. I have done the research and I know I have to give this program a try.
I have faith in the 12 step program. My husband is a recovering addict who has been clean for 15 years now thanks to the NA and AA programs. So I know it will work when a person will work it.

I have been overweight my whole life. I have dieted and lost and binged and gained. It is a vicious cycle in my life. I cannot handle restrictive diets for very long before I end up binging. I am a food addict. I will eat for no reason at all. I binge and I feel guilty/ashamed and then I binge again.

Two years ago I had lap band surgery. I thought that having this tool would help me to eat normally. It hasn't. I lost 85 pounds and have been steadily gaining it back in the last six months or so. When I was banded I weighed 441 pounds. That was not my highest weight. My highest was somewhere around 470. I feel like a failure and I'm tired of the feelings of failure, guilt, and shame.

Back to the present. I know that I need to start this program. I have ftf meetings available but they are a 60 mile drive for me to get to them. I am thinking of getting to the first meeting and trying to commit to one ftf meeting a week.
I need to purchase the program books and figure out the eating plan. I have no idea where to start on this.
Should I just get to the first meeting and have them guide me in what I need to work this program successfully? While I am admitting things, I admit that I have no idea how to finish this statement...My name is Dianna and I am a _____ Do I need to be able to finish this statement before I get started?

Thanks for reading and for any advice or tips you might have to offer.

04-17-2011, 02:52 PM
Hi, Dianna -

My name is Danny, and I'm a Compulsive Overeater (COE) and Food Addict (FA). :)

I think that your idea of doing one face to face meeting is terrific, and it sounds like OA may very well be very helpful to you. I suggest that you check out The Recovery Group (http://www.therecoverygroup.org) It is full of useful information, and they have on-line meetings every 3 hours. I try to do one every day (except Sundays, when I do a F2F). TRG has a newcomer orientation group that starts on the first of every month, newcomer email exchange loops, and unbelievable resources.

You can also find telephone meetings and other groups that sponsor on-line meetings at OA's website (http://www.oa.org).

As for reading material, you can order those from OA. I highly recommend OA 12 & 12 (http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Traditions-Overeaters/dp/0960989862/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1303062620&sr=1-1). OA also uses AA's Big Book as a reference. The two programs are very similar.

Good luck and keep in touch. I'm happy to help you with this.

Yours in recovery,


04-17-2011, 03:00 PM
By the way, OA does not have a food plan, per se. Their materials do include a few sample plans that people have used, but there is no particular approach that you have to take. One of the "tools" of OA is to have a plan of eating. For me, it is to have 3 sensible means, a couple of modest snacks, and no compulsive eating. It's that simple! You can do Weight Watchers, Sparkpeople, or any other type of plant that you want. OA doesn't tell us what or how much to eat - it helps us deal with the addictive nature of our eating disorders. When we stick to our food plans and avoid compulsive overeating (or for some of us, bulimic or anorexic behavior), we say that we are abstinent. You do not have to be abstinent to be a member. The only requirement for membership is a desire to abstain from compulsive overeating.

Saved By Grace
04-17-2011, 04:12 PM
Thank you so much Danny. I appreciate your help on this. I will check out the Recovery Group. I think that might be a good place to start. I have the OA meeting schedule for the ftf meetings and I should be able to get to one this week.

I know that a journey begins with the first step and I am beyond ready to make this first step so here goes.

Thanks for all the links and just for reaching out to me. I appreciate it.


04-17-2011, 05:24 PM
Dianna - TRG has a few meetings each week especially for newcomers. The typical meeting is an hour long w/ questions at the end, but the newcomer meetings reserve 30 minutes just for Q&A. I never did those - I just logged in and "listened" without sharing for a meeting or two until I understood the protocol, etc. You'll catch on quickly.

One more thing - you've ALREADY taken the first step by posting here. Now, go take the next one!

Please let me know how you're doing!!


04-18-2011, 04:48 PM
Hi Dianna,

I'm Catherine, bulimic and COE.

I second all of Danny's recs above.

And I hope you make it to a f2f meeting. You're worth the committment of time and petrol.

You can get sponsors online and you never know, one might live closer to you than those at the meeting, thus being better able to meet with you.

The location of a meeting doesn't meant here aren't tonnes of other OA folks around.

And Dianna (my favourite female name, with a neat spelling!)-- good luck! Let us know how things are progressing. Once you get the tech details down it will be less overwhelming and easier to understand how it will integrate into your life, I think.

But I'm just a newbie.