Are You a Compulsive Overeater?Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous. This series of questions may help you determine if you are a compulsive eater.
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
- Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
- Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
- Do you give too much time and thought to food?
- Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
- Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?
- Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
- Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?
- Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?
- Do you resent others telling you to “use a little willpower” to stop overeating?
- Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet “on your own” whenever you wish?
- Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?
- Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?
- Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
- Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?
Is OA for You?Only you can decide that question. No one else can make this decision for you. We who are now in OA have found a way of life which enables us to live without the need for excess food. We believe that compulsive eating is a progressive illness, one that, like alcoholism and some other illnesses, can be arrested. Remember, there is no shame in admitting you have a problem; the most important thing is to do something about it.
Our Invitation to YouWe, 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 learned 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. 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 up to you. 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.
To remedy the emotional, physical and spiritual illness of compulsive eating 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” club. We do not endorse any particular plan of eating. In OA, abstinence is the act of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. 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 it — in essence, a new way of living.
From this 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 eating and compulsive food behaviors are 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.
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